Beyond California: States in Fiscal Peril

Beyond California: States in Fiscal Peril

According to a new report from the Pew Center on the States, some of the same pressures that have pushed California toward economic disaster are wreaking havoc in a number of other states, with potentially damaging consequences for the entire country. The report, Beyond California: States in Fiscal Peril (70 pages, PDF), found that Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin are almost as fiscally troubled as California, in part due to falling tax revenues, high foreclosure rates, and legislative obstacles to balanced budgets (e.g., a supermajority requirement for some or all tax increases or budget bills). Although some of the states — which together account for more than a third of the nation's population and economic output — have responded aggressively to their looming budget crises, the report concludes that it is too soon to tell whether their actions will put them on solid fiscal footing.