The legislative session is quickly winding down. Now, the average person might think there is about eight months or over 220 days to get legislative priorities through the process, but in reality there is only a quarter of those days to work with. There are only 56 legislative session days scheduled between now and December 31. 33 of those days are between April and July 1, and most of those days will be focused on the passage of budget bills. Then the legislature will take a summer recess. When they reconvene in September, only 21 days of session are scheduled for the final three months of the year. Thus, you can see the current legislative session is quickly winding down.
So, what are the issues out there? The Regional Transit Authority bills are moving, and I expect them to pass the Senate in April and, with luck, get through the House in May or June. Transportation funding is another issue. Addressing this issue is something I have deep feelings about and it will be a huge disappointment if this legislature fails to address our transportation funding deficit this year.
There are other issues that are of great concern to us. The repeal of the Personal Property Tax without a funding replacement would be devastating to many of our members. It appears the Senate is going to address this issue in April, when they return from session. Our members really have to make clear that their solvency may well be at stake if they lose the PPT revenue. I do think passing a repeal of the Personal Property Tax in the Senate will be easier than in the House. The Senate is not up for reelection this year; the House is.
We have some other issues, such as our environmental bonding bill and the manufactured housing park issue. The environmental issue may get introduced yet this spring and since it may have full support from the Governor’s Office, its passage could be pretty quick. The manufactured housing park issue appears to be a long shot. We will have to see some kind of agreement or understanding by key legislators before we could expect any chance of passage this year.
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