Legislature’s Budget Coming on Friday
Ending weeks of speculation on Smith Hill, legislative leaders have announced their plan to unveil the 2008 budget.While you’re waiting with baited breath for the legislature’s plan, for some light reading, check out this report on the fiscal health of the states compiled by the National Governors’ Association (h/t the WPRO-AM news department)…
The release is scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday in House Finance Committee Room 35 in the State House basement.
The committee posted the meeting at 2 p.m. today, as 48 hours notice is required for all public meetings. If the schedule goes as planned, legislators will review the budget article by article Friday afternoon.
The process can take as little as a couple hours or can run through the night. Once approved by the committee, there is a mandatory seven-day waiting period before the full House can vote on the budget.
Most states continue to experience stable financial conditions in fiscal 2007. This has been due in large part to continued revenue growth that has exceeded budgeted expectations. As a result, many states have been able to absorb persistent and mounting spending pressures in areas such as health care, infrastructure, education, employee pension systems, and employee benefits….Guess who was one of the three states unable to pay for everything it had budgeted for?
Although most states continue to experience stable fiscal conditions, a handful of states have not been so fortunate. Three states were forced to make midyear budget cuts totaling approximately $170 million in fiscal 2007.
If Rhode Island is facing continuing shortfalls when the rest of the country is booming, what’s going to happen in a time of national-scale economic slowdown, if the structural causes of our fiscal problems haven’t been addressed?