Aug. 7, 2012


Slow and Steady

Though state budgets continue to improve, considerable challenges persist

State budgets are much improved since the end of the Great Recession, but they still face considerable challenges as detailed in a new report unveiled at the National Conference of State Legislatures’ (NCSL) 2012 Legislative Summit in Chicago, Ill.

“State Budget Update: Summer 2012” reports revenue performance is improving, new budget gaps are increasingly rare and state spending has remained largely within budgeted levels.

“The economic outlook for the current fiscal year is stable for the vast majority of states,” said Arturo Pérez, program director, fiscal affairs of NCSL.

NCSL’s State Budget Update offers an in-depth look at the mixed bag of strengths and challenges facing states in fiscal year (FY) 2013. While revenues are growing and budget gaps are shrinking, state finances are still vulnerable.

“State budgets remain susceptible to any economic shocks. The uncertainty at the federal budget level and Medicaid spending are a concern,” said William Pound, executive director of NCSL. “The bottom line: State budgets still face considerable challenges.“

Contained within the report are data on state year-end balances, changes in revenues and spending, a state economic outlook for FY 2013, and a review of the strengths and challenges affecting budgets.

This NCSL budget report continues NCSL's long tradition of providing accurate, comprehensive and nonpartisan data on state finances.

Credentialed members of the media may receive a free full copy of NCSL's "State Budget Update: Spring 2012.” The link to the report provided in this release does not contain links to the detailed 50-state tables. Please contact the press room to obtain a complete copy of NCSL's budget report. This report is also available for purchase in NCSL's bookstore.


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.