State faces new budget hole

After $42 billion fix, an $8 billion shortfall looms

The ink was hardly dry on the new state budget when Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor announced that even its $42 billion in new taxes and spending cuts won’t be enough. On Friday (March 13) he announced that, because of declining revenues, another hole had opened in the state’s coffers—to the tune of $8 billion.

Compounding the problem, Taylor warned in his report, is the fact that the $8 billion will grow to $14 billion if voters reject ballot measures May 19 to shift special funds and borrow against future lottery profits.

This of course means that legislators will once again be facing off in the Thunderdome … er, State Capitol as Republicans and Democrats battle over how to come up with the dough. For his part, Taylor said he was “extremely reluctant to recommend that the state raise any more tax rates” during this recessionary period. Of course, that path would mean even more cuts to education and social services.