States starting to recover financially

News Associated Press November 26, 2003
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According to a survey by the National Conference of State Legislatures, state government finances are improving

According to a survey by the National Conference of State Legislatures, state government finances are improving.


Among the findings were:

* Ten states reported budget shortfalls so far this year, worth a combined total of $2.8 billion. A year ago at this time, 31 states reported revenue wasn't meeting expenses, totaling $17.5 billion;


* Thirty-four states were on target or better with their revenue estimates for the first quarter of the fiscal year--July, August and September. Revenues in 16 states failed to reach targets; and


* More than half the states said that they were on target on the spending side of the budget, though 22 were spending more than they had budgeted. Last year 29 states were over budget.

A report by the Rockefeller Institute of Government found that state revenue from July through September grew 4.5%, the first overall growth following two years of declines. Tax increases accounted for much of the growth. In the past two years, states have approved $20 billion in new or higher taxes.


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