Economic crisis: Today's state perspective
By Stateline Staff
Angry Florida mothers have produced a YouTube video in an effort to head off proposed cuts in public school funding, the Miami Herald reports. It said the film, called "Florida Funding Funeral," shows somber children placing their soccer balls, musical instruments, sketchbooks and ballet slippers into a coffin. "Here lies our dreams," the headstone reads. The newspaper said that the video is an effort to persuade Tallahassee lawmakers to look elsewhere than education for savings to reduce the deficit, and that it's gotten more than 1,000 hits in the week since it went online.
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) wants to eliminate more than a dozen boards and commissions in order to reduce red ink in his state. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that officials in Schwarzenegger's administration say the proposed changes would save $126 million the first year they are adopted and eliminate 371 jobs and 80 board positions. But critics of the plan say some of the proposed changes are poorly conceived and would do nothing to close a $42 billion general fund shortfall the state faces through June 2010.
A 56-cent a pack increase in cigarette taxes that would finance a state trauma system is being proposed by Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe (D), the Arkansas News Bureau reports. The proposal would raise an estimated $88 million in annual revenue that would be used to fund a trauma system with a $30 million annual price tag and a variety of other health programs, it said. Critics want to raise penalties for drunken and reckless driving as an alternative.