The pace of work at the General Assembly increased this week as bill introductions continued and committees held initial meetings.
A consensus revenue forecast released this week by the legislature's Fiscal Research Division and the Office of State Budget and Management estimated that the State is on track to have a $150.8 million revenue surplus for the current fiscal year, about 0.6 percent more than the expected. The forecast estimates revenue in fiscal year 2019-2020 will increase $733.2 million over the current year, and increase another $987.3 million in fiscal year 2020-2021. These projections help guide legislators when assembling the budget bill.
Redistricting (H69 )
A bipartisan plan to create an 11-member "nonpartisan" redistricting commission was filed Wednesday. The commission would propose new legislative and congressional maps to the General Assembly after each decennial census (the next one will occur in 2020) and would be composed of four registered Democrats, four Republicans, and three unaffiliated members. Legislative leaders would submit nominees and members would be chosen based on a random selection system established by the State Auditor. Similar bills have been filed in previous years but were unsuccessful.
Liquor Sales (report)
The General Assembly’s Program Evaluation Division this week released its report on potential changes to the ABC system. It included recommendations on modernizing the current system or moving to privatization of sales. Legislation on the topic is expected to be introduced and discussed during the session.