Preliminary figures show December state tax collections beat forecasts, legislative budget director Cathy Holland-Smith told lawmakers on the joint Economic Outlook & Revenue Assessment Committee this morning. A new forecast will be out next week, but compared to the last forecast from August, that puts the state’s general fund revenue $9.37 million ahead of forecast for the fiscal year. “Both November and December have inched upward,” Holland-Smith said.
Only about $7 million in supplemental budget requests are pending, down from the usual $30 million-plus; they include $2 million for universities for security costs in the wake of the guns-on-campus bill lawmakers passed last year and another $2 million to continue funding the troubled Idaho Education Network. Some agencies had significant year-end reversions at the end of the fiscal year, including $9.1 million from Medicaid, due to a change in timing in federal rules.
“So in the end, we’re about $8.3 million ahead,” Holland-Smith told lawmakers. “This tell us … that we’re in an era of stability. We’re not reacting quickly either to big surpluses or big deficits, which does give us an opportunity to look at some longer-term issues.”