Still Waiting…

At the time of publishing, a global agreement on budget targets has not yet been reached between the Governor, Senate Majority Leader, and Speaker of the House.  These three leaders have been holding private negotiations at the Governor’s mansion all week.  Until there is agreement on how much can be spent in each area of the state budget, conference committees cannot take action to finalize their bills.  Accordingly, there have been very few conference committees meeting this week, and when the committees do meet, there is little excitement.  Today, the Judiciary Conference Committee was the first budget area for it to be announced that an agreement has been reached.

In regards to MMUA interests, the Environment and Agriculture Conference Committee (House Chair McNamara/Senate Chair Tomassoni) has yet to hold its first meeting.  The Energy and Economic Development Conference Committee (House Chair Garofalo/Senate Chair Tomassoni) met very briefly once this week to adopt a handful of non-controversial policy provisions, none of which related to energy policy. The Tax Conference Committee has been meeting regularly, but so far has only been discussing the differences in the Senate and House bills.

The constitutional adjournment date for the 2015 Legislative Session is midnight on Monday, May 18.  Given the lack of progress in the high level negotiations and the significant amount of work that needs to be done to pass a state budget, talks of Special Session are increasing in the halls of the State Capitol.

MMUA Government Relations staff will keep members updated as progress is made in the upcoming days.