Today's North Dakota revenue forecast expected to trigger budget cuts
BISMARCK - A new revenue forecast being released this morning is expected to trigger budget cuts for most state agencies in North Dakota. Officials will discuss the Moody's Analytics forecast and its effects during an 11 a.m. meeting at the Capitol.
BISMARCK – A new revenue forecast being released this morning is expected to trigger budget cuts for most state agencies in North Dakota.
Officials will discuss the Moody’s Analytics forecast and its effects during an 11 a.m. meeting at the Capitol.
Office of Management and Budget Director Pam Sharp has said cuts are “very, very likely” after revenues from July through December -- the first six months of the 2015-17 biennium -- fell $215 million short of the forecast state lawmakers had when they adjourned in late April, due largely to depressed oil and commodity prices.
Under state law, if an updated forecast predicts that revenues will be 97.5 percent or less of what was projected in the legislative forecast, it triggers automatic budget cuts of up to 2.5 percent for agencies that receive general fund dollars. The state Game and Fish Department is among the agencies not affected.
The governor can use the $572 million Budget Stabilization Fund to cover any remaining shortfall, though some lawmakers have called for deeper cuts to state agencies before tapping reserves. Sharp has said K-12 education will not be affected because its cuts are covered by the Foundation Aid Stabilization Fund.
The last time an updated revenue forecast resulted in widespread cuts during a two-year budget cycle was in 2002, when Gov. John Hoeven ordered a 1 percent across-the-board cut following the dot-com bust and Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.