Budget and Spending

For the past four decades, states have turned to legalization of various forms of gambling to generate tax revenues or to stimulate economic or tourism development. Legal gaming industries generated more than $92 billion in gaming revenues in 2007, with about two-thirds of that coming from commercial or tribal casinos. By 2009, lotteries had become nearly ubiquitous in the United States, and casinos are within a few hours drive of virtually every American. Internet gambling, however, is presently prohibited by federal law, and certain forms of gambling, such as sports wagering, are generally prohibited outside Nevada.

CSG South

Declining tax revenues and increasing costs of operations combined with recent turbulence on Wall Street have plunged state finances into turmoil. For schools, which receive much of their revenue from property taxes, the long and precipitous drops in housing prices and turmoil in the mortgage sector have caused further budgetary pressure. In light of these events, many states have reduced already conservative revenue projections and reassessed their approved budgets. In the face of budget shortfalls, states across the region are reviewing their spending plans for the current fiscal year to determine where cuts can be made.

CSG South

In response to dwindling federal homeland security funds, states have been forced to devise and implement a range of innovative programs to enhance their security and response capabilities. Except for some anecdotal information, to date, there is little comprehensive data on these programs. Therefore, an examination of certain innovative state programs is instructive to other states as they seek to maximize use of the federal homeland security grants awarded to them.

The first part of this report is an examination of the federal funding for state projects through the Homeland Security Grant Program from fiscal years 2002 to 2007. The second part examines the particular public safety repercussions resulting from diminished federal homeland security funding. The final section of this report is an analysis of the information received from states regarding innovative homeland security and emergency management programs enacted in recent years to contend with the cutbacks in federal funding levels.

CSG South

Sujit M. CanagaRetna, Fiscal Policy Manager at the SLC, gave this presentation before the Idaho Senate Task Force on Treasure Valley Transportation Issues in Nampa, Idaho, on December 4, 2007.

CSG South

This presentation was given by Sujit CanagaRetna, Senior Fiscal Analyst at the SLC, at the 2007 Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors annual meeting, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

CSG South

In recent years rural issues and concerns have achieved renewed significance in the minds of state policy makers. Evidence continues to mount that policymakers see the need for programs to benefit rural communities and citizens, but in times of tight state budgets and calls for fiscal restraint, policymakers wonder if they can afford new programs, projects or initiatives. This paper represents a preliminary report on research in progress. It is intended to show how states are financing rural programs, projects and initiatives.

CSG South

This presentation was given by Sujit M. CanagaRetna of the Southern Legislative Conference before the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors (ACRE) in Columbia, South Carolina, November 13, 2004.

The state fiscal boom of the late 1990s was driven by exceptional forces unlikely to be repeated in the years ahead. The bursting of this fiscal bubble has made the current budget crisis far worse than the relatively mild current economic weakness might suggest. Even after the economy recovers, state finances are likely to be tight for the next several years.

Pages