State Budgets


State Budget Update February 8, 2012

February 8, 2012

Updates this week:

  • MISSISSIPPI: Governor Bryant's first budget proposal recommends $26 million less in state spending by cutting departments and agencies by 5.5%, but fully funding education. February 1, 2012.
  • MARYLAND: Governor proposes tax, fees, and rates increases totaling nearly $1 billion to balance the sate budget, all while increasing spending on transportation and environmental projects. February 4, 2012.
  • FLORIDA: House Budget Committee approved $69 billion budget that adds $1 billion for schools while hiking tuition, cutting health services, and erasing thousands of jobs. February 1, 2012.

State Budget Deficit Updates:

  • Budget gimmicks use by states. January 19, 2012.

  • State governments trying new ways to cope with Medicaid costs. January 9, 2012.

  • Standard & Poor's, "For US State Budgets, Austerity Is Here To Stay." S&P, January 5, 2012. 

  • Updates on State Transparency Websites:NCSL. September 12, 2011.
  • Best and Worse Run States in America- An Analysis of all 50. 24/ November 28, 2011.
  • Seven things Lawmakers need to consider when reforming corrections policy. NCSL. December 19, 2011.
  • Healthcare spending by state.
  • States face $40 billion deficit in FY 2013. Business Week. November 30, 2011.
  • State agencies prepare for budget cuts. November 11, 2011.
  • Super Committee blowup may hit states hard. Stateline. November 23, 2011.
  • State Budget Solutions Report reveals aggregate state debt exceeds $4 trillion. October 24 2011.

States' Running Deficits

California:$21 billion budget deficit., January 13, 2012.

Colorado$500 million shortfall. Chronicle, September 20, 2011.

Connecticut:$144.5 million deficit., January 25,2012.

Florida$2 billion shortfall for the next fiscal year. Sunshine State News, October 7, 2011.

Illinois$8 billionChicago Tribune, September 26, 2011.

Louisiana$251 million deficit in current budget. December 17, 2011.

Maine$220 January 16, 2012.

Maryland$1 billion shortfall for fiscal year 2012-13. January 3, 2012

Massachusetts: Senate Chair of Ways & Means Committee predicts a $1 billion deficit for the next fiscal December 12, 2011.

Michigan$1.2 billion surplus in FY 2011. January 12, 2012.

Mississippi$1 billion shortfall for fiscal year 2012-13. January 3, 2012.

Missouri: $750 million deficit projected for fiscal year 2012. December 16, 2011.

Montana: $426 million surplus projected. December 6,2011.

New York$350 million deficit this year (fiscal 2012) and  $3.5 billion deficit in fiscal 2013.BusinessWeek. November 18, 2011.

Oregon$300 million shortfall., January 25, 2012

Pennsylvania$500 million shortfall projected for the current year. December 20, 2011.

Rhode Island$120 million budget January 4, 2012.

Vermont$46 million budget January 4, 2012.

Virginia: Senate budget committee estimates up to a billion dollars shortfall for FY 2012-14 while the House Appropriations Committee estimates a $1.5 billion shortfall. Washington Post. December 15, 2011.

Washington $2.0 November 17, 2011.

Wyoming$437 million surplus forecasted as of June 30, 2012. Powell Tribune, September 27, 2011.

Information by State:


  • Legislators will likely need to find a way to cut $400 million from the state's general fund, as federal stimulus money and other one-time revenue sources are running out. February 5, 2012.
  • A $1.8 billon General Fund budget approved by the Alabama Senate will require most agencies, except prisons and Medicaid, to get by on less money and will wipe out funding for many museums and tourist attractions. The budget provides no raises for state workers and is based on them paying more for retirement and health insurance. April 8, 2011. 


Legislature passes $9 billion total budget including about $7 billion in state funds. The compromise put more money to pay for college scholarships for high-achieving high school graduates. The final bill contained $6 million for Parnell's plan and $3 million for needs-based assistance. Alaska Dispatch. May 4, 2011.


