Monday, June 11, 2007

The state of the states...

is that they're flush with cash in the sixth year of the Bush Boom:

State lawmakers across the country, their coffers unexpectedly full of cash, have been handing out tax cuts, spending money on fixing roads, schools and public buildings, and socking something away for less fruitful years.

Budget surpluses have largely stemmed from higher than expected tax collections — corporate tax revenues alone were 11 percent higher than budget estimates — and booming local economies. There has also been some relief in Medicaid spending, which fell from an 11 percent annual growth rate to something closer to 7 percent in the past few years.

More than 40 states have found themselves with more money than they planned as they wound down their regular sessions. Governors in 23 of those states proposed tax cuts, and a majority of states with surpluses chose to shore up their roads, schools and rainy day funds.

....Over all in the 2007 fiscal year, which ends at the end of this month, state spending in the 50 states totaled $616 billion, an increase of about 8.6 percent over 2006, according to a report by the National Governors Association and National Association of State Budget Officers. The average annual growth rate over the past three decades has been 6.5 percent, the report said.

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