Governor Matt Mead says that while he made reductions in his proposed biennial budget, he does not favor the five-to-eight percent cuts supported by some legislators.
Mead reduced more than 17 million dollars of ongoing spending in his budget, while increasing spending for roads and local government infrastructure. Some legislators want budget reductions, so that the state can increase its budget reserve account to three billion dollars.
Mead says the state should keep its reserve fund at one-point-five billion and keep money available to spend on economic development projects. He adds that since the state has a lot of money in reserve, there is no need to rush to cuts.
“The better thing to do, rather than to lop off 8% off the top is to do it in a systematic way. If you recognize the value of services of state government, you also have to recognize the importance of doing this in a surgical way as the best you can. And we are in a position to do that.”
Mead says his office will continue to try and find places to cut throughout state government. The next step is for the governor to present his budget to the legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee.