We’re still combing through last week’s committee reports, sorting out details from this morning’s Finance meeting and waiting for the full budget documents, but we’re starting to get a picture of what the House proposes in its budget. Here are a dozen things that struck me:

1. Spending is same as the Senate $22.9 Billion is 2.5% growth, under the growth of inflation and population

2. $359.6 in tax cuts over 2 years – less than the $1B proposed by Senate

3. Increases the standard deduction:

$1,000 for married, filing jointly

$800 for heads of household

$500 for singles

4. Adjusts the tax code:

Reduces franchise tax

Repeals mill machinery tax

Exempts or refunds some sales tax

Increases cap on mortgage expense and property tax deduction

5. Sets aside $2 Million for a risk and vulnerability assessment of IT – laying foundation for a transparency site. Senate funds and directs the transparency site now.

6. More money appropriated for opportunity scholarships

7. Focus of K-12 –

A. workforce development/job training

B. Strengthening classroom instruction

C. Streamlining administrative functions

8. Pushback on the State Board of Education although kinder than the Senate’s approach

9. School Funding Task Force may be most significant thing in the budget.

10. 1.6% COLA for retirees but just for one year.

11. Expecting 3 retirement and pension provisions and salary increases but don’t have details yet.

12. Senate did, House does not: change food stamp eligibility, eliminate funding for the Governor’s School