The governor’s budget chief Tuesday kept the pressure on state commissioners to defer unnecessary spending in the face of an expanding projected state budget deficit.
Last Friday, Benajmin Barnes, secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, increased the project deficit for the fiscal year ending June 30 from $79 million to $142 million. He blamed a surprisingly high number of income tax refunds and a shortfall in the Medicaid program.
“In particular,” Barnes wrote in a letter to commissioners Tuesday, “we remain concerned about income tax revenue which appears to be trending in the wrong direction as we go through our busiest collection week of the year.
“We have already undertaken rescissions. We have already encouraged you to defer any purchases or commitments that can be deferred. …
“I am writing to ask that you redouble your efforts to save money this year. Any efforts that you and your staffs can undertake to reduce our spending in FY 2012 will help us to end the year in balance, and will strengthen our position as we head into the new fiscal year.”