House and Senate budget committees voted out their respective General Appropriations Acts and related implementing and conforming bills. The implementing bill generally implements one-year changes to statutory law as a result of budgetary changes in the appropriations bill, while the various conforming bills make permanent changes to statutory law. For the upcoming fiscal year, the House has proposed a $66.5 billion budget, while the Senate has proposed a $69.8 billion budget. Both proposals eliminate more than 5,000 state positions, reduce per-student education funding by approximately six percent, and require state workers to contribute three percent of their pay to their retirement funds, among other changes. The difference between the chambers in the total budget amount is due primarily to the inclusion in the Senate budget of the budgets of the clerks of court and of the state's five water management districts. The budget cuts are a result of a loss of more than $2 billion in federal stimulus dollars as well as lower-than-expected tax revenues. Both chambers will take up and pass their respective proposals on the floor later this week. Once passed, procedural motions will be adopted to begin the budget conference process. Budget negotiations generally begin at the individual budget committee level. Issues that are not resolved at that level are then “bumped up” to the chairs of the appropriations committees and, if issues remain after the appropriations chairs have deliberated, these issues go to the House speaker and Senate president for a final resolution.