Budget and education update

As you may have heard in the news, the Legislature is currently in a special session to continue work toward a comprehensive solution for our public schools and to complete the state’s new two-year budget.

While I believe we should have finished our work on time, any solution will require both parties from the Senate and the House to work together moving forward.

Both chambers have offered different visions for our education system and state spending, but finding common ground is possible and essential.

In the Senate, we approved the Education Equality Act that makes historic investments in our public schools and ties funding to the actual needs of students. We also approved a budget that improves mental health treatment and protects important social safety-net programs, without raising taxes.

Our colleagues in the House also approved significant K-12 funding increases, but protect an education system that disproportionately fails students from low-income communities. Their budget also relies on a proposed $8 billion tax increase that they have yet to actually pass.

In the coming weeks budget writers and education leaders will continue working together to identify the areas of agreement, and build consensus over the items on which we disagree.

I will continue to provide updates on our progress throughout the special session.

If you have any questions about these issues or others, please contact me.