Breakdown of States' Budget Troubles

A number of states are facing projections of shrinking tax revenues and ensuing budget shortfalls. They include:

NORTH CAROLINA — Democratic Gov. Mike Easley invoked emergency powers Thursday to deal with a budget shortfall projected at $606 million to $741 million by the end of the fiscal year. He already has imposed a hiring freeze, curtailed travel by state employees, and told agencies to return 2 percent of their budgets. He plans to create a half billion-dollar escrow account to cover the shortfall through various agency cuts.

SOUTH CAROLINA — Democratic Gov. Jim Hodges has proposed cuts of up to 15 percent at most state agencies, acting on projections that the state could need to pare as much as $500 million from current spending.

ALABAMA — Democratic Gov. Don Siegelman blamed the downturn in the economy when he ordered a $226 million cut in this year's $4.3 billion education budget.

KANSAS — Republican Gov. Bill Graves' staff has projected that December-January revenue collections will fall $50 million short of estimates.

WEST VIRGINIA — Democratic Gov. Bob Wise has ordered agencies to cut spending by 3 percent and Chief Justice Warren McGraw has ordered an immediate statewide spending freeze for the court system in light of state budget shortages.

MISSISSIPPI — Democratic Gov. Ronnie Musgrove has cut this year's budget by $94 million, including a $39 million cut in the minimum education program, which funds such things as teacher salaries and transportation expenses for the state's 149 school districts. In January, he took $15 million out of the state's "rainy day" fund.

VERMONT— Democratic Gov. Howard Dean said he believes the state's midyear budget adjustment is too high, considering January revenues that were $370,000 below state projections.

IOWA — Democratic Gov. Tom Vilsack, having just signed a $100 million cut in sales taxes on heating bills, said no new tax cuts after word that state revenues could dip $160 million below projections.

WISCONSIN — In light of flat budget projections for the next two years and a $560 shortfall left over from the current budget year, lawmakers have been told there is no money for salary increases or new programs.

TENNESSEE — Republican Gov. Don Sundquist could be forced to dip into the $165 million "rainy day fund" to balance the budget at year's end June 30. He already has made cuts and curbed spending to deal with a $300 million shortfall.

WASHINGTON — Democratic Gov. Gary Locke is proposing cuts of $236 million, mostly from the Department of Social and Health Services, prisons and the health agency. He also has proposed using nearly half the state's $1.1 billion reserve to increase teacher salaries and maintain basic services.

OREGON — Democratic Gov. John Kitzhaber has been told that job growth that slips 2 percent below the state's current forecast would leave a $640 million hole in the budget.

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