Senate Passes State Budget May 16, 2018BlogJessica Hemingway From LABI Although the governor has publicly requested that the state budget wait until the special session, the Senate voted 27-10 to pass the state budget on Tuesday. The bill largely funds healthcare but leave deficits in the TOPS program and significant reductions in various state agencies. Both Republican and Democratic senators have clearly expressed that it is their constitutional duty to pass a budget, but that they intend to seek additional revenue in the second special session to backfill critical state priorities. Monday, the governor issued a call for a second special session to begin next Tuesday, May 22nd. This will be the sixth special session called by the governor in the three years since he has been in office, again focusing on tax and fiscal policy. The call does not reveal any specific plan or strategy by the governor but instead is very broad, including major policy areas such as income tax, sales tax, tax credits, spending transparency, and the operating and capital budgets for the state. The Legislature is now officially seeking to adjourn early – as soon as this Friday, May 18th. Lawmakers are rushing to complete bills through the process prior to adjournment.