November's state general revenue fund collections were up 3.8 percent over last year, but still fell 7.9 percent short of the official estimate upon which the current state budget is based, according to figures released Wednesday by the state Office of Management and Enterprise Services.
The new monthly figures continue a trend of general revenue fund collections falling short of expectations during the first five months of the current fiscal year.
The general revenue fund is the primary funding source for state government agencies.
“Agencies need to be realistic and prepare to make due with what they already have,” said Preston Doerflinger, director of the Office of Management and Enterprise Services.
So far, that hasn't happened.
In fact, state agencies to date have submitted budget requests seeking more than $1 billion in new appropriations, said John Estus, spokesman for Doerflinger's agency.
Sluggish collections are expected to complicate legislative efforts to meet pay raise expectations of state employees and fully fund such things as promised improvements in the state's child welfare system that were agreed upon as part of a settlement to a federal lawsuit.
From July through November, general revenue fund collections totaled $2.1 billion, which is $146.8 million, or 6.5 percent, below the official estimate. Collections trail last year's actual cumulative collections by $30.6 million, or 1.4 percent.