Those with the State Treasury Department and the House and Senate Fiscal agencies have concluded the state has a budget surplus of $971 million. Some lawmakers say with so much extra money the state should allow for tax cuts. They say that would give us more money to spend and in turn would really help fuel a solid economic recovery. Others say a lot of the money should be put back into state programs that have been cut over the past several years. Either way there's little doubt this issue will set the stage for lively debate in the state legislature

in the months ahead.