GOP pivots, moves budget needing only 51 House votes
By William W. Savage III, May 24, 2017
(Update: This story was updated at 10:20 a.m. Wednesday, May 24, to include photos of state-agency allocation documents. The photos are at the bottom of the article.)
In a turnaround of strategy, GOP leadership ran a handful of new measures Tuesday that would raise hundreds of millions of dollars in new state money without needing a 76-vote supermajority on the House floor.
By the end of the night, lawmakers had used that money to frame two appropriations bills supposedly holding a dozen state agency budgets flat. HB 2400 includes a $1,000 teacher pay raise and cuts around 8 percent for other agencies, and SB 860 includes no teacher raise and cuts between 4 and 5 percent, according to House Appropriations and Budget Chairwoman Leslie Osborn (R-Tuttle).
Both bills were voted out of House JCAB, and Senate JCAB passed SB 860 just after 1 a.m. Wednesday. But the upper chamber’s committee adjourned without taking up HB 2400, which means it is likely stalled.
SB 860 will head to the Senate floor (later) Wednesday and then to the House on Friday, according to rules read by Osborn.
“These are not appropriate funding levels. These are horrible funding levels,” Osborn said.