At a Council of Governments meeting on Monday, Snowden said the session, which began a week ago, will last 90 days.
The biggest action of the first week, he said, was passing appropriations bills that will put money mainly at community colleges and IHL facilities for bad roofs.
Traditionally, he said, this money has been generated by bonds.
“This is the way we would like to do it. You don’t want to borrow money for long-term when, let’s face it, you have a volunteer department buy a fire truck, the truck is rotated out before it’s time to pay off the bond,” Snowden said. “That’s not really good business so we’re trying to appropriate for those things.”
Of course the state’s budget is always of serious concern to lawmakers, Snowden said. Even though the state’s revenue is up by about $230 million, the Joint Legislative Budget Committee is proposing to spend less because there will be more than $400 million less coming in this year since that money was from one-time appropriations.
Snowden says many lawmakers are being cautious about spending money.
“We’re still not back to the revenue levels that we enjoyed in 2008,” he said. “We hope to be back to that level in a year or two. We’re going to be in a challenging time with budgets for some time yet.”