Senator Charles Scheider: Budget Bills Under Consideration

The 2014 legislative session is beginning to wind down. Most of the legislation we’ve been working on recently consists of appropriations bills.  There are several appropriations bills that the legislature and governor need to agree on to pass a budget:  Administration and Regulations; Agriculture and Natural Resources; Education; Economic Development; Health and Human Services; Judicial Branch; Justice Systems; Infrastructure; Transportation; and Standing Appropriations.

The budget process itself lasts through much of the legislative session.  Traditionally, voting on these appropriations bills signals the end of a Legislative session.  The budget process lasts through much of the session. This year, the process was tweaked to move things along faster than in past sessions. House Republicans and Senate Democrats sat down together and worked on a joint budget target of $6.972 billion, which was presented several weeks ago.

As we comb through these bills, I’ll stay focused on sound budgeting principles.  I’ll insist on spending less than we take in and on not using one-time sources of revenue to pay for recurring expenses.  I’ll focus on aligning spending with our priorities.  I’ll push to keep staffing levels in line with what’s necessary to get the job done.  I’ll remember that I’m accountable to you, and that you’re entrusting me to make sound decisions about how to spend your tax dollars.