We’re hearing some mixed messages, on the national level, regarding the economy and whether things have started to turn the corner. But the person who watches Missouri’s budget isn’t sending any mixed messages, insisting things have not turned around.
"For state revenue collections it certainly hasn’t turned around yet," said Budget Director Linda Luebbering in an interview with the Missourinet. "We ended last fiscal year, which ended June 30th, at a -6.9 percent compared to the previous fiscal year."
And July’s start of the 2010 fiscal year didn’t see a turnaround, either.
"July, which would be the first month of our new fiscal year, was not a good month," said Luebbering. "Revenues declined in the month of July, compared to last July, by 7.5 percent."
As for those indications, at the national level, that the worst is behind us, Luebbering isn’t about to have Missouri jump on that bandwagon.
"Although there are some signs in the overall economy that things may be kind of hitting bottom and perhaps going to be turning around soon, revenue collections at the state level tend to lag behind and I think, most importantly, won’t improve significantly for the state of Missouri until more people get back to work, " said Luebbering.
Luebbering cautions Governor Jay Nixon will not release withheld funds until the state’s revenue picture improves.