SENATE APPROVES $41.49 BILLION FISCAL 2019 BUDGET

By Bob Katzen

The Senate 38-0, approved a $41.49 billion fiscal 2019 budget. Over a 3-day period, the Senate added an estimated $75.5 million to the original version of the budget and considered and voted on more than 1,000 proposed amendments.

There were many controversial amendments that that were decided by voice votes or standing votes — neither of which allows you to see how an individual senator voted.

Some of the amendments rejected without a roll call were ones to reduce the sales tax from 6.25 percent to 5 percent; reduce the income tax from 5.1 to 5 percent; and give an up to $1,500 tax credit to family member who are caregivers for a family member over 18.

Supporters said the budget is a fiscally responsible and balanced one that makes vital investments in the state while continuing fiscal responsibility.

The House has approved a different version of the budget. A House-Senate conference committee will hammer out a compromise version.

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