Second Legislative Funnel is Next Friday
March 25, 2021
The Legislature is beginning to debate late into the night as it moves bills through the process to ensure that they survive the next legislative deadline, known as a funnel, which takes place next Friday, April 2.
Following that date, policy bills must have passed through one chamber and through a committee in the other chamber in order to be eligible for the rest of the year. Appropriations and Ways & Means bills are not subject to this deadline.
A first sign that the end of the legislative session is in sight: Senate Republicans unveiled their budget targets for Fiscal Year 2022 this week. Under their targets, total spending for FY22 would be $7.999 billion, which is an increase of $195 million over FY21. That number comprises 94% of available revenue. Their targets account for the elimination of the 2018 tax triggers, the phasing out of the inheritance tax and property tax relief. You can read more here.
A key bill that will play a significant role in budget negotiations and the eventual closing out of the legislative session is SSB 1253. Today, the Senate Ways & Means Committee passed the legislation out of committee. The bill would create several changes, including eliminating the mental health property tax levy and shifting the funding for mental health to the state general fund. It phases out and eliminates the property tax backfill by 2027 and also removes the 2018 tax triggers from the law. The bill could come to the Senate floor as early as next week.