The state budget was difficult to craft this year because of the need to cover deep deficits in programs like Medicaid and less-than-expected tax revenues compared to projections. Add on top of that, there’s the lack of an agreement over how to pay for needed improvements to major infrastructure deficiencies plaguing our roads and bridges.
Given the reality of our state fiscal situation — not yet dire, but certainly not rosy — President Trump’s proposed federal budget seems like a doomsday scenario. This budget would severely cut or outright end programs that pump hundreds of millions of dollars into the state each year. We’re talking dollars that pay for children’s health care, road and bridge improvements, water and sewer upgrades, and assistance to rural police and fire departments to purchase or upgrade basic equipment like fire trucks and bulletproof vests.