BOSTON — Governors hamstrung by the sluggish economic rebound in their states and bound to balance their own budgets are pressing anew for Washington to step up with more help, some say even if it means adding to the nation’s red ink.
Republicans and Democrats alike wrestled with how to capitalize on a fledgling rebound as they talked dollars and sense at their summer meeting just days into a new state budget year and as the economy shapes dozens of gubernatorial races across the country.
“All states still are facing tough fiscal situations even though I do believe we’re in recovery,” said West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, a Democrat who’s taking over as chairman of the National Governors Association.
Added Gov. Jim Douglas, R-Vt., the outgoing chairman: “Governors have done what is necessary to get through this” – repeatedly cutting budgets, restructuring government, laying off workers and draining rainy day funds.
But both men said states can’t continue to climb out of the recession alone, and the NGA renewed its bipartisan appeal for Congress to pass stalled jobs legislation that includes billions of dollars in aid to states.