Washington In a Large of Group States with Budget Problems

The Los Angeles Times reports that 22 states are experiencing budget problems in a story that doesn’t mention Washington by name. Actually, the story cites a Center on Budget and Policy Priorities study that comes up with the list.

“States have been confronted with bad economic circumstances in the past, but never so many states, all at once,” said William T. Pound, executive director of the National Conference of State Legislatures.

There’s a reason Washington isn’t mentioned. It’s not on the list. That’s because this is a list that appears to include states that have made specific mid-year adjustments or called for special sessions to address shortfalls. Why Washington is not on that list, when the governor did a hiring freeze and other things, I’m not sure. I’ve called for clarification.

So that says something that you have 22 states mentioned as having mid-year budget issues and Washington is not in the list. I think what it’s saying is Washington doesn’t fall into a narrow set of criteria. It’s also saying there are not many states not being affected by the poor economy. By no means does it mean Washington isn’t having budget problems.

In fact, if you go to the organization’s press release, Washington is among 14 states that have looked ahead and guessed there will be future financial issues.

I’ve called the center to get clarification on the specific list of 22.

6 thoughts on “Washington In a Large of Group States with Budget Problems

  1. I doubt that the statement about the number of states facing problems is correct. According to the Rockefeller Institute of Government, there were 23 states that experienced a decline in revenue in the first quarter of 2003 compared to the first quarter of 2002. See, among other parts, figure 5 in this report from back in 2003:

    If 22 states now face budget problems, it does not appear to be worse than the effect of the bursting tech stock bubble, the slumping stock market as a whole, and the 9/11 attacks. The economy’s growth began slowing in 2000, and we had a mild recession in 2001 — but the effect of everything was felt by 23 states (which I note is more than 22).

    Is this just another attempt to claim that things are worse than ever in an effort to influence the public’s mood?

  2. Is this just another attempt to claim that things are worse than ever in an effort to influence the public’s mood?


  3. Washington DOESN’T have a budget problem. So said Christine Gregoire, the governor your paper said deserves four more years.

  4. The answer is – Washington is not on the list, because in comparison with states in the Rust & Hurricane Belts, it is not in crisis.

    Rossi keeps talking about a “projected budget deficit.” Not a real one.

    I believe Washington even made the list of the five top states for businesses. So, much of what that campaign states is false.

  5. If you have $500 in the bank today, $2000 in income coming in on November 1st and $5000 in bills due on November 2nd, you have a $2500 projected deficit.

    To pretend it isn’t so is not only irresponsible, it is demeaning to those who are telling the truth about it and everyone who is going to be seriously affected by it.

    In 2004, I voted for Rossi but wasn’t too worried because I had always had a lot of respect for Gregoire. I was also interested in what she said she would do for education. Unfortunately, it turned out that an excellent attorney general does not equate to an excellent governor. Gregoire has been ineffective as governor. To pretend that we don’t have a budget deficit at this point is only disingenuous, at best.

    Kathryn Simpson

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