The House Finance & Appropriations Committee fleshed out the executive budget with much anticipated legislative language March 29 as members heard the administration explain provisions designed to help local governments and schools weather cuts.

Members replaced the placeholder version of the $55.5 billion two-year spending plan with a substitute more than 3200 page re-write of HB 153. 

Committee members then had a chance to hear Office of Budget and Management Policy Advisor Randy Cole explain how the measure would help local entities cope with reduced revenue. Mr. Cole also serves as Controlling Board president.  

The proposed budget would reduce or eliminate a number of state-imposed mandates, rules and regulations that drive up local government costs with little or no benefit to taxpayers, he said, citing the requirement for public entities to pay union-scale wages for construction projects.

“We are not eliminating the prevailing wage, but rather modernizing it by increasing thresholds. However, we are exempting Department of Development projects and state colleges and universities,” he said.