The state budget moved in fits and starts last week, as lawmakers approached agreement on a $136.5 billion state spending plan. On Monday, each house passed its one house budget proposal, and budget conference committees began meeting on Tuesday.
Lawmakers are hoping to have a new budget in place by this Thursday. If they do so, it will be the third year in a row the state budget has been handed in on time and the earliest enacted budget since 1983. The state budget needs to be enacted by April 1, but because of the Passover and Easter holidays they are aiming for March 21.
While we are generally supportive of the proposed Executive budget, we are concerned about a number of issues that appear to remain under consideration, including a minimum wage increase and a potential five year extension of the 18a energy tax. We are also concerned that the budget discussions do not appear to include any serious effort to provide relief from unfunded mandates on local governments and school districts.
We continue to communicate our concerns to lawmakers and staff, and hope that we will be able to support the final budget agreement without reservation.