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SPN Fiscal Policy Exchange: Volume 8, Issue 12

Published on Monday, March 19, 2012


The Fiscal Policy Exchange is brought to you by State Policy Network and prepared by Washington Policy Center. Please send any studies or news articles you would like included in the next Fiscal Policy Exchange (must include web link) by noon (PT) Friday to

Taxes & Budget


Allegheny Institute

Assessing the Allegheny Reassessment Accuracy: The Good and the Bad


American Enterprise Institute

Raising the cost of crime

Why are gas prices so high?

States aren't red or blue forever


Americans for Tax Reform

ATR urges Representatives to cosign Flake's PTC letter

28 Suggestions for Brian Sandoval

Senators Should Oppose Highway Spending Bill

Risky Business: ExIm is Banking on Short Memories

ATR will Keyvote DeMint and Menendez/Burr Amendments, Oppose Stabenow

ATR Supports H.R. 1549, Repeals Obamacare Savings Surtax

Texas Shows That the Size of Government Matters

Government's Pot of Gold Grows on St. Patrick's Day

Senators Should Oppose Highway Spending Bill


Cascade Policy Institute

Oregon's March presidential debate canceled

Federal Health Care Reform: A Two-Year Report Card

Digital Learning the Sal Khan Way


Free State Foundation

WSJ's Steve Moore to Speak at FSF's March 20 Conference

The Internet World: Will It Remain Free From Public Utility Regulation?

White House OSTP Deputy Director Joins FSF Conference Line-Up


The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice

Washington K-12 and School Choice Survey


Goldwater Institute

Support Public Pension Reform

Arizona must choose the right path on tax policy


Kansas Policy Institute

KPI Blog - A true path to economic growth and prosperity

Description: week promotes importance of open government - St. John News

KPI Blog - End the Hypocrisy Over Use of Reserve Balances

Kansas government workers getting huge pensions - Sedgwick County Post


Maryland Public Policy Institute

A tax increase or ‘doomsday'? We'll take our chances

The 2012 Maryland Legislative Session Income Tax Policy Update

Rethinking Maryland's Proposed Gas Tax Increase

Maryland May Shift Pension Burdens to Local Government

The irrational acts of people and governments


Nevada Policy Research Institute

Substantive solutions needed to address Nevada's woes

'Juice' is not the route to economic development

The national mortgage-servicing settlement that isn't

National mortgage settlement details finally revealed


Reason Foundation

$2 Trillion For a Decade of Expanded Health Coverage Under ObamaCare?

How Sex Offender Registries Fail Us

Kony 2012's Old-Fashioned War Propaganda

The Perils of Staying in Afghanistan


Washington Policy Center

New poll shows voters want charter schools and other alternatives to regular public schools

Why the Proposed Washington Works Corps Program Won't Work



State News



AL: Jefferson County paying record amounts of overtime, The Birmingham News, 3.16.12

AL: A bill that would ban sewer nonuser fees in Alabama is a bad idea that would keep the full burden of paying off Jefferson County sewer debt on the backs of already overburdened sewer customers, The Birmingham News, 3.16.12

AL: Alabama Arise renews call for end to state sales tax on groceries, The Birmingham News, 3.15.12

AL: Alabama Department of Education opposes plan to give expanding businesses income tax breaks, The Birmingham News, 3.14.12



AK: House passes $9.5 billion state operating budget, Anchorage Daily News, 3.15.12

AK: Alaska should change oil taxes now, says BP executive, Anchorage Daily News, 3.16.12

AK: BP president- Alaska should change oil taxes now, Anchorage Daily News, 3.15.12



AZ: Ending taxpayer funding of union salaries, The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.), 3.15.12

AZ: Ex-lawmaker Miranda admits fraud, tax evasion, The Arizona Republic (Phoenix), 3.14.12

AZ: Union business, on the taxpayers' dime, The Washington Post, 3.13.12

AZ: Legislation would push Brewer to negotiate tax deal with Amazon, East Valley Tribune (Tempe), 3.14.12

