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Steve Chiotakis: President-elect Obama continues his transition. He announced his national security team yesterday. Today, he’ll be speaking to the National Governors Association in Philadelphia. Governors say they want one thing: Money. And Marketplace’s Steve Henn says they want it fast.
Steve Henn: They need help extending unemployment insurance and paying for the state share of Medicaid. State and local leaders are also hoping any big stimulus plan will include billions for new construction projects.
Joe Hackney is the speaker of North Carolina’s state house and president of the National Conference of State Legislators:
Joe Hackney: We have projects ready to go all across the country for infrastructure.
The U.S. conference of mayors already identified $90 billion in projects just waiting for funding. But right now, Hackney says state and local government are being forced to trim spending instead.
Hackney: So far the cuts have amounted to over $50 billion across state governments.
Most state aren’t permitted to run a budget deficit, so when their economies slow they have to lay off workers or raise taxes to balance the books. Hackney says without federal help, state budget problems could make this bad economy even worse.
In Washington, I’m Steve Henn for Marketplace.
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