The state revenue report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2006 is in. Highlights:
Surplus: $402 million over appropriations for the year.
Rate of cash flow: Still running ahead of predictions -- $70 million more than the amount forecast as recently as May 3.
Latest month: Gross revenue in June ran $34.2 million, or 7.5 percent, above the forecast.
UPDATE: Somebody with a better memory reminds us of when the legislature, rather than give $35 million to UAMS for cancer center construction, decided to borrow $125 million to pay for the project over time instead. Stupid is as stupid does.
Meanwhile, The Huckster agitated on the radio today for a giveback to taxpayers. Easy for him to say, since he leaves office in January. Once again: Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. The Hucskter improvidently presided once before over a tax cut during a revenue uptick and the legislature shortly had to come back and raise taxes to cover shortfalls. A big Medicaid bill is coming as we speak. The feds are turning as much as they can turn over to the states. There's an unmet school bill on construction. The highway people are slavering for general revenue. We keep hearing that prisons can't handle the backup in county jails. Some of the surplus is likely not recurring money.
Do you think maybe we could encourage the governor to go back to Japan for a while, have Sen. Argue continue on vacation and let Speaker Stovall wrestle with this issue for a while? We'd like to hear what he had to say.