SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE WRAPS UP WORK ON THE STATE BUDGET
The Senate Finance Committee wrapped up its work on the state budget last week. The full Senate is expected to consider the budget soon.
Overall, the Senate Committee Substitute to House Bill 1 (C.S.H.B. 1) appropriates approximately $12 billion more than the House version, but is still $11 billion shy of what was appropriated for the 2010-2011 biennium.
The Senate Finance Committee proposal makes approximately $154 million in cuts over the biennium in appropriations that previously flowed to cities, including cuts to the mixed beverage tax, library aid, local parks grants, and solid waste grants. If there is a silver lining, it is that the House and the Senate are currently only $28.7 million apart on the funding items that affect cities. That makes it less likely – though not certain – that cities would face further cuts later in the process.
Once the budget is approved by the full Senate, C.S.H.B. 1 will be considered by a conference committee made up of members from the House and the Senate. The conference committee is charged with working out the differences between what was voted from the two chambers.