Less than seven-and-a-half weeks to go! Things are starting to move. This past week both Legislative Council and the Governor’s Office of State Planning & Budgeting presented their quarterly revenue forecasts. The JBC will finalize next year’s state budget based on one of these forecasts. The Long Bill, which includes the vast majority of next year’s budget, is anticipated to be introduced next Monday. It was also another good week for CSPA priorities.
On Monday, the Senate unanimously passed Senate Joint Resolution 006 concerning declaring the week of May 11-16, 2022, as Police Week, and in connection therewith, declaring May 15, 2022, as Peace Officers’ Memorial Day. Also, on Monday, the Senate passed HB 1150 that eliminates the signature requirement on certain citations on third reading on a vote of 34 to 0. As I have mentioned before, HB 1150 is supported by the CSPA and is necessary before the Patrol can move to electronic citations. The Senate made a minor amendment that was requested by the Department of Revenue so HB 1150 must first go back to the House for concurrence and repassage before moving to the Governor for his consideration.
The highlight of the week came on Thursday when the House Business Committee killed HB 1142 concerning the creation of an extended service hours permit for alcohol beverage sales. HB 1142 would have allowed bars to either open two hours earlier (at 5:00 am) or close two hours later (at 4:00 am). The CSPA opposed HB 1142 together with a coalition of others including Mothers Against Drunk Driving and our partners in the law enforcement community.
As of Friday, there have been 468 bills introduced – 308 in the House and 160 in the Senate. Only 52 days until the General Assembly is required to adjourn sine die.