US States Budget Crisis

The US debt ceiling deal

By Patrick Martin, 1 August 2011

The Obama administration and the congressional Democrats have embraced unprecedented cuts in domestic social spending.

Massive cuts to education in Pennsylvania budget

By Samuel Davidson, 1 August 2011

Massive cuts in public education, universities and other social programs where among the major items in the budget signed into law by Republican Governor Tom Corbett.

US economy stalls as growth rate drops to 1.3 percent

By Andre Damon, 30 July 2011

Commerce Department figures released Friday showed a further decline in the growth rate of US GDP.

Democratic mayor rolls out Detroit downsizing plan

By Jerry White, 29 July 2011

Detroit Mayor David Bing revealed further details Wednesday of his plan to shrink the city by forcing residents out of neighborhoods deemed too poor or underpopulated.

New York students hit with tuition hikes

By Philip Guelpa, 26 July 2011

Bills passed at the end of the New York State legislative session include tuition hikes for students at the state’s two major public university systems.

Notes on the US social crisis

By Naomi Spencer, 26 July 2011

As state and local government budget crises deepen, working class living conditions are unraveling.

Connecticut governor, unions to make state workers revote on concessions deal

By Dorian Griscom, 23 July 2011

Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy and state employee unions are preparing to force a re-vote.

New York State employee union surrenders to layoff threat

By Philip Guelpa, 22 July 2011

The two largest state worker unions are pushing for ratification of contracts that include drastic concessions.

New York City slashes aid to homeless

By Dan Brennan, 21 July 2011

New York City’s homeless population is poised to skyrocket further as fifteen thousand families face elimination of rent subsidies.

Obama, Congress move towards deal on budget cuts

By Patrick Martin, 18 July 2011

The emerging consensus is on a plan that links raising the debt ceiling to more than $1.5 trillion in spending cuts, with no increase in taxes on the wealthy.

Minnesota budget agreement slashes social spending

By Michael Stapleton, 18 July 2011

Minnesota appears to be ending its two-week-old government shutdown with a tentative agreement that will impose huge reductions in social spending.

States axe higher education budgets, hike tuition

By Naomi Spencer, 16 July 2011

At least 36 states have announced funding cuts to public colleges and universities beginning this fall, immediately affecting students and their families through tuition hikes and reduced financial aid.

Michigan welfare benefits cut to 48 months

By James Brewer, 16 July 2011

The Michigan state Senate has passed legislation that will limit all welfare benefits to 48 months, immediately throwing tens of thousands into destitution.

Massachusetts budget slashes spending

By John Marion, 15 July 2011

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has signed a budget that cuts state spending by $750 million and opens the way for cities and town to rip up workers’ existing health care agreements.

California State University raises tuition

By Oliver Richards, 14 July 2011

The decision to hit students with another massive tuition increase came at the same time the Board of Regents approved a sharp pay hike for the new president of San Diego State University.

Minnesota state budget shutdown in second week

By Michael Stapleton, 12 July 2011

With the government shutdown in Minnesota into its second week, people and agencies around the state are experiencing its serious impact.

Devastating cuts to state Medicaid programs

By Naomi Spencer, 8 July 2011

With the start of the new fiscal year, the majority of US states are inflicting deep cuts to Medicaid, the health care program for the poor.

New wave of state worker layoffs begins in New York

By Philip Guelpa, 6 July 2011

Layoff notices were sent to 451 New York State employees at the end of last week. This is the first wave of layoffs that could reach a total of 9,800 if the state workforce does not agree to massive concessions.

Casualities of budget cuts

New school and medical center in Riverside, California to remain closed

By Kevin Martinez, 5 July 2011

Massive cuts in California are having an impact throughout the state, including the inability to open a new high school and medical center in Riverside due to insufficient funds.

Minnesota state government shuts down in budget crisis

By Toby Reese, 4 July 2011

The Minnesota government shut down many of its operations on Friday after legislators failed to come to a budget agreement.

Connecticut workers oppose union-backed concessions

By a reporting team, 4 July 2011

The World Socialist Web Site spoke to workers in the US state of Connecticut, where union leaders are trying to find a way to impose the $1.6 billion concessions deal they had agreed to with Governor Dannel Malloy, but that had been rejected in a rank-and-file vote.

Democratic Party in California passes austerity budget

State spending reduced to lowest level in 29 years

By Dan Conway, 2 July 2011

The state budget, including measures enacted in March, reduces spending by $15 billion. Governor Jerry Brown’s first enacted budget is the largest single reduction in spending in the history of California.

