As the nation enters a third month of economic devastation, the coronavirus is proving ruinous to state budgets, forcing many governments to consider deep cuts to schools, universities, health care and other basic functions that would have been unthinkable just a few months ago.
Many states expect their revenue to plunge by 15% to 20% because government-ordered lockdowns have wiped out much of the economy and caused tax collections to evaporate. That puts statehouses billions of dollars in the red for the fiscal year that usually begins in July, with no end to the crisis in sight.
Colorado faces a gap of nearly a quarter of the state's general budget. The projected gap in California is more than a fifth of its spending plan and in Oklahoma, a sixth. Th