…are looking up, says Dennis Cauchon in USA Today:
State spending rose 4.6% in 2002 while revenue increased only 3%; that forced states to borrow billions of dollars to balance their budgets. But legislators clamped down in 2003. Spending rose only 1.3% in the first nine months of the year while revenue increased 1.5%.
The fiscal restraint is paying dividends. For the first time in three years, most legislatures won't have to plug holes in existing budgets this year. Instead, they will focus on next year's budgets, which take effect July 1 in 46 states.
In our October issue, Reason Contributing John Hood penned the ultimate analysis of why state spending is always going to be problematic. Click here to read "Why The States Are Broke."