The state’s auditor says the state budget plan written by lawmakers and approved by the governor this spring is “sustainable and responsible.”
The new 12-month state budget goes into effect July 1 and State Auditor Mary Mosiman delivered a budget briefing in her office this morning.
“I’m actually pretty pleased with this year’s budget because we have…seven consecutive years where our revenues exceed our expenditures,” Mosiman said, “even in a very tight budget year where our revenues are not as impressive as they’ve been in the years’ past, so that’s a good reaction from our decision-makers, from our legislature and our governor’s office.”
Mosiman gives state policymakers a B+ grade on their budgeting.
“I have two daughters who are teachers and I know not to just give blanket As,” Mosiman said with a smile.
Over the past few years policymakers have used the state’s 800-million dollar surplus to finance property tax relief and an education reform effort. Mosiman said that was possible as state tax revenue grew, but there’s just $80 million in surplus left today.
“Now that our revenues are more moderate and we can expect that for at least the near future, we just need to make sure that our expenditures remain lower than our revenues,” Mosiman said. “If that reverses, then I will get nervous.”
More than $8.5 billion in state tax money will be spent over the next 12 months under the budget plan. At least $7 billion dollars more in federal tax dollars will support state-run programs.