The Senate was able to pass seven of the Sunset Bills throughout the day. Some readers may wonder why we didn’t cloture the opposition, pushing through the Sunset Bills as the problem is not really with the reauthorization of these boards, agencies or commissions. The answer – rules do not allow the Sunset Bills to be subject to cloture.
Some good news that I didn’t report from committee work yesterday – we passed a bill in the General Fund Committee meeting that begins to address some of the earmark concerns that plaque our budget process. I also passed a bill out of committee that will begin an annual certification and reporting process of the amount of tax exemptions that have been granted to organizations by past legislative action. This bill is a merging of several bills, including one from the Revenue Department. The concern is that over the years – some literally over 40 years ago – the legislature has granted certain entities an exemption from state, county and local sales or lodging tax. These are mostly non-profit groups that no doubt continue to perform great work in their respective communities. As we continue to work to balance our budgets without raising taxes I think it is equally important that we follow up on the entities that have been granted tax exemptions to ensure the exemption is not being abused and that they continue with their stated mission when the exemptions were granted.
The Senate adjourned at 4:30PM and will reconvene on Tuesday at 10AM.
Semper Fi - Bill