As we've noted a few times now, liberal health care, low income, and labor advocates prefer the House budget over the Senate and governor's budget. The House budget is better on senior health care, General Assistance for the Unemployable (the Senate cuts $90 million this year from the $200 million program), and cuts Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

Although, asterisk: Besides announcing the cuts—$653 million worth—they still haven't announced where the money, $857 million, to pay for their savings is coming from. (Apparently, the House will outline their funding package tomorrow.)

Here's the other asterisk to note: The House's ending balance is $167 million less than the Senate's—meaning the House is "more willing to spend rainy day money on a rainy day" as one lefty lobbyist put it.

A philosophical difference? Maybe. However, the House also assumes $58 million more in federal money, "an overly optimistic" assumption according to Senate Democratic spokesman Jeff Reading. The House assumes $641 million in federal money while the Senate assumes $583 million.

Reading says the Senate's ending balance cushion—$595 million—was "designed to hedge against not having any money coming down from the feds ... our ending fund balance [$12 million more than their federal dollar line item] was designed to take care of the same amount of assumption that we have in the budget for federal dollars, and if they don't come, well then, that's where you would see it come off of."
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