Book of the States 2004

New migration data reveal the distinct contributions of immigration and domestic migration to population change across the nation. Large numbers of immigrants continue to concentrate in major “immigrant magnet” areas, at the same time that domestic migrants are gravitating to a wider range of areas, and local destinations within them.

Women have significantly increased their numbers among state government officials over the past several decades. However, despite a recent increase in the number of women governors, women’s progress, especially at the statewide elective and state legislative levels, has slowed.  The future for women in state government would seem to depend, at least in part, upon the strength of efforts to actively recruit women for elective and appointive positions.

In 2003, governors brought their citizens up short, recognizing the precarious position of their governments and then calling on the federal government to provide relief. The federal government did come forward with some $20 billion in funds to states. These funds, along with numerous other tax and spending initiatives allowed the states to stay afloat, albeit just barely. Today, the revenue picture is a bit brighter, but not strong enough for governors to snap fiscal ships into autopilot. Many governors have now gone back to their public after a stormy year, and few are talking about federal relief.

While recent economic news suggests that the short-term cyclical fiscal hemorrhage is healing, long-term structural challenges still exist that must be examined to enable states to weather the next fiscal storm. State officials will have the opportunity and challenge to pursue durable strategies that will improve fiscal stability.

State treasurers are the chief financial officers of the states, and in this capacity, they are collectively responsible for management and investment of more than $1.5 trillion in state funds. From management of state investments in a time of profound budgetary grief to taking an active and central role in defining what is greater corporate governance, state treasurers are vital players in the healthy management of not only state budgets, but federal policy on a multitude of issues that affect citizens in each and every state of the union.

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