Derek Santos, chief economist for the state, is presenting his revenue forecast to the joint legislative Economic Outlook and Revenue Assessment Committee; Santos said he’s lowered his estimated growth for the current year, fiscal year 2014, to 2.1 percent from the previous 5.3 percent that he forecast a year ago, in part because 2013 grew so much more strongly than expected, and set his forecasted growth rate for next year, fiscal year 2015, at 6.4 percent, to $2.9878 billion.
Committee members have each submitted their own estimate as well; they range from a low of $2.8913 billion from Sen. Steve Bair, R-Blackfoot, to a high of $2.9777 billion from Rep. Steven Miller, R-Fairfield; all of the committee members’ 2015 figures came in below the governor’s. The committee median came in at $2.9377 billion. The median came in about $22 million above the governor’s estimate for the current year, but $50.2 million less in revenue for fiscal 2015.
Once the committee has hashed through the forecasts, it’s scheduled to vote on its final report to the Legislature, settling on a figure. That report then would be presented to JFAC in the morning. Legislative budget analyst Keith Bybee noted that while the committee members' projections varied, they didn't vary by a terribly large amount, and the final outcome was fairly close to the governor's with just the $50.2 million difference.