December revenue forecasts revealed
State revenues are expected to grow at a modest pace in the next few years. That’s based on new forecasts unveiled Monday. State lawmakers are still preaching caution as they head into a budget session.
State fiscal analysts predict revenues will grow by 2.2% in the next fiscal year and 2.9% the year after that. That would mean lawmakers have a little more than a billion dollars more in the next state budget than they did in the last one. Senate Appropriations Committee chair Luke Kenley said after suffering through an economic crisis the last four years, he’s still in “hope for the best, plan for the worst” mode.
“I’m kind of having a hard time getting rid of that attitude that I don’t want to start promising too much and doing too much until we’ve got the ability to do that on a pretty visible basis,” said Kenley.
House Ways and Means chair Tim Brown said the state budget committee has already heard from plenty of groups and agencies that want more money particularly those which saw cuts during the recession.
“Adding those all up we could easily go through what our growth increases are projected to be,” Brown said.
Both Brown and Kenley agree finalizing the next state budget will be easier once the revenue forecast is updated again in April just before the end of the legislative session.