The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 20, 2001 · Page 3
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 3

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Friday, April 20, 2001
Page 3
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THE SALINA JOURNAL NATION FRIDAY. APRIL 20. 2001 A3 T ECONOMY Tax shortages hit states first states, cities face budget cuts as tax f revenues falter , By ROBERT TANNER TIte Associated Press States struggle with budget woes Faced with lower tax revenues and rising costs for health care and other programs, many states are tightening their belts and tapping surplus money. 1" 11 ( I • I- •t Signs of the times: Saginaw, Micli., wants the YMCA to take over city recreation programs. Iowa lays off 600 state workers. Huntington, W.Va., thinks it can save money by living with flat tires. As the U.S. economy falters, more states and cities are revisiting their budgets to cut spending, scale back plans or just try to keep up with their rapidly changing finances. At least 15 states have cut their budgets to make it to the end of the fiscal year in June. And eight states, acknowledging the bad economic weather, ,'are dipping into "rainy day" funds to pay salaries and keep programs running. "Those of us who've been around for a while learned when you see this coming, you better grab it by the neck and make your cuts," said Ohio Senate President Dick Finan, a 29-year veteran of the statehouse. "You can't wait until the economy turns around." > Ohio's weakening economy •has spurred two rounds of budget cuts in the past four months. At the same time, lawmakers are struggling with an Ohio T PARENTING States that have cut budgets States that are spending or plan to spend rainy day funds SOURCES: National Conference of State Legislatures: compiled from AP wire reports AP Supreme Court ruling from last year that ordered the state to increase public school spending. Several cities — even those not yet suffering — are preparing for rougher times. New York City's Mayor Rudy Giuliani, though projecting more than $2 billion in surpluses, ordered agencies to prepare possible cuts of up to $500 million. Others struggling include Hartford, Conn., which must cover a $30 million gap in next year's budget; Huntington, W.Va., with $2 million in un­ paid bills; and Saginaw, Mich., with a $1.8 million deficit. "We've gotten a lot smaller, a lot poorer," said Bill Bailey, a Saginaw spokesman who said the city could save $100,000 if the YMCA takes over recreation. "If we can find better, cheaper, faster ways to deliver services, we're doing it." Still, the budget blues haven't hit everyone. The National League of Cities found most officials still were optimistic about the economy when polled for a new survey fin­ ished last week. Only about one-sixth of 348 cities reported they had cut spending by March; one-sixth also reported they reduced their revenue expectations. Three out of four, however, expected their economic outlook to stay the same or get better. That same patchwork of good news and bad crosses the nation. Some states, especially in the South and Midwest, have been suffering for months. Others are still doing relatively well, such as New York, California and much of New England. But the rapidly changing financial landscape has government officials and observers alike scrambling to see where, and how quickly, the pain is spreading. The National Conference of State Legislatures, which in late December found a slowing but still strong situation nationally, saw the need to revisit state finances just two months later. Financial turmoil was the inspiration for the city league's special midyear survey too. "It looks like this is becoming more widespread than we originally believed," said Corina Eckl, who tracks state finances for NCSL. The group's first survey in December found 44 states confident their revenue projections were solid. Returning two months later, only 31 states remained confident. • MIDWEST FLOODING Mississippi flooding pushes downstream Wisconsin calls in National Guard to aid in sandbagging By The Associated Press PRAIRIE DU CHIEN, Wis. — Flooding on the swollen Mississippi River pushed downstream Thursday, inundating basements and streets as workers and residents rushed to shore up dikes and build sandbag levees. In Wisconsin, Gov Scott McCallum called in the National Guard to help distribute 20,000 sandbags Thursday as emergency crews fought the rising river in Crawford County "Our people that we've had out there sandbagging and trucking — they're starting to get tired," county assistant emergency management director Gary Knickerbocker said. "So, hopefully they'll be able to get some rest." The river climbed to 23.49 feet Thursday at Prairie du Chien, flooding the business district, and was expected to crest today at 23.8 feet. National Weather Service meteorologist Dan Jones said. In 1965, the river topped out at a record 25.4 feet. From her front porch, Lois Pucket surveyed flooded Main Street. Water lapped against her front steps, and the two- story home was surrounded by water on three sides. More than 300 sandbags were hold-_ ing back the flood. "I just hope it crests when they say it's going to crest," she said. People in La Crosse, about 60 miles north of Prairie du Chien, were bracing themselves for rain predicted Thursday night, county emergency management director Al Spaulding said. The Mississippi crested Wednesday at 16.41 feet at La Crosse, but