STATE SPENDING

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FYI: As states, including New York, go begging to the feds for budget relief, some Washington policymakers and economic observers have said the states are in a mess of their own making, having allowed their spending to grow too much in boom years. A new Center on Budget Policy and Priorities brief argues that’s nonsense. States’ spending grew by an average of just two percent between 1989 and 1999, and nine out of ten new dollars were spent on corrections, education or health care–all areas where costs are ballooning or voters are demanding more funds. Meanwhile, CBPP points out, Rockefeller Institute of Government data shows state revenues in the April-June quarter of 2002 (when most taxes come in) were down 13 percent from the previous year. [5/14/03]