This Monday, the House and Senate’s Finance and Ways and Means committees will meet with local and national economists. The goal: to anticipate how much the state is likely to earn from taxes and other revenues. The estimate the committees come up with will dictate how big the next budget can be.
House Speaker Terie Norelli (D-Rockingham) says she has three big concerns about those revenue estimates.
- A sluggish economy. A significant challenge, Norelli says, is “the fact that revenues have not rebounded to their pre-recession level yet.”
- Revenue cuts. “In last budget cycle, we actually cut general fund revenues. They’ve been reduced by $30 million for just one year.” Norelli says it’s not just the cuts, but the fact that they were made for a future legislative session, without corresponding cuts to spending: “We’re also looking at having to make decisions how to deal with cuts that were made to general fund revenues in the 2012 legislative session, that don’t take affect until the budget that we’re creating now.”
- Budget cuts in Washington. “There are already cuts in federal spending to the states from the Federal Control Act. And you add what might happen with the deficit reduction… we’re going to have some pretty big challenges coming to us,” Norelli says.