/Lawmakers get good revenue news ahead of budget talks

Lawmakers get good revenue news ahead of budget talks

Friday’s state economist raised the revenue projections for Fiscal year 2019 by $55 million. This gave lawmakers an unexpected cushion this weekend as they worked behind closed doors in conference panels to finalize next years’s budget. The expected increase in revenue collections for next year was due to higher revenues than anticipated. Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves stated that he expects revenues to be even higher than what was projected on Friday. Reeves stated that the estimate was “exceptionally conservative.” Reeves said, “And that’s good.” However, the adjusted revenue projection only reflects 0.9 percent of next year’s total budget. Reeves and other legislative leaders warned that the changes would not make much of a difference to budgets for state agencies. Last year, lawmakers found out that the revenue estimate would not be modified in the last minute. Two years ago, legislators learned that revenue was so far behind that a new budget cut for the mid-year was necessary. The state has collected $34.4million more revenue than it had projected through February. Sales tax and use tax collections helped add to the greater-than-projected collections. A $32 million increase was also seen in the current budget year, thanks to court settlements that were obtained by the Attorney General’s Office. Some of this money will go to deficit appropriations such as for the Division of Medicaid and Child Protective Services. Reeves stated that he expects significant additional resources to CPS in the next fiscal year as well as the current fiscal year._x000D