Lisa's Feed
Feb 28, 2013

U.S. cities face threats from federal cuts to revenues, economies

WASHINGTON, Feb 28 (Reuters) – When the mayor of Baltimore,
Maryland, talks about the federal spending cuts set to begin on
Friday, she does not mention appropriations committees, line
items or revenue rates.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake first talks about crime.

“Number one is the public safety impact,” she said. “We have
made Baltimore a safer city, but we’re not where we need to be
and this isn’t the time to pull the rug out from under us.”

Feb 24, 2013

Governors press for alternative to impending spending cuts

WASHINGTON (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 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.