NYT series on subsidies, part 2 (Texas)

The New York Times is running part two of its series on state and local corporate welfare. Today’s piece focuses on Texas, the biggest grantor of such subsidies, and a state at the forefront of both radical cuts to education spending and aggressive state tax cuts that have left both …

Following the money

It’s no secret that local governments give billions of dollars to companies in the form of tax breaks and other benefits, in both good times and bad. But policymakers are loathe to tally up the real costs of this approach to economic development. Today the New York Times launched a …

Disasters and governments: all politics is local

Mitchell L. Moss writes for CNN.com about the relationship between urban policy and disasters. Much has been made of how the disaster will affect the national election, but as Moss points out it’s Mayor Bloomberg, Governors Cuomo and Christie, and other mayors who will deal with the fallout from Sandy. …

Off the deep end

The “fiscal cliff” is one of my least favorite metaphors for an actual policy-making disaster. As the precipice nears, state governments are, naturally, starting to panic (California has its very own fiscal cliff also coming in January 2013, if a key ballot measure fails). NBCNews.com has a story on this …

Fitch weighs in on Michigan’s Emergency Manager law

Fitch Ratings issued a press release on the situation with Michigan’s Emergency Manager law (right now the court is weighing whether to put on the fall ballot a measure to repeal the current version of the emergency manager law, under which Detroit’s consent agreement with the state). Ratings agencies have …

Foreclosure Relief Money Diverted by Governors

Hundreds of millions of dollars meant to provide a little relief to the nation’s struggling homeowners is being diverted to plug state budget gaps. In a budget proposed this week, California joined more than a dozen states that want to help close gaping shortfalls using money paid by the nation’s …

How schools end up broke when states need money

School administrators tell business leaders about budget cuts (Riverside, California), part of the Riverside Chamber of Commerce Business Education Partnership. As California governor Jerry Brown’s efforts to put tax increases on the ballot winds its way through the state’s political process, school districts continue to struggle. Teachers, administrators, and parents …