Another quick update from a full day of floor time! A quick reminder – we will NOT be having Legislative Committee Meeting tomorrow as it is the last day of the Session.
The greatest surprise to everyone up at the Hill today is that they canceled Executive Appropriations this afternoon. Since they have passed their budgets already with some clarifications that were made last, it is possible that we may not even see an Executive Appropriations Committee and instead will just see a final budget with final decisions. A new process for sure, but one full of excitement as the Legislature and everyone else has conversations surrounding tax reform, budget surplus/shortfalls, and a changing economy. As promised, many of the different appropriations and existing funding have been made one-time instead of ongoing for the coming fiscal year in order to bring everyone to the table for further discussion and real action in a special session to be called in August.
However, we did have extensive discussion on several appropriation items today:
- RS2477 Litigation Funding has been funded to combine a new appropriation of $500k with a lapsing amount of $500k to a total of $1 Million for an important cost.
- Jail Funding (although very short from our hoped/worked for amount) came to a total of $1.385 Million for both jail reimbursement and jail contracting. This, combined with firm and adamant commitment by the Executive Offices and Criminal Justice Appropriations Subcommittee Chairs to attack the issue aggressively over the interim, was discussed with all of leadership and the Executive Appropriations Committee members. In the end, it was decided by the sheriffs’ representatives that this amount will be divided evenly between the two requests for $692,500 for each. Not the ideal situation but gives us an excellent point to work on over the coming years.
- Other priorities from Legislative Leadership include education and behavioral health funding, clean air, etc. Staff will be sure to update you as soon as we can!
Other items of importance, our UAC priority of HB 321 Public Improvements to Provide Sewer Services (L. Wilde) passed the Senate floor today and is on its way to be enrolled. HB 272 Election Law Amendments (M. Nelson) also passed the Senate floor today and is on the list to be enrolled. Another important election bill done! Combined with a few of our other UAC priorities, we are very encouraged with the progress we have made this year on proactive items.
We are still watching a few bills but we still have 16 more hours of floor time so it will be a good last day of the Session!
As always – if you have any questions, please contact staff and if you are coming to the Capitol for any of the excitement – please reach out!