While my colleagues and I have done our part in the House to address education, workforce development, infrastructure, and the public employee retirement system among many other things, the Senate remains stuck in a rut of inaction. Ours is a part-time legislature meeting Tuesday through Thursday for about 18 weeks out of the year. We’re in our 15th week and only nine regular days of session remain under normal circumstances.
Normally my updates focus entirely on House action, but this week all eyes were trained on the Senate where the upper chamber will decide the fate of the House-passed infrastructure package (a.k.a. the “roads bill”). We began the week with approximately 75 House members gathering to publicly request the Senate take action to fix our dangerous roads and dilapidated bridges. In response, just hours later, the Senate finally began debate on the House roads bill—an encouraging sign.
Unfortunately, senators have so far not reached consensus on a pathway forward. As it stands now, the Senate is again set to take up the roads bill debate next week and I remain hopeful a compromise will be reached.
In the House, my colleagues and I spent time in committees reviewing Senate bills and vetting additional legislation. Next week, we will take up Senate amendments to the budget which passed a number of weeks ago, evaluating each through a lens of fiscal responsibility. The state budget will likely go to a conference committee where additional differences will be ironed out prior to a final vote being taken.
As always, thank you for the privilege of serving you in Columbia. If I can ever be of assistance to you, or if you have ideas on issues you want me to share with the rest of the General Assembly, please don’t hesitate to contact me.