On June 15, the Legislature approved SB 101 (Skinner) by lopsided partisan majorities in the Assembly and Senate to serve as a placeholder while negotiations take place between the leadership and Administration on the final 2023-24 budget act. More procedural than substantive, passage of SB 101 allowed legislators to continue collecting their salaries past the June 15 legal deadline as details on the actual budget are being worked out.
Based on the language of SB 101, there is a strong expectation that the May Revise’s call for an 8.22 percent COLA for base apportionment and select categorical programs will remain in the final budget. Less certain is whether the one-time funding for COVID-19 Block Grant, Student Enrollment and Retention, and Deferred Maintenance will be consolidated into a single block grant, and at what amount. Other unresolved issues include the provision of student housing funds and whether recommendations from the State Auditor’s examination of full-time faculty will be included in the final budget. The League is particularly concerned that the Auditor’s recommendations would add a significant unfunded mandate onto the districts that would further complicate matters in a projected multi-year period of fiscal uncertainty.
With June 30 as the deadline for passage of a final budget, the Legislature and Governor are expected to announce the negotiated deal no later than the beginning of next week. Follow the League’s electronic and social media for details as they unfold.
Authored By Jonathan Lightman
Jonathan is a Consultant for State Budget Advocacy and Strategic Planning