The Constitutionally mandated adjournment date of May 17th has come and gone and we continue to wait for lawmakers to pass the state’s next two-year budget. Legislative leaders were able to finally announce a deal on joint budget targets as well as agreement on a couple of high-profile tax issues, but a special session will now be needed to pass those agreed to budget bills. Leaders left a host of thorny policy issues (Governor’s peacetime emergency powers, an eviction moratorium off-ramp, clean cars rulemaking authority) up to conference committees, which will be reconstituted as working groups now that the 2021 legislative session is officially over, so plenty of work remains before everything is in its final form.
The global agreement, sets out a new timeframe for the working groups to finalize their budget bills. Finance spreadsheets are to be complete by May 28th, while policy language is to be wrapped up by June 4th. There will then likely be a multi-day special session to actually process the committee reports and pass them off the House and Senate Floors. Leaders hope to arrange things so special session ends on June 14th. This agreement still leaves plenty of issues to be ironed out and does not have sign off from the minority leaders in the House or Senate, so its far from a done deal. But, with divided government and a history of needing extra time to finish the budget setting session, an agreement by the adjournment date is about as good an outcome as most were anticipating.
EDAM will continue to contact Conferees as we try to advance base funding for the Redevelopment Program at DEED. As a reminder, the ten Conferees for the Workforce and Business Development Conference Committee, which will become the Workforce Working Group, are:
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