National Conference on State Legislatures Calls for More Federal Funding To Help Offset Budget Deficits
State leaders at the National Conference of State Legislatures' annual meeting yesterday called for additional federal funds to help states address budget shortfalls, the AP/New York Times reports. With two-thirds of their available cash and "rainy-day funds" gone, states requested federal aid to help with budget woes caused by escalating Medicaid costs, antiterrorism efforts and other continuing and federally mandated programs. New York state Senator Stephen Saland (R), president of the conference, said, "The rainy-day funds are there for a rainy day. This is somewhere between a rain storm and a hurricane." According to a survey by the NCSL, at the end of the last fiscal year, which closed June 30 for 46 states, the gap between revenues and spending was $36 billion. The gap is expected to widen to $58 billion in the next fiscal year (AP/New York Times, 7/25). In a recent meeting of the National Governors Association, governors also called for federal aid to help states relieve Medicaid costs, which rose 13% last year (California Healthline, 7/16).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.