SB 1, the state budget bill, cleared another hurdle today as it passed out of the Senate Finance Committee unanimously.
Chair Jane Nelson highlights of the bill, which appropriates state funds for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 fiscal years. She specifically noted the following:
Sen. Royce West pointed out that projected billions of dollars in federal funds from COVID-19 relief legislation passed by Congress are not included in the bill. Chair Nelson noted that it is not yet known when or how those funds will be received. West questioned whether, if the funds are received in time, legislators would be given the opportunity to have significant input into how those funds are to be spent. There have been concerns that with billions of incoming dollars for public education, only a handful of key leaders, or perhaps the Commissioner of Education alone, will be given the authority to direct the use of those funds. Nelson responded that she and her counterpart in the House, Appropriations Committee Chair Greg Bonnen, are working on a process to ensure broader legislative input.