The state of Texas has the highest number of funding crises per capita.
It has been plagued by budget shortfalls and deep cuts to the state’s essential services since the onset of the Great Recession, according to a report by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau.
The report comes after a year that saw the number of state budget crises exceed the total number of disasters in the United States.
The state is still dealing with its fiscal crisis, however.
As of last year, Texas has already passed nearly $2 billion in emergency funding, according the Legislative Fiscal Board.
At the same time, state spending on essential services was cut by $2.3 billion over the same period.
In 2016, the state budget deficit was $1.9 billion, a figure that had dropped to $726 million by the end of last fiscal year.
The state’s annual budget crisis, according to the Legislative fiscal bureau, is due in large part to two factors: a decline in the state government’s economic competitiveness, and the failure of the Texas Legislature to address the budget crisis.
The first of those is the state is facing a budget deficit.
According to the Legislative financial bureau, Texas’ budget deficit in fiscal year 2017-18 was $4.7 billion.
The next-highest deficit was Missouri’s, at $2,066 million, and California’s was $2 million.
Texas’ budget surplus was $12.5 billion.
Another factor is the Legislature’s failure to provide funding for essential services in the wake of the recent recession.
According to a Legislative Fiscal Analyst report, the Texas legislature failed to pass an increase in funding for Medicaid, Medicaid expansions and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and failed to fund transportation and other state programs that were critical to Texas’ economy.
And despite an increase of nearly $1 billion in the legislature’s 2017-19 budget to meet a deficit that was $5.7 million in 2017-2018, the Legislature passed only $1,932 million in essential services, according a report from the Legislative Budget Office.
Meanwhile, a recent report from Moody’s Analytics said that the state has already surpassed the national average in its total budget deficits and that it is likely to exceed the national median.
The state also has the fourth-highest fiscal shortfalls in the country, according Moody’s.
The Legislative Fiscal bureau also found that the Texas government has cut more than $1 trillion in spending over the past two years, which has resulted in a $1 million increase in the deficit, a $3 billion increase in state income tax revenue and a $200 million reduction in state funding for critical transportation programs.
Statewide, Texas is dealing with a projected $8.7 trillion in budget deficits, the highest in the nation.
This is why, the Legislative Financial Bureau noted, Texas faces a budget crisis as the state faces a $2 trillion budget deficit and a projected annual budget deficit of $7.3 trillion.
For all its difficulties, the Lone Star State is still one of the few states that has a proven formula for dealing with fiscal crises, according its Legislative Fiscal Director, Marcia Luech.
“We’ve got a proven process for dealing, which is having a credible plan for spending money,” Lueich told Al Jazeera.
“We’ve never had a budget situation that was so deep in debt, or so difficult to manage, because we’ve been able to do that and we’re able to get it done.”
According the report, Texas had the second-highest budget shortfall per capita in the US in fiscal years 2013-2014 and 2014-2015, and has been in a budget crunch since the end to the Great Depression.
Texas has the fifth-highest per capita budget deficit, which comes with a budget shortfall of $9,639.34 per capita, according data compiled by the Legislative Revenue Office.
The state is also in the midst of a $7 billion budget deficit due to a decrease in revenues over the last few years, the report added.
States with the highest budget deficits in fiscal cycles include Alaska, New Mexico, and New York, according Lueach.
Luech noted that the most recent budget crisis in Texas has been the result of the state having to pay for Hurricane Harvey relief.
“It’s a difficult situation, but we’re dealing with one that’s going to continue for some time,” Lauch said.