US States Budget Crisis

Deep budget cuts in Los Angeles, California court system

By Roseanna Donatello, 30 June 2012

The Los Angeles County Superior Court system, the largest in the country, already sustaining a budget loss of $70 million, has had its budget slashed another $30 million.

Detroit to lay off 164 firefighters

By David Brown, 27 June 2012

Democratic Party Mayor Dave Bing of Detroit has announced plans to lay off 18 percent of the city’s firefighters.

US states carry out European-style attacks on jobs and services

By Patrick Martin, 25 June 2012

Despite claims that the US has avoided European-style austerity measures, state governments are carrying out devastating cuts in jobs and services.

California budget agreement imposes huge cuts in welfare and health care

By Dan Conway, 23 June 2012

The agreement between Democratic Party Governor Jerry Brown and legislative leaders will slash welfare spending and reduce child care coverage and college aid. It is part of a broader austerity campaign that has one the support of the trade unions.

Illinois governor signs bills approving savage Medicaid cuts

By Christopher Davion, 20 June 2012

Illinois Democrats and Republicans worked together to pass a series of bills enacting major cuts to the state’s Medicaid program.

Stockton, California moves closer to bankruptcy

By Kevin Kearney, 18 June 2012

Stockton, California will potentially declare bankruptcy as early as June 25, tearing up the contracts of public employees. This would mark the largest municipal bankruptcy in US history.

The closing of Charles F. Kettering High School on Detroit’s east side

By Walter Gilberti, 13 June 2012

Students and teachers from the closing school spoke to the WSWS at a farewell event on the grounds.

SEIU trade union supports California budget cuts

By Allison Smith, 8 June 2012

With the support of the SEIU, Governor Jerry Brown is attempting to sugar coat massive cuts to social services and increased taxes on the poor, with a token tax on the rich.

Ypsilanti, Michigan to make “dramatic” cuts to services

By Naomi Spencer, 31 May 2012

Ypsilanti, Michigan, like countless other industrial cities across the Midwest, is preparing to decimate basic services.

Unemployed California workers face termination of benefits

By Rafael Azul and Roseanna Donatello, 21 May 2012

California’s unemployment rate has declined from 11 percent in March to 10.9 percent in April because many workers have simply stopped looking for work, according to figures released from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Redford, Michigan schools support staff oppose privatization

By Shannon Jones, 17 May 2012

Close to two hundred people packed a school board meeting in Redford Township, Michigan to protest plans to privatize school bus, custodial and maintenance services.

California governor demands massive new cuts in response to budget revision

By Rafael Azul, 16 May 2012

On Monday, California’s Democratic Party Mayor Jerry Brown called for drastic cuts in health care and government worker pay, two days after the state announced a projected deficit increase of nearly $7 billion for next year.

Officials move to dismantle Philadelphia public school system

By Trent Novak, 3 May 2012

As part of a nation-wide attack on public education, officials in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania are utilizing a budget crisis to close 64 schools and drastically restructure the public school system.

California budget crisis continues to grow

By Jack Cody, 1 May 2012

California state controller John Chiang last week reported that the state fell $233.5 million short of revenue expectations for the month of March; $125.8 million of that figure, or 54 percent, comes from a shortfall in corporate income tax revenue.

More drastic service cuts hit Detroit public transportation

By Debra Watson, 1 May 2012

Another round of cuts in Detroit’s bus service went into effect Saturday that will in some cases double the scheduled time between buses on over thirty routes in the city.

Detroit students walkout against school closures and deteriorating conditions

By Lawrence Porter, 27 April 2012

Over 200 students at two high schools in Detroit’s southwestern neighborhood walked out of class on Wednesday to protest school closures, poor conditions, and the growth of charter schools.

Distressed Rhode Island municipalities face bankruptcy

By John Marion, 27 April 2012

Like Central Falls before them, local Rhode Island governments are seizing on the financial crisis and the threat of bankruptcy as a pretext to tear up municipal workers’ contracts.

Kentucky universities to hike tuition

By Ryan Rahilly, 25 April 2012

The University of Kentucky announced Friday it is planning to raise tuition by 6 percent and suspend raises for faculty and staff.

Mayor of Yonkers, New York calls for draconian budget cuts

By A. Woodson and Alan Whyte, 23 April 2012

The Democratic Mayor of Yonkers, New York delivered a speech last week calling for a nearly 10 percent reduction in the city’s budget.

