Nearly half of states lag in infrastructure: Pew

WASHINGTON Mon Mar 3, 2008 12:11pm EST

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Almost half of the states in the United States are falling behind in their infrastructure maintenance and fiscal systems, according to a report released Monday by the Pew Center on the States and Governing Magazine.

The groups gave 23 states grades for infrastructure that were below the national average in their study called "Grading the States." Using a scale similar to those found in U.S. schools, where an A is excellent and an F failure, they decided 23 states had grades below C+.

Ten states received B- for maintaining capital assets such as bridges and roads, which was the national average, and another 17 states earned grades of B and above. New England states Massachusetts and New Hampshire both scored the lowest grades, at D+.

In the money category, which encompassed budget balancing, contracting, and other fiscal categories, 20 states received C+ and below, while 19 states garnered grades of B and above. The average among 50 states was B-.

Utah won the highest grade of A for money while Rhode Island landed with a D+.

The report, which was based on interviews of state-level managers and opinion leaders, also looked at how well states manage their information systems and employees.

For governance overall, no state achieved a perfect A. Utah, Virginia and Washington each scored A-, while New Hampshire was at the bottom with a D+.

The Pew Center, part of the Pew Charitable Trusts, is an independent and nonpartisan research group.

(Reporting by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Diane Craft)

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