(AmericanProsperity.com) – Many states were already facing critical budget shortages before COVID-19. Even with federal assistance, some states say they may have to make difficult decisions about funding public health programs.
According to the Foundation for Government Accountability, states were experiencing a 20% drop in general fund revenues due to the pandemic. Some states were hit harder than others.
2️⃣0️⃣ %<- The average that state general fund revenues are projected to dip this year.
At the same time many states are going to have massive spikes in #Medicaid spending, further straining budgets. #okpoli #okpol #okpolitics #okleg
Read more -> https://t.co/jQyDp7VQAY pic.twitter.com/Oo2mijAZ56
— The FGA (@TheFGA) May 10, 2020
In comparison, during the first year of the recession nearly a decade ago, state revenues dropped only 7%. A 20% drop is massive.
Most states have a balanced budget requirement in their Constitutions. Politicians have only two choices: increase tax revenues or cut expenses. New York is currently facing a $13.3 billion shortfall, California’s is even worse at $54.3 billion. Utah’s facing a deficit anywhere between $600 million to $1.3 billion. It has already cut $2 million dedicated to public health to close its budget gap.
Some argue that there are dollars that can be cut within public health programs without causing harm to the public. Time will tell.
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