The state’s financial picture is getting bleaker. Governor Tom Vilsack says state tax revenues are below last year’s levels, and even deeper cuts may be necessary in this year’s state budget. The Governor says state government’s in the midst of a three-year economic cycle that’s the worst in 50 years. Vilsack today ordered state managers to curtail travel, quit buying office supplies and equipment, and not hire anybody unless that new person provides critical life or health services. Vilsack expects the moves to save about eight million.As you may recall, Vilsack and legislators cut the budget, across-the-board, by four-point-three percent in November, and the Governor warns some priority areas may see more cuts. Vilsack says they have few options as there isn’t any appetite to raise the sales tax or to use the surplus.A three-member panel of financial experts will meet March 7th and officially set a state tax revenue estimate, which then will likely trigger more budget cuts.
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