  • Governor Brewer proposes that the state buy back state buildings sold when money was tight. January 14, 2012.
  • Governor signed budget that eliminates state budget shortfall. Spending in the next fiscal would total $8.3 billion. That's below the current year's $8.5 billion and Brewer's proposed $8.9 billion. The changes would save the state a projected $500 million to help close a $1.1 billion budget shortfall. Arizona Republic. April 8, 2011.


The Arkansas House gave final approval Friday to a $4.6 billion budget for the coming year that increases spending for public schools and prisons but keeps state workers' salaries flat. On a 74-13 vote, the House gave final approval to the Revenue Stabilization Act, which sets spending priorities for the coming year based on expected revenues. Arkansas online. April 2, 2011. 


  • California must come up with $3.3 billion by March. Treasurer Bill Lockyer plans to borrow as much as $1 billion from Wall Street, and Gov. Brown intends to sign the legislation. Controller Chiang will delay making $1 billion in scheduled payments to public colleges, counts, and health programs for the poor. The CA Public Employees' Retirement System agreed to allow the state to delay making a $527 million payment to cover benefits. February 3, 2012.
  • State Controller John Chiang says state needs to borrow more money and delay some payments to plug state budget shortfall. Chiang says state leaders must find $3.3 billion to cover payments for priority programs between Feb. 29 & April 13. January 31, 2012.
  • State Comptroller John Chiang reports that state has $21 billion deficit. December report shows that California revenue is down by 11.2% due mostly to 26.4% decrease in sales tax collection and because state spending ($52.3 billion) is 33% more than revenue. January 13, 2012. 
  • Governor Brown sends "ransom note" to California voters on tax increases. His proposal increases state spending by 7 percent over the current budget, even though the state faces a $9.2 billion deficit. Governor Brown's budget calls for $4.8 billion in cuts to public schools if voters reject the $7 billion in tax increases Brown wants to place on the November ballot. Additionally on Brown's chopping block is a $1 billion welfare cut. January 6, 2012.
  • Governor Brown wins right to use more than $1 billion in redevelopment funds to help fill a budgetgap. December 30, 2011.
  • Judge stops Medi-Cal budget cuts; state plans appeal. January 4, 2012.
  • Projected $13 billion budget deficit in FY 2012-13. December 21, 2011.
  • Gov. Jerry Brown announced nearly $1 billion in new state budget cuts, slashing spending on higher education and eliminating funding for free school-bus service but avoiding the deeper reductions to public schools that many had feared. LA Times.
  • Schools face up to a $1.4 billion in automatic spending cuts due to $.3.7 billion decline in state revenue 24 2011.
  • Governor Brown vetoes performance budget bill. October 10, 2011. Veto message calls it a "siren song of budget reform." Office of the Governor, October 9, 2011.


  • Denver court decision in education says Colorado is underfunding schools by billions. 9, 2011.
  • Colorado lawmakers will likely have to cut another $400 million to $500 million next year as the state continues trying to dig out of the economic downturn, the governor's economic team said on September 20. September 20, 2011.
  • Governor Hickenlooper signed the budget compromise bill on May 6 to help cover a $1 billion state budget shortfall. May 6, 2011.


  • In two months, CT went from a $101 million surplus to a $144.5 million deficit due to excessive spending and less than project revenue. January 25, 2012.
  • Governor Malloy plans to use budget-cutting authority to trim programs across state government and impose new restrictions on hiring to help cover a projected $73.6M deficit in 2012 budget. January 24, 2012.
  • Moody's downgrades state bonds citing the state's high debt, racked up by substantial borrowing and depletion of the rainy day fund, used to cover deficits resulting from the recession that limited the state's tax collections. January 20, 2012.
  • Budget surplus of $101 million projected for this year. November 29, 2011.
  • Legislature's budget office estimates state budget shortfall as high as $53 million this year. November 14, 2011.
  • Twenty-two State Troopers are expected to lose their jobs. Governor Malloy announced $135 million budget cuts to help balance the two-year budget. September 6, 2011.
  • Unions overwhelmingly ratify concession packageto balance state budget. August 18, 2011.
  • Legislature, meeting in special session, gave Gov. Malloy only a portion of the additional cuts, $1.6 billion, from the budget. July1, 2011.


