Stop Worrying About Budget Deficits

COMMENTARY | Red ink isn’t a problem as long as the country is spending on the right things.

Seeking To Boost Savings and Safety, One State Eliminates Paper Tax Forms

Missouri will stop printing paper taxes forms and encourage residents to file electronically, which a spokeswoman said most taxpayers already do.

McConnell: State and Local Aid Should Be Left Out of Near-Term Virus Relief Deal

The Senate majority leader recommended passing a package with programs that Democrats and Republicans can agree on, while the Trump administration offered its own proposal.

In November, Men Dropped Out of the Workforce at Higher Rates than Women

November was the first time in what has been dubbed the first female recession that men suffered greater losses than women. About 347,000 left the labor force.

States Overpaid Millions in Unemployment and Now Demand People Pay It Back

States rushed to get unemployment benefits approved when the pandemic struck. Reviews are now identifying millions of dollars in overpayments that they want workers to repay.

12 Million People to Lose Unemployment Benefits This Month When Federal Programs Expire

Federal safety net programs that have provided additional unemployment benefits for workers who lost their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic are set to end.

A City Looks to Incorporate More, and More Diverse, Input Into Its Budget Process

Philadelphia this week announced a participatory budgeting program for a $1 million pot of money, as well as other initiatives geared toward reducing racial inequities with city spending.

The Morality of Canceling Student Debt

COMMENTARY | High rates of college debt and delinquency undermine both the physical and mental health of young adults.

Lawmakers Propose $908 Billion Covid Relief Plan in Bid to End Gridlock

A bipartisan group of senators and House members discussed their proposal Tuesday, but congressional leaders suggested they would be moving ahead with their own plans.

America Failed at Covid-19, but the Economy’s Okay. Why?

COMMENTARY | The U.S. entered the coronavirus recession with a few structural advantages. Its success may not last for long.

Governors Announce Small Business Aid Alongside Restrictions

States hope the money will help businesses survive public health orders.

Three Alternatives to the Usual Strategies for Collecting Fines and Fees

A report from the Fines and Fees Justice Center lays out alternatives for cities looking to make collection practices more equitable and efficient.

Two-Decade Push to Build a Grocery in a Food Desert Finally Pays Off

A mix of public and private support has come together to make the project in northeast Oklahoma City possible.

County Leaders Urge Bipartisan Deal on Federal Covid Relief

“We continue to see too much politicization of a public health care crisis,” said Mark Poloncarz, the Democrat county executive of Erie County, New York, describing the logjam that has prevented additional funding for state and local governments.

States Need Federal Money to Do the Right Thing

COMMENTARY | Bailing out bars and restaurants would allow them to remain closed—and curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Feds Shoot Down Pennsylvania Plan to Funnel Virus Relief Money to School Districts

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | D.C. transit agency looking at buyouts to avoid 1,400 layoffs … Missouri state Senate postpones session because of Covid outbreak among members … Texas AG controversy continues with whistleblower lawsuit.

States Go After Small Businesses on Amazon—and Sometimes Amazon—for Millions in Back Sales Taxes

The Supreme Court in 2018 gave states the power to make new rules for collecting sales taxes online. But back taxes on products sold by small businesses on Amazon’s marketplace are still a major point of dispute.

Manufacturing Rallies as Tourism, Energy Lag

Consumers spent money on cars and recreational equipment.

San Francisco Voters Approve ‘Overpaid Executive Tax’

The surcharge will apply to businesses where top executives earn more than 100 times the median pay level for a company’s employees in the city.

Women Gained Back Jobs in October, But Slowly

The unemployment rate for women fell to 6.5 percent, but it remains in high single digits for Black and Latina women.