"I asked lawmakers to make real progress this week on a key budget issue -- making a technical fix to our estate tax law to keep existing revenues for the Education Legacy Trust Fund.
"Time is of the essence on this issue. If the Legislature does not act, the Department of Revenue will have to begin processing refunds next week -- potentially reducing the Education Legacy Trust Fund by $45 million.
"But I'm discouraged that a bill approved today by the Senate Ways and Means Committee would take us in the wrong direction. Under that bill, starting in 2015, the state tax on estates valued at over $2 million would be cut dramatically. We have a long-term commitment to education under the Supreme Court's McCleary decision, but, on this piece of the puzzle, the Senate committee passed only a short-sighted fix.
"I'm becoming increasingly concerned about the pace of budget negotiations. All sides need to realize that it is time for significant compromise."