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SPN Fiscal Policy Exchange: Volume 8, Issue 8

Published on Tuesday, February 21, 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


American Enterprise Institute

Understanding the true cost of state and local pensions

What states can teach the federal government about default

Apply to the AEI Summer Institute for undergrads


Americans for Tax Reform

ATR Supports H.R. 3630, the "Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012"

Tax Plan Comparison: Obama vs. GOP Candidates

Grover Norquist Urges Senators to Attach Keystone Pipeline to Highway Bill

House Republicans Rollback Obama's Pro-Union Regulations

ATR Supports H.R. 3819, the "Health Freedom for Seniors Act"

Taxpayers: Broken-Hearted or Just Plain Broke? Valentine's Day Costs Increase Thanks to Government

House to Pass Payroll Tax Relief for Rest of 2012

Obama Proposes Nearly $90 Billion in Tax Hikes on Energy Producers

Obama Plan Uses Budget Gimmickry To Mask Explosive Spending

Obama Budget Raises Taxes on Small Employers, Savers, Families


Cascade Policy Institute

House votes to expand loan insurance for small businesses

Expansion of state's mandatory reporting of child abuse moves to House floor

Corrupted Capitalism and the Housing Crisis

SunShot Makes Solar Energy a Long Shot

What does Oregon's new open enrollment law mean for your child?

House votes to expand loan insurance for small businesses


Free State Foundation

Spectrum Auctions and Communications Policy Reform


Kansas Policy Institute

Commentary - Putting Taxpayer Interests First

Blog Post - New house credits are misguided

Despite More Money, Student Achievement is Lower than Parents May Believe


Maryland Public Policy Institute

Tickets to sold-out concerts, luxury boxes not uncommon for city officials

Erosion of values, not economics, to blame for social dislocation

O'Malley's cigar tax is a smokescreen

A Gas Tax Reference Guide


Nevada Policy Research Institute

Governments paying union employees millions a year to perform union work

Hello ... Congress? Are you there?

Texas margin tax: Always a bad idea

Being slow-danced in the dark by CCSD

NPRI praises Reno for putting its checkbook online

NPRI: Sandoval development scheme a ‘roadmap to crony capitalism'


Reason Foundation

Mitt Romney Has Trouble Connecting, Even in Michigan

Ayn Rand Was an Illegal Immigrant

The Invincible Military-Industrial Complex


Washington Policy Center

WPC's Recommendations on the State's 2012 Transportation Tax Package, Part IV

Legislators Should Focus on Serious Proposals, Not Political Sound Bites

QRIS Rating Systems Do Not Improve Learning or Social Development for Children

Odds of on-time session improve

House GOP releases budget proposal


State News



AL: Alabama House OKs constitutional rewrite to extend legal immunity to use of tax breaks for business, The Birmingham News, 2.16.12

AL: Alabama plans to close most hospitals for mentally ill, The New York Times, 2.17.12



AK: Ice Alaska, borough to return grant to state, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, 2.16.12



AR: GOP plan took a vexing route, legislator says, Northwest Arkansas Times, 2.17.12

AR: Democratic leaders criticize GOP budget plan, Arkansas News Bureau, 2.16.12

AR: Resolution for truck tax break repeal clears House, Arkansas News Bureau, 2.16.12



CA: Back pay for furloughs goes to workers in five state departments, The Sacramento Bee, 2.17.12

CA: Brown's budget can't count on cap-and-trade revenue, analyst says, Los Angeles Times, 2.16.12

CA: California Senate leader calls for paring tax proposals on ballot, Los Angeles Times, 2.16.12

CA: Territorial poaching a symptom of government dysfunction, The Sacramento Bee, 2.17.12



CO: Panel passes film tax credit bill, The Pueblo Chieftain, 2.17.12

CO: Colorado fix to hit-and-run law so sensible, yet so hard to fund, Denver Post, 2.17.12

CO: Bennet decries wind tax credit failure, The Pueblo Chieftain, 2.17.12



CT: Proposed mass transit budget cuts rile some Connecticut lawmakers, New Haven Register, 2.17.12

