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States Face Continuing Fiscal Problems; Evidence from Recent Reports

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State government fiscal conditions remain weak, despite recent improvement, according to three of the leading bipartisan or academic organizations that track state taxes and budgets. As states write their budgets for the 2005 fiscal year which begins in most states on July 1, 2004, their revenues are still well below pre-recession levels. States that borrowed money, used reserves, or shifted funds to balance their budgets in prior years have a budget “hole” from which to dig out. And the spending cuts and reduced balances of the last several years have given states little cushion with which to work in enacting balanced budgets.