Monday, February 6, 2023

Play

Fare-free public transit benefits Kansas City residents and businesses; farmers prioritize food, not feed in the 2023 Farm Bill; and a new survey: students want a more diverse inclusive curriculum.

Play

The Democratic National Committee votes to shake up the presidential primary calendar, President Biden gets a better than expected jobs report before his second State of the Union, and lawmakers from both parties question the response to a Chinese data gathering balloon.

Play

Is bird flu, inflation or price gouging to blame for astronomical egg prices? Pregnancy can be life-changing or life-ending depending on where you live, and nine tribal schools are transforming their outdoor spaces into community gathering areas.

Open Throttle, or Hit the Brakes on State Budget?

Play

Monday, January 5, 2009   

Richmond, VA – Reduce state services and lay off government employees, or keep things churning? Higher taxes, or lower? Those questions and competing ideas will play out when the Virginia General Assembly tackles the huge budget deficit upon its return to Richmond next week.

Facing a deficit of more than $970 million for 2009, the temptation is strong for state lawmakers to accept Governor Tim Kaine's proposal to lay off 1,500 state workers and cut multiple programs and services. However, some experts argue a better way to keep a sinking economy afloat, is to keep money flowing - according to Dave Shreve, an economist with the Virginia Organizing Project.

"One ought to look at the money that the state spends on its employees as a net positive in general, any time you're in a recession like this."

In Shreve's opinion, the budget "fix" that would be the most fair is the one that affects the fewest number of people. Instead of cutting jobs, Shreve's group believes the state should adopt a progressive income tax. This that would increase taxes on those in the state's highest tax brackets, he explains.

"We argue that, if you do things in a progressive manner as we suggest, it's really the only way you can have the lowest possible rates for the greatest number of people."

Others counter with a starkly opposite view: that lowering income taxes for all is the best way to keep money flowing. The last time Virginia's state tax bracket structure was changed was in 1919. Whether it's an option 90 years later will be among the topics of discussion starting January 14, when the legislature convenes.



get more stories like this via email

Michigan environmental activists have begun to focus on environmental justice issues in low-income communities that bear the brunt of industrial pollution and political indifference. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

By Tom Perkins for Planet Detroit.Broadcast version by Mark Richardson for Michigan News Connection with support from the Solutions Journalism Network…


Environment

By Jared Brey for Governing.Broadcast version by Deborah Van Fleet for Missouri News Service reporting for the Solutions Journalism Network-Public New…

Social Issues

South Dakota is once again locked in a debate over a bill concerning transgender youth. It seeks to ban gender-affirming care, with supporters …


Voters in Pittsburgh-area districts 32, 34 and 35 will head to the polls Tuesday to fill three vacancies in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. (MoiraM/AdobeStock)

Social Issues

While the Pennsylvania House is still out of session and won't resume until late February, the public and advocacy groups are voicing their concerns…

Social Issues

Better health and educational outcomes are being touted as the potential benefits as Minnesota lawmakers discuss whether to provide free school meals …

Sixty schools piloted College Board's new AP African American Studies course, which is set to appear in over 200 schools starting in the 2024-2025 school year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

While controversy rages on about the College Board's Advanced Placement African American Studies course, Black students in a new survey say they want …

Social Issues

For more than two decades, a workforce development program in El Paso has invested in the economically disadvantaged to help them attain the …

Health and Wellness

Nebraska's long-term care facilities face staffing shortages and other factors that could lead to more closures if state funding isn't increased…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021