The budget targets, released Thursday by House GOP leadership, provide $30 million in new funds to the Education Committee to spend, most likely on a package of school safety initiatives, as well as enough debt service to finance an $825 million bonding bill.
This is $25 million higher than originally discussed by leadership and they plan to use the additional funds to create a school safety grant program.
There are a lot of details that need to be worked out in terms of administering a new program like this, but it’s part of the overall House GOP school safety package they announced a few weeks ago.
The House targets don’t specifically call out an appropriation for the omnibus pensions bill. The targets do include a $50 million pot of funds for “other priority bills” and we’re told pensions will be funded out of that from the House. Still, the House is the lagging organization on getting the pensions bill done as the Senate passed it 66-0 several weeks ago.
The Senate hasn’t formally released targets, but told MREA the Senate E-12 Committee may not have additional new funds to spend this session.
The release of the House targets sets in motion a very busy week. The finance committees will roll-out their supplemental spending plans in committee, take testimony on them and process any amendments that legislators want to attempt.
By the end of the week, the House Ways & Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee will have possession of the supplemental budget bills and will likely merge them into one large omnibus supplemental budget bill.