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States closed record $142.6 billion in gaps

States closed $142.6 billion in budget gaps for fiscal 2010 and could face more shortfalls in the next two budget years, according to a report released Monday (July 20). The National Conference of State Legislatures issued the report on state budgets and taxes as it opened its annual legislative summit in Philadelphia.

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Energy stimulus could see lower returns

When Congress agreed earlier this year to shell out $3.1 billion in stimulus dollars to help states reduce energy consumption, it expected a major return on its investment. Since the 1970s, every federal dollar sent to states through the U.S. Department of Energy's State Energy Program has produced more than $7 in energy savings - a perfect opportunity for quick stimulus results.

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Report: Bleak state budgets through 2011

Even if the national recession ends this year as many predict, state budgets will likely be in the red for the next two years, with budget gaps topping $230 billion as tax collections of sales, personal and corporate income lag, two new reports show.

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States roll out plans for ‘smarter’ roads

Not all the highway improvement projects states plan to pay for with federal stimulus money involve widening roads, fixing bridges or repaving highways. Nearly half the states plan to use some of their new funds to pay for high-tech gadgets that will reduce congestion, help the environment and create jobs quickly.

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