The 2017 Legislative Session is official underway and it appears that a main topic will be the state’s finances. Speaking on behalf of the governor’s office, state Finance Director Clinton Carter shared with lawmakers today, a request for a four percent cost of living raise for state employees. Carter told lawmakers that both the General Fund and education budgets are expecting slight revenue increases in 2018. Carter said the 4 percent raises would cost about $19 million and would be possible through an increase in online sales tax collection. However, Carter also warned that if Congress doesn’t fully fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program in 2018, the state would have to pay 20 percent at a cost of about $91 million dollars.