Coming into this legislative week, the question on everyone’s mind was “do we have a number?” With budget writers from both chambers staying over the weekend to negotiate, there was hope that a spending target would be agreed to by the time members, staff and lobbyists began filing back into 16 West Jones St. on Monday. Reaching a spending target is the first step in putting the final budget packages together – with the total budget number set, the Chairs of each Appropriations Subcommittee can be given a certain amount of taxpayer dollars to work with as they negotiate the line-item spending for their respective subject areas. Until the number is set, negotiations can’t begin and the process is deadlocked, as it has been for weeks this session.  Read the full report here.