Developing the biennial budget is the most daunting challenge legislators face. With your home budget, you are pretty certain what your income will be, so you figure your spending and savings accordingly to match the amount you earn each week or month. Government budgeting doesn’t work that way. The State must base its income on projections of revenue from taxes and other sources, and the legislators determine how to spend those projected revenues. For most of the past sessions, the Legislature’s budget has allocated every penny of those projected revenues. As long as the actual revenue matched or exceeded the projected one, things were fine. However, that hasn’t happened for the last three sessions. Due to these tough economic times, actual revenues fell far short of the projections. That has required the legislators to either cut the budget or raise taxes. Spending based on inaccurate projections in the budget causes turmoil in state programs and puts excess burdens on our citizens. Constantly spending to the limit of the budget has to stop.
Instead of spending every penny of the projected revenue, John will continue to fight for a budget that leaves a cushion. That way, if actual revenues don’t meet expectations, the government will be better able to deal with the shortfall. If actual revenues equal or exceed projections, we can put that money in the bank to cover our State when there are future “rainy days.” This is very similar to how many of you take care of your own finances. There is no reason the Government can’t do that same thing.