The House concluded its first half this week by approving its version of a roughly $32 billion two-year state budget. The spending plan increases K-12 funding by just 1.1 percent and 1.7 percent in each year while aiming for a nearly $2 billion budget reserve. The budget also includes a $1-per-pack cigarette tax increase – which Senate GOP leaders say isn’t popular in their caucus.
The House and Senate each approved an abortion bill. The House bill requires doctors to tell women their medication-induced abortions might be reversible, and to also tell them there’s no scientific evidence for that claim. The Senate bill requires parents be notified if their underage daughter goes to court to bypass the rule requiring parental consent for an abortion.
And a pair of measures died on the Senate floor. A hate crimes bill – creating enhancements for crimes perpetrated in part due to the victim’s characteristics – didn’t get called down on deadline day. And a measure mandating schools start their calendar no sooner than late August failed because of a 25-25 tie.