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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Concord Monitor- "Lawmakers take out the scalpels"

Lauren Dorgan reports in the Concord Monitor that House and Senate negotiators are focusing on the details of the state budget, rather than the bottom line numbers:

Negotiators from the House and Senate yesterday hashed over state funding for charter schools, computer systems, environmental services and more, often digging into small issues that could save the state a few hundred thousand here or a million there. Lawmakers hope to finalize a budget by the end of next week.

At one point, budget conference committee Chairwoman Marjorie Smith put the challenge this way: "All of us want to take limited dollars. We want to stretch those as far as it is humanly possible to stretch them and then stretch them a little more."

The Conference Committee has a June 18th deadline to approve the spending and revenue plans. Much of the heavy lifting waits until that deadline is looming.

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