AZ: Former Ariz. lawmaker pleads guilty to wire fraud, Arizona Daily Sun (Flagstaff), 3.14.12



AR: Library -- County's tax distribution flouts 1883 law, Arkansas News Bureau, 3.15.12

AR: U.S. Senate OKs highway bill, Arkansas News Bureau, 3.14.12



CA: State judges win temporary reprieve from online financial disclosure rule, San Jose Mercury News, 3.15.12

CA: Buildings go up as universities' budgets go down, California Watch, 3.15.12

CA: Big hazard for Jerry Brown's new tax plan, The Sacramento Bee, 3.16.12

CA: Despite merger of tax initiatives, proponents will also go their own ways, Contra Costa Times, 3.16.12

CA: CalPERS board OKs lowering assumed rate of return to 7.5%, Los Angeles Times, 3.15.12

CA: California lawmakers remain highest paid, so raises unlikely, Los Angeles Times, 3.14.12

CA: Republicans to propose repeal of California fire tax, Los Angeles Times, 3.14.12

CA: Acrobat Brown does a flip on tax hike measure, Los Angeles Times, 3.15.12

CA: Assembly panel blocks expansion of court computer system, The Sacramento Bee, 3.14.12

CA: CalPERS OKs reduction in investment forecast, costing state extra $167 million per year, The Sacramento Bee, 3.14.12

CA: Senate leader Steinberg 'happy and relieved' over ballot deal, The Sacramento Bee, 3.14.12

CA: Brown's revised plan would hike income tax rate on $500,000 earners, San Jose Mercury News, 3.14.12



CO: Colorado expected to use chunk of huge lender settlement to aid homeless vets, revive Fort Lyon facility, The Denver Post, 3.16.12

CO: Budget committee staff calls for more details on fixing Colorado Benefits Management System, The Denver Post, 3.15.12



CT: Transportation bill helps Connecticut - a little, The Connecticut Mirror, 3.14.12



DE: Bill gives unions input on benefits, The News Journal (New Castle-Wilmington), 3.16.12



FL: Thanks to lawmakers, Gov. Scott has gained power in Tallahassee, The Miami Herald, 3.15.12

FL: Lawmakers return for short, costly session, The Miami Herald, 3.14.12

FL: Disabled kids illegally warehoused in nursing homes, lawsuit claims, The Miami Herald, 3.14.12

FL: Fla. citrus growers upset over change in tax, The Miami Herald, 3.15.12



HI: State auditor lambasts Aloha Stadium management; says one-third of vendors avoided excise tax, The Republic (Columbus, Ind.), 3.16.12

HI: $350K added for Hawaii electric vehicle, chargers rebate program; Rebate deadline extended, The Republic (Columbus, Ind.), 3.14.12

HI: Senators scold Hawaii officials for errors leading to more than $2 million in wage overpayment, The Republic (Columbus, Ind.), 3.14.12



ID: Otter signs plan to boost economy, research, The Idaho Statesman (Boise), 3.16.12

ID: House kills Boise County plan to cover $5.4M debt, The Idaho Statesman (Boise), 3.15.12

ID: Most of Idaho's infrastructure doesn't make the grade, The Idaho Statesman (Boise), 3.15.12

ID: Idaho voters pass school levies in Boise, Meridian, The Idaho Statesman (Boise), 3.14.12



IL: Illinois state workers protest budget cuts, Quad-City Times, 3.15.12

IL: Arrested IL official has money in campaign war chest, Illinois Statehouse News, 3.14.12



IN: Daniels asks Obama for government storm aid, Evansville Courier & Press, 3.14.12

IN: Governor Mitch Daniels requests help for governments in five tornado counties, The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Ky.), 3.14.12



IA: Iowa House Democrats criticize Republicans over new plan for funding education reform, The Des Moines Register, 3.15.12

IA: Iowa development incentive is driving up property taxes, new report shows, The Des Moines Register, 3.15.12

