“Be ready to hear ‘no’ a lot.”
Following a joint Appropriations Committee meeting on Tuesday, May 26, Senator Harry Brown said:
“We are looking at a $5,000,000,000 total revenue loss. As Appropriations Chairs we are going to have to say ‘no’ a whole lot in the next few months. It will be tough to balance. but the thing about state and local government is that you have to balance your budget. So just understand that and be ready to hear ‘no’ a lot.”
We had already heard that no “new” money would be spent, but Senator Brown’s comments make clear that the General Assembly will be focusing on providing funding to programs and services they deem critical, and potentially making cuts elsewhere.
Like you, we believe all of our funding requests are critical, and will continue to work diligently to secure funding for these essential programs and services.
This session our priorities include:
- funding for tobacco use prevention and cessation programs;
- eliminating the reduced-price lunch copay;
- additional funding for school nutrition program staff, transportation, procurement, and infrastructure needs;
- additional funding for food banks;
- passage of the FIBER Act; and
- closing the health insurance coverage gap.
A number of bills have been filed relevant to our priorities, and we are watching them closely. We are still hearing that session will be short. We will keep you posted!