  • Gov. Jack Markells' $3.45 billion operating budget proposal includes additional spending for Medicaid and schools, but no tax or fee increases. The budget represents a 1% increase over this year's operating budget., January 27, 2012.
  • Lawmakers on June 29 sent Gov. Jack Markell a $3.5 billion budget to run the state for the next year, with one day to spare in this year's legislative session. Delaware June 29, 2011.


  • House Budget Committee approved $69 billion budget that adds $1 billion for schools while hiking tuition, cutting health services, and erasing thousands of jobs. February 1, 2012.
  • House releases $69.2 billion spending plan for FY 2012. The House version is $3 billion more than the Governor's recommendation proposed last month. January 27, 2012.
  • Governor draws mixed reviews on his proposed budget. Bradenton Times, December 10, 2011.
  • Governor calls for more than a $1 billion increase in K-12 funding.Miami Herald
  • S&P credit rating upgraded to AAA-stable from AAA-negative. August 18, 2011.
  • State may avoid budget shortfall next year. August 31, 2011.


  • Governor Deal proposes to implement zero-based budgeting for 10% of programs in 2012. January 10, 2012.
  • Gov. Nathan Deal signed an $18.3 billion budget on May 17 that increases health insurance premiums for state employees, slashes funding for Georgia's college system and cobbles together money to go after tax cheats. The governor used his line item veto power to strike funding for 11 bond projects in the university system worth more than $40 million. May 18, 2011.


  • State plans to tighten spending rather than increase taxes to cover a predicted $19.3 million state budget deficit in 2013. January 9, 2012.
  • Moody's downgrades Hawaii's General Obligation Bond Rating. Hawaii Reporter. May 17, 2011.
  • The Hawaii Legislature has passed a two-year state budget that aims to eliminate the state's $1.3 billion projected state budget shortfalland pay for rising demand for government services.The budget relies on about $600 million in tax increases and another $600 million in cuts to Gov. Neil Abercrombie's requests. Another $200 million comes from the state's savings, most notably its hurricane relief fund. May 3, 2011.


  • Governor calls for $45 million in tax cuts. January 10, 2012.
  • Governor raises the budget by over 5 percent. January 10, 2012.
  • The Joint Finance- Appropriation Committee adopted the ending balance projected to be $39.4 million ($10.6 million lower than the Governor's recommended ending balance). The 2011 session included new legislation that provides for transfers from dedicated accounts to the General Fund to help balance FY 2012. The Legislature provided for an overall 2.2 % omnibus General Fund reduction for all agencies and departments. The 2011 Idaho Legislature.


  • Governor wants $2 billion in Medicaid cuts. February 7, 2012. Governor also calls for more spending; legislators wonder where he plans to get the money. February 2, 2012.
  • IL facing financial disaster under pile of unpaid bills that could reach $35 billion in five years if state fails to reign in pension and other costs, according to the Civic Foundation. January 30, 2012.
  • In FY 2012, Medicaid and pension spending is equivalent to 60 percent of the state's base operating budget; by 2017, it increases to 73 percent. January 30, 2012.
  • Budget crisis overshadows all other items for Illinois legislature. January 28, 2012.
  • Lawmakers reject Governor's plans to close seven state facilities to save money. November 10, 2011.
  • The state owes on 166,000 unpaid bills worth $5 billion with more than half of the bills overdue by more than a month. AP. October 15, 2011.
  • Budget deficit hits $8.3 billion despite tax increase. Bloomberg September 26, 2011.
  • Governor wants to close seven state facilities and lay off 1,900 employees. September 8, 2011.
  • Governor Quinn confirms he will lay off government workers despite his agreement with labor unions not to do so. September 6, 2011.
  • Moody's hits IL budget over unpaid bills, pension funding. Chicago August 12, 2011.


