California isn’t the only state with a historic budget crisis: A study released Nov. 11 warned that at least nine other large states are also barreling toward economic disaster, raising the likelihood of higher taxes, more government layoffs, and deep cuts in services to schools and other programs, reports the Associated Press. The report from the Pew Center on the States found that Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin are also at grave risk, although Wisconsin officials disputed the findings. Double-digit budget gaps, rising unemployment, high foreclosure rates, and built-in budget constraints are the key reasons. "While California often takes the spotlight, other states are facing hardships just as daunting," said Susan Urahn, managing director of the Washington, D.C.-based center. "Decisions these states make as they try to navigate the recession will play a role in how quickly the entire nation recovers." Historically, states have their worst tax revenue year soon after a national recession ends. At the same time, higher joblessness and underemployment mean more people need government-sponsored health care and social safety-net programs, further taxing state services. In Michigan, school advocates and Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm are pressuring lawmakers to raise more money for education in order to avoid steep budget cuts that could slash school programs across the state…

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