October 30, 2015
State Budget Issues
The Governor announced last week that weaker-than-anticipated income tax revenues had opened up a nearly $129 million shortfall in the budget that was approved in June of this year.
In an attempt to fix this shortfall, he asked legislative leaders from both sides of the aisle to meet and offer proposals, as well as to consider the possibility of a special legislative session. All signs point to a special session in late November, early December.
While Republicans are at the table now, they are not expected to stay and participate for much longer, leaving the Governor and the Democrats to figure out this mess. The Republicans will point fingers during the election process next summer and fall.
The Democrats want the Medicaid cuts that were taken away in the 1% rescission in September restored.
The Governor is looking for more concessions from state employees, a transportation “lock box”, which means the money cannot be touched during other shortfalls, the possibility of separating out Tier 1 employees out of the Pension grouping and refinancing that Plan.
In the end, there will probably be a combination of all three. The key to all of this will be how the Senate and House reach consensus in their caucuses. We will be watching and reporting this on the Blog.