As the governor shakes up his budget office, Comptroller Judy Barr Topinka (pictured) says no matter how the governor’s budget office is organized, the reality remains that cuts must be made to the state’s budget. The governor has tapped a longtime loyalist to head up the Office of Management and Budget temporarily. Topinka says regardless of who is in charge of the budget, there are going to be tough decisions.
Click here for summary
“Whoever you have there … it still sits on the budget that [the governor] put forward,” Topinka said. Topinka, who’s in charge of paying the state’s bills, says while the governor is looking at budget cuts, at the same time his office must pay attention to the backlog of bills and the state’s overall fiscal health. “[The governor] uses the money that theoretically he saves from the cuts and he spends it on other programs, new programs or in other ways,” Topinka said. “So you’re not really saving or paying down the bills.” Among some of the governor’s proposed cuts are the closing of prisons and cuts to the Medicaid program.