Office of Planning & Budgeting

March 12, 2021

Legislative Session Update

This week marks the halfway point of the 2021 “long” biennial legislative session. We are currently tracking 316 bills and looking ahead towards a busy remainder of session. Major policy topics this year have included diversity, equity, and inclusion; climate and sustainability; and health care. We have posted a full list of bills the University is tracking on this page, which is updated regularly.

Earlier this week marked the House of Origin cutoff, which means that bills needed to be voted out of the chamber that they originated in (either House or Senate). Bills that did not pass a chamber are now considered “dead” unless they are later deemed necessary to implement the budget (NTIB). Bills that are still “alive” will now need to pass through policy and fiscal committees in the opposite house, before receiving a final vote on the floor of the opposite chamber. Any legislation that passes both chambers is then remitted to the Governor for approval, veto, or partial veto.

On the budget side, we are preparing for the release of the March revenue forecast from the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council (ERFC), which is expected on or around March 17. Budget proposals from leadership in the House and Senate will follow later this month or in early April, and will use the March projections as the resource base for crafting their proposals. While we anticipate that the forecast will demonstrate continued growth, it is unlikely to completely eliminate the state revenue deficit resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. We are monitoring the recent passage of additional temporary federal emergency relief for states and local governments, which is welcome news for the overall budget picture.

OPB will release a budget brief summarizing the House and Senate budget proposals when they are released. After that, leadership in the two chambers will convene to reach compromise budgets in advance of the end of the legislative session on April 25.

As always, we will be releasing summaries of the March Revenue Forecast on our blog. Budget briefs will be posted on our Briefs page.