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When the well runs dry

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By Ralph Damiani

Last week the nation’s governors met in Biloxi, Miss., for the National Governors Association’s summer convention.

And guess what? They all said they were broke.

Surprise, surprise.

And a message they sent loud and clear is that the states cannot afford to pick up any extra expenses.

There has been some talk in Congress that the states should be forced to make up some of the expenses that the feds are now paying, from health care to national security.

But Democrats and Republicans alike at the convention said state budgets are already strained by recession.

Governors meet semi-annually to seek bipartisan consensus on issues affecting states. And while only 25 governors attended the weekend meeting – as some stayed home to tackle budgets – the message was clear: We are broke.

Several governors joined in the call to have Congress revise requirements for this fall for secure driver’s licenses that are intended to help boost national security. The governors said federal mandates for the licenses are too expensive, and 13 states have voted not to participate in the Real ID Act passed after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.


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