From Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh
Projected state revenue shortfalls are behind two meetings of a panel of economic experts who advise Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and legislative leaders. The first of those meetings is today.
Two weeks ago, Governor Beshear warned the state is facing “an ominous future,” because of an almost 300-million dollar revenue shortfall in the current fiscal year. He wants the Consensus Forecasting Group to revise the revenue projections on which the current state budget is based. Acting State Budget Director John Hicks says two meetings are planned.
“This is the group of economists who we always have forecast our revenues. So, we’re asking them to come in and lend their expertise to what they think the fiscal year 2009 revenues will be. Second, it’s a necessary step in order to take the sufficient actions to balance the budget for fiscal 2009,” Hicks said.
Today, the panel will discuss current economic conditions. Next week, they’ll offer a revised revenue estimate that Governor Beshear can use as a guide for expenditure reductions, or cuts, if necessary.
Lawmakers could also adjust the budget, if need be, in the legislative session that begins in January.