As readers of these pages will know, I favor using money from the earnings reserve to fund the deficit projected for the FY 2016 budget, instead of money from the Constitutional Budget Reserve (CBR). The reason is because, under Art. 9, Sec. 17(c) of the Constitution, drawing money from the CBR requires an affirmative vote of three-fourths of the members of each house of the legislature. That is the reason -- and the only reason -- why the House Majority currently is negotiating with the House Minority over the budget. Going that route clearly will increase spending from those levels previously passed by the House.
Using money from the earnings reserve, on the other hand, is governed by Art. 2, Sec. 14 of the Constitution and only requires an affirmative vote of a majority of the membership of each house. No negotiations with the Minority -- and thus, no compromises that result in increased spending -- are required to tap this reserve.
Today, some suggested as a third route reducing spending to the levels necessary to avoid tapping either reserve. ("Why tap into savings at all? Why not cut more instead? ...")
This is a portion of the exchange that resulted. For those interested, the full discussion, which took various other twists and turns, is available here.