Tag: State Budget Solutions

How to Permanently Resolve State Budget Gaps

(This article is excerpted from a policy treatment about questions states must ask themselves as they adjust to increased responsibilities and reduced revenue. ┬áThe author Bob Williams is President of State Budget Solutions and previously, he was founder of the Freedom Foundation.) By Bob Williams Budgets drive all policy, which is why debating, writing and approving a state budget is the primary task legislators must accomplish. Governors and state agencies cannot spend even one dollar without legislative approval. Many state legislators start the budget process by focusing almost entirely on “inputs” (i.e., how much needs to be put in to sustain current programs and expenses). They take existing programs, adjust costs for inflation, add caseload increases, splice in a few… View Article
By Bob Williams Last month, the Government Accountability Office released its annual report on the fiscal condition of our states. The report’s title — “State Fiscal Gap Seen Worsening” — says it all. Every state is facing record deficits, and the GAO predicts the budget gaps for state and local governments will steadily worsen through 2060 absent any policy changes. The GAO calculated that closing the fiscal gap with an immediate action would require an annual 12.7 percent reduction in state and local government expenditures, or tax increases of a similar magnitude. The downward spiral that state budgets are experiencing are the result of accounting gimmicks, reckless spending, and a failure of state legislatures and governors over the years to… View Article

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