It’s not just Washington state that is facing huge budget shortfalls.
State governments are forecasting more than $100 billion in budget gaps over the next two fiscal years, according to a new report from an association of state governments.
Twenty states have already cut $7.6 billion from their budgets for fiscal 2009, and 30 states have identified additional shortfalls totaling more than $30 billion, according to a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) to be released at 11 a.m. Monday.
Twenty-five states also have identified shortfalls of $60 billion for fiscal 2010, according to the report provided to the Wall Street Journal. Based upon previous budget actions and a continuing downturn, the NCSL projects cumulative budget gaps of more than $140 billion for the next two financial years.
Some of the states facing serious budget challenges include Minnesota, California and Florida. Astute observers will notice something those three states all have in common. (Insert “Final Jeopardy” music here.)
That’s right, they all have Republican governors. The proper response, of course, is: so what?
The global economic crisis was caused in large part by a corrupt, nearly unregulated financial sector that made foolish decisions, and it happened during a Republican administration in Washington, D.C. To blame any governor for the challenges now facing the states is a bit like blaming a homeowner for the arsonist that just torched their house, because they should have known someone might pour a five gallon can of gasoline all over and toss in a lit match.
Luckily, we have a president-elect who seems interested in helping all the states and all the citizens, instead of looking the other way while Grandma Millie takes it in the shins.