The tax increases passed today include a cigarette tax, nursing home bed tax, pharmacy tax and an increase in the fee for titling a new car. As of this writing, the business privilege tax was carried over – it’s not dead but the votes were not there to support it...today. Interesting to note that several of the tax votes were very close; the title fee increase was a 51-49 vote and the cigarette tax increase fell along a 52-46 vote. These taxes now move to the Senate.
The Senate was in session as well and debated a hand full of bills relating to efficiency and streamlining our state government. A key bill that I’m sponsoring, SB24, passed the Senate today. This bill requires any state agency, including state parks, to file notice with the Legislature through the Legislative Council 45 days prior to closing a facility. This allows for the Legislative Council to hold a public hearing, ensuring the public is fully aware of the process by which a particular office or park was selected to be closed.
The Senate Republican Caucus will meet tomorrow morning and discuss the way forward, gauging support for the taxes passed by the House, plans to transfer funds from the Education Trust Fund or the Rolling Reserve Fund and how they impact proposed budget solutions.
Semper Fi - Bill