The American Empire in a Changing World


Friday, August 17, 2012

''Why the State Budget Crisis is Real''

From Governing

''What's going on with state budgets? The latest survey of state fiscal officers put out by the National Conference of State Legislatures concludes that the states' economic outlook has stabilized as revenues slowly rebound. Forty-four states reported year-over-year revenue growth, with 19 of them reporting growth of 5 percent or more. Even though state budgets are seen as remaining vulnerable to job losses, developments in Europe and other economic shocks, the overall picture drawn by the NCLSL report seems pretty reassuring. Not "happy days are here again," but nothing to lose sleep over.

But hold on. Didn't the State Budget Crisis Task Force just issue a report with a much more alarming message? Indeed. The magnitude of the problem, that report's authors write, "extends beyond the impact of the financial crisis and the lingering recession. The ability of the states to meet their obligations to public employees, to creditors and most critically to the education and well-being of their citizens is threatened."

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