7 US states still without budgets

SEVEN US states are still without budgets, nearly a week into the new fiscal year that started July 1.

Legislatures in Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Rhode Island and Wisconsin remain in disagreement about how to close ongoing budget gaps in their states or fund new budget initiatives.

“We always have some states that go into the new fiscal year without budgets, but the number is a bit high this year,” said Eric Kim, a director at Fitch Ratings.

Weak revenues complicated budget negotiations in several states, while idiosyncratic issues pushed others beyond their June 30 deadlines.

The Illinois House was poised to take final budget action on Thursday by attempting to override the governor’s vetoes of a $US36 billion ($F73b) spending plan and $US5b ($F10b) tax hike approved by the Democratic-controlled legislature over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

A hazardous materials situation in the state Capitol in Springfield delayed the House session, but officials determined the substance was harmless and lawmakers were returning.

If enacted, the budget would mark Illinois’ first complete budget since 2015.

No other US state has lacked a budget for that long.

Thirty-three of the 50 US states reported revenues that came in below projections in fiscal year 2017, the highest number of states since the recession decimated budgets in 2010, according to the National Association of State Budget Officers.

Connecticut and Pennsylvania have the most challenging revenue situations, according to Fitch, as lower-than-anticipated tax collections exacerbated budget gaps and led to disputes over how to close them.

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