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January 3, 2011

Top Fiscal Issues of the New Year 

Legislative fiscal directors lay out their top concerns for the next legislative sessions.

State budgets are expected to control the new year’s legislative agendas once again.

The reason? Despite stabilizing state revenues, serious fiscal challenges await lawmakers in their 2011 legislative sessions. NCSL surveyed the legislative fiscal directors in all 50 states and territories and asked them to identify the top fiscal issues their states expect to address in the 2011 legislative sessions.

With large budget gaps on the horizon, it is not surprising that budgets are anticipated to top legislative agendas in two-thirds of the states. Concerns about Medicaid, education, revenues, and pensions also loom large for what is expected to be a very difficult budget year ahead.

NCSL has released the survey findings in a new report, NCSL Fiscal Brief: Top Fiscal Issues for 2011 Legislative Sessions. The report breaks down each of the top five issues and provides details on how states intend to deal with these fiscal priorities.

These issues underscore an unfortunate fact:  Lawmakers’ endurance to resolve extraordinary fiscal problems will be tested yet again in 2011. All 50 states and all territories will meet for legislative sessions in 2011.

A free copy of NCSL’s Fiscal Brief: Top Fiscal Issues for 2011 Legislative Sessions is available to the media on our website.


NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.