House begins budget process with continuation of budgets passed last year

In an attempt to begin the budget crafting process and get to a conference committee with the House and Senate members to come to a compromise, the house Appropriations and Revenue Committee passed the same budgets they passed last year with minor changes. This will ensure the process moves faster than normal when both legislative bodies craft their versions of the budget and then come together to craft the final version that gets sent to the governor, according to committee chair Rep. Jason Petrie.

Because the General Assembly passed one year of the two-year budget during the 2020 session in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, they have already been through much of the deliberation over numbers and other factors that go into the budget process, and they now only have to pass a budget for fiscal year 2022.

Chair Petrie started the meeting noting the bills passed Monday—dealing with the budgets for transportation, the executive branch, the legislative branch, the judicial branch—were not substantive bills with new budgets but instead continuations of the fiscal year 2021 budgets with minor changes.

Petrie stated he communicated with House minority leadership and the governor’s office over the weekend and into the current week to discuss this plan.

House Bills 192 (executive branch), 193 (transportation), 194 (legislative branch), and 195 (judicial branch) passed through the committee with all Republican members voting yes and Democratic members passing on the vote. They all now head to the House floor for a vote before being sent to the Senate.

House Bill 191, AN ACT relating to appropriations measures providing funding and establishing conditions for support due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was on the agenda but not heard Monday. Petrie said issues were discovered with the bill over the weekend and it will be heard at a later date.

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Jacqueline Pitts
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