Social Programs Targeted in State Cutbacks

GOVERNORS' BUDGETS: The vast majority of the 41 budgets proposed by governors so far would cut deeply into social services, according to a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities . Delaware 's   Jack Markell would scrap a program that provides cash assistance to people in deep poverty. Minnesota 's Mark Dayton would cut by one-quarter a service that helps the poor keep their homes or their utilities turned on. Michigan 's Rick Snyder would   eliminate before- and after-school programs, and Nevada 's Brian Sandoval would end state funding for elder protective services.

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE: Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels signed a measure meant to fix the state's insolvent unemployment insurance system by raising taxes on businesses and cutting weekly payments to unemployed workers. As Stateline previously reported , Indiana is among the 10 states with the heftiest interest payments owed to the f ederal government for loans to keep their UI systems solvent.

WORK SUPPORT: Nine states received $250,000 each in private funds to find ways to make it easier for low-income working families to get medical, nutritional and child care assistance. The grants are part of a five-year Urban Institute initiative with lead funding of $15 million from the Ford Foundation. The states are: Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island and South Carolina.

TAXING MEDICAL MARIJUANA: California' s tax collectors want their share of the medical marijuana business. The state Board of Equalization reaffirmed that medical marijuana dispensaries are not exempt from paying sales tax, the Los Angeles Times reports . A Northern California dispensary had argued marijuana should have the same exemption from sales tax as other medicines prescribed by doctors. The company owes the state more than $6.4 million in taxes.

FINANCIAL LITERACY:  Thirty-three nonprofits will split more than $500,000 in state grants to improve financial literacy among students and workers in Delaware . The money comes from a 2009 state law requiring businesses that make short-term payday and other consumer loans to contribute to a newly created Financial Literacy Education Fund.

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