State lawmakers continue to work on finalizing the state’s next biennium that’s already close to two months overdue.
Education remains a focal point and state finance Republicans have endorsed the governor’s proposed $639-million dollar increase in state school funding. State Representative Gary Tauchen says progress on the budget has been made over the past week on other issues.
“The Joint Finance Committee had 10 different areas they needed to go through,” he said. “This past week they covered Department of Ag Trade and Consumer Protections, Department of Natural Resources, State Public Defender, the Department of Revenue and the Department of Corrections.”
With the progress they’ve made Tauchen says they’re back on track and he’s hopeful a budget can be agreed upon within the next two weeks, but from his experience nothing is a given.
“I’m hopeful that we’ll have a budget and something we can pass that both houses and the legislature and the governor agree, but we’ll see,” Tauchen said. “We’ve had some wrenches thrown in the gears before so there’s no guarantees until it’s actually done.”
Tauchen adds there’s been negotiations and compromise and both parties are willing to work together in order to get the budget finalized.