GOP leaders wary of rosier-than-expected revenue forecast

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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A newly updated revenue forecast shows North Dakota’s treasury expects to collect about $1 billion more in state tax collections for the next two-year budget cycle than what lawmakers had adopted just two months ago.

The forecast presented Monday to the Legislature’s Budget Section predicted higher oil prices and production than what was set by lawmakers in January as a budgetary starting point.

Republican leaders expressed caution at the numbers that were based on input from state budget analysts and Moody’s Analytics. The Legislature’s own budget consultancy, IHS Markit, will present its prediction on Tuesday.

Lawmakers will consider both forecasts to set the final numbers Thursday when they begin finishing their work on the state’s 2019-2021 spending plan.

The Legislature has idled major spending bills until that happens.

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