The Worm Has Turned
Our friends at Stateline.org report that state revenues are as flush as they've been in decades, citing an NCSL survey. So, that's good news ...
Think back to 2002. States then were complaining about the worst fiscal situation since World War II. It was hardly a coincidence that a record crop of new governors was elected that year -- two dozen of them.
Some of the turnover was due to term limits, but the reason that all but five of those two dozen took the reins from a goverrnor of another party had more to do with the fact that voters were angry about the nearly universal problem of billion-dollar deficits.
At the time, there was a good deal of commentary about how it was a lousy time to become a governor, that the fiscal problems would overwhelm any agenda a leader might wish to pursue.
I see in an old story that I quoted Larry Sabato, of all people, as saying, "Never has a large class of new governors been elected under worse conditions since the Great Depression. It's asking too much for them to undertake major projects and programs with these kinds of economic conditions. If they can just manage to get the budgets to balance they're doing well."
And it's true that the Class of 2002 governors have been, on the whole, less ambitious policymakers than many of the governors that they replaced.
But just in terms of politics, they had perfect timing. They came in when times were bad, and things got much better on their watch. Now it's hard to find a governor who's in any real political danger. Some will lose, but it will be nothing like the changing of the guard that happened four years ago.
And that, for them, is good news on top of the healthy budget picture.
Join the Discussion
After you comment, click Post. You can enter an anonymous Display Name or connect to a social profile.
LAPD Criticized for Arranging Private Meeting for Mexican Murderer1 hour ago
Carl Heastie Will Be New York Assembly's Next Speaker2 hours ago
John Kerry Fined for Not Shoveling Snow at His Boston House2 hours ago
Pennsylvania Treasurer Resigns2 hours ago
The Week in Public Finance: Atlantic City, Volcker Rule Relief and Oil Worries4 hours ago
Arizona Copes with Measles Outbreak as Super Bowl Nears8 hours ago