State News Roundup

News Roundup | April 12, 2012

Nevada has taken the number two spot in the country for home foreclosures just behind Arizona after leading the country for 62 consecutive months, reports the Las Vegas Sun. With the state averaging 1 foreclosure for every 301 households, it narrowly missed holding first place. Arizona now averages 1 foreclosure for every 300 households. While the situation is good news for Nevada, it is comes with lots of foreshadowing for a return to first place. March also marked the state holding the highest number of foreclosure filings in the country. The state’s housing market has struggled since the start of the recession, but foreclosures had stalled due to new regulations passed in 2011 requiring extra paperwork by banks when submitting a new home for foreclosure. Now that banks have adjusted to the new regulation, foreclosures are on their way up according to the Sun.

In Washington, the weekly release of the Labor Department’s report on jobless claims shows an unexpected jump in the number of filings. The report filed today showed 380,000 new filings for jobless benefits, up 13,000 fromlast week. This report follows another from Labor showing a very modest addition of 120,000 jobs to the economy in March, down from the previous month. Analysts insist that the economy is on “firmer ground,” but both reports detail a still fragile situation.

In the The New York Times today, a report requested by Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, could save billions in crop subsidies by capping crop insurance claims to be paid at $40,000.  According to the GAO crop subsides ballooned from $1.2 billion in 2000, adjusted for inflation, to $7.3 billion last year alone. Sen. Coburn remarked, “High premium subsidies have hurt small and beginning farmers because the subsidies themselves have distorted the market.” With the Agriculture Department estimating the net income for the farm industry at a record $101 billion dollars last year, subsides have become a target for deficit reduction. Both President Obama and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan have proposed overhauling the subsidies, but members of the House and Senate Agriculture committee oppose any changes to the crop insurance program. Read Gretchen Hamel’s take on the Farm Bill before Congress.

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