Posted: Feb 21, 2010 7:03 AM by Associated Press
The nation's governors are on the recession's front lines and they're struggling to chart the road ahead. Their states are staggering from unrelenting joblessness and cut-to-the-bone budgets even as Washington reports signs of economic growth.
Republican Jim Douglas of Vermont, chairman of the National Governors Association, says "The worst probably is yet to come." Speaking at the association's winter meeting, Douglas called the situation "fairly poor" in most states.
According to the governors, states face budget holes totaling $134 billion over the next three years as tax collections decline, Medicaid costs soar and high unemployment persists.
There seems to be unanimous agreement that job creation is the key to recovery. Republican Chris Christie of New Jersey says "Our folks want to get back to work." Democrat Martin O'Malley of Maryland adds: "It's the only way that we're going to get out of this recession."