What does that mean?
It means the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee can't appropriate more than that for next budget year, which begins July 1 - but it can give out less than that, said committee co-chairmen Sen. Dean Cameron, R-Rupert and Rep. Maxine Bell, R-Jerome.
How does that compare to what the agencies requested?
Some agencies have revised their requests, but according to the 2014 budget book, state agencies requested a total of $2.808 billion in general fund money for budget year 2014, or 3.9 percent more than 2013. That means not everyone will get what they want.
Over coming weeks, JFAC's 20 members will work with the legislative services office to set budgets for individual agencies. As Bell pointed out, that's a moving target: They have to budget through June 2014, and the revenue could change in that time. Worst case scenario: Revenues come in drastically lower than expected, and the governor has to decrease the budget a few months into fiscal year 2014.
What did February revenue numbers do for budget-writers confidence?
State tax revenues came in 19.7 percent above forecasts for the month of February, according to the Division of Financial Management. That was partly because of individual income tax receipts for the month, which came in at $27.2 million, nearly twice the projection; and miscellaneous taxes that got a big boost from higher insurance premium tax collections. February typically is the lowest month of the year for state revenue collections, Betsy Russell reported, so the strong results pushed Idaho's fiscal year-to-date collections up to 1 percent above the forecast.