Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Wednesday.  I couldn't find a good Wednesday song, so you'll have to settle for this pop culture reference to tide you over.

Things are getting a little bit like that wacky Addams family as the Legislature heads into its last few days.  The Senate passed the tax bill today and it is on its way to the Governor where it will meet a likely veto, but it's too early to really tell on that.  The Governor has expressed his discontentment with the tax bill, but with all the big furniture being moved around, it's hard to tell what the final arrangement will be.

The omnibus supplemental appropriations bill is still at the conference committee level with the bill probably being wrapped up tomorrow.  It may hit the floors of both the Senate and House on Friday and make it down to the Governor early in the weekend.  It is unknown what the Governor will do when it hits his desk, although there a number of policy provisions in the bill to which he has voiced opposition.  It does need to be noted that the Governor did ask for separate funding and policy bills at the beginning of the session and that request was dismissed not only in the combining of policy and funding, but in the amalgamating all of the subject areas of state government into one bill.  That doesn't necessarily mean anything at this point, but if the bill is vetoed, that logic might find its way into the veto message.

The proposed constitutional amendment that would reserve the sales tax proceeds from automobile repairs and replacement parts for the trunk highway fund is scheduled to be up on the House floor tomorrow (Thursday).  It is difficult to tell what the ultimate fate of that bill will be.  Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka is on record saying he doesn't believe the votes are there in the Senate to pass the bill, so even if the House passes it, it may not make it to this fall's ballot.

The other bill that looms large as the session winds down is the pension bill.  That also sits on the House floor after being approved by the House Ways and Means Committee on Monday night.  Again, rumors are flying rampant that there will be an amendment offered to pull the Teachers' Retirement Association language out of the bill or that the bill is being held by the House until the tax bill is signed and all other sorts of theories as to what the end of session will look like.  Needless to say, if one thing could happen on the expenditure side of the ledger this session that would be universally hailed by the education community, it would be the passage of the pension bill as currently constructed.

That's it for now.  So let's sign off with the second incarnation of Wednesday Addams from the 1990s movie versions of the 1960s television show.

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