State Expenditure Controls: An Evaluation (Government Finance Brief No. 2)

October 1, 1965

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Government Finance Brief No. 2 (new series)

State governments are slated to spend approximately 345 billion in 1965, an amount larger than the Federal government spent in 1950. Annual increases in state spending have been averaging almost $3 billion a year. The rise since 1960 alone is nearly as large as total 1950 state expenditure. The volume of present spending, and the prospects for continuing increases, both create compelling reasons for concern about the wisdom with which spending decisions are made. The dollar amounts are them themselves of a size to command attention. In addition, public services financed through state expenditures – either directly or through state grants to local governments – profoundly affects the quality of American life. Thus, the public has a considerable interest in the effectiveness and efficiency with which states handle their financial resources.

This study examines the various procedures by which the 50 states determine the amounts they spend.


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