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Economy

Two-Thirds Of States Face Budget Challenges

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Two-thirds of states across the country -- including Kansas -- are facing budget challenges.

Several states, including Arizona, Minnesota, Utah and New Jersey, are expected to come out ahead financially for the current fiscal year and the upcoming one beginning July 1. But others are projected to have budget shortfalls reaching hundreds of millions -- and in some cases, billions -- of dollars.

North Dakota has a budget hole of about $1.4 billion over the next two years. Oklahoma is expected to fall short by close to $870 million in the upcoming fiscal year.

Both states' economies have been affected by the declining oil and gas industry and a slumping agricultural sector, which Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback says is the cause of the current $350 million budget shortfall in the state. Some lawmakers disagree, saying the state has struggled to balance its budget since personal income taxes were slashed in 2012.

The Kansas shortfall is projected to grow to just under $600 million in the upcoming fiscal year.

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Follow Abigail Beckman on Twitter @AbigailKMUW.

 
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