2023 Legislative session kicks off
You can read more about the new makeup of the House and Senate here.
This is the year of the ‘short’ session – only thirty working days. This short session consists of two parts. The first part, which took place this week, involved leadership being elected, both chambers adopting their procedural rules, filing bills, and legislative training.
Legislators have returned home until the first Tuesday in February, when they will resume the second part of the legislative session, the final 26 working days. The state constitution mandates that the session must end by March 30th. During short sessions, when budgets are not traditionally passed, any appropriation or revenue-raising bill must receive a three-fifths majority vote of all members of each chamber instead of a simple majority margin.
Income Tax Reduction
One of the top priorities this first week for Republican legislators was to continue the move away from the individual income tax. HB 1, sponsored by Rep. Brandon Reed, affirms the income tax reduction from 4.5% to 4.0% beginning January 1, 2024. This tax reduction was set in motion last session through HB 8. That legislation set revenue triggers for the income tax to decrease over time, with the goal to eventually have a 0% income tax rate.
The state met requirements for the first trigger, allowing the income tax to reduce from 5.0% to 4.5% on January 1, 2023. All future reductions require affirmative action by the General Assembly. HB 1 provides this affirmative action for the second reduction set to phase in next year. The bill passed the House this week and is expected to pass the Senate when legislators return in February.
There were very few committee meetings this week. The House Elections, Constitutional Amendments & Intergovernmental Affairs committee met and the sole topic was elections. Secretary of State Michael Adams testified along with the State Board of Elections, reviewing the November election and looking ahead. Both were complimentary of the overall handling by county clerks of the November election and there were suggestions made to address the long lines experienced at some polling places. You can read the details of that meeting here.
Access to meetings and information
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