Governor Tom Vilsack says there will have to be another special session soon to fix the hole in this year’s state budget. Vilsack says it’s likely the magnitude of the problem exceeds his ability to act alone to fix it.Greater-than-expected tax refunds are causing red ink in the budget year that ends in just eight weeks.Vilsack doesn’t have the authority to dip into the state’s economic emergency fund for all the money needed to fill the hole in the budget. Vilsack has been meeting with legislative leaders to discuss the problem, but there’s no deal yet. He says it’s difficult to talk about specific options until after they know the scope of the problem. Vilsack says there are problems with this year’s budget and likely next year’s too.The state “Revenue Estimating Conference” — a panel of financial experts — meets next Tuesday to draft an official report on how much state tax collections have dipped. The legislature concluded its regular session on April 12th; the Governor called ’em back April 22nd to set aside money next year for education, prisons and children’s health programs, but lawmakers balked.
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