We have now competed 11 weeks of what is scheduled to be a 16-week session. However, the impasse over school funding has meant that the House and Senate have been unable to agree on joint budget targets and that neither Chamber has passed even one budget bill.
The state budget is normally crafted through nine separate budget bills and then a 10th bill that is known as “Standings” that provides one final opportunity to make last minute budget adjustments and is also often home to policy language that did not survive the normal funnel process but that has the support of leaders for inclusion as part of the end game.
If there is no resolution on school funding, then expect the House and Senate to set their own individual budget targets and begin moving their own version of budget bills to the other Chamber.
The bottom line for those who follow the process: don’t make any vacation plans in the month of May.
There was no movement on school funding this week. The House remains firm on growing supplemental state aid by 1.25% and the Senate will not move off of their position at 4.00%. In the meantime, school districts are likely going to have to start certifying their local budget soon and if there is no deal made, then they will likely to have to set their budgets based on zero for additional growth.