Legislative Update (5/29/20)
Friday, May 29, 2020
Posted by: Kelly Riley
Legislators returned to Jackson this past Tuesday to continue their work. State Economist Dr. Darrin Webb briefed legislators Tuesday on the state’s economic forecast in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Dr. Webb predicts the state will collect $1.2 billion less in tax revenue by mid-2021 than what was predicted prior to the pandemic. While the coming recession will be deeper, but shorter, than the Great Recession of 2008, Webb expects the state’s economic growth to be slower than that of the country’s growth. He also pointed out that our pre-COVID job numbers were not up to those of pre-2008 and we will probably not see pre-COVID job numbers return until 2022.
Lt. Governor Hosemann met with MPE and other education associations Wednesday afternoon to brief us on the session and the FY 21 budget. Legislative leaders are meeting with MDE staff regarding distance learning needs in the event there is a second round of closures due to the coronavirus. Lt. Governor Hosemann continues to support a teacher pay raise, but the legislature must wait to look at revenue numbers for May and mid-June before they can finalize next year’s budget. MPE appreciates the Lt. Governor’s intentional efforts for regular communications with education stakeholders!
Both the House and the Senate passed placeholder budget bills yesterday. The House budget basically adheres to the Legislative Budget Recommendation (LBR) adopted last fall, while the Senate reduces the LBR by 6.5% for most agencies. The Senate’s budget reduces the LBR for K-12 education by 5.73%, general support for community colleges by 5.23%, and general support for universities by 5.3%. The Senate proposal does not cut Student Financial Aid. These are preliminary budget numbers used to get the process started, as the budget will not be finalized until later in June.
Senate Education met yesterday morning and passed ten bills. House Education met yesterday afternoon. Click here to review our latest bill tracking spreadsheet which reflects the latest action on bills under consideration.
The following deadlines will guide legislators’ work in the coming weeks as they consider bills and finalize the budget:
- June 9 - Deadline for committees to report general bills originating in other house
- June 17 - Deadline for original floor action on general bills originating in other house
- July 2 - Deadline to concur or not concur in amendments from other house to general bills
- July 4 - Deadline for conference reports on appropriation bills to be filed
- July 6 - Deadline for adoption of appropriations conference reports and for conference reports on general bills to be filed
Finally, due to the ongoing uncertainties associated with the coronavirus, the House passed House Concurrent Resolution 69 Wednesday. HCR 69 extends the session for periods of 30 days through the end of the year. If enacted, the indefinite extension will allow legislators to return to Jackson as needed through December 31. HCR 69 has been referred to the Senate Rules Committee for consideration.