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The State of State and Local Government Finance

This paper provides an overview of the state-local government sector, a review of the short-run impact of the 2007-09 recession on state and local governments, and a brief summary of key long-run challenges state and local governments will encounter in the next decade. State and local governments in aggregate represent about one-seventh of the U.S. economy, with education and welfare (mostly Medicaid) accounting for more than half. These governments currently face nearly unprecedented fiscal turmoil as a result of the recent recession.

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