12-10-2019  5:48 pm   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NORTHWEST NEWS

San Francisco Aims to Rein in Tests of Tech Ideas on Streets

Entrepreneurs would not be allowed to test their products in San Francisco's public space unless the tech in question is declared a "net public good."

Portland-area Residents May Vote on Funding for Homeless

There may be a measure on the November 2020 ballot to fund likely hundreds of millions of dollars for increased social services

Black Food Professionals See Opportunities to “Scale Up” in School Cafeterias and on Store Shelves

Two Portland women are addressing disparities in the local food scene with Ethiopian and Haitian flavors, ingredients

Portland Fire Chief Sara Boone Climbing Historic Ladders

In 1995, Boone was the first African American woman hired by Portland Fire & Rescue; this year she became its first African American Chief

NEWS BRIEFS

EPA Approves Funding for Oregon and Washington to Improve Drinking Water, Wastewater Infrastructure

States estimate $190 million for wastewater, $35 million for drinking water projects in Oregon, and $120 million for...

Conservation Breakthrough for Endangered Butterfly

The Oregon Zoo's breeding success provides new hope in an effort to save Oregon silverspots ...

Meet 80 Local Authors at OHS 52nd Holiday Cheer Book Sale and Signing

This free Oregon Historical Society event will be held this Sunday, December 8 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. ...

Need for Blood Doesn’t Stop for Holidays – Donors Needed

Those who come to give through Dec. 18 will receive a Amazon.com Gift Card ...

North Carolina Court Decision Upholds Removal of Confederate Monument

Lawyers argued that the monument was installed at the end of Reconstruction to further the false “Lost Cause” narrative,...

Man gets jail, probation for strangling 85-year-old mom

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Portland man who violated a no-contact order and strangled his 85-year-old mother has been sentenced to six months in jail and two years of probation. The Multnomah County District Attorney's Office said 57-year-old James Keith was sentenced Tuesday. Keith assaulted...

M lawsuit claims meningococcal diagnosis delayed

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon State University student who visited Portland-area medical providers amid a 2017 meningococcal outbreak at her Corvallis campus — but was not immediately diagnosed with the disease — has sued for million.The Oregonian/OregonLive reports then...

New Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz predicts success

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Eli Drinkwitz was saying all the right things after being introduced as the new football coach at Missouri, laying out his vision for the once-proud program with unwavering confidence and bold proclamations.Then the former Appalachian State coach made a minor...

LSU's Burrow, Auburn's Brown named AP SEC players of year

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is a unanimous selection as the offensive player of the year on The Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference football team.The top-ranked Tigers also have the SEC’s coach of the year in Ed Orgeron and the newcomer of the year in freshman cornerback Derek...

OPINION

Will You Answer the Call for Moral Revival?

In embracing and expanding the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Revs. Barber and Theoharis have asked Presidential candidates to consider a debate that focuses exclusively on poverty ...

What I’m Thankful For This Season

Ray Curry gives thanks for a human right that shaped our country throughout the 20th century and that made Thanksgiving possible for so many Americans who, like him, didn’t get here by way of the Mayflower ...

Congressional Black Caucus Members Visit U.S.-Mexico Border: “Mistreatment of Black Immigrants is Another ‘Stain on America’”

Members said they witnessed first-hand the deplorable treatment and plight of Black immigrants ...

Portland, I'm Ready

Last month I had the privilege to stand with hundreds of supporters and announce my intention to run for re-election ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Trump to sign order targeting anti-Semitism at colleges

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump will sign an executive order on Wednesday targeting antisemitism on college campuses, the White House said.The order, which is likely to draw criticism from free speech advocates, will broaden the federal government's definition of antisemitism and...

In South Carolina, Steyer investing in black voters

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — In the waning weeks before South Carolina's presidential primary, Democrat Tom Steyer is renewing his focus on the black voters who play a pivotal role in the first-in-the-South state, rolling out a proposal to improve historically black colleges and institutions.The...

Multistate voter database suspended in lawsuit settlement

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A much-criticized database that checks whether voters are registered in multiple states has been suspended “for the foreseeable future” until security safeguards are put in place as part of a settlement of a federal lawsuit, a civil rights group said...

