63 F
Indianapolis
Monday, June 14, 2021

Obama jobs plan splits leaders of strapped states

More by this author

“font-family: Verdana, Times, serif; font-size: 12px; text-decoration: none; line-height: 13px; color: #000000; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal verdana, helvetica, arial;”>

“font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px;”>

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — President Barack Obama’s latest jobs

plan calls for $130 billion in aid to state and local governments,

providing either a welcome infusion of cash for those struggling

with budget gaps, government layoffs and crumbling roads or merely

a temporary patch for budget holes that are likely to remain long

after the federal money runs out.

“font-family: Verdana, Times, serif; font-size: 12px; text-decoration: none; line-height: 13px; color: #000000; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal verdana, helvetica, arial;”>

“font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px;”>

The perspective of governors and state lawmakers varies but often

follows political affiliation, with Democrats generally praising

Obama’s plan and Republicans remaining skeptical.

“font-family: Verdana, Times, serif; font-size: 12px; text-decoration: none; line-height: 13px; color: #000000; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal verdana, helvetica, arial;”>

“font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px;”>

“It’s a no-brainer: Congress should pass the bill. Now,” said

California Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, whose state would receive

some $13 billion for construction projects and teaching and public

safety jobs at a time when it has the nation’s second highest

unemployment rate.

“font-family: Verdana, Times, serif; font-size: 12px; text-decoration: none; line-height: 13px; color: #000000; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal verdana, helvetica, arial;”>

“font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px;”>

Many Republican lawmakers and governors are less enthusiastic about

accepting the federal money, especially if it locks in costs they

will have to account for once the aid runs out.

“font-family: Verdana, Times, serif; font-size: 12px; text-decoration: none; line-height: 13px; color: #000000; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal verdana, helvetica, arial;”>

“font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px;”>

“If we’re given the flexibility to spend it as we see fit and not

as they see fit, I could see some benefit,” particularly for

long-delayed infrastructure projects, said Missouri House Budget

Committee Chairman Ryan Silvey, a Republican. “I’m not a big fan of

using one-time money for ongoing expenses. I think that’s what the

state should be getting away from, not getting deeper

into.”

“font-family: Verdana, Times, serif; font-size: 12px; text-decoration: none; line-height: 13px; color: #000000; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal verdana, helvetica, arial;”>

“font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px;”>

Obama’s plan has to clear a politically divided Congress, which

could scuttle it entirely or enact bits and pieces of it. As

envisioned by Obama, state and local governments would receive $50

billion for transportation projects, $35 billion for school, police

and fire department payrolls, $30 billion to modernize public

schools and community colleges, and $15 billion to refurbish vacant

and foreclosed homes or businesses.

“font-family: Verdana, Times, serif; font-size: 12px; text-decoration: none; line-height: 13px; color: #000000; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal verdana, helvetica, arial;”>

“font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px;”>

It would mark the second, sizable infusion of federal cash to

states in less than three years, coming just as they are burning

through the last of the billions of dollars they received under the

2009 stimulus act.

“font-family: Verdana, Times, serif; font-size: 12px; text-decoration: none; line-height: 13px; color: #000000; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal verdana, helvetica, arial;”>

“font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px;”>

In many cases, states used the original stimulus money to fill in

for declining tax revenue and lessen or delay spending cuts for

public schools, health care programs and other services. But those

budget holes remain in many states as high unemployment persists

and government tax revenue remains lackluster.

“font-family: Verdana, Times, serif; font-size: 12px; text-decoration: none; line-height: 13px; color: #000000; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal verdana, helvetica, arial;”>

“font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px;”>

With another round of money, “the federal government may be able to

play a critical role in helping states close their budget gaps,”

said David Adkins, executive director of the Council of State

Governments.

“font-family: Verdana, Times, serif; font-size: 12px; text-decoration: none; line-height: 13px; color: #000000; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal verdana, helvetica, arial;”>

“font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px;”>

But he said the prospects for receiving the money appear “very,

very slim” given the focus on reducing government spending among

Republicans in Congress. He said state government leaders are more

interested in long-term stable federal funding for transportation

projects and education programs.

“font-family: Verdana, Times, serif; font-size: 12px; text-decoration: none; line-height: 13px; color: #000000; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal verdana, helvetica, arial;”>

“font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px;”>

In New Mexico, Democratic state Sen. John Arthur Smith said

provisions of the Obama proposal, such as infrastructure financing

for highways and aid to schools, should provide a short-term

economic boost for the state. But he worries that it could create a

future financial squeeze if state government needs to replace the

federal money when the program ends.

