ATLANTA (AP) - The new year promises to be a tough one for
lawmakers scrambling to find enough money to keep their states
running without raising taxes.
Tax collections continue to sputter. Federal stimulus dollars
are about to dry up. Rainy day funds have been tapped. And demand
for services like Medicaid, food stamps and unemployment benefits
Budgets are already lean and unless lawmakers increase taxes or
fees, they will need to cut even more as they grapple with the
steepest decline of tax receipts on record.
That could mean new tolls to fund road projects, more prisoners
being released early to trim corrections budgets, and the end of
welfare programs that don't bring federal matching dollars. Funding
could also evaporate for higher education, arts and economic
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)