A combination of factors have led to the tightest state budget in years. New State Budget Director Brian Long says despite the tightness of the budget, the Holden administration is committed to fully funding schools and using tobacco settlement money to offer a new health care initiative.Long says the problems are slow revenue collections and mandatory spending rising faster than expected. The state budget for the fiscal year that begins in July will total around $18 billion. Long says his office has projected the smallest income growth in years and instituted $150 million in cuts throughout state government to keep the books balanced.
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