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Rowland Report 2.7.2013

Greetings from your State Capitol. This week the Governor released his budget. The Governor’s budget is based on four pieces of legislation that have never passed the legislature, totaling nearly $165 million in ‘new’ money for him to spend. These yet to be passed enhancements are a $1.8 million increase from a tax amnesty plan, a $56.6 million increase from property tax credit for renters, a $10.5 million increase from sales tax collections from out-of-state retailers, and $46 million in savings and estimated increased revenue from Medicaid expansion.

The consensus revenue estimate for fiscal year 2014 is 3.1% revenue growth totaling $7.929 billion. The Governor’s budget spends $8.292 billion; this leaves a gap of $363 million dollars that must be made up with legislation, and withholdings.

The additional dollars are spread all over the budget. There will be over $18 million in Early Childhood Education, over $108 million in new K-12 spending, $34 million spent in colleges and universities and an additional $1 million in A+ scholarship program, $6 million in Tourism, and $3.9 million for ports and transportation. Also there will be $7 million for the Arts and cultural partners, $151 million for 3% provider rate increase, $10.2 million for Partnership for Hope

The fiscal year 2013 Governor’s budget intentionally left $0 for supplemental appropriations.  The Governor is now asking for $246 million in supplemental appropriations, including $38.5 million in general revenue.  The fiscal year 2014 recommendation again calls for $0 for the supplemental.

Without a significant amount of legislation passing the House and Senate, the truly

agreed and finally passed budget bills will have to look drastically different than the Governor’s recommendations.

I was named this week to serve on the House Majority Whip Team by our Majority Whip, Sandy Crawford, R-Buffalo.  I will serve as one of six floor whips serving under Deputy Whip Denny Hoskins, R-Warrensburg.  My duty will be to assist the deputy whip in rounding up votes on critical issues and communicating policy positions to other members of the majority.

My bill, HB 42, was heard in committee this morning with no opposition being given in testimony.  I would publically like to thank the citizens that arose early and traveled to the capitol by 8 a.m. to testify on the bill’s behalf.

As always, it is a privilege to represent you in State Government.