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Nation Watches Doctor Walkout
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Press Release

Nation Watches Doctor Walkout

From the Charleston Daily Mail January 3, 2003, Friday Copyright 2003 Charleston Newspapers WHEELING - The operating rooms in the Northern Panhandle may be quiet, but the halls of the hospitals here still are buzzing as the nation turns its attention to the region and the walkout its surgeons are staging.

01/03/2003
Don't Feel Sorry For States
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Press Release

Don't Feel Sorry For States

This op-ed originally appeared in Investor's Business Daily on January 3, 2003 State budgets have rarely, if ever, been in worse condition than they are today. According to the National Association of State Budget Officers, the total deficit for state budgets nationwide stands at $40 billion in this fiscal year, with another $40 billion shortfall expected for 2003. Such a glaring disparity between revenues and outlays has led legislatures and governors across the nation to retrench and meet for special sessions to address the problem.

01/03/2003
OFF TARGET
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OFF TARGET

BY PEGGY S. BOOSE

I believe the author of the Dec. 16 editorial about Citizens for a Sound Economy is not informed about the focus of the group. CSE is a group of thousands of people all over this nation. It crosses social, economic, political, age and racial lines with the belief that spending needs to be cut instead of taxes being raised. Our method of doing this must be through federal and state legislatures and locally elected officials, since they are the ones raising taxes at an alarming rate. Most people live within a budget. State tax structures should be in accordance with the citizens' level of income. If frugal habits were applied to all government spending, there should be more than enough money to take care of the needs mentioned in the editorial. The problem comes from legislators who spend money for self-serving projects. Working citizens today work approximately from Jan. 1 through June 1 just to pay all the taxes that have been levied. I do not think this is what we elected legislators to do. I am in the accounting industry and see people every day who feel the same way but fear to speak out because they operate a small business or their income is tied to the government. Before you accuse anyone of being a bully, look at yourself. The media is the most feared segment of our society. You have the power to destroy or make people and companies, and the liberty of confidential sources. PEGGY S. BOOSE

01/03/2003
Rowland Isn't Being Tough Enough On Unions
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Press Release

Rowland Isn't Being Tough Enough On Unions

This op-ed was originally published in the Hartford-Courant on December 19, 2002 When Connecticut's tax receipts were booming, it was easy to ignore the stranglehold that state employee unions have on the state budget process. Now that revenues have fallen dramatically, this is no longer the case. Given the state's $1.5 billion shortfall next fiscal year, the legislature can no longer shirk its responsibility to address out-of-control spending, particularly on government salaries, health care and pensions.

01/02/2003
New force in the fray on state's textbooks
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New force in the fray on state's textbooks

BY Melissa Ludwig

As summer activities chase flagella and mitochondria from the minds of Texas schoolchildren, parents and interest groups are preparing to battle over biology textbooks. Today brings the State Board of Education's first public hearing on the new books, continuing a decades-long battle over how Texas public school children are taught about the science of life on Earth.

01/01/2003
Senate Slices Reconciliation Figure to $350 Billion
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Senate Slices Reconciliation Figure to $350 Billion

BY Warren Rojas

Weeks of Republican budget solidarity began to unravel March 25 as Senate centrists capped the reconciliation growth package at $350 billion and siphoned another $137 billion away from President Bush's $630 billion tax cut permanency allocation.

01/01/2003
Texas Business Lobby Urges Selling Future Earnings on Tobacco Settlement
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Texas Business Lobby Urges Selling Future Earnings on Tobacco Settlement

BY John Moritz

Mar. 16-AUSTIN, Texas-With Texas facing a $9.9 billion budget shortfall, the head of the state's largest business lobby is pushing what he calls a sure-fire way to pay the bills without raising taxes. Sell the future earnings on the state's $17.3 billion settlement with the nation's largest tobacco companies for a lump-sum payment of up to $5 billion, said Bill Hammond, president of the Texas Association of Business.