  • State officials find $300 million in April 30, 2011.
  • Governor Daniels signed $29 billion state budget on May 10. Bloomberg Business Week, May 11, 2011.


  • State auditor says Governor's budget doesn't cover pay increases for state employees or close the $5.7 billion pension shortfall. February 6, 2012.
  • Governor proposes budget that increases spending 3.8 percent. January 10, 2012.
  • The Iowa Legislature beat a midnight deadline with hours to spare on Thursday, finishing work on a $5.99 billion state budget and resolving a dispute over taxpayer money that could be used to pay for some Medicaid abortions. June 30, 2011.


  • Governor proposes tightening state budget by 4.1% lower than last year. January 12, 2012.
  • Sharp cuts taking place in Kansas. December 21, 2011.
  • Legislature approved a $13.8 billion budget plan to fund state government in the next fiscal year. The package would erase a budget shortfall that at one point approached $500 million, and create a $50 million cash cushion on June 30, 2012, without raising taxes. May 13, 2011.



  • The $895M shortfall projected in 2012 isn't a surprise: At least 40% of the gap is tied to the use of one-time money used for state Medicaid that propped up parts of the current budget and will expire before the start of the fiscal year in July. January 24, 2012.
  • The $25 billion state operating budget is on its way to Gov. Bobby Jindal's desk after the Louisiana House gave its final approval Tuesday, wrapping up the Legislature's biggest order of business with two days remaining in the session. June 21, 2011.


  • Governor says bipartisan budget balancing plan is "full of gimmicks" and lacks the structural changes needed to make state Medicaid services affordable to taxpayers. February 6, 2012.
  • $220 million. January 16, 2012.
  • Governor orders state agencies to find $100 million in cuts in anticipation of losing federal funds due to the deficit reduction plan recently passed by Congress. August 4, 2011.
  • Governor LePage signs $6 billion state budget. June 20, 2011.


  • Governor proposes tax, fees, and rates increases totaling nearly $1 billion to balance the sate budget, all while increasing spending on transportation and environmental projects. February 4, 2012.
  • Governor O'Malley proposes increasing sales tax from 6% to 7%. January 11, 2012.
  • Gov. also proposes raising taxes on Maryland's high earners. January 17, 2012.
  • $1 billion shortfall for fiscal year 2012-13. January 3, 2012.
  • The Senate Budget and Taxation Committee met with the Department of Legislative Services to address viable options to raise revenue to help to close an estimated $800 million transportation budget shortfall. Options discussed include raising the state's fuel tax rates, adding a 6 percent sales tax on fuel purchases, or increasing other taxes and fees. September 16, 2011.
  • Governor warns of more budget cuts, tax increases-- spells out a world where the pie's not big enough and the revenue is not big enough. August 22, 2011.


  • Gov. Patrick unveils $32.3 billion state budget that increases state spending by approx. 3 %. January 25, 2012.
  • Governor Patrick's top budget official said the Governor will offer "modest and limited new revenue proposals" for next year's budget. January 13, 2012.
  • Chairman of Senate Ways & Means Committee predicts $1 billion deficit in FY 2013. December, 2011.
  • The Legislature approved the $30.6 billion budget on a 150-2 vote in the House and a 33-4 vote in the Senate, sending it to Governor Deval Patrick, who will have 10 days to review it and issue vetoes. The budget will limit the collective bargaining rights of teachers, police officers, and firefighters in an effort to ease the cost of health insurance for cities and towns. July 1, 2011.


