State Budgets

Transportation Nation

NY State, Chicago, Selling Transpo Equipment on Ebay to Raise Cash

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

In the past two days New York state and the Chicago  Transit Authority have both announced plans to sell transportation related holdings to raise money.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement: "By selling unneeded equipment and supplies, New York State will reduce operating costs and cut back on excess spending and inventory."

Nearly 500 vehicles will be made available at the newly created, and still not quite live, website, starting in April. The state says many are less than 10 years old and have high mileage. The state already has an Ebay account dating back about a decade.

Chicago says it's transit agency has about $70 million dollars worth of bus and train parts, about a third of them obsolete and almost half untouched for years. So before the parts depreciate anymore, the CTA wants to sell them off.

If you know of other states looking to sell of their transportation equipment as a new way to make ends meet and make government more efficient, let us know.

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It's A Free Country ®

Facing Layoffs, NY and CT Unions Head Back to the Table

Friday, July 08, 2011

Public employees in New York and Connecticut have rejected their union contracts — which were expected to be major sources of savings in the budgets presented by governors Andrew Cuomo and Dan Malloy. As each governor threatened layoffs this week, public sector unions urged them to extend negotiations.


The Brian Lehrer Show

Behind New York's Budget

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Chris Smith, contributing editor for New York Magazine, talks about the negotiations that led to the agreement on a budget in New York between the governor and the legislature.

→  Listen, Read a Recap and Join the Conversation at It's a Free Country

It's A Free Country ®

The State Budget Crunch

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

State budget gaps were really quite huge. If you add up all those numbers during the recession, budget gaps totaled about $500 billion. The stimulus offered about $280 billion to states, including things like grants for building roads. The part that was really just to plug state budget holes was only about $150 billion. It was a modest portion of the total problem, and temporary. A lot of governors on both sides of the aisle will say that they really saw it as an essential lifeline. The issue is that now it's going away.

Tracy Gordon, fellow at Brookings studying state and local public finances, on the Brian Lehrer Show.

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The Takeaway

911 Emergency Funds Diverted to Balance State Budgets

Monday, February 14, 2011

911 Emergency call systems across the country are in dire need upgrading to be compatible with satellite and cell phone technology. But for years, New York, along with nine other states, has been diverting hundreds of millions of dollars intended for improving 911 Emergency call systems to its general fund in an attemt to help balance the budget.

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It's A Free Country ®

The False Hope of State Bankruptcy

Thursday, February 10, 2011

This is a problem endemic to politics — people without responsibility happy to go off saying things that are not going to work in practice.

— Nicole Gelinas, contributing editor at the Manhattan Institute's City Journal and author of After the Fall: Saving Capitalism from Wall Street and Washington on the Brian Lehrer Show.

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It's A Free Country ®

Transcript: Bloomberg's State Budget Testimony

Monday, February 07, 2011

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s prepared testimony on the impact of the proposed state budget on New York City, February 7, 2011



A Popular Cuomo Prepares to Deliver an Unpopular Budget

Monday, January 31, 2011


Andrew Cuomo is about to make a lot of people unhappy — not that it's sinking in just yet.

"Andrew Cuomo is not a polarizing figure," said Marist pollster Lee Miringoff, discussing the governor's latest numbers on New York 1. "Democrats, Republicans, independents, New York City, the suburbs and upstaters all pretty much saying, 'Hmmm, I kind of like this guy."

For a governor about to cut $10 billion out of the state budget, lay off tens of thousands of state workers, and "realign" the state to meet it's new fiscal realities, the Cuomo seen on Monday may not be around after he unveils his budget on Tuesday.


It's A Free Country ®

State of the Union Silent on the States

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

President Obama did a low energy version of President Bush's "Mission Accomplished" when he proclaimed the "worst of the recession is over."

While 44 of the nation's states are looking at a $125 billion dollar shortfall and hundreds of billions of dollars in unfunded pension and health care liabilities, they did not make the president's State of the Union final cut.

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It's A Free Blog

Stucknation: Mom, Apple Pie and Bonded Indebtedness

Monday, December 06, 2010

While Washington Democrats and Republicans fret over the federal deficit, scant attention is being paid to the debt explosion on local municipal balance sheets in all 50 states.

The federal government is by no means the only big spender and big league borrower. Local governments have been on their own spending and borrowing binge.

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Christie Back on the Local Circuit

Friday, November 26, 2010

These days, there is never a script at New Jersey Governor Chris Christie town hall meetings. He works the crowd like a right-wing Oprah. There's self-effacing humour about his appearance, but there's also a kind of intimacy and a spontaneous conversational quality that keeps the audience engaged.

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It's A Free Country ®

Where They Stand: There's A Democratic and Republican Way to be State Comptroller

Monday, October 11, 2010

It's A Free Country and The Brian Lehrer Show bring you the fall election series 30 Issues in 30 Days. We will explore one issue every day until election day - issues of relevance to the NY, NJ and CT elections and the national midterm congressional races. This week, we'll be looking into whether there is a Democratic and a Republican way to be state comptroller.

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The Takeaway

Deep Cuts: Maryland May Shutter Rural Mental Hospital

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

We begin a new series on the impacts of state budget cuts around the country – governors and legislators are making deep cuts, with effects easily felt by residents. Maryland may cut $1 billion from its budget by the end of 2009. One of the proposed cuts affects a mental hospital in a rural community along the Chesapeake Bay; the governor says closing it would save $9 million. But residents worry there will be no safety net to catch its patients. We hear from reporter Melody Simmons, from our partner WEAA in Baltimore, as well as Tanya Rider, assistant director of nursing for the Upper Shore Community Mental Health Center.

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