State revenue projections may be much lower than originally anticipated.
The state was expected to end the biennium next year with a more than $150 million surplus, but Senate Republican Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) says that’s likely to change when the Legislative Fiscal Bureau releases new numbers this week. “It sounds like the numbers are going to be far shorter than what we anticipated,” Fitzgerald says, although it’s still unclear just how big the drop will actually be.
The Juneau Republican says that could put limits on what lawmakers will be able to do about some of the priorities Governor Scott Walker outlined in his State of the State address, such as efforts to boost education funding. “That will have an effect…on the bills that pass through the full Legislature by the end of session,” he says.
AUDIO: Sen. Scott Fitzgerald on expected revenue projections (:19)
While revenue will be down, Fitzgerald says he does not expect the state will face a deficit at the end of the fiscal year. He also does not expect projections to be low enough that lawmakers would have to take up a budget repair bill this spring.