States in crisis

Facing major budget problems, governors around the nation are proposing cuts to education, health care and state employee benefits.

  • Budget shortfalls
  • Pension liabilities
  • Proposed cuts
  • Party in power

Click to change map:

  • Shortfall as a percent of budget
  • Total shortfall

More than 40 states are projecting billions of dollars in budget shortfalls for fiscal 2012. But, unlike the federal government, most states have some sort of balanced-budget law. That means the shortfall -- the gap between state revenues (taxes, fees, etc.) and the cost of running the government -- must be closed before a state adopts its final budget for the year.

State Shortfall as pct. of budget Total shortfall (in millions)
Arizona11
11%
974
$974
California29
29%
25400
$25,400
Illinois45
45%
15000
$15,000
Texas31
31%
13400
$13,400
New Jersey37
37%
10472
$10,472
New York17
17%
9026
$9,026
Pennsylvania18
18%
4500
$4,500
Minnesota25
25%
3900
$3,900
North Carolina20
20%
3800
$3,800
Connecticut21
21%
3673
$3,673
Florida15
15%
3600
$3,600
Ohio11
11%
3000
$3,000
Washington18
18%
2850
$2,850
Michigan9
9%
1848
$1,848
Wisconsin13
13%
1810
$1,810
Massachusetts6
6%
1780
$1,780
Oregon25
25%
1750
$1,750
Georgia10
10%
1700
$1,700
Louisiana22
22%
1700
$1,700
Maryland12
12%
1600
$1,600
Nevada45
45%
1522.5
$1,523
Missouri14
14%
1114.5
$1,115
Colorado14
14%
988
$988
South Carolina17
17%
877
$877
Mississippi14
14%
634
$634
Oklahoma11
11%
600
$600
Kansas9
9%
492.4
$492
Utah9
9%
437
$437
Maine16
16%
436.4
$436
Hawaii8
8%
410
$410
New Mexico8
8%
410
$410
Nebraska9
9%
313.6
$314
Idaho13
13%
300
$300
Iowa6
6%
294
$294
Rhode Island10
10%
290
$290
Indiana2
2%
269.7
$270
Delaware6
6%
207.7
$208
West Virginia4
4%
155
$155
Vermont14
14%
150
$150
South Dakota11
11%
127
$127
Montana4
4%
80
$80
Arkansas0
0%
0
$0
Alaska0
0%
0
$0
North Dakota0
0%
0
$0

NOTE: The District of Columbia, New Hampshire and Tennessee have shortfalls but the amounts are unknown. Kentucky and Virginia have two-year budgets, and closed their fiscal 2012 shortfalls when they enacted their 2011-2012 budgets.

SOURCES: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, National Conference of State Legislatures.

GRAPHIC: Karen Yourish and Laura Stanton / The Washington Post - February 2011.