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  • Meagan Dorsch
    Director of Public Affairs
  • Jon Kuhl
    Public Affairs Specialist
    Washington, D.C.
May 3, 2012

States Continue Long Recovery from the Great Recession

State legislative fiscal directors are “cautiously optimistic” about their “stable” fiscal situations.

The outlook of legislative fiscal officers is one of cautious optimism as state budgets slowly but steadily improve following the end of the Great Recession. The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) has released its “State Budget Update: Spring 2012” report, which shows that revenue performance remains positive, expenditures in most states are stable and few states have faced mid-year budget shortfalls in fiscal year (FY) 2012.

“For the first time since before the recession, some states have found themselves in the fortunate situation of having excess funds halfway through the budget year,” said Arturo Perez, director of NCSL’s fiscal affairs. “Many states anticipate using them to rebuild rainy day funds or will carry them over into FY 2013.”

Revenue performance through the first eight months of FY 2012 has been a key factor in the improved condition of state finances. Sales taxes and corporate income taxes generally performed better than personal income taxes.

“Even though the economic outlook in the states is improving, tax collections across all categories remain uneven,” said William Pound, executive director of NCSL. “And that's one reason state lawmakers are still uneasy.”

“State Budget Update: Spring 2012” includes information on:

  • FY 2012 revenue performance.
  • Projected return to peak revenues.
  • Spending overruns in FY 2012.
  • New FY 2012 budget gaps and FY 2013 budget gaps.
  • Summary of the state fiscal situation.

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.