schmudget has moved to our new website ( If you're not redirected automatically, click here.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Federal fiscal relief to states is set to expire at the end of 2010, but state fiscal shortfalls (including Washington State's) are expected to last into 2012 or longer. A new round of fiscal relief could help offset the damaging cuts proposed in the Governor's recent budget and provide a boost to the recovery. In order to be of use to Washington State, Congress must act soon so these funds can be included in the budget process.

In Washington State, there has been record drops in state revenue at the same time as dramatic increases in the need for public structures that provide health care, economic security, and job retraining. We are not alone. At least 38 other states have mid-year deficits that have opened up after balancing their budgets earlier this year (more detail). The actions that states must take to close these deficits could cost the economy as many as 900,000 jobs.

In the last round of deficit-closing, most states including Washington State relied heavily on federal fiscal relief. These funds helped stave off even deeper cuts in health care and education and provided a boost to the economy. The graph below shows how much of the total state fiscal gap was closed through federal recovery funds. It also shows how deficits continue into fiscal year 2012, after the federal relief has ended.

No comments: