Top Fiscal Issues for 2012 Legislative Sessions

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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.