Initial votes on Supplemental budget, commitment to completing FY14 & FY15 & Budget Stabilization

Early this evening the Appropriations committee took the first series of votes to craft a supplemental budget. Addressing FY14 issues the committee unanimously approved the following General Fund initiatives:

  • $1M in debt service savings identified by the State Treasurer
  • $114K approved for teacher retirement costs at Career Technical Education (CTE) schools
  • Rejected funds to address possible future funding to address a potential unfavorable outcome in the federal decertification of Riverview Psychiatric Center (RPC). The Department suggested this course of action in a previous meeting
  • Rejected a request for $2M in funding to correct a DHHS error
    $180K approved to address funding for food supplement benefits for legal non-citizens
  • $140K approved to correct an error made in longevity savings in the Judicial branch
  • $100K approved for increased psychological exam costs in the Judicial branch
  • $100K approved for increased Guardian Ad Litem costs in the Judicial Branch
  • $92K in judicial debt service savings
    $135K in savings from Callahan Mine Site Restorations, DOT has indicated that these funds are available
  • $9,450 approved for design costs of a new Maine Air National Guard headquarters

Democrats on the committee proposed using unexpected casino revenues due to the higher ed institutions and GPA in FY14 to offset cuts proposed in the Rosen Report. The Rs asked that this be tabled.

Budget Stabilization

Finally, the committee discussed an FY15 initiative to transfer $21M to the Budget Stabilization Fund (BSF). No funding source was identified as part of this vote. Republican members proposed moving the transfer to BSF into FY14.

Democrats wanted time to consider the implication of moving the transfer to FY14 as it is different than the measure initially under consideration. Republicans expressed frustration.  You can hear these deliberations here: https://soundcloud.com/user576293011/afa-end-03102014

Democratic members of the committee discussed their commitment to addressing both FY14 and FY15.  The committee adjourned taking no action.

Schedule

The committee will continue to meet both on mic and in caucus all week. The full schedule may be found here: http://www.maine.gov/legis/ofpr/appropriations_committee/schedule_agendas/index.htm

As always please join the committee in Room 228, listen online at: http://www.maine.gov/legis/ofpr/appropriations_committee/audio/index.htm or watch MPBN’s Capitol Connection broadcast either here: http://www.mpbn.net/News/MaineCapitolConnection.aspx, over the air or through your cable provider.

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