ENTERTAINMENT

NFL, NCAA football fuel Fox TV's win of the prime-time week

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Fueled by both college and pro football, Fox won a rare title as champ of the broadcast week among networks. Fox's Thursday night NFL airing of the Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears was the week's top show of any kind with 18.23 million viewers, and its broadcast of the Big...

The Associated Press picks the top moments on TV from 2019

NEW YORK (AP) — Many have noticed how fragmented our TV viewing is, with multiple competing streaming services and dozens of channels pulling us in different directions. But the year also saw some jaw-dropping moments that found huge audiences, whether it was a royal interview or a viral...

Adam Sandler on plunging into the Safdies' 'Uncut Gems'

TORONTO (AP) — Adam Sandler was waiting to be thrown into a midtown fountain on Sixth Avenue for a scene in Josh and Benny Safdie’s “Uncut Gems” when he noticed a familiar face on the sidewalk.The Safdies like to capture as much authentic New York energy as possible in...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Adam Sandler on plunging into the Safdies' 'Uncut Gems'

TORONTO (AP) — Adam Sandler was waiting to be thrown into a midtown fountain on Sixth Avenue for a scene in...

Newspaper criticizes film's take on Olympic bombing coverage

ATLANTA (AP) — After a bomb exploded in a downtown Atlanta park midway through the 1996 Olympics, a...

Thousands rally around Holocaust survivor in Milan

MILAN (AP) — A Holocaust survivor who has been put under police protection due to anti-Semitic threats was...

Bloomberg tells UN climate talks: You can count on the US

MADRID (AP) — New York billionaire and presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg led a high-powered charge...

Trump meets Russian official as impeachment charges unveiled

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Oval Office meeting with President Donald Trump on Tuesday was the second for...

In Sweden's Arctic, ice atop snow leaves reindeer starving

KIRUNA, Sweden (AP) — Thick reindeer fur boots and a fur hat covering most of his face shielded Niila Inga...

McMenamins
Shannon Mccaffrey and Erik Schelzig the Associated Press

The country is pulling out of the Great Recession, but an Associated Press review of 50 balance sheets shows state budgets ravaged by declining tax revenue and bank accounts far leaner than they were when the downturn took hold.

Many face massive liabilities for years to come. Budget and other fiscal data compiled by the AP show that across the 50 states, the $734 billion in cumulative revenue available for the coming fiscal year has dropped by about $34 billion, or 5 percent, from the 2007-08 fiscal year, when the recession began.

Some states are in far worse shape. New Jersey, Nevada, Oregon, Illinois and Louisiana reported deficits that are more than 20 percent of their state's general fund.

Even as many states begin a gradual recovery, analysts expect it will be several years before they reach pre-recession spending levels.

In Georgia, for example, revenue has jumped by more than 8 percent from the previous fiscal year. But Republican Gov. Nathan Deal said he wants to use the bulk of the extra cash to replenish the state's depleted rainy day fund.

"My goal is to make sure we are on a firm financial footing," Deal said. "I think we need to be very, very cautious in our spending."

States that accepted and spent one-time outlays of stimulus money also are bracing for the absence of that windfall this year and are weighed down by enormous pension and retiree health care obligations. Stacked up against those budget pressures, the modest jump in tax collections this spring barely registers in many states.

The AP collected a variety of budgetary and fiscal data from its statehouse bureaus across the country as part of a yearlong effort to examine the fiscal crises playing out in states across the country. The information was collected through early May and will be updated periodically throughout the year by AP's network of state government reporters, providing real-time information about state budgets and finances.

The data provides a detailed look at a moment in time when most states are struggling with deficits, spending cuts and long-term costs that threaten to restrict their spending for decades to come.

Some of the details:

- 12 states started the year with deficits that were equal to 15 percent or more of their general fund, a state's main checkbook for paying day-to-day operations.

- States with the highest per capita number of Medicaid recipients were among those with the largest budget deficits, as a percentage of general fund revenue.

- Seven states are spending 10 percent or more of their general funds to pay for their prison systems.

- The average general fund amount dedicated to colleges and universities was 11.6 percent but varied greatly among states.

- All 50 states have a combined $689.5 billion in unfunded pension liabilities and $418 billion in retiree health care obligations. Five states have unfunded public employee pension liabilities of $50 billion or more.

David Wyss, chief economist at Standard & Poor's in New York, called the pension debt "the biggest headwind that the states will be fighting against" as they try to climb out of budget holes.

