June 26, 2015 Legislative Update
In This Issue…
The House of Representatives rejected the Senate’s rewrite of H97, 2015 Appropriations Act, on June 23. This vote starts the process of negotiation to resolve the differences between the two versions of the budget, which are numerous.
With the looming end of the fiscal year on June 30, lawmakers turned their attention to writing a temporary budget to continue the operations of state government – including schools – until a final budget agreement is reached. Rumors flew around Jones Street that an agreement would emerge on June 25, but observers were disappointed when both the House and Senate adjourned without a temporary budget being introduced, much less debated. Lawmakers will be obliged to make short work of enacting a temporary budget – or continuing resolution, in legislative terms – on June 29 and 30.
In the meantime, lawmakers and lobbyists grumbled about the slow progress on the final budget and observed that members of the conference committee – to resolve the differences – had not been appointed. The growing debate at the Legislative Building is about the length of the negotiation process. Rumors circulated that the temporary budget is likely to expire sometime around mid-September, although other rumors had that date to be around the end of October. A member of the Senate or its staff appears to be less optimistic, given the photo taken in the Senate Chamber on June 25.
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Submitted by Evelyn Hawthorne
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