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NO SUPPLEMENTAL BUDGET SESSION AFTER ALL

April 21, 2004 – Senate President David Jones announced late Wednesday afternoon that the Thursday Committee of the Whole meeting to hear Gov. Charles W. Turnbull's proposed fiscal year 2004 supplemental budget, a session made public on Tuesday, has been canceled.
Jones and other members of the Senate majority met with Turnbull and members of his financial team on Wednesday afternoon but did not reach any consensus on the governor's budget proposals.
"We had planned to deal with that initiative on Thursday," Jones said on WVWI Radio's evening news, "but in light of the fact that it wasn't sent, we won't be ready tomorrow."
Jones said later that the governor has not "officially" submitted his budget, "so we can't really act on that until it is done."
Regarding Wednesday's meeting with administration officials, he said: "We discussed a number of issues, not just the budget today, but no commitments were made on anything. There was no outcome, except we discussed issues of mutual concern."
This scenario is eerily reminiscent of the multitude of meetings the majority senators held with administration officials over a period of months late last year in efforts to wrangle out an FY 2004 budget well after the Oct. 1 start of the fiscal year. Senate sessions were scheduled and then canceled; meetings with the two branches were scheduled and then canceled.
The Senate ultimately rejected the governor's budget and passed its own on Nov. 25; on Dec. 23, Turnbull summarily vetoed the whole thing and announced that the FY 2003 budget would carry over for all of FY 2004 but that he would submit a supplemental budget "in the very near future."
The summary of a Nov. 22, 2003, Source report on the previous day's Senate actions, reads:
"The Senate convened at mid-day Friday, two hours behind schedule, to take up the fiscal year 2004 budget. About 20 minutes later, the session was recessed until the minority senators could get copies of the amended bills they were to vote on. The recess was to be until 3 p.m., which came and went. And eventually everybody went, not to return, officially at least, until Monday morning."
On Tuesday, in addition to announcing that the Committee of the Whole would meet on Thursday, Jones also said a full Senate session had been scheduled for Monday to take up the governor's supplemental budget. He said the agenda would be released on Wednesday.
On Wednesday, Jones said the full session is still scheduled for Monday, but the budget will not be on the agenda. What will be considered, he said, are two nominations for the Waste Management Authority board, a bill appropriating funds to purchase Vessup Bay property, and some rezoning requests.
As of Wednesday night, the Source had not yet received an official agenda for Monday.

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