Eye On Boise

Spend it now or spend it later…

The National Conference of State Legislatures has surveyed all the states to see how quickly they're spending their federal economic stimulus money - some are spending it all to close their state budget gaps in the current fiscal year, leaving nothing for the following year and prompting fears about state budgets "facing a cliff" when the federal money runs out. Idaho falls in the middle of the pack of the 25 states that have responded to the survey so far, spending 54 percent of its stimulus money in fiscal year 2010, which started July 1. Washington was a bit more cautious, spending 33 percent. Highest on the list was Texas, which is spending 96 percent of its stimulus money in the current year; at the bottom is Alaska, spending only 3 percent.

"Whether they welcomed or snubbed the federal economic stimulus package, state lawmakers took advantage of the bailout dollars this year to help patch their state’s shaky finances," reports Stateline.org. "Now, as they start thinking ahead to next year’s budget and the 2010 elections, lawmakers are increasingly apprehensive about what will happen when the stimulus money dries up. They predict even deeper cuts in services, higher taxes and raids on rainy day funds to balance budgets."

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Eye On Boise

Short takes and breaking news from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.



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