IA: House tackles how to pay for education reform, Quad-City Times, 3.15.12

IA: House committee diverts small class size money, Quad-City Times, 3.15.12



KS: Kansas House tax cut plan cheaper than thought, Lawrence Journal-World, 3.15.12

KS: Kansas House serves up a non-starter on taxes, The Kansas City Star, 3.15.12



KY: House panel backs bills to move bridges project forward, The Courier-Journal (Louisville), 3.15.12



LA: Louisiana secretary of state to call for museum closings amid budget cuts, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans), 3.15.12

LA: Louisiana House panel clears school charter, voucher bill as teachers pack Capitol, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans), 3.14.12

LA: House panel approves teacher tenure, pay changes to end 16-hour hearing, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans), 3.15.12



ME: Lawmakers to take up bill that would allow online sale of lottery tickets, Bangor Daily News, 3.15.12

ME: Governor's budget proposal has wide-ranging impact on education, health services, Bangor Daily News, 3.14.12



MD: Maryland faces millions in costs after paying more for slot devices than expected, The Washington Post, 3.13.12

MD: Maryland Senate votes to tax the rich, The Baltimore Sun, 3.15.12

MD: GOP drive to limit spending growth falls short, The Capital (Annapolis), 3.15.12

MD: O'Malley tries to rally support for gas tax increase, The Washington Post, 3.14.12

MD: Senate plows through budget, turning back GOP, The Baltimore Sun, 3.14.12

MD: Hearing set for Prince George's casino legislation, The Capital (Annapolis), 3.14.12

MD: House approves salary increase for state judges, The Capital (Annapolis), 3.14.12

MD: Miller -- High gas prices make gas tax a tough sell, The Capital (Annapolis), 3.14.12



MA: Towns seek Aquinnah casino details, The Boston Globe, 3.15.12

MA: With state receivership over, Chelsea Housing Authority is ready for new chapter, The Boston Globe, 3.15.12



MI: Snyder -- State can't offer cash to every struggling city, The Detroit News, 3.15.12

MI: Michigan Governor Rick Snyder says proposed consent agreement will help Detroit officials,, 3.15.12

MI: Gov. Snyder -- Finances, not race, are the reason for Detroit consent agreement,, 3.15.12

MI: Ire over consent plan grows louder, The Detroit News, 3.15.12

MI: Detroit can't go it alone, The Detroit News, 3.15.12

MI: Mayor, governor spar over Detroit, Politico, 3.14.12

MI: Bad news for Michigan prisoners -- inmates would have to pay sales tax if bill passes,, 3.14.12

MI: Increase state's higher ed investment, Lansing State Journal, 3.14.12

MI: Smiley and Ananich want state tax credit for working drivers,, 3.14.12



MN: Minn. House passes GOP school payback plan, Brainerd Dispatch, 3.15.12

MN: Should public money be used to fund a new stadium?, Minnesota Public Radio (St. Paul), 3.15.12



MS: Bill eases state worker firings, The Clarion-Ledger (Jackson), 3.15.12



MO: Sales tax might help pay for Arch project, Jefferson City News Tribune, 3.15.12

MO: Arch project backers should be open about sales tax proposal, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 3.15.12



MT: Judge says he will hear arguments from unions on tax rebate initiative, Missoulian (Missoula), 3.15.12

MT: U.S. Senate passes highway bill, extension of payments to forest counties, Missoulian (Missoula), 3.14.12

MT: Judge dismisses part of challenge to Montana ballot measure on tax refunds, Missoulian (Missoula), 3.14.12



NE: First, stop the waste, Lincoln Journal Star, 3.15.12

NE: Lawmakers advance bill to lower taxes on 'alcopops', Lincoln Journal Star, 3.15.12

NE: Senators advance budget, continue informal debate on governor's tax cuts, Lincoln Journal Star, 3.14.12



NV: For first time in four years, state officials build budget without cuts, Las Vegas Sun, 3.16.12

