States Wary of Debt Deal
President Obama announced last night that leaders of the Democratic and Republican parties in both the House and Senate have come to a deal to avert a default on the national debt. As the Associated Press reports, the deal will likely inflict fiscal pain on states still struggling to recover from the recession:
Although the details of the spending cuts to states remain unclear, lawmakers from both parties have discussed the need to cut or impose caps on so-called discretionary spending over the next decade.
That could mean wide-ranging cuts in federal aid to states, affecting everything from the Head Start school readiness program, Meals on Wheels and worker-training initiatives to funding for transit agencies and education grants that serve disabled children.
There also is concern among governors, state lawmakers and state agency heads that Congress will make deep reductions or changes in federal aid for health services for needy people, most notably through Medicaid. That could shift more of the costs onto states already having trouble balancing their budgets.
Organizers of a recall petition against Governor Snyder have until Friday to collect more than 800,000 signatures to put the issue on the November ballot. “The recall campaign is being led by groups that claim Snyder’s policies are hurting Michiganders. Recall critics accuse the petition drive organizers of just trying to reverse the voters’ decision last year,” Steve Carmody reports. Tom Bryant, the recall campaign spokesman, says petition circulators will be at polling places across the state tomorrow to gather more signatures for the recall petition.
Pontiac Turns Over Police
The Pontiac Police Department is about to close, making way for the Oakland County sheriff to take over law enforcement in the financially challenged southeastern Michigan community, the Associated Press reports. From the AP:
The sheriff's department says the official changeover happened at 11 p.m. Sunday. The city of 58,000 is under the control of state-appointed emergency financial manager Michael Stampfler. He proposed eliminating Pontiac's police force last year. Hiring the sheriff's department to do the job is expected to save about $2 million each year.