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MuniNet Medley: 2/8/12 - Harrisburg, Port Authority of NY & NJ, Texas Metros, School Finance

February 8, 2012 · Print · Email

Harrisburg’s on-again, off-again bankruptcy returns to the headlines ... On Monday, state-appointed receiver David Unkovic released a proposed recovery plan, stating that “significant and difficult steps lie ahead” for the city, and that filing for bankruptcy protection could be in Harrisburg’s future if a consensual plan is not approved.  Harrisburg’s bankruptcy petition, filed on October 12, 2011, was rejected by a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge in late November due to questions over the legality of the filing by Harrisburg’s City Council ... 

... “This historic record of failure must be reversed,” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said in a joint statement responding to the Phase I Interim Consultant’s Report on the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The report’s executive summary describes the Authority as “challenged and dysfunctional” – not to mention poorly managed.  The two governors are calling for wide-ranging reform in order to restore the agency to “a responsible, highly transparent, well-managed organization.” 

... Only 13 of the nation’s 100 largest metro areas have bounced back from the recession, according to a recent BusinessJournals.com article.    Based on a comparison of jobs data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics between 2006 and 2011, Houston fared best, with a net gain of almost 110,000 jobs over the five-year period.  Three of the other top five metro areas showing positive job growth are also located in Texas:  Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, and San Antonio ...

... Texas metros also topped the list of Milken Institute’s Best-Performing Cities 2011.  Four of the top five best-performing metros in the Milken study are in Texas, with San Antonio earning the number one spot in the rankings ...

... A survey of state education officials The Center on Education Policy reveals a brighter outlook for state funding for K-12 education in fiscal 2012, although that optimism is tempered by the fact that even if fiscal situation improves, many states will still be strapped for funds, and operating in “catch-up” mode, according to the CEP report, entitled After the Stimulus Money Ends: The Status of State K-12 Education Funding and Reforms.

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