The 2018 legislative session is over. The 60-day session ended on time and with the most bills (317) passed since 2008. Of course, as you know, quantity does not always equal quality, and that was certainly not the case this year.
If I could sum up this session in one phrase, it would be “missed opportunity.” If there ever was a perfect time for state government to give taxpayers a break, this was the year. With nearly $2.4 billion more in additional revenue than we expected since the operating budget was adopted this past July, there should have been plenty to cut property taxes, reduce the business-and-occupation tax for our manufacturers, and invest in education, mental health and protecting our vulnerable, all while still maintaining a healthy emergency reserve.
Rather than take this approach, majority-party budget writers chose to raid the constitutionally protected rainy-day fund, using a budget trick that has been called a “felony gimmick.” Property taxpayers got only token relief, and not nearly enough has been saved for a rainy day.