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State revenues looking OK

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By Harold Morgon

Decent news about state government finances came to the Legislative Finance Committee at the group’s August meeting held in Angel Fire.
“Decent news” means revenue into the general fund—$5.7 billion for fiscal year 2013, the current budget year—is expected to beat planned spending by $35 million with larger margins expected the next two years.
So-called “new money” for the next budget year (FY 14), which will be addressed by the 2013 legislative session, is estimated at $198 million. New money is next year’s projected revenue minus appropriations for this year.
The meeting was quiet, the room small, the crowd modest – maybe 50, including presenters. Good news is boring.
The LFC’s August 2009 jaunt to Angel Fire provided a quite different scene. The room for that gathering was twice the size of this year’s. The crowd was at capacity, almost hanging from the figurative rafters. The tone was negative, toward nasty.
Projected revenues were some hundreds of millions short of appropriated spending.
This year LFC chair Sen. John Arthur Smith, Deming Democrat, bragged, properly, on the LFC’s role during the unhappy times. The LFC and the staff anticipated the downturn.


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