  • $1.2 billion surplus in FY 2011. January 12, 2012. 
  • Funding model rewards higher education institutions.
  • Detroit prison to close and 2,000 face layoffs to fill state budget shortfall. September 29, 2011.
  • New state budget on way to Governor as Legislature passes $47.4 billion budget four months before the fiscal year begins on October 1. The plan cuts the state's minimum per-pupil foundation allowance for public schools to $6,846, including a $300-per-student reduction. State aid to universities will drop 15 percent across the board. The social safety net also takes a hit. Most able-bodied welfare recipients face a stricter four-year lifetime limit to receive benefits. May 26, 2011.


  • State asks consultants to ferret out savings. 12, 2011.
  • $876 budget surplus projected for the current biennium that ends June 30, 2013, but $1.3 billion deficit projected for next December 2, 2011.
  • Finalizes sale of $757 million in tobacco bonds - a move that comes with substantial costs. November 17, 2011.
  • Lawmakers okay changes that could drop 65,000 from Medicaid. November 10, 2011.
  • State burns $1.1 billion in future tobacco cash for about half as much money now. November 8, 2011.
  • Moody's lowers Minnesota outlookto negative on strained finances. August 1, 2011.
  • Governor Dayton signed a new budget on July 20, ending the nation's longest state government shutdown in the past decade. July 20, 2011.


  • Governor Bryant's first budget proposal recommends $26 million less in state spending by cutting departments and agencies by 5.5%, but fully funding education. February 1, 2012.
  • New Governor plans to restructure state budget process to performance-based budgeting. January 11, 2012.
  • Governor-elect Phil Bryant supports changing the state budget system to one based on performance results. December 31, 2011.
  • State facing $1 billion state budget shortfall in next budget January 3, 2012.
  • Mississippi lawmakers have given final approval to next year's state budget. The total spending package comes to about $5.5 billion. House and Senate members had to vote on dozens of separate spending bills that make up the budget. Some small cuts were made for community colleges, mental health, and the homestead tax exemption but there was heated debate over funding for education. Education will not get cut as much as the governor wanted. WJTV. April 4, 2011.


  • Gov. Nixon proposes a half billion in state budget cuts to balance the FY2013 budget without a tax increase. January 24, 2012.
  • Higher education fund may be raided again. December 26, 2011.
  • Next fiscal year will be only the third time in 30 years the state government has reduced spending year over year now that Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has signed the $23.29 billion budget for fiscal 2012, starting July 1. Nixon signed the budget, which will reduce total expenditures by at least 2.1 percent, on June 10. Missouri Watchdog reported all funds fell year over year by 4.7 percent in 2003 and 2.8 percent in 1984. Spending increased 508 percent from $3.9 billion in 1981 to an estimated $23.8 billion for this fiscal year. June 10, 2011.


  • State expected to have $427 million surplus by mid-2013. April 30, 2011.
  • Governor signs budget that cuts spending of "general fund" money by more than 6 percent, compared to the current two-year budget period that ends in June. But the budget deal fully restores about $100 million in federal money for programs largely aimed at the needy that Republicans tried to cut - prompting some in the GOP to oppose the compromise. May 13, 2011.


Lawmakers approved a two-year spending plan that cuts state agency budgets but leaves nearly $300 million in Nebraska's cash reserve without raising taxes. The package would set general fund spending at roughly $7 billion over the two-year budget period that begins July 1. The package closes a budget gap projected at nearly $1 billion. Changes to school funding accounted for $410 million in savings spread over the next two fiscal years. The proposal would pull $105 million from the state's cash reserve to balance the budget, but leave $299 million. BusinessWeek. May 12, 2011.


Gov. Brian Sandoval and legislative leadership reached a budget deal to extend the so-called sunset taxes, called that because they were meant to sunset in 2011, to help fill the state's $2 billion state budget shortfall for the next two-years. The deal also eliminates part of the modified business tax, which was one of the sunset taxes. In this deal, the taxes and fee changes will stay in place until July 1, 2013. It is expected to bring $620 million to the state. August 1, 2011.

