Capitol Research

Rural states should prepare to have fewer federal dollars in their economies.  The Obama administration has proposed cuts in USDA funding and Congress has announced a ban on earmarks, which have historically been a boon to some rural areas.

While gas taxes as currently enacted in many states have significant limitations, they are still seen by many as the most viable option for raising substantial transportation revenue in the near term. Though increasing motor fuel taxes to raise additional revenue has proved to be politically challenging in many states in recent years, a handful of states in 2011 have considered, are considering or may soon consider gas tax changes. 

Approximately 40 million Americans received monthly food stamp benefits in 2010, up from about 26 million in 2007. Increased unemployment during the recession was a major contributing factor to the growth in the number of Americans depending upon SNAP. 

Unemployment rates remain high and many people have been without work for extremely long periods of time, 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.

Expanded insurance coverage of effective prevention services is a cornerstone of heath reform in private insurance as well as Medicare and Medicaid. Many older Americans are not receiving preventive services, even those who see their doctor regularly. Research demonstrates preventive services not only prevent disease and improve quality of life, but they also are critical to healthy living and independence, lowering the costs of care in the long run.