Fiscal Survey of States, Spring 2014

Source: National Association of State Budget Officers, 2014

From the summary:
State budgets are expected to continue their trend of moderate growth in fiscal 2015 according to governors’ spending proposals. Consistent year-over-year growth has helped states achieve relative budget stability, but progress remains slow for many states. With each passing year of slow improvement, more and more states are moving beyond recession induced declines and returning to spending and revenue growth. According to executive budgets, general fund spending is projected to increase by 2.9 percent in fiscal 2015. This growth rate is less than the historical average, although inflation is also currently low. This means budget growth will likely outpace inflation in many states, presenting an opportunity to accelerate fiscal progress. Governors in most states have recommended additional spending for core services such as K-12 education. However, spending continues to be impacted by limited gains in revenue. Budgetary challenges also linger from a long recovery in the national economy, unemployment rates higher than policy makers want and stagnant wages. As the economy continues along a trajectory of relatively slow growth, many states will continue to face difficult budgetary choices in fiscal 2015 and beyond. In fiscal 2015, general fund expenditures are projected to increase by 2.9 percent, a slower rate of growth than the estimated 5.0 percent increase in fiscal 2014. …