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Power Breakfast: States Are Cautiomistic About Budgets

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Arturo Perez of the National Conference of State Legislatures says after two rough years, states' revenue numbers are finally going up.

"Most economists would say that the economic recovery is occurring but it's rather tepid. That is to say, not robust," Perez says.

That is to say, not fast enough to off-set growth in demand for state services. And not fast enough to make up for the loss of federal stimulus money. Perez has some words of advice for anyone trying to capture this narrative in the form of a snapshot:

"You're still in the middle of the story. There's no immediate end... oftentimes we talk about a story after it's over but in this case it's still an unfolding story with risks all around."

Which brings us to the word of the day: cautiomistic, which describes optimism tempered with caution. Apparently, the term is now making its way around states and economic development circles.

Speaking of reasons to be cautiomistic, Lance Armstrong will be at the National Press Club today, headlining an event alongside Dr. John Seffrin of the American Cancer Society, Cancer Action Network.

"We're saving 350 more lives per day than in 1991 and we've had 15 successive years of decline in eight standardized cancer mortality rates. We can't let that stop," Seffrin says.

The lobbying arm of the Cancer Society is marshalling forces against the House-passed budget for this year, which would cut more than 5 percent from NIH and 21 percent from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"A 20 percent reduction in eight standardized cancer mortality rates yields the American people a $10 trillion value. So it's a good investment," Seffrin explains.


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