State Budgets in March, where we are at this stage of the game

By FOCUS, A Leonine Business

March means the halfway point for many states’ legislative sessions around the nation, and for some states the end is on the horizon. It also means that many are buckling down to the business of state budgets. Two years after the beginning of COVID, where states were struggling under repressed economies, many states are dealing with increased sales tax profits and federal stimulus money.

California’s process is long and Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget of $286.4 billion is very large, as California is dealing with a significant surplus, just two years after California was facing a budget shortage of billions at the beginning of the COVID pandemic. Given their long session, California won’t begin its revision process in earnest until May.

Last week, Florida began discussions between the House and Senate to resolve the differences between their $105.3 billion budget and $108.6 billion budget, respectively, according to the Tampa Bay Times. The conference committee has until March 11 to resolve the differences, as the legislature is expected to adjourn that day.

Washington worked into the night on March 4 to pass their transportation, capital and state operating budgets on their crossover deadline. Their session is scheduled to end on March 10, according to Arkansas has also given initial approval to their $6 billion state budget, and is expected to hold a final vote on March 8, reports AP News. We at FOCUS track budget legislation, the backbone for many companies’ understanding of the landscape for the coming year, and we have a budget tracker at FOCUS’ 50 State Budget Overview.