If you think the recession has already decimated state services, think again. The worst state budget cuts are yet to come.
States have enacted budgets for the 2011 fiscal year with cuts that "go even further than those enacted over the past two fiscal years," according to a new report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Federal aid has dulled the blow of cuts over the past two years, but states are running out of federal stimulus funds. All told, 46 states have issued cuts that are expected to harm vulnerable residents and ultimately drag down economic growth, the report argues.
No fewer than 43 states have already enacted big cuts that will affect state employees. In California, a $19 billion budget deficit will force thousands of workers to take furloughs, resulting in a 14 percent pay cut.
From the CBPP's report:
The cuts have intensified in the face of high and persistent unemployment. Even as the need for state-funded services rose, states cut funding for services by 4.2 percent for fiscal year 2009 and an additional 6.8 percent for 2010, according to estimates by the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO). NASBO projects that state spending for 2011 will remain 7.6 percent below 2008 levels. Indeed, the cuts that many states have enacted for FY2011 have been even more severe than those implemented in previous years.
We've gathered the states which are enacting the most severe cuts in crucial social services. Check them out below:
(Christina Marie Fierro contributed to this report)