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Senate backs down – sort of – on budget process

[1]Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and his crew appear to have backed down from yesterday’s announced plan (that was first reported by my colleague Chris Fitzsimon [2]) to unveil their version of the state budget without bothering to hold Appropriations subcommittee meetings.

But don’t count just yet on any kind of in-depth or truly participatory process. Annnouncements released this morning indicate that the subcommittees will meet tomorrow at 2:30 in the afternoon. In the legislative world, scheduling a meeting for the middle of the afternoon on a Thursday –a time at which most members are already well on their way back to their districts for the weekend — is a little like scheduling a public health lecture in Daytona Beach on the first day of spring break.

We hope to be proved wrong but remain skeptical that these meetings will amount to much.

Updated: Mark Binker has the full skinny here [3]. Subcommittees will just review House budget tomorrow. Still no subcommittee meetings to review Senate plan becasue it will supposedly be much thinner.