[HCCN] Collins cutting Maine School funding
hcdc at downeast.net
Thu Feb 5 20:18:38 EST 2009
So, even though every sensible economist keeps explaining that
spending => jobs = stimulus, and states are laying off teachers and
postponing school construction and maintenance, these "moderates"
think it makes sense to reduce education spending and state funding
If true, this would be stunningly stupid. Perhaps the Senators should
be reminded about what their Governors and mayors (cheers for Mayor
Fetterrman!) are facing. In Susan Collin's Maine, for example, the
Boston Globe noted this:
Maine has an unemployment rate of 7 percent, its highest level in
17 years. It is facing a current state budget deficit of $140 million,
and another $177 million gap is projected for the fiscal year
beginning in July. Like many states facing budget shortfalls, Maine
has been forced to cut services or raise fees. It has cut per-pupil
spending for public education, increased tuitions for state colleges,
cut money for homeless shelters, and imposed a $25 enrollment fee for
poor patients using Medicaid, according to an analysis by the Center
for Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington, D.C.
The federal stimulus bill passed by the House would allocate $2.38
billion to Maine. About 10 percent of that would go to balance the
state budget, with the rest going to infrastructure spending, safety-
net programs, and tax cuts. Although the numbers in the Senate version
of the bill are still in flux, the House plan included $190 million in
school aid, including money to renovate or repair public school
buildings; $434 million for Medicaid; and $9.2 million in worker
retraining funds for the unemployed.
Which of these lifelines would senators Collins or Snowe decline
in the names of their constituents?
Almost every state in the country faces the same dire choices. But we
seem to have a group of Senators who think ignoring these problems is
the "moderate" thing to do. Incredible.
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