I spent the morning in the Senate Finance Committee, which is one of the committees that determine where our money will be spent for the next two years.
I testified with a neutral position on SB 14, which would raise the marriage license fee by $5 and would deposit that money in the account that aids the victims of domestic violence. $20 of every marriage license fee already goes to that account.
A representative of the wedding chapel industry approached me and asked for our support of an amendment offered by Senator Maurice Washington that would tack on an extra $7 to the fee for certified copies of marriage certificates. The chapel industry has been in a downturn for quite some time and it feels that it would be very difficult to absorb any more costs. The amendment mentioned above may bring in most of the money that the original bill would bring in and would not affect any specific industry.
Given that the Chamber has no position on marriage licenses or the fees associated with them, I signed in as neutral and simply urged the committee to consider the amendment.
The next bill that the Finance Committee took up was SB 150, which would create a separate budget reserve account for K-12 education funding. Currently, if there is education money that has been unallocated after a biennium, it reverts to the state’s general fund. SB 150 would keep that unallocated money in a separate fund that could then be used for economic downturns like we are seeing today.
I testified in strong favor of this bill and reiterated the Chamber’s support for long-term spending reforms such as the one that this bill provides.
In a few minutes, the Senate takes up the room tax…