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Voices Speaking

April 25, 2017

Voices from the Capitol (XVI): sales taxes, income taxes, and the budget

Roger Senserrich

In today's email:

This Week: Finance Committee Hearing

Tuesday, April 25, 2017, 11:30 A.M. Room 2E

H.B. 7322 An Act Concerning State and Local Revenue

Among others, the bill seeks to raise the sales tax rate from 6.35 percent to 6.99 percent and eliminates exemptions for nonprofits and advertising and public relations services. Although this provision would raise a significant amount of revenue, the sales tax has a big impact on middle- and low-income families.

Connecticut already has an upside-down tax system in which low-income households pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes than wealthy families do. A family making less than $25,000 a year pays an estimated 11 percent in state and local taxes while a family making over $1,331,000––the top 1 percent––pays 5.5 percent. Raising the sales tax without including services would exacerbate the imbalance.

In our Revenue Options Brief we discussed a better alternative: lowering the regressive sales tax by a full percentage point and broadening the base to include services. This proposal would raise $730 million. You can find a one-page explanation of our proposal here, or watch a short animation here.

Regarding PILOT (Payments in Lieu of Taxes––state funding to compensate cities and towns for lost property tax revenue for tax-exempt property) and municipal aid, we published a report earlier this year discussing problems with Connecticut’s current municipal funding model, offering a statewide adjusted property tax system as an alternative. You can download our proposal here.

S.B. 1054 An Act Concerning Various Tax Rates, The Use Of Certain Taxes And Fees for Tourism and Other Programs, Establishing the Mental Health Community Investment Account and concerning the Purpose of the Capital Region Development Authority.

Among other proposals, a provision in this bill would raise the marginal income tax rate for individuals making more than $500,000 and couples making more than $1,000,000 from 6.99 percent to 7.49 percent. Currently, for every $100 these individuals earn above the threshold, they pay $6.99 in taxes. If the bill passes, they would pay an additional 50 cents per $100 of income in excess of $500,000 / $1,000,000.

This would raise an estimated $175 million in critically needed revenue, and would help to fix Connecticut’s upside-down tax system. Income tax rates will remain below other states’ in the region. In our Revenue Options Brief we wrote in support of increasing the tax rate for the top two income tax brackets.

How to testify: Public speaker order will be determined by a lottery system. Lottery numbers will be drawn from 9:30 A.M. to 10:30 A.M. in the first floor atrium of the LOB. Bring 35 copies of written testimony. You can also submit written testimony in Word or PDF format to FINtestimony@cga.ct.gov.

Reminder: Budget Week

This week we expect to see the Appropriations and Finance Committees’ budget proposals. Appropriations, the spending side of the budget, will likely release a budget today; Finance, the revenue side, is expected to release a budget on Thursday. The budget proposals are likely going to differ from the Governor’s budget in significant ways, but they are unlikely to be the final word on the budget for two reasons. First, revenue projections are likely to deteriorate further. Second, negotiations between the Governor and House and Senate leadership will begin in an attempt to craft a final document that can gain majority support in both houses.

We will analyze the new budget proposals in depth, as we did with the Governor’s budget. For now, you can find our advocacy tools covering the impact of the Governor’s budget proposal here.

News and Updates: Affordable Care Act Repeal Efforts

Although the initial push to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) faltered in Congress, there are continued efforts in Washington to weaken or repeal the law. Debate on funding for cost-sharing reductions, part of the negotiations to avert a government shutdown, continues. In addition, Congressional Republicans are still re-working the American Health Care Act (AHCA), their bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

This latest version contains all the bad features of the earlier version and adds threats to maintaining access to essential health benefits, such as maternity care, and maintaining coverage for individuals with pre-existing health conditions. While it seems increasingly unlikely that there will be a vote on this version this week, contact with U.S. Representatives now is important. Take this moment to:

  • Thank your representative for his/her continuing opposition to the American Health Care Act and its weakening of access to health care.

  • Urge him/her to oppose this latest version of the AHCA

  • Share stories of why the ACA, Medicaid, Medicare, and women's health programs are important to you.

Phone numbers are below. Information about the AHCA and possible revisions are available here.

  • John Larson: 860-278-8888 (CT); 202-225-2265 (DC)

  • Joe Courtney: 860-886-0139 (CT); 202-225-2076 (DC)

  • Rosa DeLauro: 203-562-3718 (CT); 202-225-3661 (DC)

  • Jim Himes: 203-333-6600 (CT); 202-225-5541 (DC)

  • Elizabeth Esty: 860-223-8412 (CT); 202-225-4476 (DC)

We are working on a report explaining how the repeal of key ACA provisions would impact Connecticut. The law is still vulnerable, so it is important to keep calling.

Spotlight: Business Tax Breaks

In our new report, we count the cost of business tax breaks. Using available data, we estimate a cost of $707 million in fiscal year (FY) 2017 - an amount equal to about half of the current fiscal year deficit.

Among the report's findings:

  • From FY 2002 to FY 2017, according to available data, the cost of all business tax breaks (credits, deductions, and other policy choices) increased from $661 million to $707 million (in 2017 dollars).

  • From FY 2016 to FY 2017, the cost of business tax breaks (in absolute dollars) increased by $12 million while spending on children (as defined by our Children's Budget) decreased by $81.2 million.

The report offers several recommendations to shed more light on the costs of business tax breaks, including:

  • Requiring regular review of business tax breaks

  • Collecting and sharing municipal tax break data

  • Expanding the scope of the tax expenditure report

  • Requiring corporate tax disclosure

You can download the full report here.

What We Are Reading/ Listening to

Issue Areas:
Budget and Tax, Health
April 24, 2017

Fact Sheets: The Impact of Budget Cuts

Roger Senserrich

The Governor's Budget would reduce the Earned Income Tax Credit, remove parents from HUSKY A, eliminate property tax support for the lower and middle classes, keep young children out of  Care 4 Kids funded child care, and cut municipal aid to 141 towns. Statewide, proposed cuts to the EITC and the property tax credit are equal to a tax increase of $93 for low-income families and $157 for middle-income families.

We have created four new advocacy tools with up-to-date information on these budget impacts:

To stop these proposals from becoming reality, we need to work together. Please call your legislators and ask them to reject a  cuts-only approach and to commit to  a balanced approach that includes new revenue. Click here to take action.

Issue Area:
Budget and Tax
April 18, 2017

Voices from the Capitol (XV): the impact of budget cuts

Roger Senserrich

In today's email:

News and Updates

Fact Sheets: The Impact of Budget Cuts

The Governor's Budget would reduce the Earned Income Tax Credit, remove parents from HUSKY A, eliminate property tax support for the lower and middle classes, keep young children out of  Care 4 Kids funded child care, and cut municipal aid to 141 towns. Statewide, proposed cuts to the EITC and the property tax credit are equal to a tax increase of $93 for low-income families and $157 for middle-income families.

We have created three new advocacy tools with up-to-date information on these budget impacts:

  • A one-page document explaining how many of the Governor's cost-savings proposals target the same groups of low- to middle-income families.
  • An interactive map showing the town-by-town impact of these proposed cuts.
  • Individual fact sheets for each House and Senate district so you can use the information in your conversations with your legislators. You can download the fact sheets here.

To stop these proposals from becoming reality, we need to work together. Please call your legislators and askthem to reject a  cuts-only approach and to commit to  a balanced approach that includes new revenue. Click here to take action.

Op-Ed: Providing Oversight to the Department of Children and Families

Lauren Ruth, Ph.D., Youth Policy Fellow, writes for the New Haven Register:

“Independent oversight is a key tool to hold state agencies accountable to the people they serve. It is the reason why governments have watchdog agencies like the U.S. Office of the Inspector General and the Connecticut Office of State Ethics and why nonprofit organizations have boards of directors. These independent oversight bodies ensure that decisions are made transparently, without bias, and in the best interest of the people organizations serve.

When the people an agency serves are children who have been abused or neglected, transparency and accountability become a matter of life or death. For this reason, independent oversight of the Connecticut Department of Children and Families is a hotly debated topic this legislative session.”

Testimony: Business Tax Breaks, Tax Loopholes

Last week, we testified in support of HB 7316, a bill requiring regular reviews of all business tax breaks to ensure that every tax incentive yields  the promised economic development benefits. You can readour testimony here.  The bill has broad support, as Comptroller Kevin Lembo notes here. We will release a detailed report on the costs of business tax breaks in Connecticut later this week.

We also testified in support of HB 7313, a bill calling for Connecticut to join the regional compact to close the carried interest loophole. The carried interests loophole allows relatively few of the state’s highest-income earners to pay a tax rate equal to half that of  ordinary taxpayers. You can find our testimony here.

