Today started with meetings in my office followed by the General Fund Committee meeting. The most surprising vote in that meeting was SB115, the bill to get the state out of the liquor business, something I’ve supported in years past. I support the Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) in areas such as enforcement and licensing – I simply struggle with justifying the state remaining in the liquor sales business. In fact, I doubt the concept of state run liquor stores would even be introduced in today’s legislature (the ABC concept originated in 1937) but for reasons lost on me, some legislators fully support the concept. By the way, the ABC After a public hearing and further debate the bill failed to receive a favorable report in a 7-6 vote. Of note, the Fiscal Note showed an increase to the General Fund budget of between $18M - $20M...and I thought we supported right-sizing government and efficiency strategies?
Later in the afternoon I met for about an hour with the Governor’s Director of Finance to review the status of the Governor’s budget and tax increase proposals. This was followed by Joint General Fund Budget hearings in the House Chambers where detailed reports from Medicaid, Corrections and Mental Health were presented.
Tomorrow morning I plan to attend the Aerospace Association Breakfast. We will recognize NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center on the Senate Floor. I have two committee meetings – Banking and Insurance committee and Transportation and Energy committee were we will debate a total of 8 bills...all of this before the Senate goes into session at 10:30!
Semper Fi - Bill