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Mar 20, 2013

Republican leader offers hope for US muni bond exemption

WASHINGTON, March 20 (Reuters) – One of the most powerful
members of the U.S. Congress, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor,
signaled his support for maintaining the tax exemption for
interest paid by municipal bonds, offering reassurance to the
state and local governments that use the debt to finance
infrastructure and other projects.

“The message was received at least in my office about the
importance of that benefit,” the Virginia Republican told a
meeting of the National Association of State Treasurers on
Wednesday.

Mar 20, 2013

Congressional Republican leader reassures muni bond issuers

WASHINGTON, March 20 (Reuters) – One of the most powerful
members of the U.S. Congress – House Majority Leader Eric Cantor
- signaled his support on Wednesday for maintaining the tax
exemption of interest paid by municipal bonds, offering
reassurance to the state and local governments that use the debt
to finance infrastructure and other projects.

“The message was received at least in my office about the
importance of that benefit,” Cantor, who as the second most
powerful Republican in the House has been key in most fiscal and
tax debates in Congress, told a meeting of the National
Association of State Treasurers.

Mar 13, 2013

Waiting for recovery: U.S. public schools continue to lose jobs

WASHINGTON, March 13 (Reuters) – Nicole Lyons gave up.

After she was laid off from her job teaching at a public
elementary school she bounced through longer-term substitute
postings and held a part-time job, all the while hoping she
would land a permanent placement.

“In 2012, after two years working as a sub and continuing to
see layoffs, I was like, ‘I can’t work 50 hours a week one more
year,’” said the Los Angeles resident. “I want a full-time job.
I want my benefits back.”

Mar 11, 2013

Illinois settles SEC charges over pensions

WASHINGTON, March 11 (Reuters) – Illinois, which has the
worst-funded state pension system in the United States, agreed
on Monday to settle federal civil securities fraud charges
alleging it repeatedly misled municipal bond investors about the
underfunding of its pensions, the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission said on Monday.

Illinois neither admitted or denied the charges and was not
ordered to pay a penalty. It agreed to change its practices to
more fully disclose risks to bond investors.

Feb 28, 2013

U.S. cities face threats from federal cuts to revenues, economies

WASHINGTON, Feb 28 (Reuters) – When the mayor of Baltimore,
Maryland, talks about the federal spending cuts set to begin on
Friday, she does not mention appropriations committees, line
items or revenue rates.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake first talks about crime.

“Number one is the public safety impact,” she said. “We have
made Baltimore a safer city, but we’re not where we need to be
and this isn’t the time to pull the rug out from under us.”

Feb 24, 2013

Governors press for alternative to impending spending cuts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Less than a week before billions of dollars of U.S. spending cuts are set to begin, governors meeting in Washington ratcheted up the pressure on Congress and President Barack Obama to find an alternative to the reductions and give states more say in bringing down the federal debt.

“I certainly join the chorus of voices that are calling for that administration and members of Congress to come together and find more responsible cuts,” said Indiana Governor Mike Pence, a Republican who served in the House of Representatives during the 2011 negotiations that led to the cuts.

Feb 24, 2013

U.S. governors press for alternative to impending spending cuts

WASHINGTON, Feb 23 (Reuters) – Less than a week before
billions of dollars of U.S. spending cuts are set to begin,
governors meeting in Washington ratcheted up the pressure on
Congress and President Barack Obama to find an alternative to
the reductions and give states more say in bringing down the
federal debt.

“I certainly join the chorus of voices that are calling for
that administration and members of Congress to come together and
find more responsible cuts,” said Indiana Governor Mike Pence, a
Republican who served in the House of Representatives during the
2011 negotiations that led to the cuts.

Feb 8, 2013

Teachers press Obama to keep promises as spending cuts loom

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The largest teachers union in the United States is telling President Barack Obama not to back down from promises he made in his January inauguration speech as the country prepares to begin a decade of billions of dollars in federal spending cuts.

Obama will give his annual State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday, in which he will likely spell out practical steps for accomplishing goals he presented last month.

Feb 7, 2013

Education chief says rule waivers free up funds for states

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – By waiving certain requirements in the education law known as No Child Left Behind, the U.S. government has been able to send some states an additional $2.8 billion in total for schools, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said at a Senate hearing on Thursday.

“We’ve tried to free almost $3 billion in … money under No Child Left Behind that was prescribed by Washington,” he told the Education Committee.

Feb 7, 2013

U.S. education chief says rule waivers free up funds for states

WASHINGTON, Feb 7 (Reuters) – By waiving certain
requirements in the education law known as No Child Left Behind,
the U.S. government has been able to send some states an
additional $2.8 billion in total for schools, Education
Secretary Arne Duncan said at a Senate hearing on Thursday.

“We’ve tried to free almost $3 billion in … money under No
Child Left Behind that was prescribed by Washington,” he told
the Education Committee.