BOS 2010

Book of the States 2010: Table of Contents:

Chapter 1: State Constitutions

Chapter 2: Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations

Chapter 3: State Legislative Branch

Chapter 4: State Executive Branch

Chapter 5: State Judicial Branch

Chapter 6: Elections

Chapter 7: State Finance

Chapter 8: State Management, Administration, and Demographics

Chapter 9: Selected State Policies and Programs

Chapter 10: State Pages


Chapter 8 of the 2010 Book of the States contains the following articles and tables:

States’ fiscal environments continue to feel the devastating effects of the recession, even though many economists have concluded the recession ended last summer. Economic output—gross domestic product—rose during the third quarter of the 2009 calendar year, albeit at a modest 2.2 percent annual rate, and the economy is expected to continue growing. But state tax revenues have not shown evidence of an expansion as revenues are still falling in many states, and it will likely be a number of years before tax revenues recover.

With the notable exception of health reform, it’s hard to find a more politically charged topic in 2009 than the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, better known as the stimulus. For proponents, it is the bullet that brought down the Great Recession. For opponents, it is an $862 billion boondoggle that failed to deliver the jobs America needs.1 The public verdict is clear with polls showing up to 75 percent of Americans think the stimulus has done little or nothing to help them personally.2 The view from the states, however, is much more complicated.

Fiscal conditions rapidly deteriorated for states in the 2009 fiscal year as the nation remained in a prolonged economic downturn. States experienced unprecedented declines in both revenues and state spending, while rainy day fund levels sharply declined from the 2008 fiscal year. While the national economy may be slowly recovering, conditions have not improved for states in the 2010 fiscal year. State spending is projected to be negative for the second year in a row. Revenue collections remain weak, with total collections declining for a record five consecutive quarters. The state fiscal outlook is expected to remain grim in fiscal 2011 and beyond as Recovery Act funds decrease and revenues are slow to recover.

Voters decided 32 ballot propositions in seven states in 2009, approving 22 of them. The highest profile measures concerned same-sex marriage and taxes. The number of measures and the approval rate was down modestly from recent odd-year elections. For the decade as a whole, initiative activity remained high in the 2000s, at about the same level as the historical peak of the 1990s.