House budget chief warns of cuts

With the coronavirus pandemic significantly reducing state tax revenues, the House appropriations chairman told his committee Wednesday to expect budget cuts.

And don’t anticipate that possible additional federal assistance will cover the projected shortfall.

“We do not build our budget based on assumptions as to what Congress may or may not do,” Appropriations Chairman Jay Trumbull said as his committee held its first meeting to prepare for the annual legislative session.

“It’s incumbent upon this body to make decisions as with our fiscal health, as it relates to today, without any understanding of whether or not Congress is going to give extra money,” Trumbull continued. “Because the reality is, we don’t have an idea how much they’re going to give, if they’re going to give anything, and what strings would be associated with that gift.”

Rep. Joe Geller, an Aventura Democrat who spurred Trumbull’s comment about potential federal relief, suggested the committee set up a “parallel track” for its financial planning so “we are prepared to be able to put whatever we get to full use.”

A panel of state economists last month projected reductions in state general revenue of $3.3 billion over two years, an

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