Legislature scurries as transmittal nears
It has been a hectic week as we are approaching transmittal. The education committee passed the governor’s K-12 education budget. This bill, HB 378, provides for base funding plus an inflationary increase as required by law. A bill from the Senate, SB 175, is also for education funding. It provides some extras components to education but also has a price tag of another $120-plus million. As the budget situation starts to be formed, these two bills will form the basis for education funding.
I was appointed to a sub-committee on educational truancy. The main focus was HB 313, a bill that will put some teeth in the truancy law. The idea is to retain students in school so that they have a better chance to obtain more education, graduate and have more skills that will benefits them throughout life.
In the business and labor committee, we have moved forward bills for a healthcare database, revised membership on the Board of Outfitters, made allowance for arbitration on issues with construction liens, and a bill that I carried to enhance the penalty for consumer protection violations.
Business equipment tax relief is making its way through the system. There are also property tax relief bills in play now. The governor’s bill is for a one-time-only payment, while the Republican’s plan is for a smaller per-year amount that would provide some permanent relief.
The CSKT water compact will be coming into play with a compact commission meeting scheduled for Tuesday night, Feb. 26. The agenda item is to accept the compact and move it on to the legislature. Anyone with questions about the agreement should check the DNRC or CSKT websites and follow the compact information.
As always, if you have questions and concerns, please contact me at email@example.com or call me at (406) 253-9724.