The TaxWatch Research Blog

The TaxWatch Research Blog is a forum where our research staff can address topics and issues in a short format. Keep an eye on this space during Legislative Session for frequent posts making sense of the activity at the Capitol. 

Budget Watch - Analyzing the Governor's FY2018 Budget Recommendations

Analyzing the Governor's FY2017-18 Budget and Tax Recommendations

Governor’s Proposed Budget Snapshot

  • Total Funding - $83.474 billion—$1.189 billion (1.4 percent) more than current year spending 
  • State Employees – 113,758 state employee positions, 327 more than currently exist.  The Governor is recommending 596 new positions, while eliminating 269 (mostly vacant) positions.  There is no across the board pay increase for state employees, but the Governor is again recommending a three-tiered bonus system through which an employee could receive up to $1,500.  Pay increases for state corrections and law enforcement officers are also recommended.
  • Tax Cuts - $618.4 million in state and local tax cuts, mostly from a reduction in the business rent tax.  Since most of the cuts do not take effect until January 2018, the first-year impact to the state is only $295.1 million.  There is a recurring $420.2 million impact to the state.   The Governor also proposes to cut various fees by $7.5 million.
  • Reserves - $5.0 billion, including $1.3 billion in unallocated General Revenue (cash) reserves.
  • Trust Fund Sweeps - $319.5 million, most of it ($224.0 million) from state and local affordable housing trust funds.  The State Transportation Trust Fund is not swept.
  • Bonding – The Governor proposes to only issue new bonds for transportation projects (up to $369 million).
  • Tuition – No tuition increase for colleges or universities.

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