Sunday, January 04, 2009

Is the State Budget Shovel Ready?

Not in the sense that it's in the grave and should be buried, but ready for a big Obama bailout. From Politico:

A group of Democratic governors warned Friday that without as much as $1 trillion in federal assistance, many states will not be able to pay their bills in the next year.

The $1 trillion the governors are seeking would be spent to prevent cuts in social services and education, as well as “shovel ready” infrastructure projects that could begin with 18 months. The group has presented its plan to the transition team and congressional leaders. The New Jersey governor said both have been receptive to the idea.
Maybe this is where we'll get the money for the viaduct from. Remember too that (As Lisa Brown has pointed out) the Governor's budget counts on getting a billion dollars in federal aid to make DSHS run for the next biennium; maybe that's a part of the trillion-dollar number.

The legislature goes in on January 12th; Obama is sworn in January 20th. Lead GOP budgeteer Joe Zarelli has indicated that he wants to finish the supplemental budget in the first week of the session, which doesn't mean a whole lot since the majority party could kill a puppy on the floor of the Senate and get away with it, but it will be fun to watch what sort of signals come out of the Other Washington regarding any help that we could get here.

Update: Obama Pledges Schools Upgrade in Stimulus Plan, from District Administration Magazine.

Update 2: There's also Flypaper's take on how a stimulus plan could go right to the education budgets. Great post, well worth reading for anyone following ed finance!

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