BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) - GOP lawmakers are calling for more fiscal discipline following weak economic growth predictions in Massachusetts by top budget leaders this week. Revenue estimates for fiscal year 2014 range from a little more than $22 billion to about $22.5 billion dollars. Republicans believe the Commonwealth should base the state budget on the lower estimate.
"We should be more conservative in our approach so we can weather these kind of downturns that we have," said Sen. Robert Hedlund (R-Weymouth).
Revenues are growing slower that projected, but state Revenue Commissioner Amy Pitter said they're expected to improve in 2014. Nevertheless, Pitter warned that the global and national economies make it difficult to forecast revenue with any certainty.
"Uncertainties related to global economic slowdown, particularly in the Eurozone economies, and U.S. fiscal policies continues to be sources of risk on economic growth," said Pitter.
Which is why moving forward, some lawmakers say the state needs to boost job creation and take a serious look at spending cuts.
"I would urge my colleagues, you know the red flag is waving, the revenues are not coming in as strong, we have to look at our spending and I think we're going to have to look at cutting a little bit more," said Rep. Brad Hill (R-Ipswich).
Last week, Governor Deval Patrick outlined a plan to cut $225 million dollars from state agencies, withdraw $200 million dollars from the state rainy day fund and reduce city and town budgets by $9 million dollars. The latter requires approval from the state Legislature.