Potential Cuts from the Repeal of the Affordable Care Act

A new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities details the Connecticut-specific impacts of the federal House Republican health plan. The report finds that the plan would put 972,000 Connecticut residents at risk of losing coverage or facing increases in out-of-pocket costs by an average of $4,234 per year.

Older residents could face increases of up to $10,315 per year. Who would benefit from this plan?   The bill includes $600 billion in tax cuts largely for high-income earners. According to the report, the top 1 percent of taxpayers in Connecticut would see an average tax cut of $48,590 per year. See the Connecticut fact sheet here.

Spotlight: S.B.2 - Notes on School Finance Reform

Our spotlight this week is on SB2- a bill by Representative Rojas and Senator Duff to change the Education Cost Sharing (ECS) formula that has positive and negative elements. This proposal would increase ECS funding by $320 million over six years and add English Language Learners to the ECS  student weights. However, we believe that many components of this bill  would harm children across the state. Our primary concerns are as follows:

  1. The bill would lower the base funding amount for education from $11,500 to around $9,000.  The proposal is based on a claim that a subset of school expenditures need to be considered to determine adequate spending, but the claim lacks an  adequate research base. We believe that any change in the calculation of the costs of an adequate education should be based on research and not politics.
  2. The proposal would reduce the weight of property taxes in determining ability to pay, shifting more responsibility to pay for education away from the state and onto the backs of cities and towns with some of our higher property tax rates. We believe that so long as education is funded primarily based on local property wealth, the state should continue to prioritize funding based on local property revenue capacity.    
  3. The proposal does not include special education in the ECS formula and does not provide additional funds to cover rising special education costs. We believe that  special education should remain a consideration in the calculation of the cost of education in each community.
  4. The proposal would create a “money follows the child” system to fund schools: an approach we believe creates two problems.
    1. First, it eliminates the financial incentives created in service of specific public policies such as increased racial integration or increased access to technical education.  We believe these incentives should not be removed without any discussion.
    2. Second, it would require local communities to fund charter schools, violating a commitment made by the state the shield local public schools from any loss of local funding. Because charter schools serve fewer special education and high-needs students than traditional public schools, this approach would translate into less funding and increased student need among traditional public schools.  We believe that charter schools should enhance local options, not decrease local funding.

This article includes some additional information on the proposal.

Events:

Early Childhood Advocacy Day 2017

The Care4Kids child care subsidy has played a key role in providing quality child care to low-income working families in Connecticut, enrolling an average of about 21,000 children per month in 2016.

Since last summer, the program hasfaced a $33 million budget shortfall. To address that budget gap, the Office of Early Childhood (OEC) closed enrollment for the program. The waiting list stands now at 3,000 families, and is projected to increase to 5,000 by July 2017.

In a year where programs like Care4Kids are under threat, your attendance at the 2017 Early Childhood Advocacy Day is more important than ever. Please join us and the Early Childhood Alliance on Thursday, April 20, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., in the Capitol's Old Judiciary Room. You may be able to speak with your legislator directly to make a personal endorsement for child care. Wear red to show your support.

E-mail Samantha Dynowski (samantha@earlychildhoodalliance.com) if you have any questions.

Medicaid Speak Out - Hartford

The Medicaid Strategy Group and the leaders of the Community Health Services invite you to attend the Medicaid “Speak out” event on Wednesday, April 19th, 9:30 AM at 500 Albany Ave in Hartford.

Join community leaders, health care providers, and parents to speak out on how Medicaid provides essential health coverage for you and your family. Come tell your story and urge Hartford legislators to oppose health care cuts.

What We Are Reading/ Listening to

Protecting the ACA: Thank Your Legislators

The push to repeal the Affordable Care Act has failed, at least for now, in no small part thanks to the sharp opposition of the Connecticut Congressional delegation. Just as it’s important to ask your representative to oppose legislation, it’s equally useful to thank them for their fighting on our behalf.

Find your federal representative's contact information here to say thank you for preserving the Affordable Care Act.

 

Issue Areas:
Budget and Tax, Child Welfare, Early Care, Education, Health
April 11, 2017

Interactive Map: Governor's Cuts to Cities and Towns

Ray Noonan and Derek Thomas, M.P.A.

The Governor’s budget would reduce the Earned Income Tax Credit, remove parents from HUSKY A, eliminate property tax support for the middle class, and cut municipal aid to 141 towns.

