The House Budget Committee met this week to hear from the five Chairs of the House Appropriation Committees as they presented their budget recommendations. The House Budget Committee Chairman, Rep Fitzpatrick (R – Shell Knob), will analyze the budget recommendations and release committee substitutes next week. Chairman Rep. Fitzpatrick has publicly stated that his committee needs to trim $500 million from the budget and set aside some funding in order to forego potential withholds in the middle of the next fiscal year.
After the committee substitutes for the various budget bills are released, the House Budget Committee will reconvene during the last week of March to complete their “mark-up” process. Mark-up provides the budget committee members an opportunity to offer a decreasing amendment along with a corresponding increase to any budget line item within the state operating budget.
The House Budget Committee’s current timeline will give a short three weeks for the Senate Appropriations Committee to finalize their version of the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget. One week will remain for the House and Senate to negotiate their budget differences. The General Assembly must pass a balanced budget by May 5th per the constitutional deadline.