"There has never been a tougher time to be a governor...The numbers from the states are downright horrifying-and getting worse. The best estimate is that states, nearly all of which are constitutionally obligated to balance their budgets, collectively face deficits of about $350 billion over the next 30 months. That is about 20 percent of total state spending.
All of this, by the way, does not even touch the problems of governments 'below' the state level. With the dramatic collapse of property values and thus property-tax revenues, counties, towns, and villages are going to be struggling, begging for even more assistance from states, and seeking relief from mandated services and contributions to state programs.
The most promising ideas-increased higher education to foster the knowledge-based economy, high-speed rail to create efficient and environmentally sound transportation in our densest corridors, universal high-speed Internet access, and venture funds to create bio-tech startups-all require the one resource not available: money."