Whether invented to cover for revenue projection mistakes in his initial budget or due to delusions, Governor Brian Schweitzer has suddenly discovered an additional $120 million to add to his structurally unbalanced budget proposal.
Schweitzer blasted the Legislature and its fiscal staff for routinely under-estimating the revenue required to formulate the state’s budget yet in recent years, revenues were also considerably lower than the governor’s budget director’s projections. The governor also made it clear that there will be no need to cut state programs (sigh) and implied that any future cuts in education could essentially be blamed on misguided priorities of Republicans in the legislature.
Schweitzer still plans to use one-time money to balance his budget as well as robbing surpluses in fiscally responsible school districts.
According to Montana Policy Institute’s recently released Pork Report, 10 out of the 25 highest paid state employees are psychiatrists. Although that may seem excessive and wasteful, Schweitzer is a tough case. We may need to hire a few more mental health professionals.