Washington (CNN) – The partisan gridlock gripping Washington endangers already fragile state budgets nationwide, two governors said Sunday.
"We really need Washington to come together, to work on a bipartisan basis and get us out of this," Gov. Jim Douglas, R-Vermont, said Sunday on CNN's State of the Union.
The states are scrambling to fill big fiscal holes for fiscal year 2011, which for most starts on July 1, and face combined budget gaps of $134 billion over the next three years, according to a report released Saturday by the National Governors Association.
"States foresee fiscal year 2011 … to be the most difficult to date, and few see fiscal year 2012 much better," the report stated.
The outlook is made worse by a lack of certainty coming from Washington about how much financial support states can expect from the federal government.
"We get a significant amount of money for Medicaid and other federal programs from Washington and we need to have some … expectation of what those resources are so we can budget in our own states," said Douglas, chairman of the governors association.
Gov. Deval Patrick, D-Massachusetts, who joined Douglas on State of the Union, highlighted the need for Congress to enact legislation to spur job creation and help the unemployed. The House passed a big jobs bill in December but the fate of any similar action in the Senate is unclear.
"We need that kind of action and we need it now," Patrick told CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley.
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