New Hampshire

New Jersey

  • Citing the state's failure to make full pension payments and its sluggish economic recovery, Fitch Ratings downgraded New Jersey's bond rating a notch, ranking it among the lowest in the nation. The move could make it more costly for the state to borrow. August 18, 2011.
  • Gov. Christie vetoed $900 million from the $29.7 billion budget including vetoing Democrats efforts to restore funding to public assistance programs. July 1, 2011.
  • The Democrat-led state legislature passed a budget on June 29, the eve of the state's budget deadline, but Republican Governor Chris Christie immediately rejected the deal. June 30, 2011.

New Mexico

New York

  • The state budget is reduced from $134.8 billion (2010-11) to $132.7 billion (2011-12) to $132.5 billion (2012-13). January 22, 2012.
  • Tax plan passed, legislature faces smaller budget gap. December 9, 2011.
  • Gov. Cuomo and legislative leaders announced they had reached an agreement to overhaul New York State's income tax, creating a higher tax bracket for the highest-income residents and reducing the tax rate for millions of middle-class residents. December 6, 2011.
  • Gov. Cuomo estimates federal"sequestered cuts"could cost the state $5 billion loss in federal funds over the next 10 years. November 21, 2011.
  • Governor Cuomo's office now projects up to a $3.5 billion state budget shortfall for the next fiscal year. November 14, 2011.
  • Medicaid overhaul saves $600 million in six months. October 6, 2011.
  • Even as Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo sent layoff notices to the first of 3,496 employees he is vowing to let go, leaders of New York's second-largest union of state workers said Wednesday that they did not intend to ask their members to reconsider the proposed contract they had rejected. September 28, 2011.
  • New York's largest state employees' union (Civil Service Employees Association) accepts wage and benefits concessions sought by Gov. Cuomo. Savings from the five-year contract are expected to total $73 million this fiscal year. State forecasts $4.6 billion state budget shortfall by 2015. August 3, 2011.

North Carolina

Senate voted 31-19 to override Governor Perdue's veto of the budget on June 15.  Earlier the House had voted 73-46 to override the Governor's veto. June 15, 2011.

North Dakota

  • The budget increased general fund spending by 20 percent over the next two years due to an accounting maneuver. The biennial budget that lawmakers approved includes several big-ticket spending items, such as $370 million in road repairs and another $342 million to reduce local property taxes. But those projects were paid for through a special account financed by excess oil-tax revenues - rather than the general fund - allowing Governor Jack Dalrymple and the Legislature to mask their effect on overall spending until after lawmakers had approved a two-year general fund budget on April 28. May 2, 2011.
  • Senate Republicans unveiled a revamped $55.7 billion state budget Tuesday, touting increased funding for local governments, school districts, in-home care for the elderly and efforts to combat prescription drug abuse.


  • Ohio privatized a portion of the state's prison system for $72.7 million. September 1, 2011.
  • The House voted 59-40 along party lines on June 29 to give final approval to a new two-year,$55.8 billion budget that contains considerable changes for local governments, schools, Medicaid and state prisons. The bill was sent to Gov. John Kasich, who plans to sign it June 30, the final day of this fiscal year. It will take effect July 1. Columbia June 30, 2011.


  • Governor to push for reducing state personal income tax. December 27, 2011.
  • Senate passes budget on May 18 but without a key component of the budget agreement to allow the Department of Transportation to sell $70 million in bonds in exchange for diverting $100 million in road funds to other areas of state government. This proposal failed 23-21, short of the 25 votes needed to pass the legislation. This proposal will be reconsidered later this week. The Legislature is scheduled to adjourn by May 20. May 18, 2011.
  • House approves $6.5 billion budget on May 13. A major part of the budget that begins July 1 is a proposal that authorizes the Legislature to move $100 million from a road and bridge fund at ODOT to help shore up a $500 million hole in the state budget. In exchange, ODOT is allowed to issue a $70 million bond issue for transportation projects. The bill narrowly passed the GOP-controlled House on a 51-45 vote, barely receiving the 51 votes needed for passage in the 101-member House. Democrats are upset about deep cuts to agency budgets, particularly cuts to education that total close to 5 percent. AP May 13, 2011.


