General Assembly Activities
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Posted by: Ella Adamson
GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTIVITIES
STATE BUDGET COMMITTEE HEARS THE NEW REVENUE FORECAST
This morning, the State Budget Committee were presented the new revenue forecast for the next two fiscal years. The revenue forecast was not as bad as expected regarding state revenues (sales tax, income tax, corporate tax, gaming revenues and other revenues). For the remainder of the current fiscal year and for fiscal years 20 and 21 the forecast calls for a decrease of $33.2 million. The real problem today was that the Medicaid budget request was increased by $65.2 million so the overall decrease from the December revenue forecast is almost $100 million. Although it could have been worse, this has the potential to be a big hit to K-12 funding.
Conference Committee Time
Monday was the deadline for Senate bills to be passed by the House on third reading. Tuesday was the last day for the Senate to pass House bills on third reading. Now, the next days of the General Assembly will be filled with conference committee meetings. A conference committee is created when the author of a bill does not agree with amendments that have been added in the second house. The Speaker of the House and the President Pro Temp of the Senate assigns two members to the four member conference committee. The author of the bill in question is typically the chair of the conference committee. The chair will schedule meetings of the committee. The purpose of the conference committee is to reach a compromise on the differences in the bill. In order for a conference committee report to be approved, all four conferees must sign the report. If the members from the minority party will not sign the conference committee report, the Speaker and President Pro Temp can replace them with members who will sign the report.
Conference Committee Meetings
The following conference committee meetings pertaining to K-12 education were held in the past two days:
- SB 2, school bus safety
- HB 1004, school safety
- HB 1003, school corporation expenditure targets
- HB 1629, various education matters
- SB 562, education matters
For each bill, there was a discussion of a potential conference committee report and the reactions from the committee members. No public testimony was allowed. After the committee discussion, the chair recessed the committee.
Tomorrow, the following conference committee meetings will be held:
- HB 1002, career and technical education – 9:30 am, Room 156D
- HB 1001, state budget – 10:00 am, Room 404
- HB 1021, education finance – 12:30 pm, Room 404
- HB 1089, education matters – 12:45 pm, Room 404