State Auditor Mary Mosiman says legislators showed admirable “restraint” in crafting a state spending plan this spring, but the auditor is issuing a warning about what she calls “deviations from sound budgeting principles.”
Mosiman says legislators dipped into the state surplus for $330 million to make the budget balance.
“Surplus carry-forward dollars are not always available year after year,” Mosiman says. “They do not replenish themselves.”
And Mosiman says if the economy dips and tax revenue falls, legislators will have to find hundreds of millions of dollars elsewhere, or make dramatic cuts.
“That needs to be considered as we have these multiyear accelerated financial committments in front of us,” Mosiman says.
State officials have promised to pay local governments an escalating amount of money to cover commercial property tax reductions. The education reform plan the governor and legislators adopted a couple of years ago also calls for increasing state spending on teacher leadership plans.