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States and the Stimulus45:40
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Construction crews work on the new I-40 Crosstown Bridge in Oklahoma City on Feb. 5, 2009. (AP)
Construction crews work on the new I-40 Crosstown Bridge in Oklahoma City on Feb. 5, 2009. (AP)

As President Obama signs the $787 billion stimulus package into law today, cash-starved state capitals are first in line for the help.

States around the nation face staggering deficits. California alone is looking at a $40 billion shortfall. And unlike Washington, states can’t spend money they don’t have.

The stimulus cash slated for statehouses is no chump change, but it’s a lot less than governors and economists say is needed to stop a wave of layoffs, deep cuts in services, even tax hikes. Or to jumpstart an economic recovery.

This hour, On Point: We're looking at the states and the stimulus.

You can join the conversation. What does the situation look like in your state? Where do you want the money to go?Guests:

Joining us from Sacramento, Calif., is Evan Halper, Sacramento bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times. Today's Times reports on the California budget crisis and the threat of massive state layoffs.

From Washington, DC, we're joined by Scott Pattison, executive director of the National Association of State Budget Officers and former budget officer for the state of Virginia.

From Madison, Wisconsin, we're joined by Governor Jim Doyle. A Democrat, he has been governor since 2003.

Also from Madison is Menzie Chinn, professor of public affairs and economics at the University of Wisconsin.

This program aired on February 17, 2009.

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