“Every year at this time, leaders of the Legislature are asked to assign a grade to the session. Unfortunately, there is only one grade I can give to this session – an Incomplete.
“The most important job we have every year is to write the budget and fund government. This year, we haven’t managed to get that done yet. I am confident we will get the job done. There will not be a government shutdown. But I wouldn’t be telling you the truth if I didn’t say I was disappointed.
“Senate Leadership came into this session knowing that writing a budget would be difficult. There were some positive signs in the first month. We made an agreement on funding for corrections after the House had refused to acknowledge the issue for eight months. And we also made an agreement to invest $125 million in our state’s crumbling roads and bridges.
“But in all other discussions, when we tried to talk about funding government, our counterparts in the House refused to discuss anything but tax cuts. If you want to know why didn’t get a budget written by the close of business today, why serious budget negotiations really didn’t take place until this week, that’s the reason. We spent four months talking about budget issues and they spent four months talking about tax cuts.
“From the first day until the last the House leadership has been focused on the next election. We have been and will continue to be focused on the next generation. Budget talks have continued today and I am confident that in the next few days we will arrive at an agreement on the framework for a state budget.