The start of the 2011 Legislative Session has started and will continue for 15 weeks to the end of April – at least that’s what the state constitution provides. Given the poor fiscal health of the state, the Legislature may need extra time to figure out how to reduce the budget shortfall. Expect immediate budget action on the current biennium as time is of the essence to find about a billion dollars in savings just to keep the state in the black by the end of June. In discussions with budget staff, this may prove a more difficult task than actually solving the bigger $4 billion plus budget shortfall for the next 2-year budget cycle that starts July 1. There’s a long way to go and a short time to get there.