CSG DC

Since the Super Committee failed to produce legislation to reduce the deficit, smaller yet extremely important issues have resurfaced in Congress. On Tuesday, Rep. Greg Walden introduced the Jumpstarting Opportunity through Broadband Spectrum, or JOBS, Act. The bill seems to be on the fast track to approval in the U.S. House, as this Thursday, the Committee on Energy and Commerce will take up the bill.

Now that the requiem has been written for the Super Committee, the question for states is what does “sequestration” mean for state budgets. The bottom line is that the collapse of Washington’s latest effort to set the federal budget on sound fiscal footing is a mixed bag for the states. Medicaid represents the center of gravity of the state-federal fiscal relationship, and the Super Committee’s failure to reach a compromise has spared the program from near-term cuts. However, the nearly $190 billion in “discretionary” pass-through grants received by state and local governments are squarely in the crosshairs of the sequestration process.

Now that the requiem has been written for the Super Committee the question is what does “sequestration” mean for state budgets.    The bottom line is that the collapse of Washington’s latest effort to set the federal budget on sound fiscal footing is a mixed bag for the states.   Medicaid represents the center of gravity of the state-federal fiscal relationship, and the Super Committee’s failure to reach a compromise has spared the program from near term cuts.  However, the nearly $190 billion in “discretionary” pass through grants received by state and local governments are squarely in the cross hairs of the sequestration process.

The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday that it will decide whether President Barack Obama’s landmark legislation, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, is constitutional. The decision comes after 28 states filed lawsuits regarding certain provisions of the law. The case, Florida et al v. United States Department of Health and Human Services, was filed in March 2010 by Florida and 25 additional states joined the suit.

The Council of State Governments Justice Center held a staff briefing on Capitol Hill Oct. 11 on the Justice Reinvestment Initiatives in Ohio and North Carolina.

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton and Rep. W. David Guice, chairman of the North Carolina House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Justice and Public Safety, detailed how data-driven justice reinvestment processes led to the passage of landmark legislation in the two states. The briefing was cosponsored by the Pew Center on the States.

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