  • Key legislators reach budget deal, avoid cuts to K-12 education and programs for seniors and the disabled, and create a cushion to cover future revenue declines. February 1, 2012.
  • Oregon legislations to take on $300 million budget shortfall. January 25, 2012.
  • Governor plans to order a hiring freeze for all state agencies, suspend new enrollments in the Oregon Health Plan and halt all "non-critical" government spending because of the state's budget woes. The governor signaled Tuesday that he will act quickly to impose a statewide hiring freeze of state workers and move forward with several other belt-tightening measures recommended by legislative budget leaders. The intent is to save money and prune spending before lawmakers come back to Salem in February for a short legislative session that promises to be dominated by budgetary concerns.
  • State faces added budget pressures as labor settlement comes in $43 million higher than expected. September 22, 2011.
  • Lawmakers opened the 76th Legislature facing a $3.5 billion gap between projected revenue and the estimated cost of continuing business as usual for two more years. They bridged the gap and crafted a $14.7 billion two-year budget that left schools, social safety net programs and just about every other government service far short of their desired levels. July 1, 2011.


  • Tom Corbett proposed $27.14 billion budget that funds K-12 education but steeply cuts higher education spending, while maintaining "no new taxes" pledge. The proposal is 0.1% less than 2011 budget. February 7, 2012.
  • Fiscal office expects $500 million shortfall by June. Bizjournals. February 6, 2012.
  • Governor reduces $160 million in state spending. January 5, 2012.
  • The Legislature gave final approval on June 29 to a $27.15 billion budget that will cut spending by three percent from the current fiscal year. The budget is due to be signed by Governor Tom Corbett on June 30 and the state's fiscal year begins July 1. Corbett is among a new class of Republican governors that have made a splash in states like Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida by calling for major cuts in government spending and tax breaks. June 30, 2011. This is the first budget completed on time in nine years, and the first budget decrease since the economy sank following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, according to legislative June 28, 2011.

Rhode Island

  • New taxes proposed as an alternative to cuts. January 4, 2012.
  • Governor considers tax proposal as 2012 session nears. December 30, 2011.
  • The Senate approved a $7.7 billion state budget on June 29 and sent the budget to the Governor. Highlights of the proposal include: A new 7 percent sales tax on the purchase of non-prescription drugs, software and videogame downloads, smartphone applications and sightseeing tours. The new taxes would go into effect Oct. 1 and would raise an estimated $17 million in the next fiscal year. Increased monthly premiums for families on Medicaid whose income places them above the poverty line. A family of four living on an income of $33,000 would see their monthly Medicaid premium rise from $61 to $91. June 29, 2011.

South Carolina

  • Corporations and residents will get a break on income taxes while public workers go for a fourth year in a row without pay raise under Haley's budget proposal. January 13, 2012.
  • Legislature approved a $6 billion state budget on June 22 that cuts spending on programs for the poor, gives businesses an unemployment tax break and will send schools slightly more money per student than they received this year. The GOP-dominated House approved the proposed compromise by a narrow 57-54 vote with both Democrats and Tea Party-leaning Republicans opposing it. The Senate, also majority Republican, followed hours later with a 24-17 vote. June 22, 2011.

South Dakota

Legislature passes balanced budget to eliminate state budget shortfall for FY 2012 on March 11, 2011. March 14, 2011.


Thousands of Tennesseans will get an extension of their unemployment benefits under the $30.78 billion budget approved by the General Assembly on May 21. The Senate voted 32-0 and the House passed it 96-0. The budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 also includes $71 million for disaster relief from recent storms and flooding and a hospital assessment fee supported by the industry that would raise $449 million. It is designed to draw another $871 million in federal matching funds.  A balanced spending plan is the only legislation that the General Assembly is required to pass each year under the state constitution. The spending plan includes a 1.6 percent raise for state employees, their first pay hike in four years.


