Lisa's Feed
Jan 18, 2012

Obama education reforms advance as Congress falters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s administration is moving ahead in reforming U.S. education without the help of the Congress, and will soon announce which states can opt out of the national education law known as “No Child Left Behind.”

There are two bills currently in Congress to re-authorize the decade-old law that radically changed U.S. public schools.

Jan 17, 2012

Individuals at disadvantage in muni market -GAO

By Lisa Lambert

(Reuters) – Individual investors are at a major disadvantage in the $3.7 trillion U.S. municipal bond market, a place where information proves scarce and federal oversight is occasionally lacking, a federal watchdog agency said in a highly anticipated report on Tuesday.

The federal financial regulatory reform law known as Dodd-Frank required the agency, the Government Accountability Office, to survey the debt market that states, local governments, schools, hospitals and other authorities use to finance public projects.

Dec 20, 2011

Revenues up for state, local governments

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Tax revenues of U.S. state and local governments rose in the third quarter, the U.S. Census said on Tuesday, marking the eighth straight quarter of growth and heralding the promise of continued economic recovery in areas where revenues collapsed during the recent recession.

Revenues totaled $292 billion, rising 4.1 percent over the third quarter of 2010 to their highest third quarter level on record.

Dec 14, 2011

State Medicaid spending soars

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Spending by U.S. states on Medicaid, the healthcare program for the poor, soared last year and will likely continue growing despite measures to contain costs, according to a report released on Tuesday.

Total Medicaid spending, excluding administrative costs, likely reached $398.6 billion in fiscal 2011, which ended in June for most states. That was up 10.1 percent from the year before, when spending rose 6 percent, the National Association of State Budget Officers reported.

Dec 13, 2011

Medicaid spending soars in US states-budget officers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Spending by U.S. states on Medicaid, the healthcare program for the poor, soared last year and will likely continue growing despite measures to contain costs, according to a report released on Tuesday.

Total Medicaid spending, excluding administrative costs, likely reached $398.6 billion in fiscal 2011, which ended in June for most states. That was up 10.1 percent from the year before, when spending rose 6 percent, the National Association of State Budget Officers reported.

Dec 8, 2011

States’ revenues at pre-recession levels: study

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Total tax revenues of U.S. states returned to pre-recession levels in the 2011 third quarter, a public policy institute reported on Thursday, but revenue growth slowed during the period, a worrisome trend for states concerned that economic clouds are gathering as they begin drafting their budgets for next year..

Total tax collections in 48 states rose by 7.3 percent in the July-to-September quarter, the Rockefeller Institute of Government reported.

Dec 6, 2011

US state, local governments to post projections-board

Dec 6 (Reuters) – U.S. state and local governments would
have to post projections of their cash flows and obligations,
in order to provide more detailed pictures of their economic
conditions, under a proposal to be unveiled on Tuesday by the
board that sets their accounting standards.

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board would require
them to put projections of cash inflows and outflows for at
least five years, along with explanations for the expected
fluctuations, in financial statements.

Dec 5, 2011

Attempts to balance U.S. budget pose state risk – raters

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Threats to the credit rating of the United States may have spooked political leaders in U.S. states, but congressional attempts to balance the federal budget pose more long-term dangers, the three top rating agencies said on Monday.

“It’s hard to know what’s going to happen at the federal level. It seems unlikely to be good,” Laura Porter, managing director of Fitch Ratings, said at a National Association of State Treasurers meeting.

Dec 5, 2011

Attempts to balance budget pose state risk: raters

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Threats to the credit rating of the United States may have spooked political leaders in U.S. states, but congressional attempts to balance the federal budget pose more long-term dangers, the three top rating agencies said on Monday.

“It’s hard to know what’s going to happen at the federal level. It seems unlikely to be good,” Laura Porter, managing director of Fitch Ratings, said at a National Association of State Treasurers meeting.

Dec 1, 2011

As recession took hold, families sought cash help

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of families collecting cash welfare benefits rose during the longest and deepest economic downturn in the United States since the Great Depression, the U.S. Census said on Thursday.

Caseloads in the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program had fallen in the 1990s and leveled off in the early part of the 2000s.