For the past couple of weeks, Senate Committees have been meeting virtually to work through executive nominations—these are appointments by the governor to various posts in state agencies and on boards and commissions. These nominations must be approved first in committee and then by the full Senate.
Now that May has arrived, we’re in the final month of the session and the spotlight returns to completing work on the budget—a task made far more difficult because of the downturn in the economy as a result of the pandemic. That situation caused further reductions in already low energy prices, which has also changed the budget picture. Tough decisions will have to be made, but our priority is to do all we can to protect resources for core functions of government.
We’ll also be prioritizing the legislation that was still making its way through the process when the session was paused. There are some measures that must be acted on this year due to time constraints. There may be some bills that are good public policy but that can be deferred until next year. Without a doubt, the pandemic is making an impact on the 2020 session in ways we couldn’t have foreseen when we first convened back in February.
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