A Senate Review
This year’s legislative session wrapped up last month, concluding with the Senate giving final approval to next year’s state budget. The 2019 session, which has been called one of the best in years, focused on milestone achievements including major investments in classroom funding, a pay raise for teachers for the second year in a row, transformational government accountability measures, increased funding for criminal justice reforms, the passage of constitutional carry, and many other successes.
The budget for Fiscal Year 2020 also allows the state to put $400 million into the Rainy Day Fund, which currently already has a balance of upwards of $480 million, in addition to saving another $200 million in a separate state savings account. This will ensure the state is properly prepared for an economic downturn without jeopardizing core services or being forced to take funding from other sources. We were also able to secure $29 million for a fund to preserve Medicaid provider rates during times of economic uncertainty.
Education got a significant boost, with $157.9 million in increased funding for public schools, with $74.4 million in new classroom funding and an average $1,220 pay raise for teachers. $18 million has been appropriated for CareerTech and another $28 million for higher education. We also passed Senate Bill 441 to increase classroom instructional time to benefit students.
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