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Published on Monday, November 13, 2017

Capital budget remains locked up

Unfortunately, we do not have promising news to report on the capital budget front. There have not been any breakthroughs on the water issues holding back resolution. With the apparent shift in majority control to Democrats in the State Senate, we may finally see some more action in the coming weeks. However, four Republicans in the Senate and nine in the House must be willing to vote to authorize the bonds necessary to fund most of the capital budget. Authorization for the state to incur debt requires a 60 percent majority vote in each chamber.

One of the biggest questions on this issue is whether the Republican caucuses will successfully maintain their unity on this potential vote. Another large unanswered question is whether the majority Democrats will force the issue by putting the question up for a vote, or whether they will continue to try to find resolution on the water issues.

On that front, we are still waiting for the House Democrats to bring forward a proposal and re-start the negotiations. We have been held up at this stage for the last several months. We have been told to expect to see language during committee days this week.

To end on a more optimistic note, we have had a number of promising discussions with all sides over the last several weeks. Should the negotiating process ever restart in earnest, we believe the ingredients for compromise and ultimate resolution are in play.