Three weeks remain in the 2009 legislative session and the budget remains the top priority. But it is not the only priority. Senate President Pro Tem Charlie Shields (R-St. Joseph) expects tot budget bills to go through conference committees this week.
"Certainly, with three weeks to go we’ll get the budget bills into conference," said Shields. "You’ll see a conference committee of House and Senate budget leaders meeting, getting that worked out then bring that out on the floor two weeks out from the end of session – get that accomplished. That would be the number one task at hand, probably, at this point."
Shields points out there are other important bills that must be worked on in the remaining time.
"Certainly health care reform," said Shields. "That bill has cleared the Senate and is over in the House. I’d love to see that become law. Also, a jobs bill combined with tax credit reform, still working on that."
The hope among supporters of the economic development bill is that supporters of both job creation efforts and tax credit reform will come together to iron out enough of their differences to accomplish some of their goals.
The budget for the 2010 fiscal year that begins July 1st must be completed by Friday, May 8th – one week before the end of the session.