RealNews

State IT budgets get crunched

It will be a “steep climb” for state government managers to get funding for new information technology projects in the poor budget climate, according to a former Pennsylvania budget director. “We’ve gone from one set of record-breaking situations to another set of record-breaking circumstances,” said Bob Bittenbender, the state’s former budget secretary. In the 1990s, states were able to invest in IT, cut taxes and build reserves, but that robust economy probably masked the deterioration of the states’ fiscal picture, he said. A majority of state governments are facing one of their worst fiscal crises in decades. Many governments are cutting spending across the board, some are calling for tax increases, others are imposing hiring freezes or laying off workers, and some are dipping into their rainy day funds. Across the country technology budgets have been cut, some officials said, and major projects have been put on hold. Full Story

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