May 19, 2009

So what does it all add up to?

By Randy Hodgins

Now that the Governor has signed the operating budget (earlier she signed the capital and transportation budgets), just how much do all of the budgets total?  You can find the answer ($69.5 billion) along with a fascinating analysis here. Joe Turner of The News Tribune breaks down how lawmakers plugged holes in the budget, noting that more challenges lie ahead:

Only about half of the $9 billion gap between spending and revenue is being closed by spending cuts. The other half is being plugged by one-time-only money – the $3 billion in federal stimulus funding, the $777 million from money that ordinarily would be used to build water and sewer systems and public school buildings and $700 million from savings.

What happens if the economy does not recover in two to three years?

“We know that 2011-13 will present some significant challenges,” Victor Moore, the governor’s budget director said Monday. “It’s a matter of degrees, of how fast and how well the economy rebounds. I’m gonna need $4 billion in real revenue growth.”

States can’t assume President Barack Obama and Congress will step up with another stimulus package, as they did earlier this year, he said.

The whole article provides some good perspective on what just happened and what budget-writers will be watching in upcoming months.

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