New Jersey residents denounce bipartisan anti-worker law

By a WSWS reporting team, 29 June 2011

Surrounded by dozens of Democratic and Republican legislators and mayors, on Tuesday New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie signed into law a bill that imposes sweeping attacks on the state’s 750,000 teachers, municipal workers and other public employees and retirees.

Providence, Rhode Island budget includes mass layoffs, spending cuts

By John Marion, 28 June 2011

With the end of the state and city fiscal years this week, the mayor of Providence, Rhode Island is escalating his campaign to ram through a budget that includes massive layoffs, increases in taxes and fees on city residents, school closures, and cuts to public worker benefits.

The Democratic Party and the assault on public workers

By Barry Grey, 27 June 2011

Last week, the Democratic-controlled New Jersey Assembly passed a sweeping package of pension and health care cuts and attacks on government workers’ bargaining rights, while workers in Connecticut rejected a concessions deal pushed by the Democratic governor and backed by the unions.

Connecticut state workers reject union-backed concessions

By Fred Mazelis, 27 June 2011

The state government of Connecticut has been thrown into crisis following the June 24 announcement that the state’s 45,000 state employees have rejected a $1.6 billion concessions contract.

Savage cuts in Wisconsin budget

By Toby Reese, 22 June 2011

The Wisconsin biennial budget is expected to go into effect on July 1 after it receives a final signature from Republican Governor Scott Walker.

Chicago school officials rescind pay raises for teachers

By Alexander Fangmann, 22 June 2011

School board officials appointed by Chicago’s new mayor, Rahm Emanuel, voted to rescind promised pay raises to the city’s 30,000 teachers.

Connecticut Democrats, media and unions push state workers to accept concessions

By Dorian Griscom, 21 June 2011

Forty-five thousand Connecticut state workers have begun to vote on a deal with the Democratic administration of Governor Dannel Malloy containing $1.6 billion in concessions.

An attack on public education

Detroit’s Catherine Ferguson Academy to become for-profit charter school

By Toby Reese and Lawrence Porter, 20 June 2011

The decision to turn CFA, an award-winning school for pregnant and parenting teens in Detroit, into a charter operation is an attack on public education, not a victory.

California Governor Brown vetoes budget, demanding more cuts

By Dan Conway, 20 June 2011

As the 2010-2011 fiscal year comes to a close, the state of California faces the prospect of fiscal insolvency and the creation of a “doomsday budget” involving massive cuts to social programs.

Massachusetts Democrats scrap “bed holds” for seniors, the disabled

By John Marion, 20 June 2011

The Democratic Party-controlled Massachusetts state Senate has voted to eliminate a program that pays nursing homes to hold beds when residents leave for hospital care and family visits.

Thousands of New Jersey state workers protest savage concessions

By Peter Daniels, 18 June 2011

Thousands of New Jersey state workers demonstrated in the state capital June 16 to denounce a bipartisan deal that would sharply increase employee pension and health care contributions.

Court sanctions Wisconsin anti-worker law

By Jerry White, 16 June 2011

The Wisconsin Supreme Court Tuesday cleared the way for the imposition of a new state law that will gut the living standards and workplace rights of public employees.

SEP/ISSE holds meeting to oppose closure of Catherine Ferguson Academy

By Shannon Jones, 16 June 2011

The Socialist Equality Party and the International Students for Social Equality held a June 14 meeting in Detroit to oppose the closure of Catherine Ferguson Academy.

Budget cuts threaten New York City hospitals’ laundry with shutdown

By A. Woodson, 15 June 2011

The New York City Health and Hospital Corporation board voted 8-2 on May 26 to close the Brooklyn Central Laundry and privatize all 83 laundry workers’ jobs.

Eastern Michigan University to cut staff, raise tuition

By Janel Flechsig, 14 June 2011

EMU is planning to cut 70 positions, freeze wages for unionized workers, and raise tuition by 7 percent.

New York’s Democratic governor demands mass layoffs, pension cutbacks

By Philip Guelpa, 13 June 2011

New York state’s Democratic governor has threatened to lay off 9,800 workers and cut pension benefits for state employees.

California teachers’ unions collaborate with state officials to impose cuts

By Allison Smith and Tom Carter, 13 June 2011

The United Teachers of Los Angeles has once again collaborated with state officials and the Democratic Party to impose cuts on teachers and the state education system.

Michigan teachers rally against school cuts

By Lawrence Porter, 10 June 2011

Rallies and informational pickets were held by teachers across Michigan against massive education cuts implemented last month.

School officials order closure of Detroit's Catherine Ferguson Academy

By Andre Damon, 8 June 2011

Detroit’s Catherine Ferguson Academy will be permanently closed this month, Asenath Andrews, the school’s principal, told teachers Tuesday after the school district’s emergency financial manager ordered its closure.

