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New CBO Report: Up to 2 Million People Still Owe Their Jobs to the Recovery Act

February 24, 2012

A new Congressional Budget Office report finds that the 2009 Recovery Act is continuing to save jobs and protect the economy from what would have been a much deeper recession, as our updated analysis explains.


Coming Federal Education Cuts Will Hurt Schools, Especially Poorer Ones

February 14, 2012

As my colleague Phil Oliff noted yesterday, several governors are emphasizing correctly the importance of education for long-term economic growth — but reversing only a tiny fraction of the massive cuts their states have made in education funding since the recession began.

Now, scheduled cuts in federal...

Why Supermajority Requirements to Raise Taxes Are a Bad Idea

February 13, 2012

Lawmakers in Minnesota and New Hampshire are considering amending their constitutions to require a supermajority (three-fifths) vote to approve tax increases, rather than the simple majority required for all other legislation.


While proponents claim that the change will lead to lower taxes, our...

Bill for Inadequate Unemployment Insurance Taxes Now Coming Due in Many States

January 30, 2012

Businesses in 20 states must make the first payment tomorrow on about $35 billion that these states have borrowed from the federal government in recent years to help pay unemployment insurance (UI) benefits.


Most of this borrowing happened because many states kept the business taxes...

One down, six to go!

January 20, 2012

Rhode Island officials decided this week to take an easy and useful step to improve public access to the state budget process: post online the official state estimates (known as “fiscal notes”) of how much money proposed...

State Cost Savings From Criminal Justice Reforms: Some Examples

January 13, 2012

As I noted yesterday, state spending on corrections has soared in recent decades, leaving less for schools and other priorities. If states had spent the same share of their budgets on corrections in 2010 as in 1986, they would have had over $16 billion to protect...

Criminal Justice Reforms Can Save States Money — But Do States Know How Much?

January 11, 2012

Corrections spending is absorbing a growing share of states’ budgets (see map), leaving less for education, health care, and other priorities.  Some states have adopted criminal justice reforms that reduce costs while protecting public safety — offering effective addiction treatment to more people convicted of drug-related crimes instead of incarcerating them, for example, or imposing...

Local Government Job Losses Continue

January 6, 2012

Local governments cut 14,000 jobs last month, today’s Labor Department report finds, the 34th month out of the last 41 in which total state and local employment shrank.  (State employment was flat in December.)  States and localities have cut 656,000 jobs since employment peaked in August 2008.


State and Local Job Losses Continue

November 4, 2011

October’s employment report finds that states and localities continue to lay people off.

State and local governments cut 22,000 jobs last month, the 31st month out of the last 38 in which total state and local employment shrank. States and localities have cut 644,000 jobs since August 2008.

Education Jobs Still Disappearing

October 7, 2011

The nation’s schools shed 24,000 jobs in September, continuing a troubling and accelerating trend, according to today’s Labor Department jobs report.

In the last three years, schools have cut 278,000 jobs, with over 40 percent of the job cuts occurring in the last year.