Long-term unemployed in Washington State to start losing benefits next week

By Christine Schofelt, 20 April 2012

As a result of legislation signed by President Obama, unemployed people in the state of Washington will see their long-term unemployment benefits reduced from 99 weeks to 73 weeks.

Detroit budget proposal contains drastic cuts

By Shannon Jones, 16 April 2012

Detroit mayor Dave Bing’s fiscal 2012-13 budget proposal cuts some $160 million in spending, and includes the layoff of 1,300 of the city’s 11,000 employees.

Obama submits to right-wing judge over health care law

By Tom Carter, 13 April 2012

Last week, in the midst of an ongoing pseudo-legal assault on a century of federal social programs, the Obama administration obsequiously obeyed a politically motivated order by right-wing federal appeals court judge Jerry Smith.

California prepares thousands of government layoffs

By David Brown, 11 April 2012

Under the guise of “increasing efficiency,” California Governor Jerry Brown has proposed a reorganization of state agencies that would result in the elimination of around 3,000 jobs.

Chester, Pennsylvania schools in crisis

By Trent Novak, 9 April 2012

The public school system of Chester, Pennsylvania, is surviving on a month-to-month basis

Consent agreement paves way for savage attack on Detroit workers

By Shannon Jones, 6 April 2012

The Detroit City Council voted 5-4 Wednesday in favor of a consent agreement drawn up by Governor Rick Snyder, which gives city officials dictatorial powers to scrap union contracts and cut services

Greater Boston transit fares hiked by 23 percent

By Kate Randall, 6 April 2012

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority board of directors approved a budget that includes a 23 percent average systemwide fare hike to buses, rapid transit, and other services.

More than 20,000 California teachers receive preliminary layoff notices

By Rafael Azul, 23 March 2012

On March 15, California schools handed out 20,000 layoff notices to teachers and other employees in all the school districts across the state.

“It is leading Detroit into another dark age”

Detroit workers react to plans for financial control board, more budget cuts

By Shannon Jones, 19 March 2012

Working people in Detroit reacted with shock and outrage at plans for an emergency financial control board with powers to impose huge new spending cuts.

Greece comes to the American Midwest

Bankers’ dictatorship for Detroit workers

By Patrick Martin, 15 March 2012

The “consent agreement” demanded by the state of Michigan would effectively abolish local government in the city of Detroit and impose rule by an unelected financial control board.

Protest over closure of Detroit Day School for the Deaf

By Shannon Jones, 14 March 2012

The Detroit Day School for the Deaf, organized in 1898, is one of more than a dozen schools slated to be shuttered next fall on orders of Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager Roy Roberts.

Illinois Democrats plan massive attacks on Medicaid and state workers

By Alexander Fangmann, 13 March 2012

Governor Pat Quinn’s budget address laid out plans to cut Medicaid spending by 18 percent and open a full-scale attack on public employee pensions.

Over 10,000 mentally ill Michigan inmates face Tasers and torture

By Debra Watson, 10 March 2012

The recent authorization of the use of Tasers in Michigan prisons has focused attention on the inhuman conditions inflicted on mentally ill inmates.

Ithaca bus drivers speak out against salary cuts

By an ISSE reporting team, 8 March 2012

Transit workers have been operating without a contract for more than six months since the old one expired on September 11th, 2011.

Stockton, California seeks bankruptcy

By Kevin Kearney, 6 March 2012

Stockton—California’s 13th largest city—is considering filing bankruptcy under Chapter 9 of federal bankruptcy law.

University of South Florida students speak out on proposed budget cuts

By Matthew MacEgan, 3 March 2012

Students spoke to members of the International Students for Social Equality on the proposed 44.3 percent budget cut to state funding for the University of South Florida.

SEP vice presidential candidate denounces transit cuts at Pittsburgh forum

By our reporters, 1 March 2012

Workers and residents in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania spoke to Socialist Equality Party supporters about the impact of budget cuts in transit on their ability to carry out the most basic day-to-day activities.

Protests continue over Boston transit cuts and fare hikes

By Mike Ingram, 27 February 2012

Thousands of people throughout the Greater Boston area have attended public hearings to protest proposals from the MBTA for steep fare increases and drastic cuts in service.

New York teacher evaluations used to deepen attack on public education

By Philip Guelpa and Steve Light, 27 February 2012

New York’s Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo and the statewide teachers union reached agreement on February 16 to introduce a system for evaluating the effectiveness of teachers based on student standardized test scores.

Anger boils over at meetings on Detroit bus cuts

By Lawrence Porter, 27 February 2012

Hundreds of furious Detroit residents attended hearings last Friday called by the Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT) to announce, once again, cuts to the beleaguered city bus system.

