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States Cutting Services for Fourth Straight Year

A major report that we plan to issue tomorrow shows that at least 38 of the 47 states with new budgets for fiscal year 2012 (which started July 1 in most states) will cut education, health care, or other state-funded services.  These cuts will come on top of the large cuts that nearly every state has made over the past three years in response to the recession-induced decline in revenues.

As the map shows, the vast majority of states (37 of 44 states for which data are available) plan to spend less — in some cases, much less — on services in 2012 than they spent in 2008, adjusted for inflation, even as the number of residents eligible for services has grown.  For example, the U.S. Education Department projects that there will be about 260,000 more K-12 students in the upcoming 2011-12 school year, and 1.5 million more public college and university students, than in 2007-08.   And an estimated 5.6 million more people will be eligible for Medicaid in 2012 than were enrolled in 2008, due to the loss of jobs, wages, and job-based health coverage.