Thursday, February 17, 2011

House and Senate reach compromise on latest supplemental budget

The House and Senate have reached agreement on a supplemental budget bill that further narrows the gap between projected revenue and state spending for the remainder of the 2009-11 biennium.
The agreement that will be reflected in changes to ESHB 1086 was the result of work by a Senate-House conference committee that met after each chamber passed its own version of the bill.
The agreement calls for an additional $242 million in spending reductions.  That is less than the $254.6 million in cuts approved by the Senate, but more than the $221.8 million in the original House version.
Like the Senate version of the budget bill, the conference agreement reduces General Fund appropriations for the State Need Grant by $25.4 million.  However, individual State Need Grant student awards will not be affected because the agreement requires institutions to make up the difference through local funds such as tuition waivers.  The Senate version had required institutions to transfer tuition money to financial aid to make up the difference.

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