Oil and Gas taxes take the forefront at the legislature this week – but that’s not all on the menu for the next few days.
The Senate expects to open the covers of its version of an oil tax bill this coming Friday. It will come first to the Resources Committee where members and attorneys are still working on some of the details – and where others will be decided in open votes of the committee. Details are so far sketchy of what will be there, although it is expected to be a modification of the governor’s bill that passed the House last year – and it will not appear as a take-it-or-leave-it measure. The Senate is looking for compromise and change.
In other matters, the House and Senate Judiciary Committees will hear about the Coastal Management Initiative. Presuming it gets the correct number and balance of signatures from voters, it will go on the ballot this year unless the legislature passes a substantially similar bill to replace it.
One other high point will be in the Senate Education Committee. After passing a per-student funding increase last week, the committee opens the issue of paying for pupil transportation funding. The bill on the table would pick up all the expenses to a predetermined amount for each district While the governor has opposed any formula increases, he has left the door open for flat-fee increases such as energy and transportation.