In a press conference this afternoon, Senate leaders released some of the major aspects of their budget proposal. Senate appropriations committees will be finalizing their spending plans and expect the full Senate budget proposal to be released in the next couple of days.
Some of the major highlights included in the Senate budget proposal include:
- Total spending of $21.47 billion. That is $685 million less than the House budget proposal.
- The amount of $21.47 B would mark a 3% increase over the current year’s projected actual spending
- The budget includes provisions in the tax cut plan unveiled last week, which includes cuts in the personal income tax rate, reduction of the franchise tax and a broadening of the sales tax base
- Raises first-year teacher salaries to $35,000, and provides an average 4% teacher pay raise (those at the lower levels of experience receive a larger raise)
- Creates a new “Health Benefits Authority” to administer the state’s Medicaid program, moving it from the current oversight in DHHS
- Provides for “patient-centered” Medicaid reform
- Phases out Certificate of Need laws
- Expands and extends the JDIG program, while expanding funding for Rural Economic Development grant programs
- Eliminates $216 million in transfers from the Highway Fund to the General Fund