Monday, March 10, 2008

Budget week

Sounds like the House budget will pass through committee on Tuesday, and a vote on the House floor on Wednesday. A few thoughts:

First, I generally like to read bills before they come up for a vote. Given that the Governor's proposed budget is 120 pages, and I expect the committee substitute to be longer, it may be difficult to accomplish this. Therefore I may vote against it just based on the fact that I don't have time to read it. I assume we (by we I mean House Republicans) will get briefed on it before we have to vote on it.

Next, this is just the end of the second quarter, if you will. The Governor's proposal was the first quarter, the House budget is the second. The Senate will then produce their version, which is the third. Then a conference committee will work out the differences, the final quarter.

Lastly, Wednesday will be day 44 of a 60 day session. This means that the Senate will have 14 legislative days to put together their budget, and then have a conference committee, come to an agreement, and get it passed by both houses. Translation - don't be surprised if we get to the end of the session with no budget. Hopefully that does not happen. But given the time situation, I would not be surprised. Usually, the Senate would have had the budget by last week, from what I am told.