Medicaid cuts in Washington state highlight bipartisan attack on health care

By Toby Reese, 8 June 2011

The Democratic governor of Washington state has signed a bill that, if approved by the Obama administration, would convert Medicaid into a block-grant program and allow for deep cuts in benefits.

Thousands demonstrate against New York Mayor Bloomberg’s plans to close 20 fire companies

By A. Woodson, 7 June 2011

New York City firefighters and supporters demonstrated against plans to shut down fire companies across the city.

Texas legislature approves “Texas-sized” attack on the working class

By Tom Carter, 4 June 2011

A two-year budget tentatively approved May 29 in the Texas legislature slashes no less than $15 billion from a total state budget of $172 billion.

State Supreme Court set to review challenge to Wisconsin anti-worker legislation

By Toby Reese, 4 June 2011

A court ruling striking down an anti-worker law curtailing collective bargaining rights is scheduled to be reviewed by the Wisconsin Supreme Court on June 6.

Video: Dearborn, Michigan residents protest pool closings

3 June 2011

Residents assembled at Ten Eyck pool to protest the closure of six community pools in the city of Dearborn.

Indiana enacts most expansive school voucher program in the US

By Isabelle Belanger, 2 June 2011

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels signed into law two bills in May that expand charter schools and attack teachers.

New York Democrats, Republicans push tax cap amid school cuts

By Philip Guelpa, 1 June 2011

The tax cap, which is being strongly promoted by both Democratic Governor Mario Cuomo and the state’s Republicans, is one component of a multi-pronged attack on public education.

Obama administration seeks to block legal challenges to Medicaid cuts

By Naomi Spencer, 31 May 2011

The Obama administration is seeking to block lawsuits challenging state budget cuts to the health care program for the poor and disabled.

California teachers and students protest against education cuts

By a WSWS reporting team, 27 May 2011

In response to past budget cuts and the threat of future ones, California’s schools have continued to layoff teachers and staff while axing programs.

New York City budget will decimate libraries

By Sandy English, 27 May 2011

Budget cuts will sharply reduce library services in New York City, and hit workers and the poor especially hard.

Nevada budget deficit highest in nation

By Roger Herman, 25 May 2011

Nevada currently leads the US in unemployment, bankruptcies and foreclosures, and now it has a budget deficit that stands at 54 percent of the total state budget, the highest percentage in the nation.

Following more budget cuts, tuition to increase at California’s public colleges

By Kevin Martinez, 25 May 2011

In his revised May state budget proposal, California’s Democratic governor Jerry Brown proposed a multitude of tax extensions and spending cuts to balance California’s remaining $9.6 billion deficit.

Brutal state budget cuts hit schools in Philadelphia

By Trent Novak, 24 May 2011

Thousands of teachers and other school employees face layoffs and services will be slashed.

Massachusetts residents react to budget cuts

“People depend on these government programs just to sustain life”

By Kate Randall, 24 May 2011

The Massachusetts state budget will underfund Medicaid by $750 million and cut $7.9 million in direct benefits to the poor.

Public meeting in Los Angeles

The way forward in the fight against budget cuts in California

24 May 2011

This public meeting will address the political issues in the fight against the attack on health care and education in California and throughout this US.

Thousands gather in Michigan to oppose education cuts

By Tobin Reese, 23 May 2011

Several thousand teachers, students and other workers came together at the state capitol building in Lansing, Michigan on Saturday in opposition to cuts in public education.

California Democratic governor releases proposal for continued budget austerity

By David Brown and Dan Conway, 23 May 2011

California Governor Jerry Brown has released his proposal to deal with state’s remaining budget deficit through $2.2 billion in spending cuts and $9 billion in regressive tax proposals.

Teachers, parents and students protest school cuts in Yonkers, New York

By A. Woodson, 23 May 2011

Hundreds of Yonkers teachers, students, parents and school staff turned out to protest massive budget cuts being proposed by the mayor and the school board.

Detroit City Council targets public transportation, arts and fire department

By Shannon Jones, 21 May 2011

Detroit’s Democratic Party-controlled city council called this week for $65 million in spending cuts beyond the $200 million contained in the budget Mayor David Bing outlined last month.

Texas plans drastic cuts to education, health care, and social services

By Jeff Lincoln, 21 May 2011

On Monday, the House-Senate conference committee in the US state of Texas reached a tentative agreement on much of the state’s two-year state budget.

White House budget attacks higher education for working class students

By Charles Bogle, 21 May 2011

The Obama administration’s proposed budget for 2012 will limit access to higher education for countless working class students.

