It was only a matter of when. The Joint Finance Appropriations Committee has formally asked every state agency and department to submit a reply by this Thursday as to how a general fund reduction of 5 percent could be accomplished.
Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter's recommendations were "too optimistic," wrote Cathy Holland-Smith of the legislature's budget and policy analysis division. "The Co-Chairmen of JFAC have directed our office to notify all agencies that receive General Fund support to consider programmatic changes that support a lower spending level for FY 2012."
The letter included a schedule that forecasts 5 percent reductions to each department/agency, including a possible $60.8 million hit to public school support, $10.8 million to colleges and universities and $22.8 million to Health and Welfare/Medicaid.