State Government Fiscal Stress and Federal Assistance [December 3, 2012]   [open pdf - 396KB]

"No two state budgets are alike. States have different budget cycles, different ways of preparing revenue estimates and forecasts, different requirements concerning their operating and capital budgets, different roles for their governors in the budget process, and different policies concerning the carrying over of operating budget deficits into the next fiscal year. Although no two state budgets are alike, all 50 states have experienced fiscal stress in recent years, especially during FY2009 and FY2010. The national economic recession, which officially lasted from December 2007 to June 2009, led to lower levels of economic activity throughout the nation and reduced state tax revenues. State tax revenues from all sources, including sales, personal, and corporate income tax collections, fell from $680.2 billion in FY2008 to $609.8 billion in FY2010, a decline of 10.3%. The decline in state tax revenue, coupled with increased demand for social services and state-balanced operating budget requirements, created what the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO) characterized as 'one of the worst time periods in state fiscal conditions since the Great Depression.' […] This report examines the current status of state fiscal conditions and the role of federal assistance in state budgets. It begins with a brief overview of state budgeting procedures and then provides budgetary data comparing state fiscal conditions in FY2008 to FY2011."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R41773
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