Legislative budget-writing panel about to enter drama-filled final days
DOVER — Budget-writing lawmakers continued to defer on major elements of the state government’s proposed spending plan Tuesday, leaving more than $2 billion yet to be decided.
With three of the five scheduled budget markup days in the books, few hard decisions have been made.
Lawmakers have barely put a dent in the multimillion-dollar shortfall facing the state.
On Tuesday the Joint Finance Committee continued what it started last week, approving “boilerplate” language and sections unchanged from the current budget while avoiding decisions on many major and controversial areas.
About $72.9 million remains, but the JFC co-chairs reiterated the budget will be finished by the end of Thursday’s markup session, even as Rep. Melanie George-Smith, D-Bear, acknowledged at one point the committee continues to “kick the can down the road on votes.”