More State Budget Cuts

August 19, 2003

By the end of July, most of the 50 state legislatures had passed their budgets for fiscal 2004. For the third year in a row, state government will slash social services, raise taxes and cut the wages and jobs of public workers.

According to the report of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), 31 of 43 states whose budgets have been approved, will cut vital social investments. Fourteen of these states imposed across-the board cuts. For example, Minnesota will cut funding for nearly all state agencies and services by 15%; Georgia by

6. 7%; Delaware: 6.1%, etc. In addition, many states have targeted cuts in specific areas. Fifteen states will cut Medicaid spending, thirteen states will slash higher education and eleven states are cutting monies for K-12 public education.

The NCSL also reports that at least 23 states will either permanently eliminate state jobs, impose temporary layoffs on workers, freeze or slash salaries and impose other cuts on state employees.

In addition, for fiscal 2004, at least 18 states will impose a variety of increases in taxes and fees, including personal income taxes, sales taxes, user fees, etc.