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Legislative Report (Vol. XXV No. 12) March 31, 2006 Negotiations Begin

April 3, 2006

Due to the AEA Boards Convention Thursday and Friday this report this week will be brief.

We have reached the point in the session where a majority of the decisions will be made in closed meetings between legislative leaders and the Governor. At this point in the negotiations the Governor and the Senate and House Democrats are of the opinion that there is not enough funding for education on the table. Republicans are saying that the budget must adhere to the December budget figure of the “Revenue Estimating Conference,” that any increased education spending has to include policy reforms and that they must approve some version of the bill to exclude all pension and Social Security benefits from the income tax.

In terms of AEA funding, our best guess right now is that the Governor and the Democrats are pushing the $10 million restoration for AEAs, while House Republicans are talking about $1.8 million.

Many of the bills determined to be dead due to the funnel retain the possibility of re-emerging during these talks as many issues will be on the table. The eventual success of these negotiations will go a long way in determining when the legislature will adjourn.

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