D-Day for States


Today is when the gong strikes 12 for various statehouses who have spent most of this decade on an extended bender.

Power to the People, 10 years too late

Indiana is one of five states—along with Arizona, California, Mississippi and Pennsylvania—bracing for possible shutdowns this week as time runs out for lawmakers to close billion-dollar gaps in their fiscal 2010 budgets.

Of the 46 states whose fiscal year ends today, 32 did not have budgets passed and approved by their governors as of Monday afternoon, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

In the headline-making train wreck of California, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, several years too late, appears to be pushing for significant cuts in public-sector pensions, and digging in his heels against a dominant Democratic Party that keeps sending him tax hikes.

"I will never sign those kind of things, so why waste the time and why run out of time and then all of a sudden we have to hand out the IOUs?" Schwarzenegger told reporters. […]

Schwarzenegger has drawn several lines in the sand: He says he will not raise taxes, wants to address California's entire projected $24-billion deficit at once and wants a number of fundamental changes to state government.

Reason on "failed states" here.