JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMOX/AP) — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens and fellow Republican budget leaders in the Legislature on Tuesday said they’re projecting that the state will bring in roughly $200 million less than initially expected this fiscal year, and they’re planning on modest 2.5 percent revenue growth next year.
Budget leaders now say they expect there will be 1.9 percent revenue growth this year compared to last fiscal year, which is about half of what lawmakers were banking on when they passed this year’s budget. The state fiscal year spans from July to June each year.
Wednesday marks the start of year two for Greitens, who will give his second State of the State address. Last year’s speech outlined a policy plan he says will help grow jobs, including passing a right-to-work law barring mandatory union fees and paring back government regulations.
It also was the start of about $146 million in spending cuts with “more hard choices lie ahead.”
Greitens has derided legislators for being career politicians, but he’s also been criticized for his not-for-profit, A New Missouri Inc., and for his and his staff’s use of a self-destructing text message app.
State Budget Director Dan Haug said the roughly $250 million in cuts already made by Greitens likely make up for the drop in projected growth, and he said any further, significant cuts probably won’t be needed.
Haug said a Missouri income tax cut that took effect this year accounts for about an $80 million loss, and federal tax law changes are expected to bring a $29 million hit.
Fitzpatrick said the 2.5 growth estimate for next fiscal year is lower in part because of another expected $240 million hit next year from the income tax cut. He said projections likely would have been for more than 5 percent growth without the tax changes.
Haug said expectations for next fiscal year show a “relatively strong economy. Not anything that’s going gangbuster, but certainly good growth.”
Greitens has not yet unveiled his budget proposal for next fiscal year.
(© Copyright 2018 Entercom Communications. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)