As you know, the legislature adjourned last Thursday, March 10th. The Governor then proceeded to veto 27 bills and call them back into a special session! No floor action has taken place since the special session began; however, the Senate did release and hear a new budget on the 11th.
The new Senate budget made some changes (e.g., came up a bit in the amount they are spending, as well as changed some of the funding sources); however, in the areas on which we have been focusing, there were very few changes. And although no floor action has taken place, and most legislators have gone back to their districts, the budget negotiators are meeting, offers are being considered, and the cherry trees on the Capitol Campus are in full bloom!
There is hope that they won’t need to go the full 30 days OR be called back for a second special session, but at this point, too many things are up in the air and we just don’t know. It is also unknown whether there will be an effort to override the veto of any of the bills or re-introduce and pass them (again) during the special session. The Governor is reviewing bills that are now on his desk and may have to make very tough decisions about signing bills that have a fiscal impact before knowing if a particular item will be included in the budget. Or perhaps the budget will be resolved well before the time for taking bill action passes! Wishful thinking anyway…
We will not do the final status update on the bills we have been tracking until the special session(s) come to an end. If there is anything of great significance to report, we will let you know! And if not, until they truly conclude the 2016 session, thank you for your interest and have a good rest of the month!
Public Policy Director