Monday, March 14, 2011

State Budget Shortfalls and New Priorities

States governments continue to feel the impact of tough economic times with 44 states and the District of Columbia projecting budget shortfalls for fiscal year 2012 totaling $125 billion. According to a report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, as governors across the country work on state budgets for the year they face decreased tax revenues without a decreased need for state-provided services - leading to increased spending gaps.
In the wake of the recession, states’ are facing significant budget constraints and are focused on redesigning government in a way that is more efficient. The National Governors Association released an issue brief analyzing Governors’ 2011 State of the Union Addresses. The report highlights the priorities most frequently addressed by governors as they outline their state’s goals for 2011. Governors’ were focused on government redesign efforts citing consolidation, streamlining the bureaucratic processes and controlling employee and pension costs. NGA’s Redesigning State Government page provides resources for states including a fiscal survey of the states, past government redesign efforts, and state-requested audits aimed at guiding cost savings, revenue enhancements, consolidation and elimination of agencies, and increasing government efficiency in general.
Even though the recession is over the aftermath continues at both the federal and state level. The importance of perusing policy changes that work and creating more responsible, effective government solutions is critical for both state budgets and for the children, families and communities state policymakers serve.
Visit the PolicyforResults homepage for updates on new content offering solutions for policymakers in tough economic times; including practical tools for making effective policy decisions.