Here Comes the Hard Part: States, Cities Face Grim Budget Picture

Governing: The new fiscal year is here but budget writers are still in the bargaining phase. Although it starts for most states and localities on July 1, so many uncertainties remain that budgets are effectively works in progress, with lawmakers still hoping for an after-the-last-minute rescue from Washington.

All but a few states have enacted budgets for fiscal 2021, but several have punted harder decisions until later this summer or perhaps the fall — either formally pushing back the start of the budget year or passing continuing resolutions to keep spending levels intact for a while yet, in hopes cuts can still be avoided. On Monday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a new budget that is filled with asterisks. Billions of dollars’ worth of scheduled spending cuts will be canceled, if Congress comes up with an aid package.

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