The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), a group representing all of the country’s state legislatures, has said that federal action to help states is essential during the current economic crisis.
Because states are required to balance their budgets even as their revenues drop, many states are finding it increasingly difficult to conduct daily operations.
In fact, our own Governor Doyle has warned of deep cuts in the next state budget.
Members of the federal government are discussing a second stimulus package to inject federal money to help the state governments, many of which are financially strapped because of more homes being in foreclosure and because of lower expected revenue from taxes on fuel, personal income, capital gains, dividends, and stock options.
The NCSL’s most recent state-budget report found states facing a budget shortfall of more than $26 billion.
To balance their budgets, states, including Wisconsin, are expected to have to cut budgets, freeze hiring and delay capital projects, according to the NCSL.
And in Wisconsin, transportation and infrastructure have not specifically been mentioned among the governor’s top priorities, which are education and health care.
An influx of federal money could help the state fund essential transportation and infrastructure projects that are vital to the state’s ongoing vitality – and which would provide work for the state’s construction industry.