Public education, transit, health care targeted in Pennsylvania budget cuts

By Samuel Davidson, 21 February 2012

Public and higher education, health care, libraries and mass transportation are among the programs that are targeted under Governor Tom Corbett’s $27 billion budget proposed last week.

29,500 long-term unemployed Michigan workers lose benefits

By Matthew Brennan, 18 February 2012

Nearly 30,000 “long-term” unemployed workers in Michigan—those out of work for more than six months—had their extended benefits assistance terminated February 18.

Detroit to cut early morning bus services

By Naomi Spencer, 18 February 2012

Detroit Mayor David Bing announced that the city would end early morning bus services on March 3.

West Virginia targets Medicaid for “fundamental adjustments”

By Clement Daly, 15 February 2012

The Democratic administration of Governor Earl Ray Tomblin is preparing budget cuts to social programs upon which hundreds of thousands of West Virginians depend.

Chicago’s Hull House closes after 120 years of service

By Shane Feratu and Scott Martin, 8 February 2012

The Jane Addams Hull House Association, one of the largest non-profit social service organizations in Chicago, abruptly shut down on Friday, January 27, after 120 years.

New York City teachers, students and parents oppose school “overhauls” and closures

By Steve Light and Sandy English, 7 February 2012

New York City's billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg will “overhaul” 33 schools and phase out another 18.

New boss of Highland Park, Michigan schools

Who is Jack Martin?

By Nancy Hanover, 3 February 2012

On his first day on the job as Emergency Manager of the Highland Park Schools, Martin announced the closure of one of three remaining schools in the impoverished district.

Kentucky governor announces austerity budget

By Naomi Spencer, 1 February 2012

Kentucky’s Democratic Governor Steve Beshear proposed budget cuts of 8.4 percent for many state agencies and spending freezes for other critical areas.

US budget cuts devastate shelters for victims of domestic violence

By E. Galen, 25 January 2012

Federal and state funding for shelter and other services for victims of domestic violence is being cut even as the need for emergency shelter is going up.

New York’s Democratic governor continues attacks on workers in second budget

By Philip Guelpa, 23 January 2012

The main points in Governor Cuomo’s budget address included reductions in pensions for new state workers, a teacher evaluation program to intensify attacks on public education, and consolidation of state agencies leading to further layoffs.

Rhode Island food bank director: “We’ve seen an incredible, dramatic increase in need”

By Kate Randall, 19 January 2012

Rhode Island food banks are now serving 60,000 people a month, a 58 percent increase since the beginning of the recession.

One million signatures filed to recall Wisconsin governor

By Patrick Martin, 18 January 2012

The recall campaign has been used used by the unions to disperse and divert the mass opposition to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s anti-worker policies.

South Carolina governor unveils plan to slash corporate income taxes

By a reporter, 18 January 2012

The fiscal 2012 budget proposed by South Carolina Republican Governor Nikki Haley slashes the state’s corporate income tax rate by 25 percent.

US Department of Agriculture to close 259 field offices

By Naomi Spencer, 16 January 2012

The federal Department of Agriculture, responsible for safety enforcement over much of the nation’s food producers, has announced closures of 259 field offices.

Court finds Washington state in violation on education funding

By Christine Schofelt, 11 January 2012

As the Washington state legislature reconvenes, $1.5 billion in cuts will see further reductions to social services.

Panel recommends state takeover of Highland Park, Michigan schools

By Shannon Jones, 6 January 2012

A 10-member review board is recommending the appointment of an emergency financial manager to take charge of the Highland Park School District in Michigan.

Wisconsin budget cuts target higher education

By Niles Williamson, 5 January 2012

The University of Wisconsin system faces a new round of cuts as a result of the budget passed last year, likely leading to another sharp increase in tuition.

Rally against emergency manager law: A conspiracy against Detroit workers

By Lawrence Porter, 5 January 2012

Under the guise of opposing the threat of an emergency manager in Detroit, a highly-orchestrated rally was held by Detroit’s Democratic Party establishment Monday evening.

Report calls for rollbacks in California public pensions

By Kevin Martinez, 3 January 2012

A Stanford University report, authored by a former Democratic legislator, recommends deep cuts to California’s biggest retirement systems.

Who’s who on Detroit’s financial review panel

By Shannon Jones, 3 January 2012

Those appointed by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder to an emergency financial review board to examine Detroit’s finances are drawn from an elite milieu of wealthy executives and political insiders.

