Rounds visits Mitchell, compares state budget to car headed for a drop-offState government’s budget situation is like a car headed over the edge of a Missouri River bluff, Gov. Mike Rounds told about 30 businesspeople Thursday morning at the Highland Conference Center in Mitchell.
By: Seth Tupper, The Daily Republic
State government’s budget situation is like a car headed over the edge of a Missouri River bluff, Gov. Mike Rounds told about 30 businesspeople Thursday morning at the Highland Conference Center in Mitchell.
“You’re driving along, and the revenue is what’s holding you up. Pretty soon, the revenues drop like this,” he said, gesturing in a downward angle. “You say, ‘Oh, OK, we’ll just follow the road down.’ But you can’t, because you’ve got expenses that have to be there.”
That’s where the stimulus money from the federal government enters the analogy.
“What we’ve done is we’ve built a bridge to maintain about where are spending level was. And we’ve used the stimulus stabilization money to bridge us during this time in which our revenues are down.”
Unfortunately, the bridge doesn’t stretch all the way across the river. Rounds expects the stimulus money to run out this year, leaving next year’s projected expenses about $170 million higher than anticipated revenues.
How will the state fill its budget hole? That’s the $170 million question heading into Rounds’ December budget presentation and January’s opening of the state legislative session.
“We do not have a solution put together yet,” Rounds said.
For the rest of the story, see Friday's print and online editions of The Daily Republic. The online edition will include audio and video from Thursday's meeting.