The capital budget is being held for final passage during the special session. As a practical matter, the $1-billion-plus jobs proposal is mostly bonded and requires a 60% majority vote to pass the Legislature. This came into play over the last week regarding what kind of bonds should be authorized. Most of the jobs proposal can be funded using general obligation bonds, but a portion is also dependent on revenue bonds affiliated with the use of the state toxics account (often referred to as MTCA, the Model Toxics Control Account).
At this point the House Republicans, and possibly the Senate Republicans, are objecting to the use of the revenue bonds. If this prevails, it would reduce the jobs proposal by over $200 million and potentially eliminate or reduce project funding for stormwater and other MTCA purposes.
In addition, the most recent Senate Republican operating budget (March 15,, 2012) still includes a provision to permanently sweep revenues from the solid waste tax from the Public Works Trust Fund into the general fund. This is approximately $70 million per biennium and would be a significant hit to the House and Senate capital budget proposals.
AWC opposes this permanent transfer and has been communicating this to legislators in both chambers during the past week. We are hopeful the Senate will either move to the House position of no solid waste tax diversion or to the Senate Democrats’ proposed budget that used 85% of the solid waste tax to back the capital budget bonds.
The most recent version of the capital budgets can be found on the LEAP website. Please note that the House capital budget released on March 8 is the most recent version. This version includes a blend of the Senate and House capital budgets.
For more information, contact Ashley Probart.