WASHINGTON -- An Associated Press review of recession-wracked state budgets suggests it will be years before they reach pre-recession spending levels.
While the country as a whole may be pulling out of the Great Recession, the review of 50 balance sheets shows state budgets that are ravaged by declining tax revenue. Their bank accounts are far leaner than they were when the downturn took hold.
Overall revenue is down 5 percent, from the 2007-08 fiscal year, when the recession began.
Some states are in far worse shape. New Jersey, Nevada, Oregon, Illinois and Louisiana reported deficits that are more than 20 percent of their state's general fund.
States that accepted and spent one-time outlays of stimulus money are bracing for the absence of that windfall this year.
Other states, like Georgia, are using revenue increases to replenish rainy day funds.