US States Budget Crisis

Jacksonville Electrical Authority board of directors approves privatization effort

By Matthew Taylor, 31 July 2019

Last Tuesday’s vote represents the latest effort in a years-long conspiracy by Mayor Lenny Curry and his backers to sell off the Florida city’s utility to private interests.

Alaska governor cuts $400 million from education, social services

By Adam Mclean, 18 July 2019

The 41 percent reduction in the state budget for the University of Alaska will result in the elimination of dozens of degree programs and jeopardize climate research.

Contract for more than 20,000 Chicago teachers expires

By Kristina Betinis, 2 July 2019

Last month, contracts for teachers also expired in Baltimore, Maryland; Newark, New Jersey and Vancouver, British Columbia.

Democrats promote right-wing, racialist politics

Michigan Governor Whitmer ties fate of Benton Harbor High School to test scores

By Joseph Lorenz, 2 July 2019

The new offer ties the fate of the high school and possibly the district to test score performance benchmarks as well as financial obligations.

Benton Harbor, Michigan: School board votes to oppose governor’s ultimatum to close high school

By Nancy Hanover, 15 June 2019

Thousands of students and residents of Benton Harbor have rallied to the defense of the city’s only high school, opposing the diktat of Michigan’s Democratic governor.

US financial board spars with Puerto Rican authorities over how best to pillage island

By Genevieve Leigh, 2 July 2018

Wall Street demands a fresh round of budget cuts as the social crisis on the US territory deepens.

Omaha Public Schools board cuts $29 million from budget

By Michael Walters, 16 June 2018

The slashing of funding for the largest school district in Nebraska will result in the elimination of positions in the central office as well as bus drivers, student support liaisons, accountants and IT professionals.

Nashville teachers, school workers denounce pay freeze

By Warren Duzak, 9 June 2018

At a public hearing earlier this week, school employees denounced city officials for handing out corporate tax cuts while starving the public schools of resources.

University of Wisconsin Stevens Point students, faculty stage sit-in to protest cuts to humanities

By Jacob Crosse and Christopher Davion, 4 April 2018

The proposed slashing of humanities programs to cover a comparatively modest budget shortfall comes amid immense levels of social inequality and record profits for the wealthy.

Trump proposes cuts to heating aid while US house fire deaths spike

By Steve Filips, 1 March 2018

This season’s severe winter and frigid temperatures is exacting a brutal toll in fire fatalities.

Iowa state government preparing mid-year budget cuts

By Joseph Holden and Marcus Day, 20 February 2018

For the second year in a row, Iowa’s legislature is preparing to enact budget cuts slashing funding for public education and social services.

As US government shutdown looms, Democrats push punitive immigration deal

By Barry Grey, 18 January 2018

The latest version of the bipartisan plan proposes even more billions to militarize the US-Mexico border, including funds earmarked for Trump’s border wall with Mexico.

Budget cuts lead to teacher and student injuries at Massachusetts school

By Julian James, 18 January 2018

Last year the school eliminated special classes for students with major behavioral and learning challenges.

Legislators pass devastating austerity budget in Illinois

By Alexander Fangmann, 10 July 2017

The new budget will become law, enshrining massive across-the-board cuts of 5 percent to most state government agencies, and 10 percent to higher education.

US state budget crises lead to shutdowns of offices, parks, schools

By Patrick Martin, 3 July 2017

New Jersey and Maine began partial shutdowns Saturday, Illinois is near default, and seven other US states failed to adopt new budgets by a June 30 deadline.

California: San Diego to cut $2.3 million from city arts budget

By Marko Leone and Kevin Martinez, 20 May 2017

Mayor Kevin Faulconer has called for a 15 percent cut in the city’s budget for theaters, museums, playhouses and other cultural sites.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf proposes austerity budget

By Douglas Lyons, 21 February 2017

Wolf has proposed a budget for the 2017-2018 fiscal year that does nothing to resolve the state’s education crisis and continues attacks on state workers.

Iowa makes massive mid-year budget cuts targeting public education

By George Marlowe, 20 February 2017

Republican Governor Terry Branstad of Iowa signed a bill that would entail mid-year budget cuts of over $118 million, the bulk of which hit public schools and higher education.

Illinois attorney general files request to halt state workers’ pay

By George Gallanis, 30 January 2017

The aim is to force the Illinois government to agree to a new state budget that will include sweeping attacks on social programs and public education.

