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    • Stateline Story
    March 18, 2002
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    State lawmakers trying to close budget gaps may not find much to cheer about in recent reports that the economy is improving. In fact, the good economic news may even add irony to lawmakers' budget debates, according to veteran fiscal analyst Nick Jenny. The reason is that state tax revenues still are coming in well below estimates, despite the improving economy. more

    • Stateline Story
    March 7, 2002
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    Twenty-one states are mulling cigarette tax increases to help ease the pain of massive budget shortages. New York and Connecticut governors have already okayed such taxes, with increases of 39 and 61 cents per pack respectively. Proponents of higher tobacco taxes say upping the rates will improve the health of citizens. But health experts say the tax must be coupled with prevention programs that help people quit smoking and make sure young people don't start. more

    • Stateline Story
    March 6, 2002
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    If things were normal in New Jersey, this would be the time of year when the Legislature begins hearings on the budget the governor proposed a month ago for the fiscal year that starts July 1. But these days things are anything but normal. more

    • Stateline Story
    February 19, 2002
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    The federal tax burden falls most heavily on affluent Connecticut, while the state of New Mexico, home of the White Sands Missile Range, the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the highest poverty rate in the nation, gets the most federal dollars back, studies of the federal budgets impact on states show. more

    • Stateline Story
    February 7, 2002
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    Despite recent indications that the slumping national economy may have turned a corner, state budgets are suffering from a shortage of money and probably will be for some time, state fiscal experts say. More than three-quarters of the states have made budget cuts or implemented spending freezes, and more than half are tapping their rainy day accounts, reserve funds built up during the economy's better days. Even the sacred cow of spending priorities, K-12 education, has come under the budget axe in some states. more

    • Stateline Story
    January 28, 2002
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    Wisconsin Gov. Scott McCallum has triggered an election year battle with his proposal to phase out a 90 year-old program of state aid to local governments to erase a $1.2 billion state budget deficit. The politically risky plan, fiercely opposed by many urban leaders and Democratic legislative leaders, would reduce the $1 billion per year "Shared Funding" program by more than one-third this year alone. more

    • Stateline Story
    December 18, 2001
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    Like hungry college students searching under couch cushions for some pizza cash, states are turning to tax amnesty programs to bring in a little extra revenue from delinquent or elusive sources -- tardy or non-filing taxpayers more

    • Stateline Story
    December 10, 2001
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    State budget woes are a drag. That's the message governors and state legislators are sending to Congress and the President as debate rages over an economic stimulus package. more

    • Stateline Story
    November 26, 2001
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    Democrat Jim McGreevey had been New Jersey's governor-elect less than 24 hours before he used a post-election news conference Nov. 7 to call on Republicans who remain in control of state government through January to stop spending money and freeze discretionary programs. more

    • Stateline Story
    November 20, 2001
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    Prescription drugs, tobacco prevention, rising health care costs and Medicaid are high priority areas for health officials across the country. But revenue shortfalls remain the over-arching concern, policymakers from five states said Sunday (11/18) at a forum in Seattle, Washington. The forum, sponsored by the National Conference of State Legislatures, featured health-related officials from Arizona, Connecticut, Maryland, Oregon and Washington State. more

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