Dems Pledge State Help

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

The economic stimulus package unveiled by U.S. House Democrats Monday includes $31 billion in aid to Mississippi and other states.

The money would be earmarked for projects like highway construction, airport security and funding for Medicaid.

That's three times the $10 billion in assistance that President Bush is expected to include in the jobs and growth package he will unveil Tuesday. But both proposals acknowledge the clamor from states for immediate help weathering their current fiscal crises.

States depend on federal funding for public schools, law enforcement, universities, highway departments and for grants.

Here in Mississippi, the Legislature has faced budget shortfalls for three consecutive years. And when it convenes Tuesday, state lawmakers will face some tough decisions, like where to find the money to pay the state's share of Medicaid costs.

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