Governor Wants to Beef Up Transportation Fund

Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 12:06 AM by

The Fiscal Bureau released a short summary of “funds used for purposes other than those for which the fund has traditionally been used,” confirming what we already knew: The Governor has proposed beefing up the Transportation Fund, at the expense of the General Fund.

We’ve already devoted several blog posts to describing how the executive budget would shift resources to transportation and away from education and support for low-income families. To keep things fresh, this time we’ve chosen haiku as our vehicle (!) for delivering budget analysis:
Budget Haiku

Less aid for cities
Cuts to working families
Really nice highways

According to the Fiscal Bureau, at least $425.5 million in the budget would be used for non-traditional purposes. (The final number could be larger, because there are two provisions for which a dollar amount is unknown.)  Of that $425.5 million:

  • $201.6 million (47%) represents money that would be shifted to the Transportation Fund (and $141.6 million of that comes from General Fund dollars);
  • $130.7 million (31%) would be shifted to the General Fund (from various program revneue accounts);
  • $84.7 million (20%) would be shifted to the Economic Development Fund (from the Recycling and Renewable Energy Fund); and
  • $8.5 million (2%) would be shifted to the Environmental Fund (also from the Recycling and Renewable Energy Fund).

One transfer that didn’t make the LFB list is the use of $37 million per year of federal TANF (welfare reform) funding for the state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).  The federal funds intended for low-income families would supplant state dollars now used for the EITC, thereby enabling those dollars to be lapsed to the General Fund.  We’ll elaborate on that funding shell game on another occasion.

Tamarine Cornelius

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