Read about the outlook for state fiscal conditions, the effect of the drop in gas prices on states, the ethics of gifts, the debate over motorcycle helmets and state efforts to support home caregivers.Read a rundown on the top public policy issues facing state lawmakers in 2015, state-private sector partnerships for infrastructure, e-cigarettes and taxes and dealing with cuts to mental health programs.
State finances in fiscal year (FY) 2012 continue to improve, albeit at a slow pace. Revenue performance has improved, expenditures have stabilized and budget gaps have disappeared—at least in most states, which is a significant departure from past years.Despite these positive developments, the effects of the Great Recession continue to linger. State tax collections remain below pre-recession levels, high unemployment persists, and uncertainties about the European debt crisis have created turmoil in financial markets and shaken investor confidence. Any significant negative developments could easily stall recent improvements in state fiscal condition
Legislative fiscal directors are keenly attuned to the fiscal pressures confronting their states, which is why NCSL asked these experts to identify the top three fiscal issues their states expect to address in the 2012 legislative sessions.
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