Governors look to consolidate, eliminate, follow lead of Depression Era Leaders

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Governors are using the economic crisis to sell big changes in how state and local jurisdictions operate, promising overhauls that could alter the face of government around the country.

The proposals include cutting off public funds to the nation’s oldest state fair in Michigan, sharing state helicopters between Minnesota and Wisconsin, erasing dozens of laws in Connecticut and shrinking Pennsylvania’s system of 500 school districts to just 100.

“It is time to get back to basics. It is time to return to our core mission — to educate our children, protect our people (and) help those truly in need. The economic challenges we are facing give us a rare opportunity to realign state government,” said Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell, a Republican, as she laid out her plans for revamping state government for legislators Feb. 4.

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