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Government/Politics

State Lawmakers Get Dueling Forecasts On Future State Revenue

Office of Budget and Management Director Kim Murnieks testified before the House Finance Commitee on February 4, 2021.
Karen Kasler
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Office of Budget and Management Director Kim Murnieks testified before the House Finance Commitee on February 4, 2021.

State lawmakers are getting two different forecasts on how much tax revenue will come in over the next two year budget cycle from their experts and from the state budget director, who presented Gov. Mike DeWine’s proposed spending plan to them today.

The Legislative Service Commission forecasts nearly a billion dollars more in tax revenue over the two year budget period than the governor’s budget office does, along with $90 million less in Medicaid spending.

Budget director Kim Murnieks told the House Finance Committee she’s being conservative with her forecast, but that she expects the numbers to be closer when both LSC and her office will redo their projections in June.

“In the meantime, I think I want to do everything that I can and the OBM team can do to avoid coming back to you 60 days from now and asking you to cut the governor’s executive budget by a billion dollars," Murnieks said.

Both revenue forecasts depend on projections of what’s happening in this fiscal year, which runs till the end of June.

A similar situation happened two years ago, when LSC's projections were roiser than OBM's.