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States pass record budgets amid US pandemic recession recovery


Jefferson City, Mo.

Just a year ago, the U.S. financial future looked bleak for state governments as governors and lawmakers scrambled to cut spending amid the coronavirus recession that was projected to pummel revenue. They laid off state workers, threatened big cuts to schools and warned about canceling or scaling back building projects, among other steps.

Today, many of those same states are flush with cash, and lawmakers are passing budgets with record spending. Money is pouring into schools, social programs, and infrastructure. At the same time, many states are socking away billions of dollars in savings.

“It’s definitely safe to say that states are in a much better fiscal situation than they anticipated,” said Erica MacKellar, a fiscal analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures.



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