At this time, it remains unclear how the conflict in Washington over funding the federal government will be resolved and how long the shutdown will last. While Congress stands at an impasse on budget negotiations, states are busy digesting federal agency shutdown guidance while developing and executing their own contingency plans for programs that are fully or partially funded by federal dollars.
Last night, Congress failed to come to an agreement on a continuing resolution (CR) to continue funding the federal government into fiscal 2014. As a result, at midnight on October 1, the government shut down for the first time since the shutdowns of 1995-1996. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) sent official guidance to federal agencies shortly before midnight last night directing them to execute their shutdown plans.
Last week, NASBO published information and links to resources on what a possible federal government shutdown could mean for states and for the country. Since that time, the likelihood of a shutdown has increased significantly. With no agreement in sight between the two chambers on a continuing resolution (CR), a government shutdown, at least one lasting a few days, will be difficult to avoid at this point.
With less than a week until the end of the federal fiscal year, it remains uncertain how Congress will act to keep the government funded when fiscal 2014 begins on October 1. Amidst conflict between Republicans and Democrats over spending levels, and demands from some members of Congress that a continuing resolution (CR) also defund the Affordable Care Act, a failure to compromise in Washington could lead to a government shutdown for the first time since the mid-1990s. Speculation continues on whether a government shutdown will take place, and views on the question largely vary.
Did you know that state governments are responsible for overseeing the vast majority of the nation’s prison population? Prisoners under state jurisdiction accounted for 86.1 percent of the total U.S. prison population in calendar year 2012. State spending for corrections reached $52.4 billion in fiscal 2012 and has risen above 7.0 percent of general fund expenditures every year since fiscal 2008.
On August 7, NASBO released a report about the lessons budget officers learned from this last recession.
National Governors Association Center for Best Practices
National Association of State Budget Officers
National Conference of State Legislatures