Lagging tax revenue may warrant special session

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When tax revenue lagged last year, Gov. Jack Dalrymple was forced to dip into the state's rainy day fund and issue an allotment, stripping state agencies of more than four percent of their budget.

The decision was based on a revenue forecast released in February. Now, revenue continues to lag behind even more than forecasted: $69 million behind.

Another new forecast will be released in July to project through the end of the biennium, and as a result, several things could happen.

With $75 million left in the rainy day fund, the governor could use that to cover the shortfall.

If that's not enough, Dalrymple could issue another allotment.

The most drastic measure would be calling a special session for lawmakers to create a new budget to get through the biennium.

"We're certainly in contact with all of the state agencies, making sure they're aware of the options, making sure they're aware of the timelines that we are looking at in terms of finishing the forecast," says Sheila Peterson, ND Director of Fiscal Management.

Peterson says it would be very difficult for some agencies to endure any further allotment without affecting services. ​