Lisa's Feed
Feb 24, 2013

U.S. governors press for alternative to impending spending cuts

WASHINGTON, Feb 23 (Reuters) – Less than a week before
billions of dollars of U.S. spending cuts are set to begin,
governors meeting in Washington ratcheted up the pressure on
Congress and President Barack Obama to find an alternative to
the reductions and give states more say in bringing down the
federal debt.

“I certainly join the chorus of voices that are calling for
that administration and members of Congress to come together and
find more responsible cuts,” said Indiana Governor Mike Pence, a
Republican who served in the House of Representatives during the
2011 negotiations that led to the cuts.

Feb 8, 2013

Teachers press Obama to keep promises as spending cuts loom

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The largest teachers union in the United States is telling President Barack Obama not to back down from promises he made in his January inauguration speech as the country prepares to begin a decade of billions of dollars in federal spending cuts.

Obama will give his annual State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday, in which he will likely spell out practical steps for accomplishing goals he presented last month.

Feb 7, 2013

Education chief says rule waivers free up funds for states

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – By waiving certain requirements in the education law known as No Child Left Behind, the U.S. government has been able to send some states an additional $2.8 billion in total for schools, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said at a Senate hearing on Thursday.

“We’ve tried to free almost $3 billion in … money under No Child Left Behind that was prescribed by Washington,” he told the Education Committee.

Feb 7, 2013

U.S. education chief says rule waivers free up funds for states

WASHINGTON, Feb 7 (Reuters) – By waiving certain
requirements in the education law known as No Child Left Behind,
the U.S. government has been able to send some states an
additional $2.8 billion in total for schools, Education
Secretary Arne Duncan said at a Senate hearing on Thursday.

“We’ve tried to free almost $3 billion in … money under No
Child Left Behind that was prescribed by Washington,” he told
the Education Committee.

Jan 23, 2013

Union membership falls to lowest percentage in 76 years

By James B. Kelleher and Lisa Lambert and Bernie Woodall

(Reuters) – The percentage of workers belonging to unions tumbled to 11.3 percent in 2012, the lowest percentage in 76 years, led by dramatic declines in states where lawmakers have put organized labor in the political crosshairs, government figures showed on Wednesday.

The total number of union members fell by nearly 400,000, from 11.8 percent of the workforce in 2011, the Labor Department report on union membership said. The rate of 11.3 percent of the workforce was the lowest since 1936, when Franklin Roosevelt was president.

Jan 18, 2013

Mayors still waiting for economic boost

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The fiscal gloom hanging over cities and local governments will lift slightly in 2013 as the pace of spending cuts slows, according to an economic assessment presented on Thursday to a mayors’ conference in the U.S. capital.

Real state and local government spending will decline by 0.5 percent this year, compared to a 1.3 percent drop in 2012, said James Diffley, director of regional economics for IHS Global Insight.

Jan 18, 2013

U.S. mayors still waiting for economic boost

WASHINGTON, Jan 17 (Reuters) – The fiscal gloom hanging over
U.S. cities and local governments will lift slightly in 2013 as
the pace of spending cuts slows, according to an economic
assessment presented on Thursday to a mayors’ conference in the
U.S. capital.

Real state and local government spending will decline by 0.5
percent this year, compared to a 1.3 percent drop in 2012, said
James Diffley, director of regional economics for IHS Global
Insight.

Jan 17, 2013

Mayors still worried about tax-exempt status of muni bonds

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – More than two weeks after lawmakers reached a budget deal that preserved the tax exemption on the interest paid on municipal bonds, mayors from across the country remain worried the exemption could be at risk.

Muni bonds are critical to local governments, as they are used to fund project ranging from bridges to schools to hospitals.

Jan 17, 2013

U.S. mayors still worried about tax-exempt status of muni bonds

WASHINGTON, Jan 17 (Reuters) – More than two weeks after
U.S. lawmakers reached a budget deal that preserved the tax
exemption on the interest paid on municipal bonds, mayors from
across the country remain worried the exemption could be at
risk.

Muni bonds are critical to local governments, as they are
used to fund project ranging from bridges to schools to
hospitals.

Jan 17, 2013

Report questions U.S. food stamp program’s effectiveness

WASHINGTON, Jan 17 (Reuters) – A report by a panel of
experts released on Thursday questioned whether the U.S.
government’s food stamp program adequately provides for healthy
diets for the more than 47 million low-income people who rely on
the benefit.

The report by the National Academy of Sciences found that
the aid for families to pay for groceries, officially called the
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP, does not
factor in many barriers to finding affordable, nutritious food
by inner-city shoppers.