NV: Nevada agency heads briefed on budget directions in preparation of 2013 session, The Republic (Columbus, Ind.), 3.16.12

NV: Sandoval's budget plan not winning him friends with teachers, other unions, Las Vegas Sun, 3.14.12

NV: Senate passes transportation bill as clock ticks on Nevada projects, Las Vegas Sun, 3.15.12


New Hampshire

NH: Senate passes $109b transportation bill, New Hampshire Union Leader, 3.15.12


New Jersey

NJ: Reversal of Christie plan kills $200M in savings, The Record (Bergen County), 3.16.12

NJ: Bill that would give $1M to schools for anti-bullying program passes in Assembly, Senate, The Star-Ledger (Newark), 3.15.12

NJ: Senate highway bill would send $1.5 billion to N.J., Asbury Park Press, 3.15.12

NJ: New Jersey gets mixed grades for online budget and spending transparency, The Record (Bergen County), 3.14.12

NJ: 40 faith-based N.J. organizations sharing over $1M in state aid,, 3.14.12


New Mexico

NM: NM gets $4 million in federal funds to help turn around lowest performing schools, The Republic (Columbus, Ind.), 3.16.12


New York

NY: Cuomo defends late-night compromises, Times Union (Albany), 3.16.12

NY: In Albany, plan to cut pensions takes shape; redistricting moves ahead, The New York Times, 3.15.12

NY: Deadline breaks logjam, Times Union (Albany), 3.15.12


North Carolina

NC: Report suggests eliminating high-end NC helicopter, Winston-Salem Journal, 3.14.12

NC: The ferry fight, News & Record (Greensboro), 3.15.12


North Dakota

ND: North Dakota vision campaign gathers ideas at '2020 & Beyond', The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, 3.14.12

ND: Fargo leaders still split on sales tax proposal, The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, 3.14.12



OH: Kasich outlines proposal to lower income taxes, Dayton Daily News, 3.16.12

OH: Gov. John Kasich rolls out mini-budget with tax, education initiatives taking center stage, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland), 3.14.12

OH: Gov. John Kasich says Ohio's payroll is smaller and retirements have reduced employee numbers, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland), 3.15.12

OH: Ohio Tea Party group claims its scrutiny by IRS is more intensive than necessary, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland), 3.15.12

OH: Gov. John Kasich rolls out mini-budget with tax, education initiatives taking center stage, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland), 3.14.12

OH: Gov. Kasich's $1B tax cut tied to energy growth, Dayton Daily News, 3.15.12

OH: Gov. John Kasich unveils midterm budget plan, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland), 3.14.12



OK: Oklahoma County to continue supporting child advocate group for now, The Oklahoman (Oklahoma City), 3.15.12

OK: Federal prosecutors in Oklahoma, elsewhere stay busy fighting white-collar crimes, The Oklahoman (Oklahoma City), 3.15.12



OR: Achievement compacts in Oregon -- Remembering what matters most, The Oregonian (Portland), 3.15.12

OR: State taps smoking prevention funds to help balance budget, The Oregonian (Portland), 3.15.12

OR: Can state Sen. Chris Telfer claim credit for a balanced budget?, The Oregonian (Portland), 3.14.12



PA: Proposed state cuts in mental health services spur suit, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 3.15.12

PA: Advocates for disabled sue Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett over budget proposal, The Patriot-News (Harrisburg), 3.14.12


Rhode Island

RI: Chafee's municipal pension package would halt some COLAs, bus monitors, The Providence Journal, 3.15.12

RI: Credit rating agency downgrades Providence to near junk-bond status, The Providence Journal, 3.14.12

RI: Woonsocket school board votes to keep schools open, despite financial shortfall, The Providence Journal, 3.15.12

RI: Chafee package for cities and towns touches on pensions, pay increases, monitors, The Providence Journal, 3.14.12


South Carolina

SC: Senator proposes 4 percent pay raise for state workers, teachers, The State (Columbia), 3.15.12

SC: SC House Democrats try to give employees a bonus, Spartanburg Herald-Journal, 3.14.12

