Tentative House Budget Schedule


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Thanks to the Ohio Municipal League for catching this, the following is a rough calendar of roughly how the House plans to move the budget bill through their chamber:

  • next week, subcommittees wrap up hearing from agencies and interested parties
  • the week of April 11, we’re back in full Finance for public testimony and subcommittees recommend amendments to the Chair
  • a substitute bill will be accepted by the full committee on April 28 with more public testimony on the 29th and May 2nd.
  • the committee will vote May 3rd and the bill will be on the House floor on Thursday, May 5th

The amendment process is always interesting and takes place entirely behind closed doors.  (And hopefully fiscalyearzero can jump in here and shed more light on this if I’ve got it wrong).

Hundreds — if not thousands — of amendments will be offered and submitted to the Chairman from both Democrats and Republicans. The Kasich administration will submit their own amendments – usually things they overlooked when putting the bill together the first time around. House GOP leadership drafts a list and gets feedback from the administration to find out which items are going to be acceptable, and which they really cannot tolerate. Sometimes there will be horse-trading as the administration bargains to get some things it needs in exchange for accepting something a member in the majority caucus would like to see enacted.

Amendments from the minority democrats are unlikely to see the light of day when the process concludes. What typically happens is that once leadership has decided on the amendments it will support, it drafts a substitute version of the bill with the changes made, reintroduces it in committee, who then votes to adopt it as the new working version. Individual amendments can still be offered in committee, which is what the Democrats will do to call attention to their issues, but the vast majority will be voted down along party lines.

We’ll talk more about it when the date gets closer, but the process is not very transparent. The day the substitute bill is adopted, budget-watchers will get a list of bullet points briefly describing some of the amendments. But that means, unless you are a lobbyist who pushes an amendment and gets a legislator to carry it, you won’t know what’s even being considered until the sub bill is adopted, and by then it’s pretty much too late. If you don’t like something in the sub bill, you basically have a day or two to meet with committee members, find a sponsor, draft language and work the committee to get enough votes to pass it.

We will do our best to report on whatever rumored amendments are being pushed by interest groups as the process moves forward, but we’re also relying on readers to share what they’re hearing.

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