Illinois to balance budget by cutting social services

By Alexander Fangmann, 19 May 2011

The Democratic-controlled General Assembly in Illinois is seeking to reduce the state's deficit through vicious cuts to health care, education, workers' compensation, and aid to municipalities.

New Chicago mayor outlines austerity agenda

By Kristina Betinis, 18 May 2011

As Rahm Emanuel takes office, cuts to municipal services, payroll and pensions loom while privatizations are being planned.

School districts throughout Detroit area face cuts

By Tobin Reese and Gita Ruffman, 18 May 2011

Due to a drastic decrease in education funding statewide, suburban and outlying communities around the Detroit area are facing significant budget cuts.

Unions agree to $1.6 billion in concessions for Connecticut state workers

By Fred Mazelis, 18 May 2011

Connecticut is the latest state under a Democratic Party governor to impose massive cutbacks on state employees.

Michigan legislature slashes taxes for business

By Shannon Jones, 17 May 2011

With the state already facing a budget deficit of over $1 billion, the Michigan legislature has enacted a huge tax shift from business onto workers and retirees.

Illinois education “reform” bill passes with bipartisan support

By Kristina Betinis, 17 May 2011

Amidst deep cuts in education spending in Illinois and throughout the country, the bill, backed by the Democratic and Republican Parties as well as the trade unions, will make it much easier to fire teachers and will effectively eliminate the right to strike.

Florida to restructure Medicaid to benefit insurance industry

By Ed Hightower, 17 May 2011

Florida lawmakers voted to put a cap on Medicaid payments to health care providers Friday, replacing the system of fee-for-service reimbursements.

Video: Thousands line up for jobs in Hamtramck, Michigan

By James Brewer, 16 May 2011

After waiting in long lines, the attendees were given information for what would be at most a couple hundred job openings.

White House, Republicans use debt deadline to prepare historic cuts in Medicare and Medicaid

By Barry Grey, 14 May 2011

President Obama met Thursday with Senate Republicans as part of a stage-managed “debate” on raising the legal limit on the national debt, behind which the Democrats and Republicans are working out a bipartisan plan to slash trillions of dollars from Medicare and Medicaid.

Video: Catherine Ferguson Academy students and teachers speak on school closures and social inequality

By Andre Damon and Jerry White, 14 May 2011

In this video, the second part of a series, Detroit students and teachers speak about the attack on public education and the impact of the closure of their school on the community.

Thousands march on Wall Street to oppose New York City budget cuts

By Sandy English, 14 May 2011

Several thousand protesters marched past Wall Street and New York City’s financial district late Thursday to protest Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s $600 million in budget cuts

Students and teachers speak out against Bloomberg’s budget cuts

By a WSWS reporting team, 14 May 2011

The World Socialist Web Site spoke to teenagers from Brooklyn who joined Thursday’s march against the budget cuts announced by New York City’s billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg. They work in the Cypress Hills Beacon Program, a community center based in the schools that provides adult education, after-school and summer programs, as well as health and recreational programs.

Video: Students and staff denounce the threat to close Detroit’s Catherine Ferguson Academy

By Andre Damon and Jerry White, 13 May 2011

Catherine Ferguson Academy, located on the near westside of Detroit, is one of over 50 schools slated to be closed or sold off to charter school operators within the next month by Robert Bobb, the school district’s emergency financial manager.

Florida approves far-reaching cuts to unemployment benefits

By Kate Randall, 10 May 2011

A Florida move to slash unemployment benefits is the latest in a series of attacks on the jobless by state governments across the US.

California schools face continued budget uncertainty

By David Brown, 9 May 2011

Over the next week, announcements of catastrophic cuts to public education in California are expected from the administration of Democratic Governor Jerry Brown.

New York City to lay off teachers, close fire companies, cut social programs

By Sandy English, 9 May 2011

New York City’s billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Friday announced $600 million in budget cuts.

Democrats and Republicans work on compromise plan to cut social programs

By Kate Randall, 6 May 2011

Vice President Joe Biden hosted bipartisan talks Thursday morning aimed at reaching an agreement on the $1.6 trillion federal budget deficit.

Assault on US workers’ rights accelerates

By Jerry White, 5 May 2011

As formal talks resume on slashing the federal budget, Democrats and Republicans on the state level are imposing anti-worker laws to criminalize opposition to the sweeping attacks on public education and other social rights.

