Lawmakers continue reviewing the proposed budget as they try to offset a billion dollar shortfall in the Regular Legislative Session, which is underway now and expected to last well into the Summer.
That effort includes cuts across the board for various departments, such as the Department of Justice, the Department of State, the Department of Insurance, the Department of Agriculture and Forestry, the Department of Tourism and even the one department that it’s in charge of the state’s funding, the State Treasurer’s Office.
Newly elected Treasurer John Schroeder told the Appropriations Committee Tuesday it’s too early to tell just how significant the impact of the mandated 5 percent cut to his office and others, but his office is working on a plan to limit the impact on his constitutional and statutory responsibilities.
The first thing to be looked at in his office is compensation.
“I had to cut out overtime for my employees, and we’re managing that real hard. As I told my staff what’s more important, your employment or OT? So we’re learning to do our jobs within a 40 hour work week”, said Schroeder.
Schroeder also shared his thoughts on how the state can avoid future fiscal cliffs that total a billion dollars.
The republican lawmaker turned chief financial officer for the state kept his conservative roots intact when he commented on the often repeated phrase by the Administration, “kicking the can down the road”.
That phrased is used to describe the legislature’s reluctance, or what some describe as failure to passing bills that raise revenue for the state through taxes or tax reform.
“I guess sitting in the Treasurer’s Office ‘kicking the can down the road’ means we haven’t fixed the structure, the core root of the problem is government is growing faster than the private sector, if that private sector is paying the bills how does that work? I don’t care how many tax dollars you give this system it’s still a broken system,” said Schroeder.
The Treasurer told the committee Tuesday that he’s not sure how the cuts will impact operations yet. He says that will remain unclear until the budget gets closer to passage.
The new fiscal year begins July 1st.
The Regular Session could end early in mid-May to accommodate another Special Session.
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