Advocates for people with disabilities speak out on Detroit transit cuts

By Shannon Jones and Debra Watson, 31 December 2011

Members of Warriors on Wheels, an advocacy group for people with disabilities, recently spoke to the WSWS on the impact of recent cuts in bus service in Detroit and surrounding areas.

Democrats and Republicans conspire to impose cuts on Detroit workers

Socialist Equality Party, 28 December 2011

The campaign by sections of the Democratic Party establishment against a state takeover of Detroit has nothing in common with a defense of the rights of working people.

Michigan politicians prepare new assault on Detroit workers

By James Brewer, 23 December 2011

Michigan State Treasury Department has announced a financial review of Detroit to prepare even deeper attacks on Detroit workers.

Central Falls, Rhode Island: Retiree pensions slashed, but bondholders get paid

By Kate Randall, 23 December 2011

Retired city employees in bankrupt Central Falls, Rhode Island face cuts of up to 55 percent of their pensions, while municipal bondholders will get all that is owed to them.

Washington State deepens austerity measures

By Christine Schofelt, 23 December 2011

In authorizing $480 million in cuts Wednesday, Democratic Governor Christine Gregoire pledged $1.5 billion more to be cut in January.

Pontiac, Michigan firefighters fight cuts

By Lawrence Porter and Nancy Hanover, 16 December 2011

Pontiac firefighters picketed the proceedings where, under Michigan’s Emergency Financial Manager law, the Pontiac Fire Department will be taken over by neighboring Waterford, with slashed wages and manning.

California governor to enact midyear trigger cuts

By Jack Cody, 13 December 2011

Midway through the 2011-2012 fiscal year, California Governor Jerry Brown is preparing for billions of dollars in new cuts, targeting public education and the most vulnerable sections of the population.

Video: Detroit City workers speak on planned layoffs

By Andre Damon, 12 December 2011

Detroit city officials are proposing to lay off between ten and twenty percent of the city's municipal employees while cutting the remaining workers' pay and benefits.

Flint, Michigan emergency financial manager begins imposing cuts

State moving toward takeover of Detroit

By Shannon Jones, 10 December 2011

An emergency financial manager recently appointed to run Flint, Michigan is wielding his power to impose spending and job cuts.

Washington state protesters disrupt special legislative session

By Christine Schofelt, 6 December 2011

Protestors at the Washington state capitol building delayed the start of the Supplemental Legislative Session called November 28 to impose more cuts in social services and education.

Study documents desperate conditions facing the unemployed in America

By Andre Damon and Barry Grey, 5 December 2011

A study published Friday by Rutgers University documents the desperate situation facing millions of American workers who lost their jobs in the recession that began four years ago.

New York City workers protest inequality and layoffs

By Steve Light and A. Woodson, 5 December 2011

Some ten thousand workers took to the streets in New York City last Thursday to protest economic inequality and job cuts.

Childhood poverty and hunger deepen in Oregon

By Hector Cordon, 5 December 2011

Two recent Census Bureau reports highlight the growing distress facing working class and poor children in Oregon.

Michigan holds sham review process on welfare cuts

By Lawrence Porter, 2 December 2011

In the face of national notoriety for Michigan’s ruthless 48-month cash assistance welfare limit, Republican Gov. Rick Snyder initiated a series of mass appeals hearings this week.

Detroit mayor cuts jobs, threatens state takeover

By Shannon Jones, 26 November 2011

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing threatened a state takeover of the city if unions do not grant massive concessions.

Inequality in Boston

By John Marion, 26 November 2011

A recent report measuring poverty in Boston concludes that the city is in one of “the most unequal counties in the nation.”

After collapse of “supercommittee”

Obama, Congress make new austerity plans

By Patrick Martin, 23 November 2011

The official demise of the congressional deficit-reduction “supercommittee” has become the starting point for the next round of austerity demands from both the Democratic and Republican parties.

California students face unending tuition hikes

By David Brown, 21 November 2011

College students in all sections of California’s public universities face tuition hikes to cover reduced state funding.

US budget panel fails to reach deficit-cutting agreement

By Patrick Martin, 21 November 2011

The Republicans and Democrats on the bipartisan congressional “supercommittee” on Sunday conceded the collapse of their efforts to agree on a deficit-reduction scheme, one day before the deadline for delivering a plan to the Congressional Budget Office.

Detroit mayor outlines drastic cuts

By Shannon Jones, 18 November 2011

Detroit Democratic Mayor Dave Bing called Wednesday on workers to accept pay cuts and mass layoffs to help close the city’s $150 million budget deficit

US Congress blocks rules on healthier school lunches

By Naomi Spencer, 18 November 2011

On Monday, Congress blocked new rules proposed by the Department of Agriculture that would have improved nutritional content in school lunches.

