TaxWatch Staff
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Budget Watch - Analysis Of The House & Senate Budgets For FY2019-20

DIFFERENCES IN EDUCATION, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND MORE MUST BE WORKED OUT

 At the halfway mark of the 2019 Legislative Session, the House and Senate approved their proposed state budgets for FY2019-20. Both spending plans exceed current spending—the Senate by more than $1.0 billion and the House by $588.4 million. The House increases current General Revenue (GR) spending by $609.5 million (1.9 percent), while the Senate increases GR by $841.2 million (2.6 percent).

The budget’s bottom lines are relatively close, but the inclusion of $870 million of federal funding in the House that is not counted in the Senate makes it look closer than it really is. The House provides $600 million more in authorization to spend Community Development Block Grant funding than the Senate. The House also includes $270 million in FEMA reimbursements that the Senate placed in the “back of the bill” where it is not counted in the budget total. 

There are also some appropriations that are currently in other bills that will add to total state appropriations.

There are many, many differences between the two budgets, and some are substantial. Hurricane recovery costs, which are already mounting, are a focus of this year’s budget process. Considerable differences occur in how the two chambers plan to address recovery costs and it is likely this is still a work in progress that 

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