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Criminals to Run Wild In East St. Louis as 19 of 62 Police Laid Off

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Municipal woes around the country continue to underscore the stark differences between the stock market and the economy. In East St. Louis, a special city council meeting, described as "raucous" resulted in 37 city employees laid off, including 30 percent of the city's police force.

"Parks said the weak economy has robbed the city of badly needed money. For example, revenue from the Casino Queen was $900,000 below budget expectations last year. There are no signs of improvement, [Mayor Alvin] Parks said."

East St. Louis isn't alone. A nationwide survey of 398 cities released today by the National League of Cities reports that nearly nine in 10 city finance officers say their cities are less able to meet fiscal needs this year than in previous years. Property tax revenue declines are now impacting cities, the lagging result of the real estate market collapse. As well, sales tax revenues continue to decline creating massive budget shortfalls.

POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.