It is a testament to the severity of the state's budget woes that the magnitude of the deficit exceeds the magnitude of the blame each side heaps on its political adversaries for it.
This year, state general-fund revenues, including the temporary sales-tax increase, are expected to total $7.6 billion. State general-fund spending is budgeted at $9.5 billion.
So, that's a structural deficit - the difference between same-year revenue and expenditures - of $1.9 billion. It's being papered over with federal funds and stealing money from other state accounts.
But even that understates the true structural deficit. There is an additional $960 million in statutory funding formulas the state is either suspending or ignoring. Call these lawsuits waiting to be filed once the state has a dime to spare. So, the true structural deficit is closer to $3 billion.
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