With media attention focused almost exclusively on the presidential race, few may realize what’s at stake on the state level in November.

Eleven states will elect governors and attorneys general, nine states will select lieutenant governors, seven states will be choosing secretaries of state and approximately 5,800 state legislators — nearly 75% of the national total — will be elected in 44 states.

Nationwide, Democrats are hoping to build on their 28-22 lead in control of governorships and 23-14 advantage in partisan control of state legislatures. Republicans are aiming to take back the governor’s office in Washington and regaining control of the legislatures in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Regardless of who is elected or which party controls state legislatures and executive branches, state officials will face one certainty when they return to their capitals after the election. They will have to address their state budgets.

Following the relatively flush budgetary...

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