Lisa's Feed
Feb 26, 2011

U.S. governors, Chinese leaders strengthen trade ties

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – State governors and their Chinese counterparts agreed on Saturday to strengthen ties between their local governments and increase economic opportunities, as states seek help for their hefty budget struggles.

“Expanding exports is key to our economic recovery,” said Washington Governor Christine Gregoire, who chairs the National Governors Association, before signing the accord along with Chinese officials and Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman.

Feb 25, 2011

Washington, D.C., states would feel US shutdown

WASHINGTON, Feb 25 (Reuters) – As the U.S. Congress
frantically negotiates budget and spending measures to avoid a
federal shutdown, residents of the U.S. capital wonder if their
own government will have to come screeching to a halt.

Washington, D.C., is in the unique position of being a city
without a state, and its budget is tied to the federal
government. Like many states, it also faces the threat that a
prolonged shutdown could damage its tenuous fiscal situation.

Feb 25, 2011

Federal government sends healthcare funds to worried states

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The federal government on Thursday announced funding to help states evaluate health insurance rates and run preventive medicine programs, just as many state officials worry they cannot afford to carry out reforms included in the massive healthcare law.

Starting in August, states can apply for three-year grants worth $3 million to create or enhance their reviews of the premiums health insurance companies charge, said Steve Larsen, director of the Health and Human Services Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight.

Feb 24, 2011

US government sends healthcare funds to worried states

WASHINGTON, Feb 24 (Reuters) – The federal government on
Thursday announced funding to help U.S. states evaluate health
insurance rates and run preventive medicine programs, just as
many state officials worry they cannot afford to carry out
reforms included in the massive healthcare law.

Starting in August, states can apply for three-year grants
worth $3 million to create or enhance their reviews of the
premiums health insurance companies charge, said Steve Larsen,
director of the Health and Human Services Center for Consumer
Information and Insurance Oversight.

Feb 19, 2011

Paying for Obama transport plan a roadblock for now

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. policymakers who want to use transportation projects to create jobs and foster the economic recovery face one big roadblock: how to pay for them.

President Barack Obama on Monday proposed spending $556 billion on road, bridge, transit and rail upgrades over six years – the largest transportation plan in U.S. history.

Feb 14, 2011

Obama budget has new education grants, bonds

WASHINGTON, Feb 14 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s
budget plan seeks to establish a new bond program for education
while continuing efforts launched in the 2009 economic stimulus
act to improve public schools with grants and increase their
accountability.

Excluding Pell Grants, which are given to students to help
pay for college, the total request for education programs in
the budget is $48.8 billion, about $2.2 billion more 2010
levels.

Feb 14, 2011

Obama budget has $556 billion, six-year transport plan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Monday proposed an ambitious long-term transport spending plan in his 2012 budget as a way to boost U.S. economic competitiveness and spur job growth.

While cutting other spending, Obama aggressively accelerated efforts to upgrade aging roads, bridges and introduce high-speed rail with a six-year, $556 billion package.

Feb 9, 2011

Lawmakers pound public pensions, fear bailouts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A top Republican lawmaker swore off any bailout of U.S. state and city governments on Wednesday, turning up the heat on states to fix chronically underfunded pensions and persistent budget problems.

“Reckless spending fueled by bottomless borrowing and guaranteed by endless bailouts is an unsustainable course,” said Representative Patrick McHenry, chairman of a House of Representatives subcommittee on bailout oversight.

Feb 8, 2011

White House proposes unemployment aid for states

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will propose giving financial relief to U.S. states struggling with high unemployment insurance debt, the White House said on Tuesday, hoping that a lifeline now will avoid bailouts later.

Many states have had to borrow from the federal government to meet rising demand for unemployment payments as the ranks of the jobless grew during the recession that began in 2007.

Feb 8, 2011

US state bankruptcy won’t get big cheer at hearing

WASHINGTON, Feb 8 (Reuters) – States are facing
multibillion dollar budget gaps yet again, a panel of experts
plans to tell a U.S. House of Representatives sub-committee on
Wednesday, caused by soft revenue, the end of federal stimulus
assistance and rising costs.

But only one of the witnesses expected at the hearing
considers allowing states to file for bankruptcy a solution to
persistent fiscal problems.