Lisa's Feed
Apr 15, 2011

States, cities brace for budget deal cuts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The budget deal the Congress passed late Thursday and that President Barack Obama is expected to sign on Friday has state and local governments worried they may have to make up for cuts in some federal programs.

The resolution to keep the government running for the rest of fiscal year 2011 reduced Community Development Block Grants by 16 percent.

Apr 14, 2011

Public employee fight comes to Congress

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Political skirmishing in U.S. states about public employees spread to Washington on Thursday, as members of the House of Representatives came to verbal fisticuffs over collective bargaining and a pair of wealthy brothers.

The most visible figure in the battle over unions, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, told a hearing on states’ budget crises his recent policies to curb collective bargaining and change compensation have been “truly progressive.”

Apr 7, 2011

States, territories anxious about long shutdown

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As a federal government shutdown looms, U.S. states and territories are anxious about the effects on their vulnerable economies if the interruption stretches for a long time.

A prolonged shutdown could slow the flow of cash from the federal government, which would leave states with stretched budgets scrambling.

Apr 6, 2011

DC mayor’s budget balanced, but hard to achieve-CFO

WASHINGTON, April 6 (Reuters) – The budget proposed by
Washington, D.C., Mayor Vince Gray for the fiscal year
beginning in October upholds the city’s commitment to “live
within its means,” its chief financial officer said on
Wednesday.

But CFO Natwar Gandhi cautioned the plan depends on
spending cuts that city leaders may not want to make.

Apr 1, 2011

U.S. wants states to reveal more about pension funding

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.

Mar 30, 2011

Federal funding needed for bridge repairs: study

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.”

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.