General Fund receipts in Kentucky have grown faster than expected over the past month, thanks largely to an increase in sales tax revenue. Budget Director Mary Lassiter says total February receipts were up by over 21 million dollars, or almost four percent. She credits a portion of that increase to gift cards exchanged during the Christmas season that are only now being used. Lassiter says February is not typically Kentucky's best month for revenue collection, so the rise was welcome news.
Illinois lawmakers have agreed on how much money will be available for next year's budget. The state Senate joined the House today in approving a revenue estimate of $33.7 billion. The figure amounts to an upper limit for the fiscal year starting July 1. But much of the money will go to paying pensions and old bills, leaving less for day-to-day government services. Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno says creating a budget will be the most difficult challenge for legislators.