“font-family: Verdana, Times, serif; font-size: 12px; text-decoration: none; line-height: 13px; color: #000000; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal verdana, helvetica, arial;”>

“font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px;”>

He said state spending had to be cut this year to help close a $200

million budget gap created when federal stimulus money ran

out.

“font-family: Verdana, Times, serif; font-size: 12px; text-decoration: none; line-height: 13px; color: #000000; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal verdana, helvetica, arial;”>

“font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px;”>

“I’m one of those who would rather confront the enemy at hand right

now,” Smith said. “I don’t think we’re elected to push the issue

down the road.”

“font-family: Verdana, Times, serif; font-size: 12px; text-decoration: none; line-height: 13px; color: #000000; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal verdana, helvetica, arial;”>

“font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px;”>

State budget officials have only estimates of how much they would

receive under the Obama proposal, which was announced Thursday to a

joint session of Congress. They are waiting to learn exactly how

those dollars would be disbursed and what strings, if any, would be

attached.

“font-family: Verdana, Times, serif; font-size: 12px; text-decoration: none; line-height: 13px; color: #000000; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal verdana, helvetica, arial;”>

“font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px;”>

Some Republican governors already have established a precedent of

rejecting portions of the federal stimulus money.

“font-family: Verdana, Times, serif; font-size: 12px; text-decoration: none; line-height: 13px; color: #000000; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal verdana, helvetica, arial;”>

“font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px;”>

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker rejected $810 million in federal

funding for a high-speed rail line between Madison and Milwaukee,

and Ohio Gov. John Kasich turned down $400 million for a rail

project to connect Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus. Florida Gov.

Gov. Rick Scott canceled a $2 billion federal grant for a

high-speed train between Orlando and Tampa, citing concern that

state government would be locked into years of operating

subsidies.

“font-family: Verdana, Times, serif; font-size: 12px; text-decoration: none; line-height: 13px; color: #000000; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal verdana, helvetica, arial;”>

“font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px;”>

A state-by-state breakdown of the president’s plan shows that

Florida could receive more than $7.5 billion for schools, roads and

other projects. That money would come into a state with a 10.7

percent unemployment rate and one of the nation’s highest home

foreclosure rates. But Scott spokesman Brian Burgess left open the

possibility that the Florida governor could reject money under

Obama’s latest plan, especially if it added to the federal

debt.

“font-family: Verdana, Times, serif; font-size: 12px; text-decoration: none; line-height: 13px; color: #000000; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal verdana, helvetica, arial;”>

“font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px;”>

Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who is running for president,

dismissed Obama’s proposal as wasteful spending and argued that

budget cuts were the only way to help the economy.

“font-family: Verdana, Times, serif; font-size: 12px; text-decoration: none; line-height: 13px; color: #000000; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal verdana, helvetica, arial;”>

“font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px;”>

“President Obama’s call for nearly a half-trillion dollars in more

government stimulus when America has more than $14 trillion in debt

is guided by his mistaken belief that we can spend our way to

prosperity,” Perry said.

“font-family: Verdana, Times, serif; font-size: 12px; text-decoration: none; line-height: 13px; color: #000000; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal verdana, helvetica, arial;”>

“font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px;”>

Perry has a history of rejecting federal money that would require

changes in state law. Last year he declined to accept $550 million

in additional unemployment funds because it would have required

Texas to adopt a more generous program.

“font-family: Verdana, Times, serif; font-size: 12px; text-decoration: none; line-height: 13px; color: #000000; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal verdana, helvetica, arial;”>

“font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px;”>

While it is not clear whether the Obama proposal would require

Texas to rewrite its unemployment laws, it would extend the

benefits of nearly 124,000 people in the state.

“font-family: Verdana, Times, serif; font-size: 12px; text-decoration: none; line-height: 13px; color: #000000; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal verdana, helvetica, arial;”>

“font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px;”>

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, a Republican who as a U.S. senator voted

against Obama’s 2009 stimulus legislation, did not say whether

Kansas would accept federal money under Obama’s latest proposal.

But he said the use of one-time revenue in the earlier stimulus

program created budget problems for the state when the funding

expired.

