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Reference

Fiscal Survey of States

The main question on this page is the fiscal health of states, as reflected in general fund cash flows and end-of-year balance.

Summary

21 Jun 2013.

In many areas states are cutting back and, in particular, the end of special federal subsidies for Medicaid is causing considerable headaches. Nevertheless, state general fund revenues and spending are past the worst, and are now increasing.

Graph

21 Jun 2013. Data through June 2013 FSS.

(This is the real, year-over-year change in general fund spending.)

Highlights

Background (2 Jun 2011) Probably the most up-to-date and relatively broad view of state finances is the Fiscal Survey of States, published by the executive branches of state governments (the National Governors Association and the National Association of State Budget Officers). The FSS covers only the state general funds, but this gives a good overview of fiscal health – “General fund spending represents the primary component of discretionary expenditures of revenue derived from general sources which have not been earmarked for specific items.”

The FSS is published twice yearly – once in June, as most states wrap up their fiscal year, providing an estimate of the year ending and an early view of plans for the coming year, and once in December, providing an overview of budgets actually enacted for the year in progress.

Sources

See also

Clippings below were used in the construction of this page

Background from June 2011 FSS

2 Jun 2011. June FSS.

link

“The Fiscal Survey of States: SPRING 2011”

“A report by the National Governors Association and the National Association of State Budget Officers …

The Fiscal Survey of States is published twice annually by the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO) and the National Governors Association (NGA). The series was started in 1979. The survey presents aggregate and individual data on the states’ general fund receipts, expenditures, and balances. Although not the totality of state spending, these funds are used to finance most broad-based state services and are the most important elements in determining the fiscal health of the states. A separate survey that includes total state spending, NASBO’s State Expenditure Report, also is conducted annually.

The field survey on which this report is based was conducted by NASBO from March through May 2011. The surveys were completed by Governors’ state budget officers in all 50 states. This survey also includes Puerto Rico; however, their data is not included in the 50 state totals.

Fiscal 2010 data represent actual figures, fiscal 2011 figures are estimated, and fiscal 2012 data reflect governors’ recommended budgets.

Forty-six states begin their fiscal years in July and end them in June. The exceptions are Alabama and Michigan, with October to September fiscal years; New York, with an April to March fiscal year; and Texas, with a September to August fiscal year. Additionally, 20 states operate on a biennial budget cycle. …

This report captures only state general fund spending. General fund spending represents the primary component of discretionary expenditures of revenue derived from general sources which have not been earmarked for specific items. According to the most recent edition of NASBO’s State Expenditure Re- port, estimated fiscal 2010 spending from all sources (general funds, federal funds, other state funds and bonds) is approximately $1.6 trillion with the general fund representing 38.1 per- cent of the total.”