Budget Bills Go to Conference Committee

The drafting of a new one-year state budget continued to move through the legislative process Wednesday. Senators passed amended versions of four budget bills and the House did not concur. The intentional moves allow the bills to move quickly into a conference committee.

House Bill 192 funds the executive branch, House Bill 193 establishes the transportation budget, House Bill 194 sets the legislative branch budget and House Bill 195 funds the judicial branch. The conference committee will work on all four measures during the constitutionally mandated January break.

Wednesday concluded part one of the 2021 session. The House and Senate will not reconvene until February 2. Odd-year sessions have shorter, 30-day calendars that must adjourn by March 30.

Legislators must pass a Fiscal Year 2022 spending plan because they only enacted a one-year budget in the 2020 session. The COVID pandemic created too much economic uncertainty for the legislature to pass a standard biennial budget.

The House gave final passage to House Bill 3 on Wednesday, concurring with changes made in the Senate. The amended legislation allows a challenge to state laws and orders to be heard in the court where it was filed instead of requiring such lawsuits be heard in Franklin Circuit Court. The bill now goes to the governor.