The General Assembly is forecasting a surplus of $552.5 million for the 2017–18 fiscal year. Republican leaders see this as manna from heaven: proof that their policies work, but also dollars that can be stashed into the state's rainy-day fund, spent on PR layups like teacher salaries, and doled out in additional tax cuts.
But scratch the surface a little, and you'll find that the money could also go to a raft of government initiatives—some little known, many that have proven merit—that could very much use the help. To your right are six examples we thought of in a couple of hours. There are many more.