dropped to 16.24 feet by Thursday Spaulding said. "The flood is by no means over, even though we reached this crest. We could get this rain and get a new crest — even higher," Spaulding said. Amtrak said its passenger route between Chicago and Minneapolis remained closed by high water Thursday. Further upstream, in St. Paul, Minn., the Mississippi crested Thursday at 23.4 feet — almost 10 feet above flood stage. Child-care kids more aggressive Experts caution that parents shouldn't rush to keep kids at home By DAVID CRARY The Associated Press I NEW YORK — For parents I struggling to juggle work and ! child-raising, the news com- J pounded their daily dilemmas: i A comprehensive study found i that children who spend many I hours in child care are more likely be aggressive and defiant. p' But a researcher involved in ». the study and other child-care {'experts Thursday urged par- J ents not to overreact. They sug- ; gested the best response would ; be a nationwide push for im' proved child-care options. ' Some parents said they don't * have the luxury of changing J their lives anyway, regardless t of what the experts say Child J care is their only option if they I want to make ends meet. * "This will tap right into par­ ti ents' guilt — it will feed the apt ,'|)etite of those who think child care is a bad idea in the first place," said Faith Wohl, president of the New York-based I Child Care Action Campaign. George Wiggins, a firefighter \ in the Louisville, Ky, suburb of t St. Matthews, has sent his 3* year-old daughter to child care > for two years while his wife at•<. tends college. There's no other I choice, and his daughter is do' ing fairly well, he said. "I'd certainly rather be able ;„to stay with her during the day "but it comes down to what you "can afford," Wiggins said. 1' The 10-year, lO-city research ^project, financed by a branch of 'the National Institutes of Health, is the largest, long- term study of American child care ever conducted. Some of the findings should hearten parents who rely on .child care: Researchers found ijchildren in high-quality pro'„grams scored better on lan- jguage and thinking tests than aiiose who stayed home. I But researchers also found children spending more than 30 hours a week in child care were almost three times as likely to exhibit aggression, disobedience and defiance as those in child care less than 10 hours a week. " Margaret Burchinal, a Uni- lyersity of North Carolina researcher who oversaw the sta- Jtistical side of the study said "Child care is a reality, and millions of families need to use it. The challenge is how to make it the best we can." Gina Adams Urban Institute of Washington director of child care she was concerned news reports of the study might cause unwarranted parental concerns. "As a working mother, I was distressed," she said. Children in child care aren't turning into monsters, she said. The aggressive behaviors displayed by children in the study "were typical of what you'd expect from a normal 4-year-old," she said. "We're not seeing that child care produces super-aggressive kids." For some parents, the study's findings were no surprise. "To be honest, I actually agree with it," said Cheryl Sullivan of Minneapolis. She recently left her retail job to give birth to a second child and sends her 3-year-old son to a child-care program twice a week. "The kids who are there five days a week, they're much more attention-getting, screaming and running around," she said. "They're apt to be the pushers and hitters." Another Minneapolis mother, Rene Myers, used to provide at-home child care to eight other children in addition to her own children. Worried her children were getting shortchanged, she has cut back to caring for only one other child even though it meant a loss of income. "The best place for any child is at home with his mother," Myers said. "Mothers should take a harder look at whether they really need the extra income from a job. They want to believe they can do it all, but that's unrealistic." "Child care is a reality, and millions of families need to use it," said Gina Adams, director of child care for the Urban Institute in Washington. "The challenge is how to make it the best we can." r Katherine's Collection 3RD STREET FLOWERS 785-263-0440 105 N.W. 3rd / Abilene •smmssssB Two For Two For "THE COBRA" HANDLE WALL SAVER» '^l Enjoy Wall Saver® convenience with smart traditional styling. In a carefree fabric with big button-tufted pillow back and extra-thick pillow seat. "PHANTOM" HIDE-A-CHAISE ROCKER RECLINER Traditional comfort never look so good.The button-tufted back and pillow padded arms provide the perfect combination of comfort and style. TWO For ON SELECTED STYLES ONLY TWO For "GANGBUSTER" HIDE-A-CHAISE ROCKER RECLINER This Hide-A-Chaise recliner is coming-out with a BANG! Featuring a deeply padded back with sheer stitching, large pillow arms and a thick box seat. So take a load off and let the "Gangbuster" do the rest. Two For "BLASTER" CHAISE ROCKER RECLINER This chair has it all. Chic channel-stitching on the back and seat, luxurious padded back with roll seat and cushioned arms. "ICEBREAKER" CHAISE ROCKER RECLINER This recliner features a channel-stitched padded bustleback, soft pillow top arms and a padded ottoman for you to stretch out in comfort. Jilka Furniture kaaiiwOoTd.] Men. - Fri. 9-5:30 Sat. 9-5 To order call: 785-827-7171 132 S. 5th • Salina • 131 S. Santa Fe

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