If Our Neighbors Can Spend Responsibly, How Come Rhode Island Can’t?

Just a reminder to accompany all the quotes you may be reading (like the quotes in this Scott Mayerowitz Projo article) coming from people who say that it is absolutely impossible to expect the government of Rhode Island to spend within its budget (the state budget shortfall is now estimated at $77,000,000 for this fiscal year).
The state comptroller of Connecticut is projecting a $536,800,000 budget surplus for Connecticut for fiscal year 2006.
By the most conservative estimates, Massachusetts is projecting a surplus of at least $120,000,000. Here is an estimate of the Massachusetts surplus proivded by the poverty advocates at the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center

If tax collections for FY 2007 simply reach the level announced last week…the state could open the FY07 budget cycle with a modest structural surplus of $120 million.
If tax collections for FY 2007 ultimately prove higher than those now envisioned, this positive gap could be larger. For example, the FY07 surplus could exceed $210 million if tax collections attain the upper bound of the FY07 estimate put forward by the Department of Revenue in December; it could climb to roughly $390 million if tax collections sustain their recent rates of growth and continue to grow in a robust fashion throughout FY07.
What is the magic that our neighboring states have discovered that seems untransferrable to Rhode Island?

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