Pennsylvania budget prepares attacks on social programs, teachers, state workers

By Douglas Lyons, 27 January 2017

Facing a budget shortfall of $600 million and structural deficit of $2 billion, Governor Wolf has started to attack social programs and state workers.

Report reveals deepening poverty in West Virginia

By Joe McGee, 25 January 2017

“Why is West Virginia so poor?” a new report asks. Some answers are to be found in the history of coal mining in the state as well as the severe impact of the 2008 financial crisis.

Illinois enters 2017 in the midst of an ongoing budget crisis

By Jessica Goldstein, 6 January 2017

With a stop-gap budget having expired on December 31, higher education and social services throughout the state have been left without funding.

Pennsylvania budget deficit signals further attacks on teachers, state workers

By Douglas Lyons, 21 December 2016

Pennsylvania’s current budget deficit of $600 million will be used as a bludgeon against the pensions and benefits of teachers and other state employees.

US Congress overwhelmingly backs $619 billion Pentagon budget

By Bill Van Auken, 5 December 2016

The legislation, which won overwhelming bipartisan approval, also bars the shutdown of the American prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

West Virginia governor orders $60 million in budget cuts

By Joe McGee, 5 December 2016

The state’s most vulnerable residents will be hit with an $11 million cut in public schools and a supposed one-time reduction of $25 million to Medicaid.

As school funding cuts continue

Clinton and Trump committed to new attacks on public education

By Nancy Hanover, 24 October 2016

A new report throws into sharp relief both the advanced stage of decay of American public school education and the hostility to it of both Trump and Clinton.

Illinois public sector devastated as budget impasse approaches one-year mark

By Alexander Fangmann, 29 June 2016

Many parts of state and local government will soon run out of money as the Democratic-controlled state legislature and the Republican governor continue wrangling over how to slash public services.

Pennsylvania school districts face catastrophic funding crisis

By Douglas Lyons, 29 June 2016

Financially distressed school districts are axing staff and educational programs and increasing class sizes in an effort to offset budget cuts that have taken a damaging toll.

Mental health crisis mounts in Illinois amid budget impasse

By Jessica Goldstein, 7 June 2016

An 11-month budget impasse and funding cuts threaten basic mental health provision in Illinois.

Portrait of the social crisis in America: Rockford, Illinois

By George Gallanis and George Marlowe, 4 June 2016

After decades of robust industry and manufacturing, the city now faces rising unemployment, poverty and social misery.

US Treasury rejects plan for slashing Teamsters pensions, calling for deeper cuts

By Shannon Jones, 10 May 2016

The attack on pensions is the result of the collaboration of the unions, the Obama administration and the Democratic Party, which conspired to enact pension “reform” legislation in 2014.

Seven dead, hundreds homeless in Houston, Texas flood

By Shelley Connor, 20 April 2016

Houston’s working class residents have been forced to flee rising waters with little assistance from the city or state governments.

Democrats silent as one million lose food stamp benefits in the US

By Patrick Martin, 4 April 2016

None of the presidential candidates, including self-proclaimed “democratic socialist” Bernie Sanders, has made an issue of the food stamp cutoff.

Pennsylvania budget underfunds education, prepares attack on pensions

By Douglas Lyons, 4 April 2016

The deal leaves an estimated $2 billion deficit unresolved until the next fiscal year.

Illinois public higher education hit with more cuts

By George Gallanis, 29 March 2016

As Illinois continues to operate without a budget, both Democrats and Republicans are exploiting the impasse to impose deep cuts on public higher education.

Boston-area mass transit: Fare increases, service reductions and attacks on pensions

By John Marion, 22 March 2016

The governor-appointed board votes to increase fares, end late-night service, and prepares attacks on MBTA workers’ pensions behind the scenes.

Hundreds of millions in cuts on the horizon in Louisiana

By Tom Hall, 15 March 2016

Education and health care, two areas of spending not protected from cuts by the state’s constitution, have faced years of budget-slashing.

Louisiana legislators plan deep cuts to education, health care

By Tom Hall, 23 February 2016

A special session of the Louisiana state legislature convened on Sunday to close a $2.9 billion deficit.

Ruthless cuts in West Virginia public employee health care

By Clement Daly, 29 December 2015

A large budget shortfall in the state’s Public Employees Insurance Agency has prompted “draconian” cuts to the health care of more than 200,000 state workers and retirees.

