NEWS you can USE March 2011

Budgets and the Economy
Council for State Governments State Budgets 2012 –’s budget: No tax hike, lots of spending cuts – In unveiling his first budget, Pennsylvania Governor Corbett stuck by his campaign pledge to not raise a single tax. At the same time, he called for layoffs, wages freezes, and some of the deepest cuts in recent history for public schools and colleges. The Republican governor’s $27.3 billion spending plan for 2011-2012 is 3 percent leaner than the current budget. Read more….Michigan governor takes on local governments – The new governor of Michigan issued a stern challenge to local governments, saying he wants to withhold revenue sharing from municipalities to prod them into reducing expenses and consolidating services. At an event in Grand Rapids, Governor Rick Snyder called on local governments to trim employee compensation, enroll their employees in a 401(k) rather than a guaranteed benefit pension plan and make workers pay 20 percent of their health care premiums. He also wants local officials to consider merging services and posting more financial information online. The plan would cut about $100 million, roughly 10 percent, from revenue sharing funds that the state sends to local governments. It would also hold $200 million in a reserve to be distributed to municipalities that enact the changes Snyder wants, according to the Detroit Free Press. Read more….In dramatic revolt, Miami-Dade voters fire Mayor Carlos Alvarez over pay hikes, tax increase – Voters swept Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez out of office by a stunning margin Tuesday, capping a dramatic collapse for a politician who was given increased authority by voters four years ago to clean up much-maligned county government but was ushered out in the largest recall of a local politician in U.S. history. Read more….
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