Last year this time, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn was pushing a big income tax increase to help balance the state's budget. This year, Quinn is being pressured to roll part of that increase back. But the state is still months behind in paying its bills, with a pension shortfall looming.
Host Michel Martin continues the conversation with White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett. A day after the State of the Union speech, Jarrett says President Obama's focus is not on politics. She also addresses criticism Obama has faced over the national debt and high unemployment rates.
Host Michel Martin and NPR Senior Business Editor Marilyn Geewax discuss America's economic health and review Congressional reactions to the economic proposals in the president's State of the Union address. They also look at the upcoming primary in Florida, where the housing crisis remains a major problem.
The Federal Reserve will announce on Wednesday what officials expect to do with the rates it controls for next couple of years. The Fed will join central banks in Sweden, Norway and New Zealand in relaying information about expectations for short-term interest rates. Renee Montagne talks to David Wessel of The Wall Street Journal about why the Fed is doing this, and the impact it will have.
Life in the small town of Waterbury, Vt., changed dramatically after Tropical Storm Irene. With a state office complex flooded, 1,500 workers were relocated. The exodus slowed business to a trickle for those who remain.
In his State of the Union address, the president announced a new special investigations unit to dig into fraud and wrongdoing in the mortgage and banking system in the run-up to the financial crisis and housing market collapse.
Coney Island Bialys and Bagels, a historic bagel shop in New York City, was almost toast when two Pakistani men rescued it. Zafaryab Ali and Peerzada Shah, both Muslim, say they plan to keep the shop kosher. "Kosher and halal is very, very close, like brother and sister, maybe twins," Ali says.
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