Statewide, proposed cuts to the EITC and the property tax credit are equal to a tax increase of $93 for low-income families and $157 for middle-income families. At the same time, the Governor’s estate tax proposal would be equal to a tax break of $100,000, on average, for some 600 taxpayers.

In our new interactive maps you can look at the town-by-town impact of these cuts on the property tax credit and EITC, as well as Care 4 Kids and changes to municipal aid funding. Information is available on how many residents in each town benefit from the EITC, property tax credit, Care 4 Kids and Husky A, another program at risk from cuts. 

We also created Individual fact sheets for each House and Senate district so you can share that information with your legislators. You can download them here

For more information on the Governor's Budget proposal, you can find our full analysis here

Issue Area:
Budget and Tax
Tags:
budget, Connecticut, interactive, maps, municipal, town
April 10, 2017

Voices from the Capitol (XIV): transparency for business tax incentives, funding Care 4 Kids

Roger Senserrich

In today's email:

This Week: Committee Hearings

Finance Committee

Tuesday, April 11 - Room 2E, 12:00 PM - Agenda

H.B. No. 7316 An Act Concerning Evaluation of Business Assistance and Incentive Programs

This bill aims to bring greater transparency to spending on business tax breaks. First, it mandates that the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development's annual report include an evaluation of all business assistance and incentive programs. Second, it requires the Auditors of Public Accounts to also conduct evaluations and report on the same. Third, it requires the Appropriations, Finance, and Commerce committees of the General Assembly to hold hearings on these reports.

This oversight is necessary. Connecticut’s state government currently spends hundreds of millions of dollars per year on business tax breaks. Without regular review to ensure that these tax breaks are achieving their desired goal, they can become a permanent cost to the state even when changing economic conditions or policy priorities would suggest that they should be modified or repealed. Just like spending on education, infrastructure, and social services, business tax breaks should be subject to public scrutiny.

H.B. No. 7313, An Act Imposing a Surcharge on Income Derived from Investment Management Services

The legislation calls for a compact among Northeastern states to close the carried interest loophole in light of federal inaction. Carried interest is the share of earnings that investment managers receive from a profitable return of their client’s investment. The federal government treats carried interest as investment income, or capital gains, rather than as wages or commissions. This preferential treatment results in a federal tax liability that is 50 percent less than it would be for ordinary income. This is known as the carried interest loophole.

The bill would impose a 19 percent "fairness fee" on carried interest sufficient to capture each state’s share of the increased federal income tax liability that would be incurred if the loophole were closed at the federal level (until the federal loophole is closed). By definition, the compact would not go into effect until all states (New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Connecticut) enacted the same provisions. It is estimated that Connecticut could raise $535 million by doing so.

See our revenue options brief  for more information.

H.B. No. 7314, An Act Concerning a Tax on Certain Sweetened Beverages

This bill would impose a tax of one cent per ounce on certain carbonated and non-carbonated nonalcoholic beverages that contain added caloric sweetener (namely, sodas). The money raised would be use to fund early care and education and obesity-prevention programs.

In our Revenue Options brief we estimated that this tax could raise $85 to $141 million per year. This would be more than enough to cover the current shortfall in the Care 4 Kids program (more information on the program's closure below). A growing body of research indicates that increasing the price of sugar-sweetened beverages also reduces consumption. As sugary drinks are strongly associated with adverse health impacts (diabetes, obesity), the bill would also have a positive impact on health.

In order to make the bill truly effective, however, legislators should change it from a sales tax to an excise tax. As currently drafted, the one cent per ounce charge would only appear at the register, as a sales tax. An excise tax, however, would mean that the additional cost would be added to the price itself, meaning that consumers would see a higher price on the shelf, not just on their receipt. This would make the bill more effective at reducing consumption, at the cost of some revenue loss.

For all bills - how to testify: Public speaker order will be determined by a lottery system. Lottery numbers will be drawn from 10:00 A.M. to 11:00 A.M. in the first floor atrium of the LOB. Bring 35 copies of your written testimony to the Committee staff. You can also email testimony in Word or PDF format to FINtestimony@cga.ct.gov, subject line: “Miscellaneous Bills.”

Spotlight: Funding Care 4 Kids

Connecticut Voices for Children, with the support of the Early Childhood Alliance and Connecticut Parent Power, has published a policy brief on the impact of the Care 4 Kids funding cuts.

