Sunday, April 25, 2010

Will They Print Money to Bailout the Cities?

Lati has the story:

Colorado Springs is planning to turn off a third of its streetlights, though residents can adopt one for $75. An Ohio judge told residents they might want to arm themselves after the county cut half its sheriff's deputies. Ocean City, Md., is ending its curbside recycling program.

Even though the economy is showing signs of recovery, these remain tough times for cities and counties, and it's likely to get tougher. So local governments want what Wall Street and carmakers got: federal money.

Concerned that a wave of municipal layoffs could set back the nation's economic recovery, congressional Democrats are pushing a $100-billion bill that would provide $75 billion in federal aid to help cities and counties preserve jobs.

The bill, which has gained 151 cosponsors in the House, also provides an additional $23 billion to help preserve teachers' jobs. Most of the remainder would go to aid police and fire departments.

"Without help, an ongoing local government fiscal crisis could well undercut the nation's recovery," Riverside Mayor Ronald O. Loveridge, president of the National League of Cities, told a congressional committee recently.

The legislation, introduced last month by Rep. George Miller (D-Martinez), a close ally of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), is gaining support among House Democrats who are eager to reduce stubbornly high unemployment in what is shaping up as a tough midterm election for the party in power.

However, it faces uncertain prospects in the Senate, where Republicans have sought to block increased spending without cuts, prompting city officials from red states to step up their lobbying.

Although last year's $787-billion economic stimulus package provided money for a wide range of local projects, city employment levels are at their lowest since 1980, Miller said. The National League of Cities calculates that state and local governments will lay off as many as 1.5 million people between 2010 and 2011.

1 comment:

  1. Maybe we could try a little harder to make EVERYONE dependent on Federal money. And we worry about whether weed is addictive??? States and Counties and Municipalities have been spending money willy nilly for years. They also need to learn how to get out of debt. If the Feds want to do something, they should help cities and counties learn fiscal responsibility.