Governors Show Little Appetite for Second Stimulus

Following up on this recent post, there doesn’t appear to be much appetite at the National Governors Association meeting for a second stimulus, according to this News Journal piece today by Ginger Gibson:

A bipartisan group of governors said that the federal stimulus package helped states avoid deep budget cuts during the recession. But some at the National Governors Association convention in Biloxi, Miss., said they’re not pushing for another infusion of cash from Washington.

[Deleware] Gov. Jack Markell agrees with his fellow executive officers. “I don’t think there is a big appetite for another stimulus round,” Markell said Sunday from Biloxi. “I think we’ve got to do everything we can in our states, especially in Delaware, to turn the economy around.”[…]

Republican Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi agreed there’s no need for Congress to consider more aid to states anytime soon. Most of the stimulus money disappears by December 2012.

“We’re up on a very high peak that we’re going to have to get down off of when the stimulus money runs out,” Barbour said, noting that Mississippi has its largest budget ever because of the federal funds.

Republican Gov. Jim Douglas of Vermont said state leaders would have liked fewer rules about how to spend the first batch of federal money, much of which was directed to Medicaid and education.

“Governors always want more flexibility because priorities are different from state to state,” Douglas said.

West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin said lagging revenues prompted states to collectively cut budgets by $31.6 billion for the fiscal year recently concluded. That translated into a 2.2 percent decline in spending from the previous year.

Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico said he believes it will take two years for states to see the full impact of the federal spending.

“I’m worried about the deficit and I think we’ve got to be careful about another stimulus package right now because I think the first stimulus package is working,” Richardson said. “I think we should let it run its course.”