A new budget forecast released this week by state economists shows the state is expecting in 2013 to bring in enough money to meet its needs for public schools and health care programs while leaving $1 billion for reserves, reports the Associated Press.
This is a turnaround from recent years when legislators have been confronted with budget shortfalls. A $4 billion shortfall in 2011 prompted a round of layoffs and a contentious move to force public employees to pay 3 percent of their salaries to cover part of their pension costs. The nearly $70 billion state budget that took effect in July included a $300 million cut to state universities.
Amy Baker, the head of the state’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research and who helped draw up the new forecast, said recent rounds of budget cuts and a slow recovery from the recession have resulted in the forecast that shows that the state’s budget should remain balanced.
Continue reading here.