US states face wide budget deficits 6 years into economic recovery

Many American states are still facing significant budget deficits even though the US economy is in its sixth year of recovery from the Great Recession.

Dozens of states continue to face major funding gaps that have locked state legislatures in prolonged battles with governors, threatening major spending cuts and widespread government layoffs, The New York Times reports.

Only 25 states have passed budgets for the 2016 fiscal year, according to the National Association of State Budget Officers, which tracks legislative activity.

In Illinois, fights over the state budget’s $3 billion shortfall have hit such an impasse that Governor Bruce Rauner, a Republican, issued a dire warning last week that a “major, major restructuring of the government” was imminent.

In Kansas, some Republicans have joined Democratic state lawmakers in blaming the state’s $400 million budget deficit on deep tax cuts passed in 2012 and 2013 at the urging of Governor Sam Brownback, a conservative Republican.

And in Louisiana, lawmakers in the Republican-controlled state legislature are in a standoff with Republican Governor Bobby Jindal as they struggle with a $1.6 billion shortfall.


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