State governments face financial abyss with coronavirus

State governments are staring at budget shortfalls that will substantially exceed what they faced during the great recession, even before the full scope of the economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic is known.

Budget analysts, governors and legislative leaders around the country are already holding regular meetings to assess the damage, watching in real time as their revenue estimates fall short of worst-case scenarios mapped for a recession.

In increasingly urgent pleas to Congress, states have asked for $300 billion to $1 trillion to bail them out, and that may not even be enough to replace their lost revenue.