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Friday, February 20, 2009

With yesterday's preliminary revenue forecast, Washington State's deficit is now among the worst in the nation, as Andrew Garber pointed out today.

Data from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows just how big of an impact yesterday's news will have.

Fiscal year 2009 - Before yesterday, our FY 2009 deficit was relatively small - 3% of the total budget. We were tied for 35th among the states. Now we're at 8% of the budget and only 12 states have larger relative deficits.*

Fiscal year 2010 - For 2010, we've moved from an 18% deficit to a 23% deficit. Here's the complete list of states with 2010 deficits above 20%:

Nevada (30%)
Arizona (30%)
California (26%)
New York (24%)
Washington (23%)
Connecticut (23%)
Florida (23%)
Louisiana (22%)
Vermont (21%)
Wisconsin (20%)

We're not that far from California (who finally passed a budget yesterday after running out of cash).

Few people down there are completely happy with the California budget. It includes deep and harmful spending cuts and imbalanced tax changes. But it is important to note that California considered the full range of options when balancing its budget rather than focusing exclusively on budget cuts.

If you missed the revenue forecast presentation, Dr. Raha's presentation can be viewed here.

* The data used here was last updated on February 10 for the other states.

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