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STATE BUDGETS ARE LOOKING BETTER THIS YEAR

State budgets in fiscal year 1994 are in better shape than they have been for a number of years, according to a survey by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

"Most states benefited in FY1993 from conservative budgeting practices and a recovering national economy," says Art Hamilton, NCSL's president.

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Budgets for FY1994 show a pronounced shift toward funding growth for corrections programs and Medicaid at the expense of higher education, the survey found.

For the first time, in FY1993, funding for Medicaid was larger than that for higher education. And for the third year, the amount of new funding for corrections will be more than funding for higher education.