Budget Conference Committee Negotiations Underway

As reported by the Washington Post, House and Senate budget conferees began meeting yesterday to work out the differences in their respective chamber’s budget plans.  As previously reported, major differences exist in each chamber’s revenue package and they disagree on the time frame in which teacher pension costs would shift to the counties.  The Senate proposes to shift the cost in four years, while the House proposes three.  From the article:

The committee tasked with finding a compromise tax package met Monday afternoon, with House and Senate negotiators laying out arguments for their respective tax plans but coming to no agreements.

Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr. (D-Montgomery) argued that a broader income tax hike would do more to address the state’s structural deficit, which would be about $1 billion annually for the remainder of the decade without new taxes or cuts. Barve replied that a plan that raises taxes on people making less than $100,000 would be a tough sell in the House.

Conference committees will reconvene Tuesday afternoon to continue talks on the tax package, as well as the proposed pension shift, which was not discussed at all on Monday.

While some conferees hope discussions will wrap up on Wednesday, others think they will need more time.

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