2-7-15 Legislative Report
Well, here it is, day 22 already. Bu law the legislature can meet only a maximum of 80 days. The bills are in and a lot of work is being done in committee to hear those bills and make recommendations to the Senate floor.
One of the bills in the Senate that is drawing some discussion is the construction of a new Governor’s Mansion. The money would come from a trust fund that was set up some years ago and that money is only used for Capitol Grounds projects. Most of that money is derived from oil royalties the state received from land donated to the state. I have been somewhat lukewarm to the idea in the past, but understanding the cost of remodeling and handicap issues at the current mansion, I’m warming up to the idea.
The other discussion is the newest revenue forecast. The new forecast suggests we will have $4 billion less in oil revenue and a bigger concern is the reduction of $680,000,000 in general fund money. Most of the oil money goes into special funds used for special projects. For example, the Resources Trust Fund gets money from oil as does the Legacy Fund. Of concern to me, is the reduction the Resource Trust Fund will see. This fund helps provide needed dollars for our water projects throughout the state which are very critical to our residents.
Of even more concern, however, is the general fund reduction which helps pay for our everyday issues that come before the state. Education, human services, and paying our employees all come out of that fund. We are moving ahead cautiously sorting the needs from the wants, prioritizing the most important and doing what we can to adequately meet the needs of our citizens. Keep in touch.
Sen. Jerry Klein, R-District 14
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