STATE OF DISREPAIR

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New York city’s economy may be thriving, but New York state is in dire straits–the worst shape it’s been in for 20 years, according to a new report.

Some 90 percent of city public schools are in serious disrepair. More than 3 million residents have no health insurance, and the number is growing. A quarter of New York’s children live in poverty, and more than 40 percent of the jobs pay poverty wages. More than 50 percent of the state’s renters cannot pay what the federal government considers a fair rent in the area. And, as if that weren’t enough, the state has steadily lost millions of dollars in federal funding for social services–in 1998 it received $3.9 billion less than it had in 1980.

This gloomy news comes from the National Priorities Project, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit foundation that publishes annual “State of the States” reports on all 50 states.

The Fiscal Policy Institute, an Albany advocacy group, and the Community Service Society have started circulating copies of the report to activist organizations statewide along with a tough questionnaire aimed at House and Senate candidates for the upcoming elections.

To get a copy of the report log on to the National Priorities Project’s website: www.natprior.org.