BILL SUMMARY for HJR09-1005
SENATE COMMITTEE ON FINANCE
|Refer HJR 09-1005 to the Committee of the Whole fo
The meeting came to order. A quorum was present.
01:37 PM -- House Joint Resolution 09-1005
Senator Sandoval explained to the committee that House Joint Resolution 09-1005 was added to the calendar after it passed the House of Representatives on January 26, 2009. As the prime Senate sponsor of the resolution, Senator Sandoval passed the gavel to Senator Hudak to chair the committee while she presented the resolution.
Senator Sandoval stated that a revenue resolution is passed every year by the General Assembly. The primary purpose of the resolution, she explained, is to provide the General Fund estimate that will be used by the General Assembly to set the following fiscal year's General Fund appropriation. She said that the resolution is sponsored by the chairs of the Senate and House Finance Committees. The resolution states the General Fund appropriation subject to the statutory six percent limit, and the number this year, she stated, is $7.9 billion. She also explained that the sponsors had decided to use the Legislative Council's estimate of General Fund revenue from the December 2008 forecast of $7.2 billion.
Senator Sandoval responded to questions about the resolution, including whether the General Assembly should consider using a lower figure given the current economic situation. She stated that the Joint Budget Committee will review the forecasts from both the Legislative Council and the Governor's Office of State Planning and Budgeting (OSPB) in March 2009 before finalizing the FY 2009-10 budget. Discussion ensued about what alternative figures could be used, the fact that forecasting is inexact, and whether the General Assembly should prepare for the worst and use a different number in the revenue resolution.
Senator Sandoval stated that she would feel more comfortable using the legislative economists' numbers from the December 2008 forecast. She explained that significant time and expertise had already been used to arrive at the best estimate. She further stated that if the resolution passed today, she would make a commitment to go to discuss the issue with the Legislative Council economists. Senator Sandoval also said that the General Assembly has not historically adjusted the numbers from the economic forecasts.
No witnesses signed up to testify, and no amendments to the resolution were offered by committee members.
| 01:56:19 PM
|Refer HJR 09-1005 to the Committee of the Whole for final action. The motion passed 5-1, with one excused.
Final YES: 5 NO: 1 EXC: 1 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: PASS