General fund spending growth slows after boom years

It’s expected to hit $1.26 trillion this year, as lawmakers continue to spend down surpluses.
Members of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee review figures following their meeting, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023, in Jackson, Miss. Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann, a Republican and committee member says the Republican-controlled Mississippi Legislature is watching economic trends as it considers how to set a state spending plan for the year that begins July 1, 2024. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

States are on track to spend 6.5% more general fund money this fiscal year than last year, a relatively modest increase after double-digit spending growth in FY 2022 and 2023, according to a survey of state budget officials released Tuesday.

“We see Fiscal Year 2024 effectively looking a little bit more like a return to normal for state budgets, in that widespread, record-breaking surpluses are not an expectation in the current fiscal year,” said the report’s author, Kathryn Vesey White, director of budget process studies at the National Association of State Budget Officers, a membership group based in Washington, D.C.

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