Work on budgets was productive this week, but we continue to see large divisions in funding levels within these bills. This week, the full House approved the Health and Human Services budget, sending it to the Senate. The Infrastructure Budget and Education Budget were moved through the House Appropriations Committee to the House Floor for consideration. Additionally, the Standing Appropriations bill was introduced this week, which is a very positive sign that the end is in sight. Very little policy bills remain on the debate calendars, so the core focus of legislative efforts is on appropriations bills.
The legislative pace is quickening, and budget bills are being introduced and approved. Only the Standings and the Ending Balance spending bills remain to be introduced. The majority of policy floor work is complete, and only a handful of bills remain, leaving little for rank and file members to do outside of spending bills. The most significant progress is that the Judicial Branch Budget was agreed to and sent to the Governor this week. Economic Development, Education and Transportation budgets seem to be on the same track, and there are minor differences in the Justice Systems budget and Administration/Regulation Budget. Those should be worked out quickly. Ag & Natural Resources, RIIF, and HHS may be more difficult to come to consensus on.
Countries around the world are investing heavily in renewable energy. From developed countries in the European Union and the United States to developing countries such as China, India and Brazil, governments understand the importance of promoting renewable energy. After all, it’s really a no-brainer: renewable energy is a win-win for the climate, the economy and farmers worldwide.