Michigan’s anti-democratic emergency financial manager law takes effect

By Janel Flechsig, 2 May 2011

On March 16, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed Public Act 4 of 2011 into law. The bill, also called the Local Government and School District Financial Accountability Act, extends the powers of appointed Emergency Financial Managers (EFMs), to institute fiscal reform of local and municipal government.

Massachusetts: Democrats attack municipal workers’ health care

By John Marion, 2 May 2011

The Democratic-controlled Massachusetts House of Representatives has voted that cities and towns throughout the state can rip up existing union contracts, forcing municipal workers into cheaper health insurance plans.

Democrats, Republicans escalate attack on public employees

By Patrick Martin, 2 May 2011

Democratic and Republican politicians at the US state and local level are pressing ahead with a new round of attacks on the jobs and living standards of public employees.

Michigan governor outlines assault on public education

By Jerry White, 29 April 2011

Governor Rick Snyder outlined his plan to “reinvent” education through a sweeping attack on teachers and public education in a speech in Detroit Wednesday.

Los Angeles: Budget crisis used to press attack against city workers

By Dan Conway, 27 April 2011

The Los Angeles, California city government, headed by Democratic Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, is working with the trade unions to enforce drastic cuts in pay and benefits on its 19,000-member workforce.

California governor campaigns for budget cuts, regressive taxes

By Jack Hood and Oliver Richards, 26 April 2011

Democratic California Governor Jerry Brown has launched a statewide campaign to promote his proposals to extend regressive taxes as part of a budget-cutting plan that includes deep cuts in social programs.

California’s Democratic governor targets public pensions

By David Brown, 19 April 2011

In the US state of California, both the Democrats and Republicans, led by Governor Jerry Brown, are pushing for pension reform as yet another way to make workers pay for the budget crisis.

Illinois Senate unanimously passes right-wing education reform bill

By Kristina Betinis and James Nykvist, 16 April 2011

On April 14, the Illinois Senate abruptly and unanimously approved a bill containing sweeping attacks on teachers, with fulsome support of the state education unions.

State-level Democrats deepen attack on public education

By Tom Eley, 14 April 2011

In the states of Washington and Colorado, Democrats are putting in place deep cuts in public education funding.

Michigan workers protest budget cuts

By Andre Damon, 14 April 2011

More than five thousand workers protested Michigan Governor Rick Snyder's budget cuts outside the state capitol in Lansing on Wednesday.

Detroit mayor outlines plan to gut services, attack city workers

By Jerry White, 13 April 2011

In a budget address Tuesday, Detroit Mayor David Bing outlined his plan to slash services and force the city’s 10,000 municipal workers to pay a large portion of their health and pension benefits.

Budget cuts to hit public education in California

By Jack Cody and Russell Roller, 13 April 2011

The WSWS spoke to teachers and students in the US state of California about the deep cuts being implemented in public education at all levels.

New York state budget slashes education, health care and taxes on the rich

By Philip Guelpa, 12 April 2011

The newly adopted budget for the State of New York contains savage attacks on major services for the working class, while at the same time providing substantial tax cuts for the wealthy and support for businesses.

Republican judge leads Wisconsin vote after new ballots are found by political ally

By Tom Eley, 9 April 2011

In a judicial election promoted by the trade unions as the primary means of fighting Governor Scott Walker’s anti-worker law, the Republican incumbent established a significant lead after thousands of allegedly uncounted ballots were added to his vote total by a right-wing county clerk.

After sellout of Wisconsin struggle unions hail vote for state judge

By Andre Damon, 7 April 2011

JoAnne Kloppenburg, the trade union-backed challenger for a Wisconsin Supreme Court seat, proclaimed victory Wednesday after preliminary ballot counts showed she won by a tiny margin over her Republican-backed rival.

Closures, mass layoffs and cuts announced for Chicago-area schools

By Kristina Betinis, 7 April 2011

The Chicago school board is proposing the elimination of eight schools and at least 200 teachers through consolidation.

Reject the AFL-CIO and Democratic Party

For a new strategy to defend the social rights of the working class

Socialist Equality Party, 4 April 2011

Supporters of the SEP are distributing the following statements at the “We Are One” demonstrations organized by the AFL-CIO in Madison, Wisconsin and other locations in the US.

New York students and teachers protest draconian budget cuts

By Ali Ismail, 2 April 2011

Hundreds of students and teachers from across the state of New York gathered at the Capitol in Albany to protest a new state budget that includes $1.2 billion in cuts to education.

Video: Albany rally hits attack on education

2 April 2011

Students and teachers speak out against Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo’s cuts to education spending.

California public employee unions line up against workers

By Tom Carter, 2 April 2011

Last week, the administration of California Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, with the full support of both parties, passed a draconian package of $8 billion in budget cuts.