Department of Legislative Services staff briefed the Spending Affordability, Senate Budget and Taxation, and House Appropriations and Ways and Means Committees on November 15 on the State’s general fund budget outlook. The outlook for fiscal 2020 has improved by more than $1 billion since the end of the last legislative session. This is due to a number of factors including – higher than expected revenues from fiscal 2018’s close out, revenue projections being revised upward for this fiscal year and next, and slower than expected expenditure growth, particularly in the Medicaid program. Analysts anticipate closing fiscal year 2020 with a cash balance of $168 million.
In addition to the general fund outlook, analysts provided suggested uses for the fund balance, an economic forecast, and information on the State’s capital program, debt policy, transportation trust fund, and State personnel.
This briefing, which includes members of the General Assembly’s fiscal committees, is typically the first of a series of briefings that occur each year as members begin to prepare for the upcoming session. Subsequent briefings are held with the Spending Affordability Committee, which is tasked with making spending and budget recommendations to provide guidance to the Governor and General Assembly when formulating and approving the budget for FY 2020. The Committee, composed of members of the General Assembly and two public members, will meet on December 18, 2018 to make its decisions.