For first time since Sept. 11, 2001, the vast majority of states reported saving an average of 10 percent of their budgets, one of the highest percentages of unspent money in decades. The $57 billion in unexpected revenue has afforded states an opportunity to find all sorts of creative ways to spend and save their cash, according to a report released this week by the National Conference of State Legislators.
Some are responding in wacky ways — an investment in interplanetary travel in New Mexico for example. Many are stocking rainy day funds. Some realize that huge unmet needs for schools and prisons still remain so it’s no time to be slashing taxes.