State spending, federal aid make for a shaky partnership

By   /  April 16, 2014  /  Affordable Care Act, Legislature, Medicaid, Mississippi, News, public sector, State House, State Politics, State Senate, Stimulus  /  No Comments

FLYING HIGH: Mississippi's state budget has the highest percentage of federal funds by any state, according to a recent report. PHOTO BY: CREATIVE COMMONS

There are two trend lines in Mississippi’s budgets from year to year. One is the ever-increasing amount of money the state government spends. The other is the percentage of the state’s revenues that come from the federal government that keeps going up.

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Raid and shoot: This ain’t your grandpa’s PD

By   /  April 15, 2014  /  law enforcement, Local Government, National, New Mexico, News, Public Safety  /  No Comments

SHOCK AND AWE: The Hobbs, N.M., Police Department is looking for a few bad asses to join their ranks.

By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog
SANTA FE, N.M. — It’s a commercial that’s been playing across New Mexico for weeks now: A 30-second spot encouraging people to apply to the Hobbs Police Department, offering high pay and good benefits.
But the images in the commercial — of  cops shooting guns, helmeted officers bursting into a home, an [...]

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Mississippi education spending goes up while student performance flatlines

By   /  April 14, 2014  /  Budget, Education, Mississippi, State House, State Politics  /  No Comments

PHOTO BY: Cato Institute

While funding for K-12 education in Mississippi has increased over the last 40 years, student performance has flat-lined, according to a Cato Institute study.

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Virginia dodges reporting responsibilities with business tax credits

By   /  April 11, 2014  /  News, State Government, Taxes, Virginia  /  No Comments

TAX CREDITS: Numbered nearly $630 million in Missouri last fiscal year. As some lawmakers want to reduce them, others are trying to create new ones.

Virginia’s failure to report how much it doles out in tax credits to each company through the Major Business Facility Job Tax Credit is dragging down the state’s overall spending transparency score. That isn’t likely to change anytime soon though. Tax credits aren’t technically spending, per se — even though that tax revenue has to be made up somewhere, either through more taxes or spending cuts.

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Study: No connection between spending, student outcomes

By   /  April 7, 2014  /  Education, New Mexico, News, school choice  /  No Comments

EXPENSIVE TREND: A CATO Institute study shows no correlation between public school spending and student achievement.

By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog
SANTA FE, N.M.  – For decades, it’s probably the most troublesome question facing education: Why are results for U.S. public school students so mediocre, despite the billions of taxpayer dollars spent?
Andrew Coulson thinks he’s got the answer: Because there is no discernible correlation between spending and outcomes.
“The takeaway from this study is that what we’ve done over the past [...]

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