“font-family: Verdana, Times, serif; font-size: 12px; text-decoration: none; line-height: 13px; color: #000000; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal verdana, helvetica, arial;”>

“font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px;”>

Other governors, particularly Democrats, welcomed the potential for

more federal aid.

“font-family: Verdana, Times, serif; font-size: 12px; text-decoration: none; line-height: 13px; color: #000000; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal verdana, helvetica, arial;”>

“font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px;”>

“We need all the help we can get,” said Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin,

a Democrat whose state remains devastated by flooding from the

remnants of Hurricane Irene.

“font-family: Verdana, Times, serif; font-size: 12px; text-decoration: none; line-height: 13px; color: #000000; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal verdana, helvetica, arial;”>

“font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px;”>

“I think the hopes that we had for our recovery have been stalled

for all kinds of reasons that are beyond Vermont’s control,”

Shumlin told The Associated Press. “But it seems to me that the

president’s package for job growth and infrastructure investment is

the right thing to help us avoid a double-dip

recession.”

“font-family: Verdana, Times, serif; font-size: 12px; text-decoration: none; line-height: 13px; color: #000000; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal verdana, helvetica, arial;”>

“font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px;”>

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, chairman of the Democratic Governors

Association, said the president’s proposal includes some

job-creation ideas that have been supported previously by Democrats

and Republicans.

“font-family: Verdana, Times, serif; font-size: 12px; text-decoration: none; line-height: 13px; color: #000000; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal verdana, helvetica, arial;”>

“font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px;”>

“I think it’s pretty much a nonpartisan idea that a modern economy

requires modern investments in order to create jobs,” O’Malley

said. “There are things that we know will get people back to work –

rebuilding our infrastructure, rebuilding our schools, our bridges

our tunnels.”

“font-family: Verdana, Times, serif; font-size: 12px; text-decoration: none; line-height: 13px; color: #000000; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal verdana, helvetica, arial;”>

“font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px;”>

Ralph Martire, executive director of the Chicago-based Center for

Tax and Budget Accountability, said Obama’s plan to provide $4.5

billion for Illinois transit, construction projects and for

teaching, police and firefighting jobs could help the state’s

economy, based on historical evidence.

“font-family: Verdana, Times, serif; font-size: 12px; text-decoration: none; line-height: 13px; color: #000000; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal verdana, helvetica, arial;”>

“font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px;”>

“Spending money in the local economy creates a positive economic

multiplier,” he said.

“font-family: Verdana, Times, serif; font-size: 12px; text-decoration: none; line-height: 13px; color: #000000; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal verdana, helvetica, arial;”>

“font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px;”>

“font-family: Verdana, Times, serif; font-size: 12px; text-decoration: none; line-height: 13px; color: #000000; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal verdana, helvetica, arial;”>

“font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 2px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 2px;”>

Associated Press writers Scott Bauer in Madison, Wis.; Chet Brokaw

in Pierre, S.D; Gary Fineout in Tallahassee, Fla.; Dave Gram in

Montpelier, Vt.; Judy Lin in Sacramento, Calif.; Barry Massey in

Santa Fe, N.M.; John Milburn in Topeka, Kan.; Julie Carr Smyth in

Columbus, Ohio; Chris Tomlinson in Austin, Texas; Tammy Webber in

Chicago; and Brian Witte in Annapolis, Md., contributed to this

report.

“font-family: Verdana, Times, serif; font-size: 12px; text-decoration: none; line-height: 13px; color: #000000; font: normal normal normal 12px/normal verdana, helvetica, arial;”>

“text-decoration: none; color: #000066;” rel=”item-license” name=

“768c3363-4bd6-4fb9-96f3-f4dadc90da07” href=

“http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_BROKEN_BUDGETS_OBAMA_JOBS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2011-09-12-07-09-46#768c3363-4bd6-4fb9-96f3-f4dadc90da07″>

© 2011 The

Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material

may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or

redistributed. Learn more about our

“text-decoration: none; color: #000066;” href=

“http://hosted2.ap.org/APDEFAULT/privacy”>Privacy

Policy and 

href=”http://hosted2.ap.org/APDEFAULT/terms”>Terms of Use.

- Advertisement -

Upcoming Online Townhalls

- Advertisement -

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be updated with all the latest local news.

Stay connected

16,331FansLike
3,142FollowersFollow
6,359FollowersFollow
14SubscribersSubscribe

Related articles

Popular articles

Español + Translate »
Skip to content