Now that the unemployment bill is on its way to being passed, it appears that the focus in Washington will now flip to funding to state governments. Senator Ben Nelson this is already in the works.
“Proposals have already surfaced that would spend more federal funds on Medicaid and other state programs. It is important to consider during any debate about federal fiscal relief that local governments, cities, counties and schools are suffering from tough economic times.”
Senator Nelson says they are facing program cuts and greater demands on services. Employers have also had to cut jobs and many communities are looking at increasing taxes to help their bottom line.
“Too often though, too little federal money trickles down from state governments to local communities. Instead, it usually goes to pick up the state share of the programs and as the case in Nebraska, pick up the general operating costs of state agencies. While it is hard to argue against any more federal assistance to states, it is important to remember that local governments are just branch offices of state government and they have been struggling during tough economic times.”
Senator Nelson says local officials need help from both the state and federal governments. Local taxpayers also need relief from increased burden of services on them which often results in an increase in property taxes.
“As proposals are discussed in Washington in upcoming days, and I know they will be, I’m going to pay particular attention to local communities. I want to look to see if any assistance is provided to them in any fiscal relief from Congress. We need to make sure we just aren’t bailing out state budgets again and again and again but fiscal relief from Washington goes directly to communities in Nebraska and communities across America.”
Nelson says economic recovery is measured household by household, neighborhood by neighborhood and community by community and he will continue to focus on that.