Political Radar


March 6th, 2013

Rep. Sylvia Luke, the chairwoman of the House Finance Committee, said Wednesday that the committee would vote Friday on the House draft of the two-year state budget.

The House, which gets the first cut of the budget after it is submitted by the governor, usually does not have the benefit of a fresh forecast from the state Council on Revenues. The council will meet to update its forecast on Wednesday, the deadline for the House to send its draft to the Senate.

But the House has another challenge this year: sequestration.

State departments are assessing the potential impact of federal budget cuts and will likely not have an estimate in time to be considered by the House. Kalbert Young, the state budget director, has set aside $25 million in the next two fiscal years for sequestration as part of the state's financial plan, but the cost could be higher.

Young told the House Finance Committee at a budget hearing Wednesday that the administration would ask the council to attempt to quantify the impact of sequestration on the state's revenue picture.

Young said that Abercrombie would likely send lawmakers a governor's message outlining how much the state needs to cover sequestration, since the $25 million a year was not part of the governor's budget request.

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