State revenue forecasts weakening, despite earlier reports

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With the economy sputtering, state analysts will gather Oct. 11 and dish out bad budget news, reports the News Service of Florida. Amy Baker, coordinator of the Legislature’s Office of Economic & Demographic Research, said Wednesday that earlier projections of general-revenue growth this year and during the 2012-13 fiscal year will drop “fairly significantly.” That means more difficult budget choices for lawmakers when they start the 2012 legislative session in January — though Baker said things won’t be as bad as during this spring’s session, when lawmakers faced a $3.6 billion shortfall. “I believe that you will be looking at another tight session,” she said during a presentation to the state’s Low Income Pool Council, a group that works on Medicaid-related funding issues. Analysts, including Baker and representatives of the governor’s office, House and Senate, are scheduled to meet Oct. 11 to revise general-revenue estimates. Those estimates play a crucial role because lawmakers use them as a basis for knowing how much money will be available to spend.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.