Not much leeway in economic forecast
May 8, 2013
Economic forecasters believe revenues for the state of Nevada will increase by slightly more than half a percent over the next two years.
That was the result issued by the Economic Forum on May 1.
While $44 million sounds like a lot of money, it's just a drop in Nevada's $6.42 billion biennial budget bucket.
The battle over who gets the $44 million is already joined, with the governor seeking to increase budgets for K-12 education, health and human services, economic development and the rainy day fund. Lawmakers are talking about restoring pay cuts to state workers.
On that list of options, we think that $44 million should go into the rainy day fund. It's not enough money to make a serious difference to any one state budget, but it's enough to provide some valuable cushion should the economy go south again.
Everyone in Nevada has had to adapt to reduced resources, whether they work for the government or private business.
That adaptation was a valuable adjustment for us to maintain solvency on many levels.
The time to take advantage of that adaptation is now when things are reaching a plateau.
Rather than increasing lots of things a smidgen, perhaps it's better to bank this money for the next two years.
Hopefully, things will have turned around when the Legislature meets in 2015, and instead of looking for money, it will be possible to look for someplace to spend it.