Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Can stimulus strings be cut?

Faced with closing a projected $2.6 billion budget deficit, lawmakers have been told that 70% of their budget options are off limits meaning reductions need to occur in only 30% of spending. Here is how Governor Gregoire describes this dilemma: "Parts of our state’s budget, including basic education, debt service and pensions, are considered ‘protected’ because of constitutional mandates require these cost be paid. Other parts are considered protected, too, due to requirements imposed by the federal government when the state accepted funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, primarily in Medicaid and higher education." A recent federal audit conducted by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), however, noted that states may seek a waiver from the "stimulus strings" for Education State Fiscal Stabilization Funds.
According to GAO . . . READ MORE


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