Rhode Island’s current deficit – once thought to be in the neighborhood of $900 million – is now estimated to be $114 million, according to the state Office of Management and Budget.

In a memo released Monday night, OMB Director Jonathan Womer said the November revenue estimating conference revealed a current-year general revenue increase of $330.6 million. Combined with an opening surplus of $180 million, that reduced the red ink.

During an interview at The Public’s Radio last week, Rep. Joseph Shekarchi (D-Warwick), who recently won the support to become the next House speaker, said he expected lawmakers to consider what he called a skinny budget next month.

Shekarchi's estimate for the deficit last week was between $300 million and $450 million.

The state faces a December 30 deadline for using more than $100 million in federal CARES Act funding.

Budget deficits are a perennial in Rhode Island.

Bigger challenges could come with the spending plan for the fiscal year starting next July 1, in part due to ongoing uncertainty about the outlook for more federal pandemic help.

The House Finance Committee is slated to begin delving into the latest budget details during a 3:30 pm Wednesday meeting at the Statehouse. It will be broadcast live on Capitol TV and streamed on the legislature’s web site, although the Statehouse remains closed to the public.

Ian Donnis covers politics for The Public's Radio. He can be reached at idonnis@ripr.org