The Path to California's Fiscal Crisis

California has always been a trendsetter. What happens in California often pops up elsewhere. Which raises this question: Are the perpetual billion-dollar deficits that haunt California state government unique to the Golden State or the harbinger of what other states can expect?

The answer, analysts say, is that although most states are experiencing some of the same financial stress, California's woes are its own. At the same time, other states can take a cue from California's troubles.

The state's financial hole is so deep that voters will decide on May 19 six questions the Legislature put on the ballot as part of budget deal in February with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) that closed a $34 billion deficit. But with revenues plummeting, the state might still be short $15.4 billion even with the deal — and $21 billion if voters reject the package. Schwarzenegger has threatened to lay off 5,000 state workers and 1,700 firefighters, shorten the school year by five days and release 38,000 prisoners if the ballot measures fail.

Like most other states, California is being hammered by the recession, but experts say the depth and intensity of the current downturn makes the situation there particularly tenuous. “Many other states do face the same kind of problems California faces, but California's problems are just so much more bigger and more complicated,” said Sujit CanagaRetna, senior fiscal analyst for the Council of State Governments.

Read the full report The Path to California's Fiscal Crisis on Stateline.org.

National Homeownership Month

Article

37 Researchers Working to Transform Biomedical Science

Quick View
Article

Biomedical researchers are on the front lines of scientific innovation. From responding to global pandemics to pioneering lifesaving cancer treatments, these researchers push past scientific boundaries to solve pressing health challenges. For nearly 40 years, The Pew Charitable Trusts has supported more than 1,000 early-career biomedical scientists committed to this discovery.

Composite image of modern city network communication concept

Learn the Basics of Broadband from Our Limited Series

Sign up for our four-week email course on Broadband Basics

Quick View

How does broadband internet reach our homes, phones, and tablets? What kind of infrastructure connects us all together? What are the major barriers to broadband access for American communities?

Pills illustration
Pills illustration

What Is Antibiotic Resistance—and How Can We Fight It?

Sign up for our four-week email series The Race Against Resistance.

Quick View

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as “superbugs,” are a major threat to modern medicine. But how does resistance work, and what can we do to slow the spread? Read personal stories, expert accounts, and more for the answers to those questions in our four-week email series: Slowing Superbugs.