This afternoon Governor Matt Mead will announce his budget proposal for the next two years. Despite the fact that the state has one-point-five billion dollars in reserve, top lawmakers are calling for cuts to raise the reserve bank account to roughly three-billion dollars. Governor Mead has told legislators that he will offer modest cuts in this two year budget, until he has time to determine where the best places are to cut further. Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Phil Nicholas is calling for cuts of eight percent. He says if the state waits for two more years, it could be facing some budget difficulties.
“In two years you are going to have you’re gonna have increases in just the cost of living and inflation in the large programs such as the Medicaid program. In two years from now we may see less federal support. If the federal match for Medicaid reimbursement decreases by two percent or three percent, we have a big issue.”
Nicholas says it is important to get a reserve of three billion dollars in order to sustain government if energy prices tumble.