01/01/2003
New force in the fray on state's textbooks
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New force in the fray on state's textbooks

BY Melissa Ludwig

As summer activities chase flagella and mitochondria from the minds of Texas schoolchildren, parents and interest groups are preparing to battle over biology textbooks. Today brings the State Board of Education's first public hearing on the new books, continuing a decades-long battle over how Texas public school children are taught about the science of life on Earth.

01/01/2003
Edwards Campaigns Town Hall Style
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Edwards Campaigns Town Hall Style

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. - Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards met friend and foe alike during the second of 12 scheduled town hall style meetings his campaign has planned for New Hampshire voters this summer. More than 200 people attended the two-hour event Tuesday night, which the North Carolina senator said he hopes will give voters a fuller picture of who he is.

01/01/2003
Halt Cuts in Budget, Education Chiefs Ask
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Halt Cuts in Budget, Education Chiefs Ask

BY Dan Kane

The Senate gave educators and economic development experts an opportunity Monday to plead for no more budget cuts in the next two years, but they had to share the floor with about 60 people from an anti-tax group who showed up to oppose any tax hikes. Senate budget writers allowed several members from North Carolina Citizens for a Sound Economy to make their case that the state should rein in spending, instead of adopting a lottery or raising taxes. About 25 school superintendents joined an equal number of community college presidents and several UNC chancellors to impress upon legislators that further budget cuts would reverse the gains they have made in student performance and in training workers in a tough economy. All three systems are seeing rising numbers of students, but the money they get for enrollment growth is ending up supplanting budget cuts. "We cannot sustain cuts at this magnitude and provide for the increased numbers of students who are coming here," said UNC President Molly Broad. But Dennis Riddell, a member of the anti-tax group, said that the state has yet to get serious about curbing spending in tough times. Riddell, 46, a father of eight from Alamance County, said he has had to cut his expenses to get by, and the state should too. "If that's proper for a family, I don't think it's foolish for the state," Riddell said. Others contended that raising taxes would hurt an economic recovery. They said a lottery for education, as Gov. Mike Easley has advocated, would send the wrong message to children. One speaker, Andrea Harris, president of the N.C. Institute of Minority Economic Development, said the Senate should eliminate corporate tax breaks. The hearing came as Senate and House budget writers remain deadlocked over passing a budget. The House's latest $ 14.8 billion plan includes cuts to health and human services, education and other services that senators say would cause too much harm. The Senate has produced a $ 15.1 billion plan that doesn't cut as deeply, but doesn't cover what Senate budget analysts project as a $ 628 million shortfall in revenues for the fiscal year that begins July 1. Those analysts say the Senate could need to plug a $ 1.5 billion hole in the budget's second year. Senate Democratic leaders have suggested that a lottery or an increase in the tobacco or alcoholic beverage taxes would help solve the problem. But House leaders say they can't raise more revenues, and they are using $ 510 million in one-time federal budget relief money to get by. Only a few House members trickled in to listen in on the hearing. Two said what they heard wasn't going to help break the impasse. "It didn't change my mind," said House Republican Leader Joe Kiser, who sits on a committee of House and Senate members negotiating a compromise budget. "We just don't have the votes in the House to do what the Senate wants us to do, and we keep telling them that." About half of the Senate showed up for the hearing. Those who spoke tended to challenge the viewpoints of the anti-tax advocates. One speaker noted that she received a sound education in the 1960s though she sat in classrooms of 30 or more students. Sen. Walter Dalton, a Rutherfordton Democrat and Appropriations co-chairman, responded that education took up 70 percent of the state budget then, compared with 58 percent today. Dalton closed the hearing with a history lesson about one of his district's favorite sons, the late Gov. O. Max Gardner. Dalton credited Gardner for helping create the state's first sales tax, which Dalton said helped keep the schools open during the Depression. "I hope we keep the same kind of priorities he had, because education and economic development go hand in hand," Dalton said. "As I said before, we're not doing a two-year budget. We're doing a 20-year budget."

01/01/2003

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