The Senate passed their version of the budget for fiscal year 2012 yesterday evening with no changes in the municipal health care measures proposed by the Ways and Means Committee.

It includes provisions for a 30-day negotiating period (with more room for input from employee committees than the House plan), an impartial three-member panel to settle any undecided changes after the 30-day period, and the requirement of local approval for adoption. If the plan proposed by a municipality puts a greater portion of the cost onto employees than the average GIC plan does, then the panel can consider proposals that unions put forward. Two thirds of estimated savings are guaranteed to the municipalities.

Read the MMA's summary of the Senate's plan here. Check out our point-by-point comparison of this plan and previously proposed plans from this year, and read more background, here.

Now, a committee will reconcile the House and Senate Budgets and submit a draft to both houses for final approval, then put the budget before the governor to sign.


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