State budget director considering impact of Russia-Ukraine invasion

The war in Ukraine could eventually impact revenue flowing into state government which could result in fewer tax breaks and services for you. While nobody is predicting it at this time, the new state budget director is talking to FOX2's Tim Skubick about the possibility.

As you watch the carnage unfold in Ukraine you're probably not thinking about how this could impact your household. But the man the governor has charged to write a new state budget is thinking about exactly that. Budget Director Christopher Harkins says it's early to have a definitive answer but it is possible.

"We've started to think about that. It's pressing but we don have a good answer for you.  It's a little early for us to understand the ramifications," Hawkins said.

With Russia sitting on a pile of energy that Americans need to fuel their cars and some say the war is already showing up at the gas pump.

And that also means truckers who haul your food to the store and other goods to other businesses will be paying more, too, and the trickle-down effect means you could be paying even higher food prices than you are now.

This potential monkey wrench comes when the senate budget chair Jim Stamas, the governor's budget guy, and the house GOP budget chair Thomas Albert are beginning delicate negotiations on next year's spending plan.

As of now, the state is rolling in dough with a $7 billion surplus and wants to give part of that money back to you, any hit to state revenues as a result of the events overseas could jeopardize those tax breaks and state services.

Normally the budget director thinks about the word recession during budget talks but it's the other R word - Russia - that's on Harkins' mind. He says he'll negotiate with one eye on the Republicans and the other on Russia. But as of March 1, 2022, cuts in the budget are not part of the plan.

"I don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves. I'm really not sure yet what that might be. We will continue to monitor it and will have to adjust," he said.