On the Table
Revenues Stronger than Estimate
General fund revenues through May were running about 3.7 percent stronger than estimated in December. Energy revenues and gross receipts are both stronger than expected mostly because of increased oil production. Corporate income taxes are weaker than expected. General fund revenue reports are available on the LFC website.
Payroll Glitches Prompt Budget Shift
The Department of Finance and Administration will transfer a total of about $257,000 from personnel and other areas to hire contract help to fix its payroll processing system. Glitches in the system have delayed paychecks for certain employees several times over the past few months.
Cash Handling Issues Lead to Free Parking
State Fair managers say the steps they are taking to fix cash-handling issues will include free parking at the annual event but higher ticket prices. An LFC evaluation in October found few checks and balances in the movement of cash from booths and other collections points, leaving the door open to pilfering. Managers made the change because the parking lot has little oversight. In addition, supervision of ticket booths will be increased.
Veterans Offered Police Academy Short Course
Military police veterans will no longer have to attend the 20-week regular Law Enforcement Academy certification course. The academy’s board has voted to offer the veterans a one-week compressed academy. Former MPs have said the full course repeats training they received in the military. The Department of Public Safety is hoping addressing the issue will help relieve officer recruitment pressures.
Vocational Rehab Waiting List Cut in Half
The waiting list for Division of Vocational Rehabilitation services was down to 433 at the end of July, compared with 964 in February.
Medicaid Costs Lower than Expected
The Human Services Department reports FY12 Medicaid expenditures were down $193 million, or 5 percent, from the January 2011 estimate used to develop the FY12 budget. Total costs for the program in FY12 were $3.67 billion. The department attributes the less-than-expected costs to tepid enrollment growth and cost-containment steps. If the numbers hold, the state could end up with a surplus in the program in FY13.
Air Force National Guard Colonel Andrew Salas is the new Department of Military Affairs adjutant general. Salas served in Iraq in 2005 as commander of the 332nd Expeditionary Mission Support Group and has more than 30 years experience in the military.
The Miners’ Hospital in Raton has hired Shawn Lerch as its new chief executive officer. Lerch was previously clinical support services director at Columbus Community Hospital in Wisconsin.
Daphne Rood-Hopkins is the new director of Behavioral Health at the Children, Youth and Families Department.
Erin McSherry, former LFC analyst and Supreme Court law clerk, is the new general counsel for the Cultural Affairs and Tourism departments.