Although the House and Senate are not meeting this week, the filing of legislation continues. On Thursday, State Sen. Jane Nelson, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, filed SB 1, the Senate’s base budget bill.

Nelson’s description of the bill notes that the bill includes:

Funding for the full Foundation School Program entitlement, reflecting changes made last session to the school finance formulas, including:

  • $3.1 billion to fund enrollment growth for public education, based on an estimated 36,000 additional students per year
  • $1 billion in additional state aid related to property tax compression in the 2022-23 biennium

Lawmakers continue to express a strong desire to honor the levels of education funding approved last session in HB 3, despite what will be a difficult budget year.

Some of the proposed riders attached to the budget describe modest reductions in a number of programs, including the Student Success Initiative/Community Partnerships, School Improvement and Governance Support, the Early Childhood School Readiness Program, the Child Nutrition Program, funding for JJAEPs and the Juvenile Justice Department, the Advanced Placement Initiative, Teach for America, T-STEM, P-TECH, Early College High School, Math and Literacy Achievement Academies, and more.

SB 1 also includes:

  • $5 billion, an increase of $452.8 million, for payroll growth and continued reforms to the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) passed last session through SB 12
  • $897.6 million, an increase of $39.5 million, for statutorily required contributions to TRS-Care to maintain current health insurance premiums and benefits for our retired teachers

TRS does not anticipate needing supplemental funding (as it has many times in recent years) to keep TRS-Care stable. The budget does not include increased funding for active employee health insurance.