While the General Assembly paused the session for two weeks, due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, lawmakers are still working behind the scenes.
That includes the budget writers of the Joint Budget Committee, which on March 16 got some bad news about state revenue projections that they were to use to do final work on the 2020-21 state budget.
Instead of an expected $832 million to pay for new programs and mandated cost increases, available revenue increases were estimated at $27.3 million. That’s not even enough to cover mandated inflationary increases for K-12 education and federal programs such as Medicaid.
JBC members told reporters that there is no money for new programs, nor the $52 million they had hoped to put toward paying down the budget stabilization factor, the debt owed to K-12 education since 2012….