State Budget Update: Fall 2011

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State Budget Update:  Fall 2011Introduction

State fiscal conditions continue to improve, but at a very slow pace. A fall 2011 survey of state legislative fiscal officers found that the deterioration that dominated state finances in recent years has eased. Revenue performance has improved, expenditures in most states are stable and, in a significant departure from past years, few states are reporting budget gaps in the early months of fiscal year (FY) 2012. However, despite these positive developments, the effects of the Great Recession continue to linger. State tax collections still remain well below pre-recession levels.

Better revenue performance is driving the improvement in state finances. Collections in most states have stabilized or are growing, and the general revenue outlook for the remainder of the fiscal year reflects confidence in continued modest growth. However, recent global economic volatility is generating concern among state officials about the rate of revenue growth. In fact, several states reported that revenue projections, as they enter the second quarter are not as optimistic as they were just a few months ago.

This report is based on data collected from legislative fiscal officers in October and November 2011. It includes information on:

  • New FY 2012 budget gaps
  • FY 2012 revenue performance
  • Revenue outlook for the remainder of FY 2012
  • Spending overruns in FY 2012
  • The state fiscal outlook for FY 2012

This report provides complete or partial information on all 50 states and Puerto Rico.