The 2016-17 state budget grows “All Funds” appropriations by just three percent compared with the 2014-15 biennial level, and well below the 11.68 percent limit on the growth of state appropriations adopted by the Legislative Budget Board (LBB) in advance of the legislative session. LBB also estimates the combined rate of population growth and inflation to be between 6.35 percent and 8.32 percent, which places the All Funds budget well below population growth and inflation. Compared to the actual constitutional spending limit, HB 1 leaves approximately $2.9 billion unappropriated below the limit.
The state budget also contains a number of specific conservative achievements, including the redirection of $1.3 billion of motor fuels tax revenues to the State Highway Fund rather than other areas of the budget, a significantly decreased reliance on dedicated accounts to certify the budget, more than $4 billion in debt service appropriations, and appropriations of $590 million to reimburse Medicaid managed care organizations for the cost of the Affordable Care Act Health Insurance Providers Fee and associated federal income tax. The budget also makes no appropriations from the Economic Stabilization (Rainy Day) Fund; as a result the Fund is projected to have a balance of $11.1 billion at the close of FY 2017.