While more than half the states have struggled to balanced their budgets, Gov. David Walters is among a happy minority who drafted a fiscal 1992 budget that included some extras.
In fact, the state just deposited $81 million in its constitutional reserve fund. It was the fourth consecutive contribution to the rainyday fund, which now has a balance of $202.8 million. The new deposit came after the state withdrew $30 million from the fund in May to pay for higher education costs.
"It is gratifying that while other states are shutting down, we were able to increase funding for high-priority areas, such as education," the freshman governor said. The $3.44 billion budget for the fiscal year that began July 1 was accomplished without tax increases. That budget was up 7.8% over fiscal 1991 budget.
State Financial Director Jack White said general revenues totaled $3.115 billion for fiscal 1991, an increase of $380 million, or 13.9%, above the prior year. But he advised caution, noting that as recently as 1987 the double-A rated state's collections fell sharply.
"Were we to experience another similar downturn, it could wipe out our current balance," he said in a statement.