SC: SC House gives approval to 2012-13 budget plan, Spartanburg Herald-Journal, 3.14.12


South Dakota

SD: SD Gov -- Most of blender pump money awarded, Rapid City Journal, 3.15.12



TN: Sponsor OKs linking cuts to lottery sales, The Tennessean (Nashville), 3.14.12

TN: Chattanooga gang bills pass hurdle; projected cost still a concern, Chattanooga Times Free Press, 3.15.12



TX: State should ask HNTB for a refund, Austin American-Statesman, 3.15.12

TX: Feds will phase out funds for Women's Health Program, The Houston Chronicle, 3.15.12

TX: Texas schools face bigger classes and smaller staff, The New York Times, 3.16.12

TX: State spends big to pay workers for unused vacation, The Texas Tribune, 3.15.12



VT: Study -- Vermont gets a D- in transparency of spending, Burlington Free Press, 3.14.12



VA: Gov. Bob McDonnell's poor plan to unclog Virginia's roads, The Washington Post, 3.15.12

VA: Legislators to target the contract in tolls fight, The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk), 3.16.12

VA: Senate Democrats seek funding of mandated ultrasounds, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 3.15.12

VA: Va. officials moving forward with tunnel, tolls project, The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk), 3.15.12



WA: Takeover in Senate Brings Religion to Legislature - but Conversion to ‘Transparency' Doesn't Run Very Deep, Washington State Wire (Olympia), 3.14.12

WA: Lawmakers still in deadlock on budget; Gregoire threatens vetoes, The Seattle Times, 3.15.12

WA: GOP-led coalition offers new budget with no education cuts, The News Tribune (Tacoma), 3.15.12

WA: Two parties won't cut education funding, are far apart on budget, The News Tribune (Tacoma), 3.15.12

WA: Roll-your-own cigarettes tax bill has chance to pass in special session, The Oregonian (Portland), 3.15.12

WA: Gov. Gregoire signs CRC toll bill into law, The Oregonian (Portland), 3.15.12

WA: GOP's McKenna closes fundraising gap during three-day break in freeze, The News Tribune (Tacoma), 3.14.12

WA: Gregoire says it's time to ratchet up budget talks, The Olympian (Olympia), 3.15.12


West Virginia

WV: In a year, W.Va. went from F to A-minus, Charleston Daily Mail, 3.16.12

WV: State eyes aid to possible Century Aluminum restart, The Charleston Gazette, 3.14.12

WV: Bill Maloney is right about tax breaks, Charleston Daily Mail, 3.15.12

WV: House, Senate conferees do quick work on budget bill, The Charleston Gazette, 3.14.12



WI: Lawmakers approve Medicaid cuts, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 3.14.12

WI: Wisconsin Legislature's budget committee to consider Medicaid changes, The Post-Crescent (Appleton), 3.14.12

WI: Wisconsin Senate passes bill lifting Family Care cap, The Post-Crescent (Appleton), 3.14.12

WI: Wis. budget committee denies train funding, La Crosse Tribune, 3.14.12

WI: Wis. budget committee approves Medicaid changes, La Crosse Tribune, 3.14.12



WY: Crews continue to repair road damage from heavy 2011 runoff on NW Wyo., The Republic (Columbus, Ind.), 3.15.12

WY: State earns "F" for budget transparency, Wyoming Tribune Eagle (Cheyenne), 3.15.12

WY: Enzi, Barrasso vote against proposal to extend federal tax break for wind energy production, The Republic (Columbus, Ind.), 3.14.12



US: States eye revenue from online sales, News & Record (Greensboro, N.C.), 3.16.12

US: Don't cut pensions, expand them, The New York Times, 3.15.12

US: Nation's state teacher pension funds significantly underfunded in parts of the country, The Washington Post, 3.15.12

US: Hope for a good transportation bill, The New York Times, 3.14.12

US: Senate passes 2-year transportation bill, The New York Times, 3.14.12


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