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Facing Facts: Public Attitudes and Fiscal Realities in Five Stressed States

| October 2010

Summary

A survey in five of the nation’s most fiscally stressed states reveals a disconnect between what the public wants from state government and budget realities. Residents in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, and New York believe their states could spend less without cutting services. They want to protect K-12 education and Medicaid funding—by far the biggest portions of state budgets. They prefer charging someone else— wealthy corporations, smokers, drinkers, and gamblers—to ensure essential government services. But even these increases would likely be insufficient to close severe budget gaps.

This survey was co-published by the Pew Center on the States and Public Policy Institute of California. Any text or graphics taken from the multistate survey should jointly credit the Pew Center on the States and Public Policy Institute of California, 2010.

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