19 June 2017

Legislative regular session through Jun. 17, 2017

It’s all over but the signing and vetoing of legislation.

THIS WEEK FOR THE GOOD: HB 82 was signed by the governor; HB 556 was signed by the governor; SB 111 was signed by the governor.

THIS WEEK FOR THE BAD: HB 544 was signed the governor; SB 139 was signed by the governor.

11 June 2017

Legislative regular session through Jun. 10, 2017

Ordinarily, we could breathe easily at the adjournment of a regular session. Unfortunately, a special session has sent the regular session into overtime. However, as it only pertains to budgetary matters, this blog will not cover it. Meanwhile, the aftermath of the regular session continues with the governor making choices on how to handle bills and potentially the Legislature deciding to have an override session.

At the eleventh hour, amendments to HB 249 made this a benign bill.

THIS WEEK FOR THE GOOD: HB 82 was sent to the governor; HB 113 passed the Senate and was sent to the governor; HB 566 was sent to the governor; SB 67 passed the House, was concurred in, and was sent to the governor; SB 98 passed the House, was concurred in, and was sent to the governor; SB 100 passed the House, was concurred in, and was sent to the governor; SB 243 was passed by the House and sent to the governor.

04 June 2017

Legislative regular session through Jun. 3, 2017

By way of amendment that allows replenishment of the Budget Stabilization Fund with federal disaster-related reimbursements, HB 255 was transformed into a benign bill.

THIS WEEK FOR THE GOOD: HB 82 was concurred in, HB 272 was deferred involuntarily by Senate committee; HB 302 was deferred involuntarily by Senate committee; HB 351 was deferred involuntarily by Senate committee; HB 360 with major amendment passed the House and was deferred involuntarily by Senate committee; HB 556 passed Senate committee and the Senate; HB 676 was deferred involuntarily by Senate committee; SB 67 passed House committee; SB 98 with minor amendment passed House committee; SB 100 with minor amendment passed House committee; SB 111 passed the House and was sent to the governor; SB 198 was deferred involuntarily; SB 243 passed House committee.

THIS WEEK FOR THE BAD: HB 249 with minor amendment passed the House and passed Senate committee; HB 454 with minor amendment passed Senate committee and passed the Senate; HB 544 passed Senate committee and the Senate; HB 667 with minor amendment passed the House; HB 681 with major amendment passed the House, with major amendment passed Senate committee, and passed the Senate; SB 25 passed House committee; SB 79 passed House committee; SB 106 with minor amendment passed House committee; SB 139 with minor amendment passed House committee; SB 254 with minor amendment passed the House and the Senate concurred.

28 May 2017

Legislative regular session through May 27, 2017

HB 685 had its most salutary features amended out, so it has been removed from the list of good bills. HB 353 also was withdrawn from the list of bad bills, as it was amended to tie it to another bill that made it revenue neutral.

THIS WEEK FOR THE GOOD: HB 82 with minor amendment passed the Senate; HB 117 passed the House; HB 601 with minor amendment passed the House; SB 111 passed House committee.

THIS WEEK FOR THE BAD: HB 67 failed to pass the House; HB 443 passed House committee and failed to pass the House; HB 454 with minor amendment passed the House, HB 544 passed Senate committee; HB 667 with minor amendment passed the House; SB 71 passed the House and was sent to the governor; SB 79 passed the Senate; SB 83 passed House committee; SB 153 was deferred involuntarily; SB 254 with minor amendment passed House committee.

23 May 2017

Committee action, May 23: HB 302, SB 167

DID YOU KNOW?
HB 302 by Rep. Lance Harris would increase the monthly probation fee paid in order to fund recruitment and retention for probation officers. Harris told the Senate Judiciary B Committee that with changes coming in criminal justice that would put a greater burden of probationary services. Chairman Gary Smith wondered whether extra funds would materialize if probationers could not afford the $37 a month extra. Harris said the bill said only employed probationers would be subject to the increase.

Sen. Karen Peterson asked whether this would guarantee a pay raise. Harris said it was an option, but he would leave it up to the department. Some debate ensued about the actual amount it would generate and how that would translate into pay raises. Peterson said she hesitated to support something that could not guarantee a raise, and Sen. Greg Tarver said the amount he thought was too small to give a meaningful raise, but nonetheless wanted an amendment that would send it to raises and said he otherwise wouldn’t vote for it. Harris said he would go along with that.

Peterson said the bill ended up pitting state employees against each other, since it was dedicating funds. She said to vote against it didn’t mean those voting against state employees. Harris said this would help right now. Peterson accused Harris of bringing it for headlines and launched a jeremiad against current budgeting practices and for the minimum wage, solving alleged pay equity problems and the like.