Friday, June 6, 2008

Friday Wrap Up: The Budget Moves to the Senate

On Thursday the House received bipartisan support on their $21.3 billion dollar budget. The final vote was 104 in favor of the budget with 10 in opposition. The budget increases state spending on an annual basis by only 3.3 percent. The bill does include a teacher pay increase of 3 percent and a state employee pay increase of 2.75 percent.

The Health and Human Services budget included $8.2 million dollars to fund new CAP/MR-DD slots. The budget addresses the need for crisis services for people with developmental disabilities by appropriating $3.4 million towards the START Crisis Model and an additional $903 thousand toward respite beds for people with developmental disabilities.

Housing for people with developmental disabilities was also a priority for the Health and Human Service budget. The Housing 400 Initiative saw an increase in funding from $4 million dollars to $7 million dollars in the final budget. There was also an additional investment of $1 million dollars in recurring funding for operating subsidies for the Housing 400 independent living units.

The Education budget included $6.2 million dollars for children with disabilities, this funding increases the per student funding amount. There was also an investment of $19 million dollars to reduce class size.  

The Senate has already started work on their budget. This week the Senate Appropriation subcommittees for General Government, Education, and Health and Human Services met to review appropriation bills. Rumor has it that the Senate budget will be set to be rolled out on Thursday of this coming week.

We will keep you informed as the budget train continues to steam down the track!

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