CT: Arts money to be restored, Republican-American (Waterbury), 2.16.12



DE: DelDOT records prompt inquiry, News Journal (New Castle-Wilmington), 2.17.12



FL: House should step up on sales tax fix, Tampa Bay Times, 2.17.12

FL: UM kicks off $1.6 billion campaign, The Miami Herald, 2.15.12

FL: USF student body president gets a dose of politics, Tallahassee style, Tampa Bay Times, 2.17.12

FL: Senate panel reduces USF cut, but it still stands at $103 million, The Tampa Tribune, 2.15.12

FL: Committee OKs extending tax credits to lure entertainment industry to Florida, The Palm Beach Post, 2.16.12

FL: Pace of foreclosures in Florida to increase, The Miami Herald, 2.15.12



HI: Hawaii legislative panel OKs proposal to charge fee for use of disposable shopping bags, The Republic (Columbus, Ind.), 2.16.12



IL: Illinois Medicaid cuts will hit a system already in crisis, The New York Times, 2.17.12

IL: State rep blasts tax credit after Sears' layoffs, Quad-City Times, 2.16.12

IL: Ill. budget to include state facilities closures, Quad-City Times, 2.16.12

IL: Quinn announces $623M in funding for school repairs, WLS-TV News, 2.16.12



IA: Democrats say reduced funding for economic programs would hurt growth, The Des Moines Register, 2.16.12

IA: Iowa Poll -- Don't raise gas tax, 68% of Iowans say, The Des Moines Register, 2.16.12

IA: House, Senate face $250 million budget gap, Quad-City Times, 2.16.12



KS: Committee approves letting state agencies buy water but doesn't provide funding, Lawrence Journal-World, 2.16.12

KS: Highway interests in Kansas try to run GOP tax plan off the road, Lawrence Journal-World, 2.16.12



LA: Study -- La Tech and LSU-S should merge, The Advocate (Baton Rouge), 2.17.12

LA: Panel -- Streamline criminal justice boards in La. system, The Advocate (Baton Rouge), 2.17.12

LA: Jindal staffer trips up governor's own blue-ribbon panel on prisons, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans), 2.16.12

LA: Plans made to shore up mental health services in New Orleans despite cuts, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans), 2.16.12

LA: Proposed apartments' cost in New Orleans raises doubts at State Bond Commission, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans), 2.16.12

LA: Louisiana coastal restoration money could grow, shrink in Congress, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans), 2.16.12



ME: Budget deal fails in Senate, The Portland Press Herald, 2.17.12

ME: Governor should accept federal help to cut costs, The Portland Press Herald, 2.17.12

ME: Pensions and felons, Bangor Daily News, 2.16.12

ME: Health care cuts will hurt our state's economy, Kennebec Journal, 2.17.12

ME: Sebelius offers LePage help on state cuts, Kennebec Journal, 2.16.12

ME: Transportation Committee passes bill for east-west highway study, Bangor Daily News, 2.16.12

ME: House passes, but Senate rejects DHHS budget, Bangor Daily News, 2.17.12



MD: Appeals court decision has Maryland judicial system searching for a cost-effective alternative, The Washington Post, 2.16.12

MD: Former delegate launches online petition against slots in county, The Gazette (Gaithersburg), 2.16.12

MD: Audit -- Maryland economic agency improperly awarded $34M in credits, The Gazette (Gaithersburg), 2.17.12

MD: Baker backs casino in Prince George's, The Baltimore Sun, 2.16.12



MA: Watchdogs slam gov on cellphone data, Boston Herald, 2.17.12



MI: Moody's says Snyder's budget, law changes are 'credit positive' for Michigan, Detroit Free Press, 2.16.12



MN: Lawmakers urged to revoke 20 percent pay cut on personal care assistants, Minnesota Public Radio (St. Paul), 2.17.12



MS: 'SLURP!' -- Lawmakers gulp pensions, Hattiesburg American, 2.16.12



MT: Judge hears motions for, against referendum to return money to Montana taxpayers, Missoulian (Missoula), 2.16.12

MT: Unions seek to bar initiative from Montana ballot, Great Falls Tribune, 2.16.12



NE: Tax incentive proposal for large data center moves forward, Lincoln Journal Star, 2.16.12

NE: Revenue Committee hears from supporters and opponents of roads funding repeal, Lincoln Journal Star, 2.16.12