The Care 4 Kids child care program enrolled an average of 21,000 children per month in 2016. For many years, it has played a key role in providing quality child care to low-income working families in Connecticut. Last summer, however, increased program costs resulted in a $33 million budget shortfall. To address that budget gap, the Office of Early Childhood (OEC) closed enrollment for the program, leading to a current waitlist of about 3,000 families.

Our research shows that 30 percent of children age five and under in the state live in low-income families that qualify for Care 4 Kids - but instead of receiving subsidies, these children and their families are now placed on a waitlist with no definitive end date. In 49 percent of Connecticut towns, Care 4 Kids is the only form of state support for child care - parents in these towns may have no other option through which to afford child care.

Under the Governor's proposed budget, the subsidy program may not reopen until 2019, leaving thousands of parents with untenable choices. This is why H.B. 7314 is important: a sweetened beverage tax would raise enough funds to reopen Care 4 Kids, providing access to early care and education to thousands of low-income children, and enabling thousands of parents to go back to work.

You can read more about the Care 4 Kids program and how a sweetened beverage tax can close the funding gap in our full report here.

News and updates

Connecticut is Not Alone in Facing Budget Deficits

Keith Phaneuf writes for the CT Mirror:

“Two-thirds of states are dealing with projected revenue shortfalls in this fiscal year, the next, or both, according to the progressive Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, based in Washington, D.C.”

The report recommends, among others, that states address structural problems in state revenue systems - such as expanding the sales tax base - and reject artificial spending limits.

Bill to Expand Juvenile Jurisdiction Defeated

This session, the Governor proposed a bill that would gradually includes young adults (18-20 year olds) in the juvenile justice system (H.B. 7045). This legislation would have charged young adults charged with lesser crimes as juveniles, opening  access to therapeutic services provided within the juvenile justice system. We testified, with some caveats, in favor of this proposal. Last Friday, however, the Judiciary Committee  declined to report the legislation to the floor, effectively killing it. CT News Junkie has the full details here.

What We Are Reading:

Reminders:

Still time to take action - we sent an alert urging you to call your legislators and tell them that we need a balanced budget approach that includes new revenue. Call now if you haven’t done so.

Issue Areas:
Budget and Tax, Early Care, Health
April 4, 2017

Voices from the Capitol (XIII): spending cap and modernizing the sales tax

Roger Senserrich

On today’s newsletter:

This Week: Committee Hearings

Appropriations Committee

Monday, April 3 - Room 2E, 12:00 PM - Agenda

Spending Cap bills

S.B. No. 51S.B. No. 151S.B. No. 153S.B. No. 155S.B. No. 160S.B. No. 390S.B. No. 466H.B. No. 5004H.B. No. 5005H.B. No. 5217H.B. No. 5219H.B. No. 5401H.B. No. 5700,H.B. No. 5702H.B. No. 5777H.B. No. 5779H.B. No. 5844H.B. No. 6511H.B. No. 6734, and S.B. No. 785

There are quite a few bills relating to the constitutional spending cap in today’s hearing, so instead of analyzing each bill separately, allow us to give an overview on why the spending cap is important.

As part of the grand bargain that enacted an income tax in Connecticut, the General Assembly passed Amendment 28. Amendment 28 had three parts:

  1. balanced budget requirement, to ensure that Connecticut did not spend more money than it collected;

  2. rainy day fund, to ensure that we would be able to meet our financial commitments during difficult times; and

  3. a spending cap, to ensure that the existence of a new revenue source would not lead to unfettered growth in state government.

The legislature did not intend for the spending cap to solve all of Connecticut’s fiscal woes; rather, the spending cap was to work together with the balanced budget requirement and rainy day fund to make Connecticut more fiscally responsible.

Amendment 28 asks the legislature to define three terms used in the definition of the spending cap: “increase in personal income,” “increase in inflation,” and “general budget expenditures.” Each of these components is important, as they limit how much the state budget can grow year after year and what is counted as state spending to set the cap. You can read a full discussion on each of the three components in our testimony here.

H.B. 5839, An Act to Include Current Services in State Budget Reporting

This bill would ensure that the state uses “current services estimates” when drafting its budget, a measure that would make the process more transparent and accountable.

