Document Number: 8815Facing Facts: Public Attitudes and Fiscal Realities in Five Stressed States - An analysis of public attitudes toward fiscal problems in five diverse states - Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois and New York - shows residents have strikingly similar priorities for state government, but their preferences clash with fiscal reality. The residents of these states believe their state could spend less without cutting services. They want to protect K-12 education and Medicaid funding - by far the biggest portion of state budgets. They prefer charging someone else - wealthy corporations, smokers, drinkers and gamblers - to ensure essential services. Even those increases would likely be insufficient to close severe budget gaps. (Pew Center on the States/Public Policy Institute of California, October 2010)...