NEW YORK (Reuters) – A federal board will soon propose that U.S. states disclose more about their pension funding as worries grow whether states and municipalities can pay for their employees’ pensions.
Of the longer-term problems in states’ budgets, none loom larger than underfunded pensions. Recent budget crises forced states to cut contributions to their retirement systems and the financial crisis lowered pension funds’ investment returns.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Tens of thousands of bridges in the United States need major repair or replacement, and maintenance backlogs are growing amid tight federal and state budgets, according to a report released on Wednesday.
Transportation for America, a coalition of housing, business, public health and transportation organizations, said in its report that 11.5 percent, or 69,000, bridges need attention or replacement. It said more federal funding help is “essential.”
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The economic recession that began in 2007 was uniformly damaging to U.S. states, sparing just one or two from its effects, but the recovery is promising to be uneven across the country.
According to a special report released on Tuesday by Wells Fargo Securities LLC Economics Group, Nevada and Florida will take the longest to recover while two of the worst hit by the recession — California and New York — will recover fastest.
WASHINGTON, March 29 (Reuters) – The economic recession
that began in 2007 was uniformly damaging to U.S. states,
sparing just one or two from its effects, but the recovery is
promising to be uneven across the country.
According to a special report released on Tuesday by Wells
Fargo Securities LLC Economics Group, Nevada and Florida will
take the longest to recover while two of the worst hit by the
recession — California and New York — will recover fastest.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – State and local revenues galloped ahead by 33 percent in the final quarter of 2010 from the quarter before, U.S. Census data showed on Tuesday in yet another sign that the budget crisis may be slowly ending.
Half of the revenues came from property taxes, which benefit local governments and which nearly doubled to $177.15 billion from $90.12 billion in the third quarter. Property tax revenues, though, were down 3 percent from the same period the year before, according to Census data.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Many deadlines for implementing the law championed by President Barack Obama to expand health insurance to roughly 30 million Americans are fast approaching.
Charged with establishing many key health programs, states have been sent into overdrive to meet these deadlines, some of which had already passed by the time the measure was signed into law a year ago because of the drawn-out process Congress used to approve it.
WASHINGTON, March 23 (Reuters) – Chris Molendorp, a
Missouri state legislator, actively opposed the federal
healthcare plan, even supporting a ballot measure rebuking the
massive changes to the U.S. health industry.
Recently, however, he has had a slight change of heart.
“I didn’t want the federal healthcare law. I lost. Let’s be
adult about it,” Molendorp said about his decision to sponsor
legislation for creating an exchange for buying insurance in
what is known as the “Show Me” state. “If the federal
healthcare bill is not struck down by the Supreme Court it will
be our new reality.”
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Cities and counties are pressing the Congress to drop proposals that would slash funding for an almost $4 billion federal grant program they say creates thousands of jobs.
Sen. Patrick Leahy, a vocal proponent of “Community Development Block Grants,” is circulating a letter signed by at least 29 senators that urges its funding not be cut, calling it “one of the most effective federal domestic programs.”
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration will rebid nearly $2.4 billion in high-speed rail grants recently rejected by Florida, one of three states to conclude “bullet train” projects are too expensive in a tough economy.
California and several Northeastern states have expressed interest in the money, much of which came from $8 billion in rail grants from the 2009 U.S. economic stimulus package.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senator Ron Wyden told a White House meeting he is ready to propose a new version of the Build America Bonds program that was part of the federal stimulus plan and that expired in December.
The very popular taxable bonds paid issuers federal rebates equal to 35 percent of interest costs.