NV: Nevada business license fee collections in legislative limbo, Las Vegas Review-Journal, 2.16.12

NV: Deal preserves payroll tax cut for Nevadans, Las Vegas Review-Journal, 2.16.12


New Hampshire

NH: Contraception plan blasted, Concord Monitor, 2.17.12


New York

NY: State-run ski slopes missing snow and visitors, The New York Times, 2.16.12

NY: Report -- Gambling pays off like a slot machine, Times Union (Albany), 2.16.12

NY: Pension panel draws protesters, Times Union (Albany), 2.17.12

NY: Cuomo, King, labor leaders unveil evaluation deal, Times Union (Albany), 2,16.12



OR: Kitzhaber counters legislative budget proposal, Corvallis Gazette-Times, 2.16.12



PA: Gov. Corbett's welfare cuts could be too drastic, The Patriot-News (Harrisburg), 2.17.12

PA: Corbett favors modernizing state stores until privatizing, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2.17.12

PA: Corbett favors modernizing state stores until privatizing, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2.17.12

PA: State wants to reunite $72,000 with owners, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 2.17.12

PA: Auditor General Wagner raps contract-employee cost, Erie Times-News, 2.17.12


South Carolina

SC: Consultants advise pension board to make riskier investments, The State (Columbia), 2.17.12

SC: S.C. State board OKs plan to slash deficit, The State (Columbia), 2.17.12


South Dakota

SD: Financial accountability plan unfair, districts say, Argus Leader (Sioux Falls), 2.17.12



TN: Incentives secrecy bill in Tennessee legislature goes back to drawing board, The Commercial Appeal (Memphis), 2.16.12

TN: Tennessee grant may aid some ailing Hamilton County schools, Chattanooga Times Free Press, 2.17.12

TN: Work on Watts Bar Nuclear Plant's second reactor behind schedule and over budget, Chattanooga Times Free Press, 2.17.12



TX: Central Health OKs budget for new HMO but won't let public see it, Austin American-Statesman, 2.16.12

TX: Seeking money, Texas schools turn to advertisements, The New York Times, 2.16.12



UT: Herbert signs bill to cut unemployment tax rate 2 percent, Deseret News (Salt Lake City), 2.16.12

UT: Bill would allow cities to condemn federal public land, Deseret News (Salt Lake City), 2.16.12

UT: New Olympic bid could cost $10 million, Deseret News (Salt Lake City), 2.16.12



VT: Higher education day at Statehouse offers something old and something new, Burlington Free Press, 2.16.12

VT: State bonds to go on sale, Burlington Free Press, 2.16.12



VA: McDonnell urges Senate Democrats to act on the budget, The Washington Post, 2.16.12

VA: Va. legislators want changes in McDonnell's budget proposal, The Washington Post, 2.16.12

VA: House budget plan to include more school funding, The Roanoke Times, 2.16.12

VA: Will Democrats support Va. budget?, The Free Lance-Star (Fredericksburg), 2.16.12

VA: Clinic workers worry Virginia cutting too much, The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk), 2.17.12

VA: Senate sidetracks Cole's abortion bill, The Free Lance-Star (Fredericksburg), 2.16.12



WA: Good state budget news may push sales-tax rise off Washington ballot, The Seattle Times, 2.16.12

WA: Revenue adjustment relieves 'bit of angst' for lawmakers, The Spokesman-Review (Spokane), 2.17.12

WA: State representatives propose narrowing tax break, The News Tribune (Tacoma), 2.17.12

WA: Gov. Chris Gregoire now says a state budget solution might be possible without a temporary tax hike, The News Tribune (Tacoma), 2.16.12


West Virginia

WV: State would foot $388K bill on building's back taxes, The Charleston Gazette, 2.16.12



WI: Walker pulls a McCallum with foreclosure settlement, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 2.16.12



US: Deal trims maximum jobless benefits to 73 weeks, Associated Press, 2.17.12

US: Congress will auction public airwaves to pay for benefits, The New York Times, 2.16.12

US: Obama, GOP take stimulus debate online, USA Today, 2.16.12

US: Unemployment benefits 101 - When will your state cut off extended benefits?, The Christian Science Monitor, 2.15.12

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