Statement by Senator Kelly Haney,
Chairman, Senate Appropriations Committee
"As I've said consistently for the past several weeks, everything is still on the table for consideration this early in the session, including tax relief. Given the fact that estimates were reduced in every major revenue category except gross production this week, I am simply urging a cautious approach to the budget. Because the volatile energy market is producing the bulk of our new revenue, we have to be careful not to become too heavily reliant on that one funding source. Just as we learned in the 1980's, oil and gas prices can decline just as quickly as they increase. If we don't act like responsible, fiscal conservatives, we'll find
ourselves facing budget shortfalls instead of budget surpluses."
"I hope that we can cut the income tax again, just like we did in 1998, but we will have to see what the budget allows. I have joined with Governor Keating to enact a number of tax reductions over the past six years. I've also joined with him to launch a number of new investments in our state, such as the $1 billion road construction program, public education reform and last year's health care initiative. Governor Keating and I may have increased spending by launching those efforts, but I think he would agree that those investments were in the state's best interest."