The Joint Legislative Budget Committee met on Monday afternoon to approve the revised revenue estimates for FY2019 and FY2020. The FY2020 sine die estimate totals off at $5,858,400,000, which is $164 million more than last years estimate.
Lt. Governor Tate Reeves spoke to reporters after the short meeting on where some of those extra dollars might go. On the top of everyones minds were teacher pay raises.
“The original sine die estimate for FY2019 actually would have called for an ability to decrease revenues in FY2019 compared to FY2018 and we still made the revenue estimate. Our collections in FY18 were almost $40 million more than the sine die estimate in FY19. So it stood to reason that we would come here today to revise the estimate,” said Reeves. “The fact is revenues have grown almost 4% in the first eight months of this fiscal year and we have adopted a very conservative estimate of a 1.5% growth rate.”
Reeves gave no specific numbers on what a teacher raise may be but said he feels confident that one will happen as appropriations are worked out in conference. He also said recommendations will also be made for pay raises for state employees.
Teacher raises must be decided upon by amending the general statutes that determine salaries, as well as putting the money in the fund.
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