Capitol Report
Senator Delbert Scott

For Immediate Release

For Immediate Release

April 8, 2004

Budget Progress


††††††††††† This week the Senate approved and sent to the governor a supplemental funding bill for state departments and offices. Supplemental budget bills are commonly used to shore up unanticipated shortfalls and expenses as the budget year unfolds. Nearly half of the $240 million in this added funding bill comes from federal sources, with lass than $30 million coming from the stateís general fund.


††††††††††† Perennially the most challenging legislation for lawmakers are the 12 bills making up the state budget that traditionally originate in the House and move to the Senate in mid-March. This week the House approved an $18.6 billion spending plan which is $180 million less than the governorís budget but provides public schools with $40 million more than the governor slated for elementary and secondary education.


††††††††††† The budget blueprint is a moving target but growth in state revenue continues at a pace slightly ahead of projections. The stateís economy is improving. The fiscal year 2004 projections were for a 3.2 percent growth rate. The actual growth rate for fiscal year 2004 has been 5.1 percent. These are very encouraging signs and should signal the end of the revenue slide. This stabilization should add confidence to the appropriation members.


††††††††††† The Senate Appropriations Committee will now consider the budget bills before sending them to the full Senate. Any and all differences between the House and Senate versions must then by ironed out by joint conference delegates and agreed to by both chambers by or before six p.m., May 7. This deadline is set forth by the stateís constitution. The second regular session of the 92nd General Assembly adjourns precisely one week later.


††††††††††† Please feel free to contact me at (573) 751-8793 or by e-mail .