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24/7 Wall St: 10 States That Can't Pay Their Bills

4. New Jersey

2011 budget shortfall as a percentage of general fund: 38.2 percent
2011 budget shortfall: $10.7 billion
2012 projected budget shortfall: 36.0 percent (2nd largest)
GDP change (2006 – 2010): +7.1 percent (10th smallest increase)
Median home value change (2006 – 2010): -7.5 percent (9th largest decline)

Home values in New Jersey dropped 7.5 percent between 2006 and 2010, the ninth largest decline. For the third year in a row, the state has initiated deep cuts to close its budget gap. The state made the eligibility requirements for its public health insurance program more strict. As a result, approximately 50,700 low-income adults will lose access to health care coverage, according to CBPP. The state cut funding to after-school programs, which will affect 11,000 students and cause 1,100 staff workers to lose their jobs. That is on top of already cutting 2,000 state positions. Despite all of these changes, the state’s projected budget shortfall for 2012 is only 2.2 percentage points lower than this year’s and the second-largest among the states.

(iStock Photo)

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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