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Dire States

State budgets in crisis. Out of money. Running out of time. Painful cuts ahead. Maybe tax hikes. We’ll check-in around the country.

Rally protests budget cuts at the Illinois State Capitol, Springfield, Ill., April, 2010. (AP)

Rally protests budget cuts at the Illinois State Capitol, Springfield, Ill., April, 2010. (AP)

Across this land, cities, towns and states are wrapping up their fiscal years and trying to nail down budgets for 2011.

And it’s an ugly time in state houses and city halls in Albany, Trenton, Raleigh, Sacramento, Phoenix and more.

Huge budget shortfalls in forty-six states. Federal stimulus money is drying up at the worst possible time. That means closed libraries, fewer teachers, firemen and cops. Most of the fat was trimmed long ago. Now, the real meat of good government is on the chopping block.

This hour, On Point: The dire financial straits in American towns, cities and states.
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Guests:

Governor Bill Ritter, Jr. of Colorado will join us from the Western Governors’ Association annual conference in Whitefish, Montana.

Aaron McLear, spokesman for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California joins us from Los Angeles.

Nicholas Johnson, Director of the State Fiscal Project at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities joins us from Washington, DC.

Mayor Chris Bollwage of Elizabeth, New Jersey.

John Micek covers Pennsylvania state politics for the Allentown Morning Call newspaper and joins us from Harrisburg, PA.

And later this hour, remembering West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd.

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ONPOINT
TODAY
Aug 31, 2015
A television photographer takes video of a memorial for the two slain journalist in front of the studios of WDBJ-TV7 in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward from the station were killed during a live broadcast Wednesday.  (AP)

Lessons from the Roanoke TV shootings. We’ll look at the way forward with the New York Times’ Nick Kristof and other top thinkers.

Aug 31, 2015
While the jury still deliberates, former St. Paul's School student Owen Labrie, left, leaves the Merrimack Superior Court at the end of day with security in tow Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015, in Concord, N.H.  Labrie was convicted by a jury of several misdemeanors, but ruled not guilty in the most serious felony sexual assault charges. (AP)

A verdict in the New Hampshire prep school rape trial. And calls for changing sexual assault laws.

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Aug 28, 2015
Lightning first ignited the Meadow fire on July 20, 2014 in Yosemite. By September 8, the fire had charred 2,582 acres. Bernie Krause has recorded soundscapes of national parks destroyed by large areas of forest fires. Listen below.  (National Park Service)

A legendary natural sound collector shares his recordings. We’ll listen in.

 
Aug 28, 2015
WDBJ-TV7 meteorologist Leo Hirsbrunner, right, wipes his eyes during the early morning newscast as anchors Kimberly McBroom, center, and guest anchor Steve Grant deliver the news at the station in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were killed during a live broadcast Wednesday, while on assignment in Moneta. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

A deadly shooting on live TV. Wall Street’s roller coaster ride. Biden considers a White House bid. 10 years since Katrina.

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