Wednesday, November 19, 2008

State Lawmakers brace for upcoming budget cuts

State officials expect to be short $1.3 billion to keep funding at the current level in the spending year that starts next summer.

After several flush years, legislators suddenly are faced with a downturn in the state’s finances.

George Silbernagel, chief budget analyst for the House, said income tax revenue is no longer the lone “boogieman” in the state’s financial outlook.

Legislative Fiscal Officer Gordon Monk said the thinking was the state would be fine for the current fiscal year if oil prices stayed in the low $70s. Oil is dipping below $60 a barrel, he said. “Clearly, there are concerns,” Monk said.

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