March 24th, 2008 11:26 AM by Ron Mastrodonato
OTHER STATES ALSO FACE BUDGET GAPSFlorida isn't alone in coping with revenue shortfalls due to the slow economy. Twenty-five states are reporting budget gaps for 2008 and responding with cuts in education, health and other critical programs. Eight states are trimming outlays for higher education and nine states are cutting into budgets for primary and secondary education, according to Iris Lav, the deputy director of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. States budgets that rely on oil or agriculture are faring well, but many states, especially those where the housing boom has turned around, are facing budget difficulties, The New York Times reported. Kansas, for example, is looking at a 2.7 percent revenue increase in 2008 and expects to add to school budgets. North Dakota, is "13 percent ahead of forecast," director of the Office of Management and Budget Pam Sharp said. But, Florida, where housing foreclosures are high and there is no state income tax, has run into two straight years of declines in their sales tax revenues. In California, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed cutting $4.4 billion from in public education. Most states with budget problems are looking to cut programs, rather than raise taxes, the report said.Copyright © 2008 by United Press International.