"It's worrying because it's such a widespread problem," he said.

States with the largest pension debts could be forced to pay more to borrow money.

The state-by-state numbers gathered by the AP also demonstrate how states spend money and structure their budgets in different ways.

Alabama, for example, spends 54 percent of its state general fund on K-12 education, while in Wyoming and New Hampshire schools receive no general fund money, relying instead on local taxes and money from other state accounts.

Illinois has $30 billion in bond debt, an amount equal to 12.3 percent of the state's general fund, while four states - Idaho, Iowa, Nebraska and Wyoming - have none. Illinois and Hawaii are the only two states with bond debt that accounts for 10 percent or more of annual general fund spending.

An AP analysis of the data shows that 20 states enjoy general fund budgets that exceed their 2007 levels, while the remaining 30 states are still running behind.

Tax revenue in Arizona, hit hard by the housing collapse, remains 19 percent below 2007 levels, the largest difference among the states. Next are California and Florida at 18 percent, and Michigan and Tennessee at 17 percent.

Most state legislatures are approaching their deadlines to have a spending plan approved for the fiscal year that begins July 1. Spending cuts and internal borrowing are the most common steps they are taking to balance their budgets.

In some cases, states have taken steps that actually made their fiscal situation worse.

In Louisiana, for example, the drop in the state's general fund can be tied in part to hefty income tax breaks passed by lawmakers in 2007 and 2008 for middle- and upper-income earners. The permanent tax cuts drained an estimated $580 million the state would otherwise have received this year and similar amounts in future years.

Of particular concern to many states is the end this year of the federal government's stimulus program. The AP data show that states have taken more than $316 billion in federal stimulus money, which has been poured into infrastructure projects, education and keeping costly programs, such as Medicaid, afloat.

In Arizona, which received $6.4 billion in stimulus money, Gov. Jan Brewer and state lawmakers have approved a budget that erases a projected $1.1 billion shortfall with a near equal amount in spending cuts.

The biggest, a $500 million cut of the state's Medicaid program, would implement a freeze to reduce enrollment by 240,000 within a year. The prospect for additional cuts looms as a temporary 1 cent sales tax increase approved by voters last year to help balance the books ends in 2013.

Most states have resisted the temptation to increase taxes during the recession, but there are exceptions.

Then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger agreed to temporary increases in California's personal income, sales and vehicle taxes in 2009. Gov. Jerry Brown, elected last fall, wants to renew those increases for up to five years, to bring in more than $9 billion annually.

New York's general fund shot up $3.5 billion, or 7 percent, largely due to some of the biggest tax and spending increases in state history, including a $4 billion income tax hike on wealthier residents.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo's initial budget plan for the current fiscal year, released in February, was the first to include an overall cut in state spending in 15 years, despite billion-dollar deficits most of those years. Cuomo had proposed a 2.7 percent cut to the overall budget, including federal money tied to state spending.

But most of the reduction reflected the automatic loss of more than $5 billion in federal stimulus money that runs out this year.

In Illinois, state revenue is 20 percent higher than in 2007 after income taxes were increased by two-thirds, to 5 percent. The $6.8 billion it is expected to generate will allow Illinois to avoid cuts in some areas and spend money on programs that had been neglected - particularly the state's underfunded pension systems.

Gov. Pat Quinn has been criticized for not doing more to reduce spending, and both legislative chambers are working on versions of the budget that would cut costs below his proposed levels.

Illinois state Rep. Frank Mautino, a Democratic, defended the tax increase as a way to help return the state to sound financial footing.

"The whole idea was to get ourselves balanced in four years because it took longer than four years to get ourselves unbalanced and in such a deep deficit," he said. "It will be very hard and very painful for a lot of people who depend on state services, but we can get to the point we need to be at."

---

McCaffrey reported from Atlanta and Schelzig reported from Nashville, Tenn. Associated Press writers Paul Davenport in Phoenix, Melinda Deslatte in Baton Rouge, La., Michael Gormley in Albany, N.Y., and Christopher Wills in Springfield, Ill., contributed to this report.

© 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

mlkbreakfast2020 tickets 300x180

Martha Redbone Trio
Oregon Lottery Scoreboard app download
Calendar

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events

Crown Royal Boss Play the Game