Alexandria, VA – Today, State Budget Solutions (SBS), a nonprofit organization advocating for fundamental reform of state budgets, released its second annual state deficit report revealing that total state debt presently exceeds $4 trillion. SBS’s report, which takes into account all state debt and future spending obligations, found that California had the largest deficit with more than $612 billion and Vermont, North Dakota and South Dakota were among the states with the smallest deficits.
“These deficit numbers are staggering and should be frightening to the American public. Due to budget gimmicks, many states fail to give an adequate picture of how much trouble they are really in,” said Bob Williams, President of State Budget Solutions. “This report makes it clear that if legislators don't act immediately and decisively, our country will be facing a budget crisis that we have never seen before.”
SBS’s report showed that the states with the largest total deficits included California, New York, Texas, New Jersey, and Illinois, respectively. States that ranked among the lowest deficits included Vermont, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Wyoming. Most of these states at the top and bottom of the lists were ranked in the same position in last year’s state budget deficit report.
In predicting states’ future economic performance, New York, Vermont, Maine, California, and Hawaii scored the lowest in the rankings. The states on the other end of the list include Utah, South Dakota, Virginia, Wyoming, and Idaho. These rankings are based upon economic data examined over the past 10 years to forecast future performance.
“The time for action is now. Our country cannot afford to continue to recklessly spend while passing trillions in debt to future generations. State Budget Solutions urges state legislator to take responsibility for their own state’s deficit and begin implementing real solutions to fixing this growing problem,” said Williams.
To read the full report click here.