In the legislature last week the budget battle continued. At the end of the week the Senate joined the House in providing additional funds to offset the governor’s deep cut to vital state services. The Senate bill would take $58 million from the state’s reserves and sprinkle it among the most severely affected state agencies – most notably public education. The measure will now come to the House and then most likely to a conference committee where differences will be reconciled. While the Senate bill is a start, we need to do more to offset the cuts. Under any scenario, all state agencies and institutions will be cut both this year and next, and there will be a loss of state jobs and services to the public. Unless we act to restore some of the cuts, it is inevitable that local property taxes will go up and tuition at our colleges and universities will rise to unsustainable levels. For that reason, in the House we will continue to fight for reasonable measures to mitigate the impact of the revenue shortfalls.