A Budget Has Been Passed, but a Veto is Expected

After nearly three weeks of a special session, the legislature finally passed a budget for FY 2017 last week. However, it did not pass any of the revenue measures proposed by the governor to close the budget's $270 million gap, instead deciding to close it by relying heavily on the Rainy Day Fund and other one-time sources of revenue, as well as spending cuts beyond the governor's proposal.

The governor is expected to veto the legislature's budget due to its heavy reliance on the Rainy Day Fund. The legislature's budget transfers $191 million from the Rainy Day Fund, which accounts for the largest departure from the governor's proposal, as well as $62 million in one-time transfers from various special revenue accounts.

The legislature also included a small number of budget cuts beyond what the governor recommended. These include cuts of $259,000 to Executive branch agencies, $6.3 million to the Department of Administration, $3.5 million to the Department of Commerce, $2.9 million to the Department of Education, $5 million to the Department of Education and the Arts, $133,000 to the Department of Environmental Protection, $1.2 million to Military Affairs and Public Safety, $6.9 million to the Department of Revenue, $390,000 to the Department of Transportation, and $210,000 to the Department of Veterans' Assistance.

A line-by-line comparison of the governor's proposal and the budget passed by the legislature can be downloaded here: FY2017 comparison hb 101 passed.

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