The Senate Capital Budget Committee heard testimony on their proposed budget (PSSB 6074) on February 28. The $1.3 billion proposal is a combination of traditional funding sources and special bonds. Similar to the House proposal, 10% of the Hazardous Substance Tax is used to finance $236 million in bonds. In addition, 85 percent of the Solid Waste Tax that currently goes into the Public Works Assistance Account (PWAA) is undedicated (meaning moved into the General Fund) which generates another $439 million in bonds. The Solid Waste Tax will revert to the PWAA once the bonds are retired. The Solid Waste Tax shift is approximately a 15 percent reduction in the PWAA.
Highlights of the budget proposal include:
- $152 million for the Public Works Trust Fund supplemental project list.
- $60 million for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. This is in addition to the $32 million that is traditionally available.
- $39.5 million for statewide stormwater grants and stormwater retrofit and LID competitive grants.
- $18.3 million to the Community Economic Revitalization Board.
- $10.0 million in competitive Main Street Improvement Grants.
- $8.5 million in competitive Brownfield Redevelopment Grants.
At this point, we do not know when either the House or Senate Capital Budgets will pass. On the political side, the bonds portion of the capital budget requires a 60-percent vote. This allows a critical mass of Legislators in both chambers to leverage the Capital Budget for other bills they want to pass (a common practice over the years). In the meantime, both Chairs are continuing to reconcile their respective budgets.
For more information, contact Ashley Probart.