Crisis averted, for now. The Senate voted 87 to 11 to pass temporary funding of federal agencies into early 2024. President Biden is expected to sign the bill before current federal funding expires Friday at 11:59 pm. The continuing resolution funds at current levels with no policy restrictions some agencies until Jan. 19 and the rest until Feb. 2.
Another House appropriations bill has been delayed. House GOP leadership announced yesterday that legislation to fund the departments of Labor, Health and Education will have to wait until after Thanksgiving for a vote. The conservative wing of the Republican majority opposed the legislation and had pushed for steep cuts—about $60 billion—that too many others in the GOP would likely not have supported.
Wisconsin’s GOP-controlled legislature’s $2 billion tax cut plan faces veto threat. Democratic Gov. Tony Evers is expected to veto the bill that was formally approved by lawmakers yesterday, largely along party lines. The Republican bill would cut the income tax rate from 5.3% to 4.4% for individuals earning between $27,630 and $304,170 and married couples earning between $18,420 and $405,550.
Alabama lawmakers are studying the impact of cutting grocery taxes. A commission met this week to examine the effect of cutting the state’s sales tax rate for groceries from 4 percent to 3 percent. The new rate went into effect in September. Per the Alabama Daily News, a legislative fiscal officer told the commission that the 3 percent tax on groceries raised $25.4 million out of the $463 million put into the state’s Education Trust Fund during October 2023. Depending on the growth in education spending, the sales tax on groceries could continue to drop to 2 percent next year and zero out by 2026.
The check is in the mail, again, in Minnesota. The Minnesota Department of Revenue is reissuing nearly 150,000 one-time tax rebates. These are checks that had been issued in August and September but not cashed within their 60-day window. A batch of reissued checks are going out this week, and a second batch will go out next month.
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