The House has a $26.6-billion spending plan for the coming fiscal year, and now that plan is in the hands of the Senate.
Because legislative budget crafters and the Governor’s office couldn’t agree on an estimate of how much state revenue will roll in, in fiscal year 2015, the House carved the Governor’s budget proposal in two. It proposes taking what the legislature thinks there will be money for out of the state’s General Revenue. The larger amounts that the Governor projects would come from a new surplus revenue fund.
Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia) says it’s an interesting approach but it might not be necessary because general revenue growth so far has been closer to what Republic budget makers have predicted than the Governor’s projection.
“It’s looking like the Governor’s numbers are not going to be the actual numbers as we thought when we did our consensus revenue estimate with the House,” says Schaefer. “I think the likelihood of many of those things that are in that (surplus revenue) fund getting funded … it’s probably very unlikely that they’ll get funded.”
Schaefer says he has already started reviewing the House budget.
“We’ll go line-by-line like we always do and see what the House has funded with what I call (General Revenue) that we know is there versus (General Revenue) that in all probability may not be there.”
The legislature must send a budget to the Governor by 6 p.m. May 9.