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Pritzker budget to boost education, use marijuana money, freeze income tax

“It includes borrowing money, deferring scheduled payments, transferring assets and using money from a not-yet-approved graduated income tax” writes Tina Sfondeles for suntimes.com. J.B. Pritzker plans to pitch an “austere” spending blueprint with no increase in the state income tax rate, a bump in education funding and revenue from business licenses to sell recreational marijuana.Educational advocates have long said that the state must work its way closer to funding public schools at the 50 percent mark. And that’s why it’s not in our budget today but I will be asking…

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Was it worth it? Many suffered in Trump’s wall budget loss

“Unpaid federal employees recalled so they can pay federal contractors” writes Columnist Focusing On for washingtonpost.com. Was President Trump’s 35-day shutdown and the menace of another three weeks of dispute worth more than a month without pay for 800,000 federal employees?. Federal employees are getting back pay, though agencies have been slow in fully paying some staffers all they are owed. Source: washingtonpost.com

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Trump signals national emergency is on his mind as budget talks stall

“But declaring a national emergency would almost certainly invite a legal challenge, and even some Republicans are opposed to Trump taking such action, as they fear the precedent it would set” reports washingtonexaminer.com. President Trump signaled Sunday that declaring a national emergency to circumvent Congress and build a southern border wall remains an option for him after bipartisan budget negotiations to reach a border security deal came to a halt. “’President is on sound legal ground to declare a National Emergency.The stalemate has threatened to stop congressional negotiators from reaching…

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The one-day, $1 billion California budget gimmick that has lasted for almost a decade

“But for the trick to never actually cost the state money, officials had to keep using it” writes John Myers for latimes.com. And so they did: Every year, that month of payroll costs is moved from the final day of one fiscal year to the first day of the next. To do differently would mean that the money would again be considered an extra expense, one likely to be paid by reducing costs somewhere else. Source: latimes.com

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Ministers ‘keen to kill off’ HS2 as costs spiral 

“Ministers are now “actively considering” scrapping High Speed 2, amid growing concern that its budget could spiral out of control, according to a new documentary” writes Tom Welsh for telegraph.co.uk. Senior government sources have claimed that ministers were “increasingly minded to kill off” plans for the £56 billion rail line and divert its budget to existing commuter routes. Source: telegraph.co.uk

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New York State Considers a Tax on All Internet Sales Following Projected Budget Shortfall

“Newsday reports that New York governor Cuomo has proposed expanding sales tax to all internet purchases (it’s not clear whether this will include ebooks and other digital content sales, which are currently exempt)” writes Disgusting Dude for the-digital-reader.com. Speaking of which, the Amazon tax break may never come to pass.Cuomo proposes requiring all companies that sell products over the internet to collect state and local sales tax — about 7 percent in much of the state — which he said would result in $250 million in tax revenue to the…

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Catalan separatists threaten to derail Spain’s budget which could lead to new elections

“Catalan separatist parties are threatening to upend the Spanish government’s 2019 budget proposal, a move that could potentially prompt snap elections in the country” writes Holly Ellyatt for cnbc.com. Crucially, February 12 is the last day that pro-independence parties can withdraw their amendments to the draft budget.Catalan pro-independence parties — the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) and the Catalan European Democratic Party (PDeCAT) — said Monday that they would file parliamentary amendments opposing the government’s 2019 budget proposal unless Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez made concessions on the thorny subject…

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Germany facing big budget hole as economy slows: finance ministry document

“The ministry document, prepared for Finance Minister Olaf Scholz to present to cabinet colleagues, pointed to annual budget shortfalls of 5 billion euros through to and including 2022” reports businessinsider.com. The document highlighted further risks for the budget, including costs related to exiting coal power.The prospect of budget deficits represents a dramatic deterioration in the finances of Europe’s biggest economy, which reported a budget surplus for the federal government of some 11 billion euros last year. Source: businessinsider.com

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