This week was the scheduled end of the 2018 General Assembly. However, the Governor and leaders in both chambers have much work to do to agree upon and finalize a tax reform package and the 2019 budget before they can adjourn for the year.
Progress was made on the budget this week as targets were released and several budget bills were moved out of committee. Some leading indicators that the General Assembly is moving towards adjournment include the last day for most pages and clerks and the appearance of packing boxes on the House floor.
House Budget Process
This week House Republicans released their budget targets for the next fiscal year. The plan proposes to spend $7.4892 billion in FY 2019, which represents an increase of $234.9 million or 3.2 percent over the current year’s budget. On Tuesday (the 100th and last scheduled day of the legislative session), the House Appropriations Committee passed five budget bills:
The first draft of the standings bill, HSB 690, was also by the House Appropriations Committee. The standings bill is usually the last bill of the year and includes a wide variety of appropriations and policy items.
Senate Budget Process
The Senate released their budget targets this week however there are no Senate budget bills so the details of their proposed budgets are unclear. The Senate targets are only about $5 million less than the House numbers.