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Morning update: 13 days left to reach budget deal (2nd special session day 7)

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on June 18, 2013 at 8:00 am with No Comments »
June 17, 2013 7:58 pm

The Legislature gets two critical reports today: new projections of state revenue and spending.

First up is the revenue forecast, which will be presented to the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council at 10 a.m. Then comes the caseload forecast at a meeting of the Caseload Forecast Council starting at 1:30 p.m.

Everyone seems to think that lawmakers will end the day with more money to spend, with some educated guesses putting it at an extra $100 million to $200 million.

The total spending levels of the Senate and House budgets are nearly the same after last week’s deal on the estate tax, and the big remaining difference is that the House raises roughly $150 million in extra tax revenue, while the Senate finds that money in other ways. So if they get that amount, lawmakers can all declare victory and go home, right?

Maybe.

Maybe not, if the Senate insists on business-friendly workers’ compensation changes. Maybe not, if lawmakers aren’t content to finish their work for the year having potentially adding more tax exemptions than they’ve subtracted. Maybe not, if they can’t surmount potential last-minute hurdles, from a proposed gas-tax increase to an impaired-driving crackdown.

But their chances improve with every extra dollar they gain today.

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