State News Roundup
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The Washington Post reports that a North Carolina firm will be the Small Business Administration’s national partner for an investment program designed to support energy and education start-ups. The program started in 2011 under the Start-Up America Initiative, which was focused at creating jobs through small businesses. SJF Ventures out of Durham, NC, is specifically focused on renewable energy prompting Sean Greene of the SBA to comment, “ We are specifically interested in funds that are focused on investing not only in financial return but also in social return.”
In Detroit, Mayor Dave Bing has responded negatively to the idea of an emergency manger being sent from the state to take over budgeting for the city. The city is facing a looming bankruptcy that is predicted to occur in April of this year. With massive healthcare costs, 48 different union contracts and a decreasing population,city officials have been working frantically to find capital to stall a default. Read our post on what lead to this situation here.
State officials in Chicago are currently the topic of an audit conducted by the IRS. The state is under strict guidelines when choosing contracts with companies. In an effort to reduce healthcare costs Illinois state officials began looking for new companies to partner with when insuring the near 400,000 state employees. As negotiations began though, the process began to run into many failures, making it impossible for an ethics and oversight commission to rule if the contracts were in the best interest of the state. As a result Auditor General William Holland commented, “This process was flawed, and we show that it was flawed.” At this point it is unclear if any official action will be taken other than an investigation and renegotiation on the contracts.