Pennsylvania budget impasse nears possible resolution

By Douglas Lyons, 15 December 2015

The five-month-old deadlock has been used to withhold state and federal funds from nonprofit social service companies as well as public schools.

Pennsylvania budget impasse adversely affects social services, schools

By Douglas Lyons, 20 October 2015

With state funding cut back, some schools and non-profits have had to scale back or fully eliminate programs and lay off workers.

Pennsylvania Democrats call for elimination of pensions for new-hires

By Douglas Lyons, 9 September 2015

In the third month of a state budget impasse, Democrats are calling for new attacks on public employees.

Pennsylvania: Democrats move to cut state worker and teacher pensions

By Samuel Davidson, 25 August 2015

The governor’s proposal would place the highest paid newly hired teachers and state workers into a 401(k)-style pension agreement.

Pennsylvania budget stalemate in seventh week

By Samuel Davidson, 18 August 2015

The state's homeless shelters, food banks, and early childhood programs are starting to run out of money.

Michigan legislature defies popular vote against road tax hike

By Kathleen Martin, 23 July 2015

The state legislature is moving to enact regressive taxes to pay for the road construction efforts, in defiance of a popular vote in a referendum only two months ago.

Pennsylvania budget impasse threatens schools, social programs

By Douglas Lyons, 16 July 2015

Most social programs and the state’s 500 school districts have been operating on reduced funding for over 7 years and have used up any reserve they may have had.

Democrats, Republicans attack municipal pensions in Pennsylvania

By Douglas Lyons, 7 July 2015

Lawmakers are working to end, or significantly reduce, defined-benefit pension plans for all city and municipal workers.

Michigan cuts welfare payments for school truancy

By Kathleen Martin and Khara Sikhan, 29 June 2015

The law is one of a raft of vindictive measures throughout the country, which blames the poor for social ills caused by poverty in order to strip them of government assistance.

Pennsylvania government is preparing to destroy public pensions

By Douglas Lyons, 1 June 2015

Pennsylvania lawmakers have passed a comprehensive pension reform bill that will permanently end pensions for future workers and diminish the returns of current workers.

New York City public libraries face continued assault under de Blasio administration

By Robert Fowler, 27 May 2015

New York City’s three public library systems will see a continuation of budget cuts and the denial of necessary capital spending under Democratic Party mayor Bill de Blasio.

Public transportation in New Jersey faces service cuts and fare increases

By Philip Guelpa, 25 April 2015

The proposed service cuts and fare increases are a step towards eliminating unprofitable routes, with the ultimate aim of privatizing those that remain.

Drastic cuts to suburban Detroit school district

By Nancy Hanover and Jerry White, 18 April 2015

The suburban Detroit city of Hazel Park is laying off nearly a quarter of its school district staff and slashing the pay of the remaining teachers and support personnel.

Food stamp cuts hit Wisconsin poor

By George Gallanis and Marcus Day, 28 March 2015

Wisconsin’s most vulnerable residents are facing both steep reductions in monthly food aid and stricter eligibility requirements.

New York State budget proposals intensify attack on public education

By Philip Guelpa, 26 March 2015

The plan from Governor Cuomo and the state legislature continues the drive to dismantle public education through the expansion of charter schools and attacks on teachers.

Pennsylvania budget underfunds education, cuts taxes for the wealthy

By Samuel Davidson, 13 March 2015

Tax increases for the working class, including sales and income taxes, underwrite much of what is new in Democratic Governor Tom Wolf’s budget.

Illinois Democrats concoct pseudo-legal justification for cutting public employee pensions

By Alexander Fangmann, 9 February 2015

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan will argue before the state Supreme Court that Illinois is entitled to use its “police powers” to overturn the state constitution.

Maryland’s new Republican governor unveils austerity budget

By Trent Novak, 31 January 2015

In his first move since taking office last week, Maryland’s newly inaugurated governor, Republican Larry Hogan, unveiled an austerity budget aimed at eliminating a $750 million shortfall.

Seattle workers to be hit by transit fare increases, cuts to service

By Christine Schofelt, 3 October 2014

A proposed two-tier fare scheme in Seattle is an effort to distract from rising rates and cuts in public transit service.

