In October 2001, the state governors sent a letter to the
U.S. Senate concerning the Senate’s proposed stimulus
package. The governors sought to prevent the passage
of a package that would be detrimental to already
weak state budgets and to ask for specific assistance
from the federal government for state budget items.
As a result of the connection between federal and state
revenues and spending, state leaders often comment
on federal changes. What is remarkable about this letter
is that only seven months after the end of the greatest
post-war economic boom, the states were already
seeking fiscal help from the federal government. In
addition to its concerns about mounting defense and
intelligence obligations and the flailing macroeconomy,
the government now faced the specter of service
shutdowns by bankrupt state governments.