L.A. Times – Budget deadline ticks down for states

The day began with 14 states lacking a final budget signed by the governor. By evening, several had come to some agreement.

But some states — most significantly, Arizona and Pennsylvania — faced the specter of a government shutdown for failing to have a budget in place by the start of the new fiscal year today. Two others — Ohio and North Carolina — basically conceded that they needed more time by passing legislation to allow government business to continue into July while they keep debating.

In Mississippi, Republican Gov. Haley Barbour called legislators back into session Sunday to pass a budget that included a special Medicaid funding package. Late Tuesday, it was unclear if the sides could agree. Barbour contended that he could keep government running by executive order if a deal wasn’t reached by midnight.

Even though several states had completed budgets, officials will probably have to revisit them because revenue continues to plummet, said Todd Haggerty of the National Conference of State Legislatures.

He noted that last year, states cut $32 billion in spending, then had to frantically cut another $60 billion after July 1 because tax receipts tailed off.

“There’s a definite possibility, unless revenues improve soon, that states are going to have to continue to make these hard decisions and revisit these budgets,” Haggerty said.

L.A. Times
7/1/9