Senate Republicans propose one-month budget extension to avoid shutdown; open door to some new revenue

Senate Republicans today proposed a one-month budget extension to avoid a July 1 partial budget shutdown. In addition, they offer a new 2015-17 budget that includes some new revenue.

The Associated Press reports, 

The plan put forth Thursday by Sen. Andy Hill, Republicans’ key budget writer in that chamber, would fund government at the current level through the month of July.

A hearing is scheduled for this afternoon. Here are the materials on the extension, SB 6051 (bill, summary and detail). From the summary:

Proposed Substitute Senate Bill 6051 (Continuity of Government) has three components: (1) a one month budget for 2015-17 biennium to continue operations of state government; (2) a 2015 supplemental budget making adjustments to fiscal year 2015 appropriations; and (3) a capital budget that makes reappropriations for the 2015-17 biennium to continue already authorized capital projects.

Also today the Ways and Means Committee will hear another budget proposal, Substitute Senate Bill 6052 (bill, overview). 

The proposed Senate budget for the 2015-17 biennium spends a total of $38.2 billion Near General-State and Opportunity Pathways and represents a $4.4 billion increase from current spending levels in the 2013-15 biennium…

Like the earlier proposal, many of the Senate budget policy level enhancements or increases are in education. These include: $1.3 billion in K-12 education for K-3 class size reduction, all-day kindergarten, and fully funding the maintenance, supplies, and operating cost components of Substitute House Bill 2776 (Chapter 236, Laws of 2010); (2) $157 million for a one-time K-12 compensation increase beyond the Initiative 732 cost-of-living increase; (3) approximately $385 million in net policy level enhancements in state funding for higher education; and (4) $129 million for expanded preschool, funding for the Early Start Act, and child care eligibility changes.

There seems to be a shift on new revenues.

Beyond amounts assumed in previous budget proposals, the new Senate budget proposal assumes additional resources totaling $126 million in the 2015-17 biennium. These include:

  • Repealing the machinery and equipment exemption for software manufacturers ($57 million)
  • Extending economic nexus to wholesaling ($29 million)
  • Repealing the preferential B&O rate for royalty income ($31 million)

Much more information in the overview and in this Washington Research Council post on the revenue proposal. All worth reading, but we recognize that the pieces of the puzzle are moving quickly. The hearing begins at 1:30.