Budget Negotiations Continue Into Last Day of Session

Although House and Senate budget negotiators have offered a plan which includes some of the Governor’s priorities and the Governor has offered a compromise budget deal, the budget standoff continues as we enter the last day of session.

As reported by the Washington Post,

A conference committee made conciliatory gestures toward Hogan on Friday, addressing some of his priorities in an amended budget agreement that added money for private schools, state troopers and the state pension fund. The committee also said that if there was money available at the end of the fiscal year, it would potentially add $50 million, totaling $125 million, to the state employee pension system.

On Saturday, the House advanced watered-down Hogan bills to reform charter schools and expand an income-tax exemption for retired military veterans. It also moved a bill that repeals a requirement that the state’s largest jurisdictions charge a fee for cleaning pollution out of storm water, known by critics as the “rain tax.”

Hogan, in turn, offered a counterproposal Saturday to withdraw his last two supplemental budget plans and submit a new one that would fund pay raises and add $150 million to the $1.6 billion that the law requires for the pension fund this year. The General Assembly cut that additional amount in half, which Hogan criticized.

As of this morning, there is no report of a budget compromise and legislators anticipate negotiations will continue through much of the day.

Follow Conduit Street for updates on budget negotiations throughout the day.

For more information on the proposed FY 2016 budget and the House and Senate budget plans, see our previous posts on Conduit Street.