49 million Americans in poverty, Census study finds

By Andre Damon, 9 November 2011

New measurements from the US Census found that poverty is far more prevalent among older Americans than previously reported, and that government programs now on the chopping block have kept millions out of destitution.

Chicago regional rail passengers to be hit with sharp fare hikes

By Scott Martin, 9 November 2011

Chicago regional rail provider Metra has announced an average 25 percent price hike for riders, beginning in February 2012.

Large numbers of US households to be denied heating assistance this winter

By James Brewer, 7 November 2011

The Obama administration has disbursed $1.7 billion in federal home heating assistance funds—less than half of last year’s funding—while need this winter for aid is substantially up.

Illinois Democrats plan budgetary assault

By Alexander Fangmann, 7 November 2011

In preparation for the beginning of their respective fiscal years, the city of Chicago and Cook County have unveiled budgets that impose layoffs, service cuts, and regressive fee increases.

Notes on the social crisis in America

By Naomi Spencer, 29 October 2011

Relentless budget cuts are felt in public education, the justice system, and in health care programs for the poor.

Detroit library closings face angry opposition

By Lawrence Porter, 20 October 2011

Under intense pressure from the population and community organizations, the Detroit Public Library Board commission has deadlocked on the planned closure of four library branches.

University of Michigan hospital nurses protest concessions contract

By Matthew Brennan and Zac Corrigan, 15 October 2011

More than 400 nurses participated in a protest march in Ann Arbor over proposed cuts to benefits and wages Wednesday.

Notes on the social crisis in America

By Naomi Spencer, 27 September 2011

Rhode Island homeless shelters are filled to capacity, coroners’ offices report rising numbers of unclaimed bodies, New York City threatens 100 schools with closure, and other reports of social distress in America.

Pennsylvania’s capital faces possible financial takeover

By Patrick Zimmerman, 19 September 2011

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania city officials, whose mismanagement of state funds has exacerbated the city’s financial predicament, are doing everything in their power to ensure that the city’s creditors are paid in full at the cost of the pensions and living standards of the workers.

Protests continue over Detroit library closures

By Shannon Jones, 14 September 2011

Detroit residents picketed the main branch of the Detroit Library Tuesday to show opposition to threatened closure of six local libraries.

Illinois to close mental health facilities, lay off 1,900

By Alexander Fangmann, 10 September 2011

Democratic Governor Pat Quinn announced September 8 that Illinois would close three mental health facilities, two centers for the developmentally disabled, and other crucial social services.

Outsourcing education: The rise of virtual schools

Part 2—states facing cuts embrace virtual education

By Nancy Hanover, 31 August 2011

There are a growing number of American young people for whom “going to school” is now logging in at the family computer.

Notes on the social crisis in America

By Naomi Spencer, 27 August 2011

Conditions are deteriorating for New Jersey’s homeless, the poor in Nevada, and Illinois’ prison population.

South Carolina jobless up 10,000 in one month

By a reporter, 27 August 2011

South Carolina’s unemployment rate jumped to a seasonally adjusted rate of 10.9 percent in July, up almost half a percentage point from June.

Michigan legislature requires cities and schools to cut health care payments

By James Brewer, 26 August 2011

In its first day back in session, the Michigan legislature passed anti-worker legislation on health care and welfare.

Kentucky food bank faces rising social need, deep budget cuts

By Ryan Rahilly, 25 August 2011

The primary food bank serving eastern and central Kentucky reports a staggering level of hunger and emergency food requests.

Central Falls, Rhode Island, in bankruptcy

By Mike Ingram and Kate Randall, 13 August 2011

Central Falls, Rhode Island, declared bankruptcy earlier this month. The impoverished city is devastated by a lack of basic services and a decaying social infrastructure.

Notes on the social crisis in America

By Naomi Spencer, 11 August 2011

Conditions of life are deteriorating for millions of working class families as key social programs are cut and job prospects dry up.

Video: Detroit area workers, retired people speak out on social spending cuts

By Andre Damon, 10 August 2011

In this video, workers and retired people respond to the $2.4 trillion in spending cuts passed by Congress and the Obama administration earlier this month, in context of rising social inequality and widespread unemployment.

Thousands of Michigan students lose food stamp eligibility

By Shannon Jones, 10 August 2011

Some 30,000 Michigan college students have been removed from the state’s food stamp program.