King County, Washington, budget proposes layoffs and deep cuts to social services

By Richard Vargas, 3 October 2014

A 10 percent cut at the public health department will lead to clinic closures and discontinued services such as testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Pennsylvania budget: Layoffs, cuts to education and pensions

By Samuel Davidson, 30 June 2014

Governor Tom Corbett is demanding pensions be cut and liquor stores privatized as part of any budget deal.

Massive cuts to education, pensions and social services expected in Pennsylvania state budget

By Samuel Davidson, 9 June 2014

The state is facing a $1.3 to $1.5 billion deficit for the 2014-15 fiscal year that begins July 1.

Pennsylvania faces a $1 billion tax shortfall, setting stage for new budget cuts

By Samuel Davidson, 19 May 2014

In April, the state collected $495 million less in tax revenue than projected.

US sequester cuts gut scientific research

By Anthony Bertolt, 1 May 2014

Billions of dollars in sequester cuts to the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation will result in untold delays in life-saving medical and biological research.

Boston School Committee approves austerity budget

By John Marion, 31 March 2014

Teaching, paraprofessional and administrative jobs will be cut, while 7th and 8th graders are forced to ride public transportation to school.

Newark, New Jersey school official threatens to fire one third of district’s teachers

By Rory Dean and Sandy English, 20 March 2014

The layoffs are part of the drive to privatize public education in the state’s largest city.

State officials seek pension cuts in Pennsylvania

By Douglas Lyons, 14 March 2014

The governor and state legislators are seeking to cut pensions for hundreds of thousands of state employees and teachers covered by the two state pension systems.

Boston parents, students oppose public school budget cuts

By Kate Randall, 14 March 2014

Several hundred people turned out Wednesday for a public hearing to address the impact of cuts to the Boston Public Schools budget for fiscal year 2015.

New York governor proposes $4 million cut to public libraries

By Isabelle Belanger, 6 March 2014

The proposed cuts to libraries in New York State will leave funding well below where it was in 1998.

California governor pledges continued austerity in State of the State speech

By Dan Conway, 27 January 2014

Governor Brown signaled that nothing would be done to help the state’s workers.

Cutoff of jobless benefits caps year of attacks on US workers

By Andre Damon, 30 December 2013

The cutoff of jobless benefits for 1.3 million unemployed workers is the culmination of a year in which social programs have been slashed by tens of billions of dollars.

Inquiry gains momentum among workers

Detroiters denounce the widening social divide

By Tim Rivers, 23 December 2013

At a Chrysler plant and Detroit’s Eastern Market, workers denounced the looting of city pensions and the art museum, the mortgage swindle and the disappearance of well-paying jobs.

Budget deal intensifies attack on US workers

By Patrick Martin, 16 December 2013

The agreement between President Obama and Congress entails the cutoff of extended unemployment benefits and attacks the pensions of federal workers.

The US budget deal and the political conspiracy against the working class

By Andre Damon, 13 December 2013

This week’s bipartisan budget agreement represents yet another attack on working people in the US.

Thousands more New York City school bus workers face layoffs

By Philip Guelpa, 12 December 2013

With the opening of another 4,100 school bus routes for rebids and the closure of the largest school bus company, thousands more face layoffs, or wage and benefit cuts.

Nearly a quarter of Californians live in poverty, according to modified Census figures

By Dan Conway, 11 December 2013

New economic and sociological data reveal deteriorating social conditions for California’s working class.

Before Detroit bankruptcy Democratic Party-led task force demanded huge pension cuts

By Thomas Gaist, 11 December 2013

The 2012 “Report of the State Budget Crisis Task Force” makes the case for massive cuts to social benefits and social infrastructure.

US budget talks focus on entitlement cuts

By Patrick Martin, 9 December 2013

The talks have turned to discussions of a tradeoff in which cuts in entitlement programs such federal pensions would be substituted for cuts in discretionary spending.

Obama prepared to drop jobless benefits as part of budget deal

By Andre Damon and Barry Grey, 7 December 2013

The White House said Friday it would agree to a budget deal with the Republicans that excludes an extension of federal benefits for the long-term unemployed.

Cuts to federal food assistance hit Illinois workers

By our reporters, 13 November 2013

Two million people, or 16 percent of the Illinois population, are affected by the SNAP benefits cut.

Nearly one in five hit by food stamp cuts in Michigan

By Debra Watson and Mitch Marcus, 9 November 2013

Nearly one in five in Michigan, the 1.8 million people currently on food assistance, will see a substantial cut in their food stamp benefit this month.

