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Friday, March 27, 2009

Senate leadership has announced that they will release their budget proposal on Monday morning. There's much confusion over the size of the deficit they will need to close. The slideshow below will hopefully make things easier.

As noted in the slideshow, the total shortfall (the difference between revenue and the maintenance budget) is about $8.1 billion. This does not include additional baseline items often included in deficit estimates.

The legislature has already made about $600 million in cuts.* Assuming they also use the Rainy Day Fund and take the necessary policy steps to access all the available federal funds, the remaining deficit that will need to be closed through spending cuts, revenue increases, or budget gimmicks is roughly $3.9 billion. This estimate does not include leaving a modest account balance.

We will update our numbers once the Senate releases the budget on Monday.

* Immediate cuts from HB 1694 were $635 million. However, federal recovery funds offset $338 million of those cuts, so those cuts are included in the $2.9 in federal funds. The reduction in baseline spending for 2009-11 is estimated to be about $300 million.

Sources: Senate Ways & Means and Office of Policy Research (in particular, see Many thanks to Kriss Sjoblom from the Washington Research Council for his help with these numbers.

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