The momentum on soda tax legislation has fizzled out.  Only Washington and Colorado were successful in passing soda tax legislation this year.   Efforts in Mississippi, New Mexico and New York were defeated by lobbying efforts by the beverage industry, according to Stateline.

Just this month, some states have been trying to fill budget gaps during very tense budget decision making – but do some of their methods come at the expense of nonprofits?  The National Council of Nonprofits and the Association of Fundraising Professionals seem to think so.

States continue to eye national economic signals warily as they recover from the extraordinary rigors of the Great Recession—the longest, deepest, broadest and most severe economic crisis since the Great Depression. Given the up and down nature of the recovery, some have speculated the U.S. economy could face the possibility of a dreaded “double dip” recession, a recession that’s followed by a short recovery and then another recession.

As the U.S. moves toward a national broadband map, several states are undertaking mapping projects thanks to grants from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. A national map will help states determine where broadband Internet actually exists and where it doesn’t, helping to expand access to areas that currently lack it.

Ezra Klein of the Washington Post asks this question:  "Did the stimulus a) work; b) fail; c) end up locked in an unexpected battle with the massive anti-stimulus that's ripped through the states?"

The interest in taxing soda on a state level has rebounded in recent months. While only 14 states levy a sales tax on food for home consumption, 39 states and Washington, D.C., impose a sales tax on at least some soda purchases. In some of these states, the tax is simply part of the sales tax that applies to food; in others, it is a separate or higher tax.

Unemployment rates remain high and people are unemployed for longer, exhausting state unemployment trust funds quickly.  More states are borrowing from the federal government to cover costs, which could have an impact on future fiscal stability.

Worst case scenarios abound if Congress fails to extend for another six months the enhanced Medicaid match begun by the 2009 stimulus. CSG’s recent survey found that over half the states have already counted on the extension, from January 1 until June 30, 2011, in their budget deliberations for FY 2011. The Senate appears poised to put the extension back in the so-called “tax extender” bill next week.

Contrary to the claims of many pundits, voter initiatives have not constrained the California budget to the extent that fiscal crises are inevitable. I reach this conclusion by examining each of the 111 successful initiatives in the state’s history. For the 2009-2010 budget cycle, voter initiatives locked in about 33 percent of spending, most of which probably would have been appropriated even if not required, and placed no significant prohibitions on the two primary sources of state revenue—income and sales taxes.

States and municipalities borrow hundreds of billions of dollars every year through the bond market. In 2008-09, upheaval in U.S. financial markets changed the way governments could borrow money to finance infrastructure building and other activities. State treasurers and other officials responded by changing how they market and package their bonds in order to keep funds flowing to vital projects.

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