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Passing the buck: Local governments’ worst budget fears  (access required)

Local government is usually the last place the Legislature looks to find extra money, but the state budget deficit has forced lawmakers to take desperate steps. This year and last, cities and counties have been forced to pay bills that historically have been the state's responsibility. During the past year, lawmakers have taken money that was intended to pay for local services, limited cities' ability to collect fees, and hoisted new burdens onto the shoulders of city officials who are trying to overcome the same economic conditions that ravaged two consecutive state budgets.

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