General Fund collections lagged expectations in each of the first seven months of the fiscal year. The state got a reprieve in February, when the state collected $15-million more dollars than expected. March was an even better month for the Commonwealth, as the Department of Revenue reports that collections topped expectations to the tune of $95-million.
Governor Tom Corbett’s February budget addressed was based on an estimated year-end shortfall of $719-million; the year-to-date shortfall currently stands at $387-million.
“We believe the deficit is probably going to be closer to $300 – $350-million dollars,” says Senate Democratic Appropriations Chair Vincent Hughes.
Senator Hughes tells Radio PA that he’ll be keeping a close eye on revenue collections this budget season. “I think it’s going to change over the next days and weeks, as we go forward,” Hughes says, “thereby creating new revenue for us to reinvest in the people of the Commonwealth.”
Senate Democrats view a revised revenue estimate as one of the keys to restoring cuts to educate, human services and other funding priorities.
Last month, Governor Tom Corbett told us that it was too early to revise the revenue estimates. We’ll check in with him again this week on the April edition of Ask the Governor.