Thursday, April 7, 2011

Committee approves budget proposal - floor debate planned to begin tomorrow

The House Ways and Means Committee met yesterday and stayed well into the night to approve the House budget proposal. The bill was approved on a vote of 16-11.

The committee adopted several amendments. The following were changes that impacted spending:

Additional Resources ($17.5 million total)
  • Department of Revenue new revenues = $14.5 million (should have been reflected on the original balance sheet, due to DOR collection activity)
  • Waste Reduction, Recycling and Litter Account = $3 million (transfer)
Spending Changes ($20.6 million total)
  • Technical changes = $1.8 million
  • Restore funding to Higher Education Coordinating Board = $4.7 million
  • Agency provider health benefits – provide $450/month for home care workers = $2.1 million
  • Centrum = $100,000
  • Conservation Commission = $1.9 million
  • Microsoft IT Academy for high schools = $2 million
  • Courts funding – net of further reductions to Attorney General = $1.1 million
  • Agriculture fees + Fair Fund = $7 million
Net change = $3.1 million

The revised ending fund balance is $792 million.

As this blog post is being written, the plan is to bring the budget to the floor tomorrow and begin debate on amendments. Final passage of the budget proposal is planned for Saturday. As we know, plans are always subject to change.

If you want to know some of the differences between the budget proposal from Ways & Means Chair Ross Hunter and the proposal from the GOP, Reps. Larry Springer and Eileen Cody summed it up nicely in committee.