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Senate Budget Kicks the Can to Next Biennium

Posted by Kim Justice at Feb 24, 2014 01:10 PM |
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The Senate’s proposed 2014 Supplemental Budget would close out the current budget cycle with no eye towards the future, leaving huge shortfalls to be dealt with next year. 

The proposal keeps state spending in pace with changing costs and caseloads, and makes some tweaks to overall investment decisions, resulting in a net $95.7 million in additional funding. While there are some questionable areas of savings resulting from agency “under-expenditures” (we will continue to review this), the biennium is expected to close out with a $390 million positive balance. 

But the Senate’s proposed budget is short-sighted and doesn't look beyond the current budget cycle. 

Lawmakers will need to boost basic education investments by roughly $2 billion in the next two-year budget cycle. But under the Senate’s proposal, there will be only $63 million in available resources. And that’s a rosy outlook which assumes $104 million more in revenue than the most recent Economic & Revenue Forecast Council’s projections. Without additional revenue, the state is facing at least a $2 billion shortfall in the next budget cycle. 

The future of our children and the prosperity of our state can no longer be ignored. Lawmakers need to stop neglecting our challenges and instead begin working to solve them.

Stay tuned for more in-depth analysis. 

The release of the House Budget will come later this week. 

 

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