The Washington Post

Seven states are expected to miss their budget forecasts this year

Spring 2014 state budget conditions. (National Conference of State Legislatures)

This post was updated at 3:30 p.m. on May 9 to reflect some state budget developments that took place after the report was completed.

It’s a pretty good year for state budgets.

All but seven states are expected to meet or beat budget forecasts by the time this fiscal year is over, according to a survey of state legislative fiscal officers in every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. And while spending is over budget in 22 states, the overspending is modest.

Some 34 states are expected to meet their revenue forecasts, while another nine are expected to beat them, the National Conference on State Legislatures reports.

“Most legislative fiscal directors continue to describe their state fiscal situation as ‘stable,’ a term that has come to symbolize the post-Great Recession era of slow and steady growth,” the report finds. “While state budget conditions have improved from their low point earlier in the decade, officials remain concerned about slow revenue growth and continued spending pressures.”

In seven states, revenues are growing slower than expected this year. Those are Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee and West Virginia. But another nine states are expected to beat forecasts. California may rake in nearly $1 billion more than projected, a 1.6 percent bump over the forecast. Arkansas is on its way to a $95 million surplus, thanks in part to higher-than-expected collections. The remaining seven states that will likely have a larger-than-expected revenue hauls are Georgia, Kansas*, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Texas and Vermont.

* (Note: The report is based on interviews conducted through March, so it has missed some recent developments. Prospects for Kansas, for example, turned bleak thanks to an April forecast. The same is true of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Still, the NCSL report offers a broad moment-in-time look at budgets as states trudge through a slow recovery.)

State budget summaries:

Despite the generally positive news for state budgets, more and more officials are worried about long-term imbalances, with spending on certain programs outpacing revenues. Some 22 states are expected to overspend this year in some area, though at least in this fiscal year, the overruns are generally small. Here’s a brief look at which states are on track to overspend on certain key budget categories. 

States overspending on corrections/public safety: 11

States overspending on corrections and/or public safety. (NCSL)

“In Nebraska, corrections is slightly over budget due to spending on inmate health care, food costs and population increases. Oregon indicated that 2013 reform legislation is not achieving targeted caseload reductions,” NCSL reports.

States overspending on Medicaid: 8

States overspending on Medicaid. (NCSL)

Medicaid is expected to fall between $69 million and $131 million short in North Carolina.

States overspending on K-12 education: 8

States overspending on K-12 education. (NCSL)

Connecticut has a K-12 education spending shortfall of $18 million. Delaware’s is due to higher than expected enrollment. Maryland is also the only state overspending on higher education.

States overspending on social services: 3

States overspending on social services. (NCSL)

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post incorrectly reported the amount by which California is expected to beat its forecast. It is on track to rake in nearly $1 billion more than expected.

Niraj Chokshi is a general assignment reporter for The Washington Post.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Video curated for you.
Next Story
Niraj Chokshi · May 8, 2014

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.