Chicago mayor outlines class war budget

By Alexander Fangmann, 5 November 2013

Rahm Emanuel’s 2014 budget address to the city council outlined a series of job and benefit cuts.

As food stamp cuts set to begin

US budget conference committee meets to slash social spending

By Andre Damon, 1 November 2013

The bipartisan conference committee created as part of the deal to end October’s government shutdown met for the first time Wednesday.

Northern Virginia public schools face budget crisis, layoffs

By Leon Gutierrez, 31 October 2013

Cutbacks in the local school district are part of a broader attack being carried out by both Republicans and Democrats.

Philadelphia student dies from asthma attack after schools cut nursing staff

By Nick Barrickman, 22 October 2013

A Philadelphia student died September 25 from an asthma attack suffered at William C. Bryant Elementary School, which had no nurse on duty that day.

US budget deal sets stage for intensified assault on social programs

By Andre Damon and Barry Grey, 17 October 2013

The budget agreement passed by Congress Wednesday establishes the framework for a bipartisan deal to deepen cuts in social spending and initiate an historic attack on Social Security and Medicare.

Chicago mayor announces elimination of retiree health care subsidies

By Alexander Fangmann, 17 October 2013

Health insurance subsidies for 30,000 workers, as well as their spouses and dependents, will be phased out over three years.

Detroit emergency manager eliminates retiree health care benefits

By Jerry White, 16 October 2013

Nearly 20,000 retired municipal workers in Detroit will see their city-paid health benefits disappear as of January 1, 2014.

Amid government shutdown, Obama signals cuts to Social Security, Medicare

By Andre Damon, 9 October 2013

US President Barack Obama reassured congressional Republicans that he would agree to entitlement cuts if they vote to increase the government’s debt limit.

The real causes of the New York City Opera bankruptcy

By Fred Mazelis, 7 October 2013

Postmortem comments on the death of the New York City Opera ignore the fundamental issues raised by the collapse of the “people’s opera.”

Day three of US shutdown: Talks focus on cuts to Medicare and Social Security

By Andre Damon, 4 October 2013

There were more indications Thursday that the aim of both the Democrats and Republicans in negotiations to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling will focus on major cuts to entitlement programs.

San Jose, California moves to slash pensions

By David Brown, 30 September 2013

California’s third largest city is preparing to slash pensions for new-hires, current employees and retirees.

Detroit emergency manager to freeze city pensions

By Andre Damon, 28 September 2013

Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr announced a plan Thursday to freeze the city’s pension plans, wiping out benefits for thousands of workers.

The class issues in the US budget crisis

By Andre Damon, 27 September 2013

Behind the largely stage-managed facade of “partisan gridlock,” the Democratic and Republican Parties are united in attacking the social conditions and living standards of working people.

Washington, DC living wage bill fails after mayor’s veto

By Adam Soroka, 26 September 2013

Washington DC Council failed to override Democratic Mayor Vincent Gray’s veto of the Large Retailer Accountability Act.

California governor strikes deal with the Labor Department over transit pensions

By Gabriel Black, 23 September 2013

Governor Jerry Brown has orchestrated an emergency agreement with the federal government that will restore $1.6 billion in public transit grants that had been revoked due to a dispute over Brown’s 2012 pension reform.

Court ruling grants bankruptcy protection to California city

By Dan Conway, 31 August 2013

Bankruptcy protection in San Bernardino, California will allow the city to drastically cut payments to the state pension fund.

Workers speak out against New York hospital closures

By Dan Brennan, 28 August 2013

Angered by layoffs and health care cuts in New York neighborhoods, workers and patients denounce the spate of hospital closures.

Defunding threatens school libraries throughout US

By Isabelle Belanger, 24 August 2013

Steep budget cuts accompanied by the damaging impact of standardized testing are undermining funding for school libraries and professionally certified school librarians.

Food stamps to be cut for 1.8 million people in Pennsylvania

By Samuel Davidson, 17 August 2013

Some 1.8 million people in Pennsylvania will have their food stamps cut in November. Another 110,000 families have been denied benefits since an asset test was started in 2012.

UAW head calls for restructuring Detroit on the model of the auto industry

By Shannon Jones, 15 August 2013

In the wake of the Detroit bankruptcy filing, the UAW is calling for sacrifices to be imposed on workers in line with the 2009 forced bankruptcy and restructuring of the auto industry.