The state has released the first monthly revenue report of this fiscal year and, in the words of the state's economic forecaster John Shelnutt, "It's not good."
Thanks to a $61 million transfer of surplus reserves, the month showed a gain in actual revenue over the same month last year. But that's not the story. That transfer was anticipated and gross revenues still fell 3.2 percent below forecast. The key indicators -- income tax and gross receipts, such as sales taxes -- were down 3 percent and 8 percent, respectively.
Shelnutt says forecasters still expect improvement in the second half of the year. He said one month's results wasn't enough to establish a trend.
Still, maybe lawmakers might want to hold off the million-dollar hole in the ground for a while.