New York (CNNMoney.com) - Think states have made deep spending cuts? You ain't seen nothing yet.
States have been struggling with huge budget gaps since 2008, but this year could be worse as federal stimulus funds wind down.
Until now, stimulus money spared governors and state lawmakers from making some of the most brutal budget cuts. But with this lifeline running out, officials are looking at making significant cutbacks to public services, particularly schools and health programs.
"The stimulus funds have staved off what could have been even deeper cuts," said Todd Haggerty, policy associate at the National Conference of State Legislatures. "You're seeing states now are coming to that point where they will have to make additional cuts or find new sources of revenue for fiscal 2011 and that will continue in fiscal 2012."