The Senate passed its version of the budget Friday, after considering 34 amendments and adopting 18 to the bill. One of the largest amendments passed would cut $91 million from K-12 education funding.
One amendment intended to strip a measure cutting two percent of salaries of 100 series government employees, not including those in public education, generated considerable discussion.
Green River Senator John Hastert brought the amendment, saying a two percent salary cut would create a morale problem. Douglas Senator Brian Boner was against the amendment and said that they should put this cut in perspective.
“The very people who have worked tough shift work, the folks up in our coal mines, uranium mines – they’re taking 30 percent reductions. There’s no overtime, and that’s if they can even hold on to their jobs at all. So I just urge the body to maintain a little bit of perspective,” said Boner.
That amendment failed, and the cuts will be included in the version of the budget.
Other adopted amendments appropriated funds to suicide prevention programs, emergency mental health care under Title 25, emergency relocation of inmates, and directed the agriculture department to eliminate vacant positions, among other things. The Senate’s budget bill now moves to the House for consideration.