State Budgets Stabilize - Amid Concern Over Health Costs

STATES are on the path to economic recovery, according to a new report. But uncertainty looms as the federal government considers health care and welfare reform.

The April 1994 ``Fiscal Survey of States,'' released Wednesday, showed states are rebounding from the recession of the early 1990s, with most no longer projecting budget shortfalls.

``The major conclusion of this survey is that there is finally some fiscal stability in the states, after four very difficult years,'' said Raymond Sheppach, executive director of the National Governors Association.

But the report warns of uncertainty about national health care reform, welfare reform, and limits on federal expenditures.

Spending for Medicaid health care for the poor is expected to rise 13.6 percent in 1994 and 8.4 percent in 1995, Mr. Sheppach said. ``Under any normal projection, we would expect it to overtake what we spend on all elementary and secondary education, which is about 21 percent.'' Backlash in Miami over Cuba meeting

PICTURE a Cuban exile kissing Fidel Castro on the cheek. Envision others shaking his hand, chatting, smiling.

These images, broadcast on the local news, enraged an already divided exile community and sparked death threats as well as name-calling.

The Cuban government's videotape of Castro meeting with exiles features former Democratic congressional candidate Magda Montiel Davis kissing Mr. Castro on the cheek and thanking him ``for being a great teacher.''

Montiel Davis, a lawyer, was among more than 150 exiles who went to Havana last week for the Cuban-sponsored conference on improving relations between the US and Cuba.

Since their return, the delegates have been denounced as communists, Castro agents, and sellouts by more conservative Cuban exiles.

``When I made the decision to go to Cuba, I recognized the consequences. People were very hostile,'' Ms. Davis said.

``But now I'm so overwhelmed. I didn't ask for his autograph or chant, `Fidel! Fidel!' I shood his hand, I said what I had to say, and I left.''

United States Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R) of Florida sent Attorney General Janet Reno a copy of the tape and asked that some conference members be registered as foreign agents.

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