The Senate Finance Committee last week delivered its proposed state budget and we received good news.
The Finance Committee recommends retaining from last year the $10 million increase in lottery funding for the Tuition Grants Program.
Now that the governor, House and the Senate Finance Committee have all endorsed the Tuition Grants funding, we can be optimistic of it passing the full Senate. But there’s still a way to go between now and the governor signing the budget. As mentioned, it must pass the Senate, whose version of the budget differs from the House in a number of ways, including the magnitude of an income tax cut and the size of the salary increase for teachers.
No doubt the House will not concur with the Senate’s version of the state budget, which will necessitate the creation of a conference committee with representatives from both the Senate and House which will hammer out a compromise.
Once passed by both houses, the budget goes to the governor, who in recent years has vetoed aspects of the General Assembly’s budget. The General Assembly must then return to the State House to override the vetoes.
So we’re not there yet.