This week is the last week of the 2021 legislative session. The last day of the session, also known as Sine Die, is this Saturday, April 4th. Legislators have been meeting over the weekend to discuss appropriations and budget items.
The Department of Mental Health appropriations bill (SB2926) went to a conference committee, and the House and Senate adopted the conference report. The funding levels that were adopted in the conference report are slightly higher than the FY 2022 budget request made by the Department.
The House and Senate also agreed earlier this week on the K-12 school funding bill (HB 1387). Overall K-12 funding went up by about 4%, and included pay raises for teachers and teacher assistants.
The state will also be receiving about $6 billion from the federal American Rescue Act. While the details on how that money will be spent are being worked out, nearly $1.6 billion is earmarked to local school districts for K-12 education, and an undetermined amount will go directly to state agencies such as the Departments of Health, Mental Health and Human Services.
The state will receive half of the funding from the American Rescue Act sometime in May, with the rest coming over the next year, and will have a 3-year window to spend it.