Senate Majority Leader: Annual Budget Deficit To Exceed $600 million
Or it could be a billion dollars. Either the Majority Leader or the Valley Breeze was unclear.
Whatever the case, Senate Majority Leader Daniel Connors imparted this news in a meeting Monday (last) with Cumberland officials. From Thursday’s Valley Breeze:
Income taxes keep falling thanks to unrelenting, record layoffs. All the while sales and restaurant taxes are plummeting as residents pinch their pennies, said Connors, a Democrat who represents some of Cumberland and Lincoln.
At the same time, Rhode Islanders are applying for more and more social services, including unemployment benefits.
“The state is spending $1 million more a day than it is taking in,” Connors told the town’s leaders. “We’re clearly in a crisis mode.”
The $357 million mentioned as the deficit number “is really just to close out the fiscal year (on June 30),” he said. From 2009 to 2010, “we’re well in excess of a billion-dollar problem and the situation continues to deteriorate. It’s pretty grim.”
So is the “billion-dollar problem” a combination of the shortfalls from the current year plus next year? Also, the headline of this story
Connors: Total 2008-’09 shortfall nears $1 billion
does not abate the confusion on this point.
Side note: I point out these little glitches in reporting not to complain, only to solicit clarity. We wouldn’t know about this at all if it weren’t for the Breeze; neither the Woonsocket Call nor the ProJo covered the Majority Leader’s remarks.