Congrats, Washington! You've Won the Bronze for Worst Budget Shortfall in the Nation

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The good news is that Washington's budget shortfall--now calculated at $1.1 billion, or 7.1 percent of the overall state budget--is about six-and-a-half times better than Illinois' yawning $13 billion hole that's an eye-popping 47 percent of its overall budget. The bad news is that a budget gap of 7.1 percent is completely god-awful and is apparently the third worst in the country.

The Wall Street Journal reports today on a National Conference of State Legislatures report that shows how 15 states are currently facing budget deficits midway through their 2011 fiscal years.

As mentioned, Illinois tops the list in terms of hole-versus-overall-budget, followed by Arizona, Washington and California.

That's right, Washington's budget hole ratio is officially worse than California's.

Here's the full graph.

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If that wasn't bad enough, the Seattle Times is also reporting today about budget forecasts for this fiscal year and the next, which starts in July. Forecasters are saying that the budget shortfall will climb to $8 billion.

Arun Raha, the state's head revenue prognosticator had this to say to the Times:

"We are witnessing an unprecedented economic crisis, the likes of which arguably we have not seen since the Great Depression."

Sorry, but I thought we had moved to talking about the Great Recession in the past tense, as in we "witnessed" an unprecedented economic crisis, but, by golly, we're digging our way out. Apparently, we're still very much "witnessing" such a thing.

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