Home arrow COSA Blogs arrow The latest forecast: State revenue up $152 million
The latest forecast: State revenue up $152 million Print E-mail

chuck-bennettby Chuck Bennett, Director of Governmental Relations

Legislators opposed to new taxes but supporting increased spending for state police, community colleges and higher education got a reprieve today when state economists reported the final revenue forecast of the 2007 legislative session.

The report, released this morning to a joint meeting of legislative revenue committees showed an additional $152 million in income over previous estimates. This forecast is the one used by legislative budget writers to set the 2007-09 spending plan for the state. In total it shows legislators will have nearly $15.5 billion in total resources. Growth occurred in the General Fund revenues by 2.4% ($306.7 million) and lottery revenues were projected to increase 6.4% ($83.7 million). These funds, combined with a beginning balance of $92.3 million, administrative actions of $7 million and legislative adopted spending of $309.4 million, which is primarily the Rainy Day Fund, yields the $152 million.

Immediate reaction in the Capitol was that this “new” revenue will be used to meet nearly $100 million worth of requests from community colleges and higher education interests as well as additional state troopers. Another factor that hasn’t been set yet is the regular Human Resources “reshoot,” which attempts to align its spending with demand for its services. The reshoot rarely if ever shows that Human Resources is in balance and not needing additional resources to meet case load increases.

There are a variety of other programs seeking funds during the remainder of the session but it is unlikely that programs not already included in the Co-Chairs’ budget, which has allocated $6.245 billion to K-12, will be funded in its final form. 

It also seems clear that there will be no major tax increases or overhauls this year. If there is a change in the corporate taxes, which has been the subject of most interest, it is only likely to come in a token increase in the corporate minimum which has been stuck at $10 for several generations (since 1931).

This latest revenue forecast seems to assure that K-12's $6.245 billion is secure.  Still unresolved in light of the increased revenues is the $55 million shortfall in the K-12 requested budget level. Lobbyists for K-12 will be making the case over the next several days that the additional funds would play a major part in recouping huge program losses experienced during the past decade. Whether legislators will be sympathetic as they consider other state program needs remains to be seen. There also are a variety of programs totaling close to $20 million that have been proposed for support from the State School Fund. These programs range from teacher/administrator mentoring ($5 million) to $75,000 for "Chess for Success" funding. There is a proposal to fund school gardens and $1 million to set up a voluntary audits program by the Secretary of State.

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This page was last updated on Monday, June 18, 2007 .