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Mar 29, 2011

Recovery proving uneven among states: report

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.

Mar 29, 2011

Recovery proving uneven among U.S. states-report

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.

Mar 29, 2011

State, local revenues up 33 percent in Q4: Census

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.

Mar 25, 2011

What’s the timeline for U.S. health law?

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.

Mar 23, 2011

States face up to ‘new reality’ of U.S. healthcare

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.”

Mar 16, 2011

Local officials plead to Senate not to cut grants

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.”

Mar 11, 2011

U.S. to rebid $2.4 billion in Florida rail funds

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.

Mar 11, 2011

Senator close to “rebranding” Build America Bonds

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.

Mar 10, 2011

U.S. municipal bond market now at $2.9 trillion-Fed

WASHINGTON, March 10 (Reuters) – The amount of outstanding
municipal bonds grew by $116.2 billion last year to end at $2.9
trillion, U.S. Federal Reserve data released on Thursday
showed, with almost half of that growth in the last quarter of
2010.

The taxable Build America Bonds program expired in 2010,
and in the final quarter issuers rushed to market to take
advantage of the steep federal rebate the bonds paid, which was
equal to 35 percent of interest costs.

Mar 9, 2011

NYC employees earn less than private peers: Comptroller

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – New York City employees are paid 17 percent less on average than people working in the private sector, according to a study released by the city’s comptroller on Wednesday.

The city is the 11th largest employer in the United States, with more people on its payrolls than Hewlett-Packard, General Electric and Bank of America Corp, the report from Comptroller John Liu found.