Today is the 101st day of the 2017 legislative session — just four days away from what should be the end of our work this year. Instead, the Legislature will likely be called back next Tuesday into a “special session,” because the Senate and House of Representatives have not approved a final budget to pay for the next two years of state-government operations.
Our Senate majority did its job, putting the Legislature on a path to wrap up on time – meaning the end of Sunday – by proposing a balanced, sustainable no-new-taxes operating budget. As part of that budget, we passed a fully funded education plan that would increase resources for our schools, while lowering the tax burden on most property owners.
Our Democrat colleagues who control the House of Representatives, however, are demanding more tax dollars from our families and employers even though state government is already expected to collect $3 billion in additional revenue with no change in tax rates.
The budget the House passed is already $11 billion out of balance over four years, because House majority leaders don’t even have the votes to pass their $8 billion in proposed new taxes and other budget bills. For that reason the Senate and House are likely to end the regular session early, this Friday.