State government must cut expenses by $210 million within the next few weeks because of drops in revenue.
The Revenue Estimating Conference, which decides how much money the state can spend, revised the state’s financial forecast Tuesday night after listening to economists’ projections.
“The problem isn’t just too high of a forecast. The problem is the economy,” said Greg Albrecht, chief economist for the Legislative Fiscal Office.
Revenue dips also are creating problems in the $25.5 billion state operating budget that the Legislature is in the midst of crafting for the fiscal year that starts July 1.
For the upcoming year, the panel of four state officials dropped the forecast by $304 million.
State budget problems are surfacing as a huge issue as this year’s legislative session passes the midway mark.
The governor pushed his education package through early in the session amid protests from public schoolteachers across the state.
Legislators began the session with a proposed state operating budget that dealt with a nearly $900 million shortfall in the dollars needed to keep state government services at their current levels.
Problems with the governor’s pension package widened the budget gap.
Forced to make changes in his proposals concerning state employee retirement, the governor now most deal with some of the savings he expected to reap from those alterations not materializing.
Legislators also must deal with the revenue slides.