States rebound from bleak forecasts to pass record budgets

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Just a year ago, the financial outlook for state governments looked bleak as the coronavirus pandemic shook the entire U.S. economy. But today, many of those same states are flush with cash. Lawmakers in some states have passed budgets with record spending, including new money for schools, social programs and infrastructure. At the same time, many states are socking away billions of dollars in savings. In some states, budgets are up 10% or more for the new fiscal year that starts July 1. Analysts give partial credit to federal pandemic relief. The overflowing budgets raise questions about whether states really needed those tens of billions of dollars from Congress.