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State budgets are a serious problem for most states, and the states in the Mountain West area are no exception. This 26-page brief was created by staff members at The Brookings Institution and the Morrison Institute for Public Policy at Arizona State University and released in January 2011. The brief takes a close look at the fiscal situation in Arizona, California, Colorado, and Nevada and examines the states' serious cyclical budget shortfalls. The study draws on a unique methodology to estimate the size of the state's structural deficits, along with exploring the mix of forces that created them. Along with offering some concrete steps on how policymakers might close their current budget gaps, the study also includes a specific "drill-down" on the very precarious situation in Arizona.
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