Federal Aid

Congress May Reverse Some of Sequester’s Cuts to WIC

BY: - March 20, 2013

WIC helped an expectant mother to buy food in Washington, DC, in 2012. The March 2013 sequester has cast doubt on the continued funding of programs including WIC. (Getty) An effort to keep the federal government open also could deliver relief to pregnant women, mothers and young children in need of food. The U.S. Senate […]

Washington and the States: A Year of Uncertainty and Foreboding

BY: - January 10, 2012

A long siege of deadlock and dysfunction in Washington has left states frustratingly unclear what to expect from the federal government in the coming year. About the only thing they know for sure is that it is not going to be a year of generosity. In fact, it’s likely to be quite the opposite. As […]

Largest Municipal Bankruptcy Ever Prompts Muted Reaction Elsewhere

BY: - November 15, 2011

Last week’s bankruptcy of Jefferson County, Alabama, the state’s largest county, is not provoking a great deal of anxiety in local governments around the nation. Experts say it won’t have much effect on the ability of state and local jurisdictions to borrow. The filing from Jefferson, which is also the home of Birmingham, the state’s […]

State Legislators Want Revenue on Table in Debt Talks

BY: and - September 22, 2011

A bipartisan group of state lawmakers from around the country spent Wednesday (September 21) on Capitol Hill, urging the congressional “Super Committee” to consider ” all possible avenues for deficit reduction ” — including new revenue that House Speaker John Boehner appears to have taken off the table. Legislators from more than a dozen states […]

Congressional Super Committee Short on State Experience

BY: - September 16, 2011

When Chris Van Hollen was a freshman state legislator in Maryland in 1992, one of his first experiences was frustration with the federal government. He had successfully sponsored a bill to charge higher taxes on vehicles with poor gas mileage. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration blocked the new law, however, saying it conflicted with national […]

Before Jobs Speech, Obama Pushes Highway Funding

BY: - September 8, 2011

In the final days leading up to his congressional speech tonight on job creation, President Obama has been trying to make the case that repairing the nation’s roads and bridges would keep more than a million Americans employed. The president has repeatedly called on Congress to keep federal money flowing to the states through reauthorization […]

Will Obama Jobs Plan Include Aid to States?

BY: - September 7, 2011

State and local governments may be winners under the jobs plan President Obama is set to announce before a joint session of Congress on Thursday (September 7), according to media reports. The plan, which is now reported to come with a price tag of billion , will focus significantly on tax cuts, an extension of […]

Debt Deal May Not Be as Rough on States as Initially Feared

BY: - August 11, 2011

Given all the exemptions from spending cuts that were carved out in last week’s federal debt ceiling deal, most states will probably be able to handle the consequences without creating a new fiscal calamity. For states, the federal agreement to raise the debt ceiling has inspired confusion and consternation in equal parts. State officials knew […]

Medicaid Explained: How Would Block Grants Work?

BY: - April 18, 2011

One of the most controversial ideas in Washington right now is to turn Medicaid into a block grant program. Republicans say the idea is crucial to lowering the federal budget deficit and would give states needed flexibility over how to run their Medicaid programs. Democrats say it would end up gutting an essential piece of […]

States Adjust to a More Frugal Washington

BY: - January 11, 2011

As a new power dynamic takes hold in Washington, one thing is clear for cash-strapped states: Whether they think of federal aid money as an essential economic boost or a wasteful bailout, the help is over. For states that have leaned heavily on federal stimulus dollars to balance their budgets during their worst fiscal crisis […]

Emptying the Pork Barrel Would Hit Some States Especially Hard

BY: - December 10, 2010

iStockphoto.com Some states seem to have earmarks written all over them. Say the word and most people think of Alaska’s “Bridge to Nowhere.” West Virginia is well-known for having drawn billions in earmarked projects through the efforts of the “king of pork,” the late U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd.   So it may come as […]