With Two Weeks to Go, Still Much to Do on the Budget, Taxes, and Bonding

May 9, 2023
Last week the Jobs, Economic Development and Labor Conference Committee met to walk through a side-by-side comparison of the Senate and House bills. They have not yet met again publicly but are most certainly in private discussions negotiating the final product. They are scheduled to convene this afternoon for what will be only their third public meeting. EDAM has submitted letters to each conferee advocating for increased base Redevelopment funding. EDAM has also determined which members are constituents of conferees and has provided resource to contact with their elected officials to advocate for increased Redevelopment funding. We will continue to look for any opportunities to push for Redevelopment funding and keep you posted. Stay tuned!

As for the other major bills, the Tax Conference Committee started meeting over the weekend and will continue to meet throughout the week. This will likely be the last major item to be finalized, as it will likely be a larger part of any type of bonding compromise with the minority party. As it currently stands, the Senate Tax bill has some provisions of interest to EDAM members, including the Historic Structures Tax Credit, Angel Investor Tax Credit, and New Market Tax Credits. We will update members as to how these provisions fair in the final conference committee report and will continue to closely track progress on the tax bill.

Speaking of bonding, an informal joint hearing is scheduled for the Senate and House Capital Investment Committees tomorrow. Republican leadership held a press conference to express some willingness to support a Capital Investment bill that had increased funding for projects in Republican Districts, but a lot remains to be seen about how this will play out. We’ve been told a final deal on the bonding bill has not yet been struck, but a joint hearing is a good sign that things are moving in the right direction. We expect a bill with a mix of general fund cash and general obligation bonds that uses the failed early-session bonding bill as a starting point and adds more local projects to attract the necessary 60% supermajority to pass each chamber. Bonding and taxes are usually handled after the budget is finalized, so expect final action on those items later next week as lawmakers try to end session before the final day.