by Sheila McCant
Public Information Officer
The House this week tackled several key issues including the budget, revisions to the statewide building code, and ethics. After nearly a day-long debate, the House sent to the Senate a $29.6 billion dollar budget bill (House Bill 1), which is about $100 million under the constitutionally mandated cap on spending. Leaving the House, the bill contained money for pay raises for teachers, support workers, firefighters, state troopers, and other state employees, full funding for higher education, an increase in money for education and health care, and about $150 million in tax cuts. The bill did not contain any money for the Road Home Program which could face a deficit of as much as $5 billion. After passing the bill by a vote of 96-6, the House then quickly passed House Bill 2, the state's $6.5 billion construction budget. House Bill 3 , the Omnibus Bond Authorization Act, did not fare as well. The bill, which provides funds for the state's construction projects, was eight votes shy of the required two-thirds vote. This bill will be brought back to the floor for another attempt at passage.
Other bills of interest considered this week can be found in the full edition located here.