State Budget Update: Spring 2012

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State Budget Update:  Spring 2012Introduction

State fiscal conditions continue to improve at a slow and steady pace. A spring 2012 survey of state legislative fiscal officers found revenue performance remains positive and expenditures in most states are stable. And for the first time since before the Great Recession, a number of states are projecting to end the fiscal year with small unobligated balances.

In another sign of improving fiscal conditions, few states have faced mid-year budget shortfalls in fiscal year (FY) 2012. This is good news for state lawmakers who have closed more than $500 billion in budget gaps over the previous four fiscal years. In addition, fewer budget gaps are projected for FY 2013 compared with recent years. Despite this encouraging news, a degree of uncertainty still lingers over state budgets. Concerns about unemployment levels, potential federal deficit reduction actions, spending pressures and global economic events, are contributing to a cautious state budget outlook.

This report is based on data collected from legislative fiscal officers in March and April 2012. It includes information on:

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

This report provides information on all 50 states and the District of Columbia.