Conference Committee Deliberations in Full Swing

Two weeks remain before the legislature’s required end date of May 22. Conference committees have been appointed and started meeting last week. Many of them have been exchanging modest offers on policy items. A couple of the omnibus bills are nearing final agreement between the House and the Senate conferees, so progress is being made. We can expect to see some conference committee reports sent to the House and Senate floors sometime this week for final votes.

All eyes are on the negotiations for the tax bill, often the last bill to make its way through the legislative process. This session is no different as conferees were appointed last Thursday, and the tax conference committee met for the first time the following day. The House and Senate proposals have some major differences to resolve, and some lengthy debates are sure to happen.

Additionally, a bonding bill may be resurfacing soon, and it’s common to see the bonding bill tied to the tax bill as a negotiation tactic.

The Education Conference Committee met several times last week, and some minor technical provisions were adopted. These provisions are referred to as “sames and similars”, as they are either identical or almost identical provisions included in both bills. Sames and similars are the low-hanging fruit for committee chairs to adopt and show progress in the first days of negotiations. It’s highly likely the chairs and select members continued to meet over the weekend, and we may see some larger offers being made in the next few days.

Session Resources