  • State agencies began to lay off employees, with almost 6,000 jobs expected to be lost in the current two-year budget cycle. July 13, 2011.
  • Must-passed budget bill revived and approved by House and sent to Governor. The bill contains the public school finance overhaul, which uses a new, complicated formula to equitably distribute the $4 billion reduction in expected funding. It also contains provisions that balance the state budget, which is mandated by the Texas Constitution. June 28, 2011.


The approved budget adds back all but 1 percent of the 7 percent in cuts made earlier in the session. SB2, sponsored by Senate Budget Chairman Lyle Hillyard, R-Logan, was approved by both the Senate and the House and now goes to Gov. Gary Herbert for his action on the estimated $12 billion spending plan. Some areas of state government including higher education will see spending sliced by 2 percent or more, but public education emerged not only intact but with additional funds for enrollment growth. March 8, 2011.


  • $46 million budget shortfall. January 4, 2012.
  • The approved budget eliminated a $176 million state budget shortfall through a combination of cuts, revenue adjustments and an improving state economy that boosted the state's tax yield by an unanticipated $29.1 million. Savings were derived in part through $12 million in concessions by the state employees' union; a $38.6 million cut in human services programs; $4.1 million in avoided unemployment insurance interest payments waived (for at least the time being) by the federal government; and $1.7 million in miscellaneous cuts. The budget is also balanced by not transferring $23 million from the state's General Fund to the Education Fund, meaning that local property taxpayers will likely have to pick up the slack in fiscal year 2013 or search for cuts that amount to about 2 percent statewide as part of the Challenges for Change mandate. A recalculation and extension of the state's tax on health care providers (like Porter Hospital), which amounts to about $5.9 million spread among all hospitals in the state, a boost in the cigarette tax (of 38 cents per pack) that will generate $3 million more than current taxes, were in addition to another $24.2 million in new revenue. May 12, 2011.


  • State faces between $885 million and $1.5 billion state budget shortfall for FY 2013-14. November 15, 2011.


  • Moody's lowers WA outlook to "negative" based on revenue shortfall. January 30, 2012.
  • Fitch warns WA state over budget gap. January 27, 2012.  
  • Senate Democrats unveil government reform ideas. January 12, 2012.
  • Washington State Supreme Court rules that state has not adequately funded K-12 education. Additional costs of "adequate funding" could be between $6.9-8.9 billion per biennium. January 6, 2012.
  • Governor wants to dump tax-vote requirement. January 5, 2012.
  • Legislators propose income tax as part of overhaul. January 6, 2012.
  • New tax revenues? Yes, but first must reform state government. December 27, 2011.
  • Business leaders open to sales tax increase. December 23, 2011.
  • Task force recommends $21 billion more for roads over next 10 years. Seattle Times.House approval of $480 million budget gap legislation paves way for special session to end. A $15 billion budget gap remains. The Olympian.Budget Director urges to take quick action on solving budget shortfall. News Tribune.
  • Fact Check:Has Washington cut budget by $10.5B? November 27, 2011.
  • Governor proposes half-cent tax increase. State has $2 billion state budget shortfall. Seattle Times November 17, 2011.
  • Voters approval of privatization of liquor may open doors elsewhere. November 9, 2011.
  • Democrats may float tax hike in special election to patch budget. News Tribune. September 28, 2011.

West Virginia

West Virginia lawmakers passed a $10 billion state budget on March 18 that includes public employee pay raises, retiree bonuses and additional money for mine inspectors. The budget bill is about $134 million larger than what Governor Tomblin proposed when the regular session began in January. Charleston March 18, 2011.


  • Walker releases details of budget cuts: UW system to take biggest 23, 2011.
  • Governor's commission finds $260 million in potential budget savings for taxpayers. July 14, 2011.


$437 million surplus projected for June 30, 2012. September 22, 2011.