“Current services estimates” are a budgeting best practice that helps account for routine changes like inflation and caseload adjustments. Each year, when crafting a budget, state officials use the previous year’s spending as a baseline. Then, policymakers adjust that spending for how much it will cost to provide the same level of services this year, given changed enrollment in the program or cost adjustments. In other words, current services estimates tell us how much Connecticut would have to spend on a given program in order to maintain the program at its current level in the absence of any policy changes.

You can read this op-ed by Nick Defiesta and Ellen Schemitz on the subject to learn more, or download our testimony here.

H.B. 6516, An Act Concerning the Juvenile Justice Policy and Oversight Committee

This bill would provide funding for the community-based diversion system planned by the Juvenile Justice Policy and Oversight Committee (JJPOC) diversion workgroup. This diversion system would prevent children from becoming incarcerated, both improving their long-term welfare and saving money down the road on prisons and corrections. Read our testimony here.

H.B. 6517, An Act Establishing a Child Welfare Oversight Committee

This bill creates a child welfare oversight committee to evaluate and make recommendations to improve the safety and well-being of children and families involved with the Department of Children and Families (DCF). A child welfare oversight council would help to sustain the progress made in recent years and to coordinate work in the state that supports children and families engaged in the child welfare system. Read our testimony here.

H.B. 5218, An Act Concerning Portions of the State Budget Concerning the

Education Cost Sharing Formula and Other Aid to Municipalities

H.B. 5467, An Act Concerning Portions of the State Budget Appropriating

Funds for the Education Cost Sharing Formula and Other Aid to Municipalities

H.B. 5701, An Act Concerning the Timing of the Adoption of the Education

Cost-Sharing Grant and Municipal Aid Funding by the General Assembly

These three bills seek to provide towns and school districts with adequate notice and timely decisions about the allocations of the Education Cost Sharing (ECS) and other state education funds. Currently state funding figures become available only after towns have completed their budgets, forcing complex revisions; the proposals would ease this burden. You can read our testimony here.

News: The Feds Report on the Department of Children and Families

Every few years, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services publishes a review on the state of child welfare agencies across the country. In their latest review, they conclude that safe and stable placement for at-risk youth in the Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families (DCF) system is still “hindered by systemic issues.” Abused or neglected youths often end up in living situations without sufficient supports.

You can read the full report here. The CT Mirror has a good piece about the report here.

Spotlight: Broadening the Sales Tax

Failure to keep our laws up-to-date with the 21st century economy has weakened the 

sales tax as a stable source of revenue. Broadening the sales tax base to include services (in addition to goods) would strengthen the state's revenue system so that we can continue to invest in education, healthcare, transportation, and other critical services.

Over the past 40 years, the share of household spending on services has increased from one third to close to half of household budgets. Yet, services – such as interior design, tennis lessons, haircuts, car washes, pet grooming, bowling alleys, and taxi and limousine rides – remain largely untaxed. As a result, taxable sales as a share of total household income in Connecticut have declined from 32.6% in 2002 to 26.4% in 2015.

Broadening the sales tax base to include services, while at the same time lowering the tax rate from 6.35% to 5.5%, could generate $730 million in new revenue annually. Legislators are considering broadening the sales tax as one of the possible options to raise new revenue.

Check out our revenue options brief, an infographic, and our short video for more information.

Legislative Arcana: File Numbers, Calendars, “Go” List, Markings

As we enter the home stretch of the legislative session, it is useful to go over four terms that will come up often as bills are sent to the House or Senate floor: “file number”, “business on the calendar,” the “go list”, and “markings.”

File number: That’s the number that a bill gets once reported out of committee, printed, and sent to the floor. This means that the bill is ready to be considered by both houses. A bill might end up having more than one file number - if it is amended either in the House or the Senate it will get a new file number.

Business on the Calendar: A list of all the bills that are waiting for a vote in either the House or the Senate. Bills get a calendar number when placed there; the lower the number, the longer the bill has been sitting there. A bill needs to sit on the calendar for three days before being ready for action. Once it has sat for three days, it gets two little stars by its name.

Go List: The list of bills that the House intends to take up that particular day. Bills on the Go List might not get to a vote if debate on other bills on the list takes too much floor time.

Markings: The equivalent to the “Go List” in the Senate. The list is not posted in writing, but read aloud in the chamber.

What We Are Reading:

Reminders:

Still time to take action - we sent an alert urging you to call your legislators and tell them that we need a balanced budget approach that includes new revenue. Call now if you haven’t done so.

Issue Areas:
Budget and Tax, Juvenile Justice