Will the Recession Force State Government Shutdowns?

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States all over the country are losing revenue. Last night, North Carolina and five other states failed to resolve disputes over taxes and spending in time for the start of the new fiscal year. Without balanced budgets, Pennsylvania and Illinois face partial shutdowns; Connecticut and Ohio are barely limping along. California has run out of money, and the biggest state in the union plans to pay its bills with IOU’s starting tomorrow. Last night in Sacramento, Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger made a $24 billion shortfall $3 billion worse by blocking a stop-gap agreement with Democrats. What are the consequences for education, medical care and public health? Or is it a blessing in disguise if it forces fiscal responsibility on state capitols?




Warren Olney