Thursday, June 16, 2005

Not bloody likely 

The Minnesota Senate Republicans wish to avoid choosing, so are asking the state's forecasters to redo their work hoping for a better number on the state budget.

Sen. David Gaither, R-Plymouth, asked the Department of Finance and state economist Tom Stinson to present "an updated budget forecast taking into account improving corporate profits and salary levels" as well as changes in federal taxation that benefit the state.

Senators also asked Pawlenty to accelerate the July statement of income tax receipts and refunds. "I believe the amount will be significantly higher than anticipated and could be useful information to have as we attempt to resolve the current budget impasse," Day said in a letter to the governor.

I'm somewhat familiar with the process by which they come up with the forecasts, and I can say with a pretty high degree of confidence that you can't just gin one up in a week. The next new forecast would not be due until November I believe. The last update had revenue collections running ahead of forecast by about $74 million, and it's highly unlikely a new forecast could close the remainder. It could close some of the gap, I guess, and they could take that and the $74 mil as part of the gap. But then, it might get used to fund additional spending.