Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Stimulus could bog down at state level

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Think Congress moves slowly? Try getting something past more than 7,300 lawmakers in 50 states.

Speed is supposed to define President Obama’s $787 billion federal stimulus plan, but that theory is being tested in statehouses from Jefferson City, Mo., to Sacramento, Calif. The bulk of more than $250 billion going through state governments requires legislative appropriation or review.

Clashes over how to spend discretionary money in the stimulus could bog things down even more:

• In Michigan, House Democrats fear that a subcommittee set up by Senate Republicans to oversee stimulus spending is a ploy to drag things out. Republicans say they want to make sure spending is done wisely.

• In Missouri, the GOP-controlled Legislature and Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon disagree on how extensively to use stimulus money. Nixon proposed to sprinkle it throughout the budget, but some Republicans want to wait and spend much of the stimulus money through a separate bill focused on one-time uses such as construction projects or a tax rebate.

• In California, Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Democrats who control the legislature both want to tap as much of the federal recovery kitty as they can get. The state is in line for at least $31.5 billion.

But Democrats in California are still negotiating with their GOP counterparts over fine-print legislative changes needed to bring in federal cash.

Even in states that don’t have major political disagreements over the stimulus, lawmakers and governors are under pressure to get the spending right.

“You want to be speedy but you also want to make sure this is spent appropriately and correctly and without fraud or the perception of fraud. That slows it down a bit,” said Scott Pattison, executive director of the National Association of State Budget Officers.

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

Search site | Terms of service