The Senate and House Democrats have reached agreement to raise nearly $990 million dollars in revenue to restore some of the most harmful budget cuts in Health and Human Services and Education.
The revenue plan calls for a 1-cent increase in the sales tax, a 2 percent surcharge on personal and corporate income tax, a tax on items downloaded from the Internet, a 10-cent per pack increase on cigarettes, a 5-cent per six pack increase on beer, a 4-cent per bottle increase on wine, and a 4 percent increase on liquor. The sales tax increase has no expiration date, but the income tax surcharge will expire in two years.
Budget negotiators are expected to work out any remaining differences over the next two days and the final vote on the budget could come Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.
We are watching for any Health and Human Services (HHS) or Education Appropriations Subcommittee meetings to be scheduled that would shed light on their portions of the final budget. Otherwise, budget details may not be known until next week.
We will keep you posted as this long and difficult legislative session comes to a close.
UPDATE (7/24): Roughly 2 hours after posting the above information on Thursday, July 23, ASNC staff learned that the budget agreement announced Wednesday evening was not favored by the Governor.
At this time it in unclear whether a new agreement can be reached soon. We will continue to post information that is relevant to this topic and hopefully lawmakers and the Governor will be able to reach a new agreement that all parties are comfortable with prior to announcing to all news outlets and the public that there is a new budget.