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States shy away from borrowing

Marketplace Staff Nov 3, 2009
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States shy away from borrowing

Marketplace Staff Nov 3, 2009
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TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: There are other kinds of elections across the country today, as voters decide on state ballot initiatives. With states short on cash, you might think initiatives that involve borrowing money would be popular. Not so, as Marketplace’s Nancy Marshall Genzer explains.


Nancy Marshall Genzer: Voters in just three states will be casting ballots on bond measures, which allow states to borrow money.

Jennie Drage-Bowser analyzes elections for the National Conference of State Legislatures. She says states are only asking for about $670 million this year.

JENNIE DRAGE-BOWSER: This is the second smallest, total amount of bonding ever to appear on the ballot.

Drage-Bowser says states are hesitant to take on more debt right now. And some are getting federal stimulus money for construction projects.

DRAGE-BOWSER: A lot of times bond measures are targeted at those infrastructure projects, and that is where the federal stimulus money is having a big impact this year.

Ohio voters aren’t being asked to approve borrowing. They’re voting on casino gambling.

William Thompson teaches public administration at the University of Nevada. He says gambling supporters are using this line.

WILLIAM THOMPSON: The state needs tax money and if they don’t do this, they’ll tax people in other ways.”

Ohio voters have rejected casino gambling four times since 1990.

In Washington, I’m Nancy Marshall Genzer for Marketplace.

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