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Tax and Budget Reform

US: States slash pre-K programs as budgets bleed

The Associated Press:

States are cutting hundreds of millions from their prekindergarten budgets, undermining years of working to help young children - particularly poor kids - get ready for school.

IL: Record number of Illinois families on food stamps

The Chicago Tribune:

More Illinois families are receiving food stamps than ever before as a result of the deepest recession in decades, state officials said Monday.

NY: 125 Days Late, a State Budget With New Taxes

The New York Times:

Lawmakers completed one of the latest budgets in New York State history on Tuesday night, passing a last piece of legislation that will raise an additional $1 billion — in part by increasing taxes on the sale of clothing and on a variety of businesses. 

Tax and Budget Reform: Policy Options for 2011 to Address the Revenue Crisis in the States

Although the recession may have technically subsided at the national level, states are still reeling from historic budget shortfalls, stubbornly high unemployment, and significant revenue declines and will continue to face fiscal challenges in the upcoming year.  The lingering effects of the downturn have forced state lawmakers to consider extreme fiscal measures to confront budgetary constraints.  What’s more, states have already utilized a substantial portion of the federal funds available for state fiscal relief through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). 

These dire circumstances merit progressive tax and budget policy as a means to provide essential services, make critical investments in long-term growth areas, support working and middle-class families who have been disproportionately hit by the impact of the downturn, and ensure that all taxpayers are contributing their fair share.  

Tax and Budget Reform: Policy Options for 2011 to Address the Revenue Crisis in the States

Although the recession may have technically subsided at the national level, states are still reeling from historic budget shortfalls, stubbornly high unemployment, and significant revenue declines and will continue to face fiscal challenges in the upcoming year. The lingering effects of the downturn have forced state lawmakers to consider extreme fiscal measures to confront budgetary constraints. What’s more, states have already utilized a substantial portion of the federal funds available for state fiscal relief through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

NJ: Gov. Christie to borrow $1.4B to fund N.J. transportation projects

The Star-Ledger:
The Christie administration plans to borrow $1.4 billion this year to pay for transportation projects, though it has not laid out a plan to fix a funding crunch that could stop work across New Jersey.

NC: N.C. Senate passes $240M in tax breaks

The Associated Press:

North Carolina legislators have approved legislation that includes a long list of extended tax breaks and business-friendly changes estimated to cost about $240 million in the next five years.

NJ: N.J. Assemblywomen demand Gov. Christie restore $7.5M in family planning cuts

The Star-Ledger:

More than 10 Democratic Assemblywomen stormed Gov. Chris Christie’s office this morning to demand an appointment with him to push for the restoration of $7.5 million in family planning funds he cut from the budget passed last week.

AZ: Sun and stimulus to shine for state

The Arizona Republic:

A giant solar plant  near Gila Bend is finally going ahead, thanks to a federal loan-guarantee program.

AZ: Arizona leaves mentally disabled to get by alone

The Arizona Republic:

This morning, Jerry Fischer will get out of bed and get ready for the day, like always. Then he'll spend hours dusting the house and vacuuming rugs that likely don't need it. He'll clean the bathroom and empty the trash and then will come the real highlight of his day.