Last week Cyril and I worked on the $15.6B State budget. In a surprising move, the Leaders of the House came up with a bipartisan amendment that satisfied both groups.
Successes for both parties include:
- Passing HB1 and HB2 gave the House essential control of the budget process.
- A new Education Adequacy formula increased overall funding and targeted the towns that most needed it.
Wins for the Republicans:
- The elimination of the Interest Dividend Tax is accelerated.
- Education Freedom Account (EFA) applicants will not require a minimum of one-year of enrollment in public school.
- The Department of Education to not administer the EFA.
- Medicaid Expansion is limited to two years.
- The governor’s power to impose a state of emergency will be limited.
Wins for the Democrats:
- The expansion of EFA programs is removed.
- The EFA budget is reduced.
- The Affordable Housing budget is increased.
HB 639 for the adult-use legalization of cannabis passed (272 – 109).
Cyril and I believe that the budget still needs to be improved. We are clearly beginning a long process to be completed by June 30. Since the state constitution requires a balanced budget, we hope to see a reduction in spending.
Sincerely, Representatives ClaytonWood and Cyril Aures