budget shortfall

18 Stories

Feds Hit States With Interest on Unemployment Loans

Tax-free provision ended with first stimulus

(Newser) - With most states already swinging in the recessionary winds, more bad news—many will have to start paying interest on the money they borrow to pay unemployment benefits. When jobless levels hit the unthinkable, with some states seeing 14%-15%, many had to go cap in hand to the feds to... More »

Strapped States Raising Taxes on Employers

Critics say it's going to make joblessness worse

(Newser) - Massive unemployment is putting a strain on state benefit funds, and states in turn are trying to recoup the money by raising taxes on employers. In all, 36 states have raised payroll taxes, a strategy that critics say will backfire by putting a crimp on hiring. “Everything’s going... More »

Chicagoans Cool Off on Olympic Bid

Financial concerns drive lukewarm public support

(Newser) - Local support for Chicago's bid to play host to the 2016 Olympics has fallen sharply, with public opinion evenly split, the Chicago Tribune reports. Just 47% of Chicagoans in a new poll support the mayor’s initiative—a 14-point slide—while 45% oppose it. The main issue is expense: 84%... More »

Banks Won't Honor Calif. IOUs

(Newser) - Major banks in California, including Bank of America and Wells Fargo, will stop honoring the state's IOUs after today, reports the Los Angeles Times. While some credit unions may cash the promissory notes, taxpayers and vendors who need cash may be tempted to sell them on the cheap to third-party... More »

Calif. May Need to Issue IOUs Next Week

(Newser) - California’s finances are so dire that the state controller says he’s going to have to start doling out IOUs to creditors soon, reports the Los Angeles Times. Likening the situation to the Great Depression, John Chiang says he’ll have to issue IOUs to social-service agencies, private contractors,... More »

Calif. Could Go Bust by July

State budget may fall short by as much as $23B

(Newser) - California could be broke by July if voters reject a handful of upcoming budget proposals, the Los Angeles Times reports. Officials predict the state will fall as much as $23 billion short if the unpopular propositions fail. To save money, the state may commute the sentences of 38,000 “... More »

Fed Dollars Overtake Taxes as States' Top Income Source

Federal money exceeds revenue from major taxes for first time ever

(Newser) - For the first time, state governments are receiving more money directly from the federal government than they collect in sales, property, and income taxes, reports USA Today. As the economic downturn saps tax revenue, stimulus money has filled the gap. Says an analyst, “This has more to say about... More »

Stimulus Deadline Looms for Skeptical SC Gov. Sanford

As fiscal situation worsens, SC governor's stimulus refusal draws ire

(Newser) - South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford has until Friday to choose between the philosophical and the fiscal as the deadline to accept $700 million in federal stimulus money approaches, the Wall Street Journal reports. Sanford wants authority over the funds, earmarked for education and public safety, and has pledged to refuse... More »

Oil's Plunge Trouble for Palin

(Newser) - Sarah Palin's first two years as Alaska's governor were a time of milk, honey, and crude, with sky-high oil prices pumping wealth into the state. The second half of her term isn't looking so rosy. The rapid decline of oil prices has left the state with a looming budget shortfall... More »

Governors Back House on Stimulus

Senate version provides for half as much direct state aid

(Newser) - With the House and Senate reconciling their competing stimulus bills, governors are pushing for the House version to prevail, the Washington Post reports. States would receive billions in aid if that version goes through—or next to nothing if the Senate's legislation passes. "If the Senate version holds, there... More »

Paterson's Poll Numbers Tank After Debacle With Caroline

Guv cancels Davos trip to shore up support

(Newser) - New York Gov. David Paterson's poll numbers have hit the toilet as he grapples with a $15.8 billion deficit and reaction to his handling of the Caroline Kennedy Senate decision, reports the New York Daily News. The numbers have so spooked Paterson that he's decided to ditch his trip... More »

States See Lottery Sales Take Rare Dip

Recession crimps this usually safe revenue stream

(Newser) - In good times and bad, state governments have relied on the lottery to bring in as much as $1 billion for education programs and other beneficiaries. But last quarter, sales of tickets fell by $215 million nationwide, only the second dip in 16 years. At a moment when states are... More »

NPR Lays Off 7% of Staff, Cuts 2 Shows

Corporate underwriting took big hit in recession

(Newser) - NPR will take two shows off the air and lay off 64 employees—7% of its workforce—to close an unexpected $23 million budget shortfall. Shows getting the ax are "Day to Day" and "News and Notes," both of which sought to diversify NPR's audience. The layoffs... More »

NH Suspends Jury Trials to Stave Off Layoffs

Savings will prevent courthouse layoffs

(Newser) - As the economy hammers its budget, New Hampshire’s court system is taking the drastic measure of suspending all jury trials for a month, the New York Times reports. The blackout, expected early next year, will save the state roughly $73,000 in $10-per-half-day juror stipends, enough to stave off... More »

Citizenship Fees Up, Applications Down

59% decline seen after charge to would-be citizens rises from $400 to $675

(Newser) - Higher fees for immigrants seeking US citizenship could be responsible for a drop in applications, USA Today reports. The fee went from $400 to $675 last summer; applications are down almost 60% in the first 6 months of 2008, compared to the same period last year. “The expense has... More »

Calif. Guards Vow to Recall Governator

Salary cut to minimum wage sparked rage of powerful union

(Newser) - A union of angry California peace officers vowed today to recall Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Sacramento Bee reports. The guards have struggled with the Governator over pay and prison policies, and lost patience this summer when he cut salaries to minimum wage. “It's gone beyond professional,” union spokesman... More »

Economic Blues Take Toll on State Budgets

Declining tax revenue may leave them $26B short next fiscal year

(Newser) - The slumping economy will pummel state budgets in the next fiscal year, leaving them at least $26 billion short, according to a survey from the National Conference of State Legislatures. Payrolls fell drastically in March and consumer confidence is low, a double whammy for state tax revenue. "With a... More »

State Budgets Caught in Economy's Freefall

Spending cuts, tax increases in store

(Newser) - Politicians from New York to California are wringing their hands, wondering whether to cut spending or raise taxes. As the economy barrels towards recession, income and sales taxes are coming in well below expectations, and about half the states in the country are facing budget shortfalls, the New York Times... More »

18 Stories