Bob Williams

Bob Williams

Bob Williams is President of State Budget Solutions, a non-partisan organization advocating for fundamental reform and REAL solutions to the state budget crises.

Bob is a former state legislator, gubernatorial candidate an auditor with the U.S. General Accountability Office (GAO). Bob is a national expert in fiscal and tax policies, election reform and disaster preparedness. Because of his unique experience and expertise, Bob is a frequent guest on talk radio and at public forums. His commentary on state budget solutions appears frequently in newspapers, journals and online publications.

Bob Williams is the Founder and Senior Fellow of the Freedom Foundation, a public policy organization in Olympia, Washington, dedicated to the advancement of individual liberty. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Pennsylvania State University. Bob worked as a GAO auditor of the Pentagon and Post Office before moving to Washington state where he served five terms in the Washington state legislature and was the 1988 Republican nominee for governor. He is a former certified public accountant. Currently Bob is the private sector chair of the ALEC Tax & Fiscal Policy Task Force.

The Williams Report, a weekly compilation of state budget, collective bargaining and state pension news, can be found here.

Bob Williams may be contacted at


  • Headlines

    Biennial Budget Conference Call

    by Bryan Leonard, Bob Williams | April 21, 2011

    Listen to a conference call about biennial vs. annual budgeting with Bryan Leonard and Bob Williams.


    Public Sector Pushback

    by Bob Williams | April 19, 2011

    Lawmakers in Wisconsin, Ohio and elsewhere have made headlines in the last two months for their bold steps to curtail bargaining rights and benefits for public sector unions. Now, however, supporters of public unions are pushing back; significant efforts to repeal recent legislation are already in the works.

  • BLOG

    Budget Woes Still Prevalent

    by Bob Williams | April 15, 2011

    Weekly recap of state budget deals and deficits.

  • BLOG

    Update on Union Rallies

    by Bob Williams | April 14, 2011

    I expect a lot of union protest and rallies in the coming month, and I fear that things will get ugly.  Here are some of the highlights of this week's union protests around the nation:


    Pension Reform Update: Progress for some, relapse for others

    by Bob Williams | April 14, 2011

    While some states are attempting to reform lavish pension plans, others are  still playing games with state finances.

  • Headlines

    Your State Unemployment Trust is Insolvent

    State Budget Solutions | by Bob Williams, Bob Williams | April 14, 2011

    States had over $48.3 billion in loans from the federal government for unemployment insurance.  States owe the federal government over $500 million in interest on these loans.


    States get down to the nitty-gritty

    by Bob Williams | April 11, 2011

    States are getting down to the nitty-gritty of budget cuts as they hack away millions of dollars in order to salvage their shortfalls. While some states are managing to balance their budget woes, others are still deliberating their budgets for the next fiscal year.

  • Solutions: WASHINGTON

    How can legislators solve a $5.3 billion deficit?

    The Evergreen Freedom Foundation | by Bob Williams | April 5, 2011

    there is no shortage of ideas for fixing the budget. The demand for government services is virtually infinite, but the resources to pay for them are not. This is why legislators must do the job for which they were hired—prioritize the role of government within existing resources.

  • BLOG

    Collective Bargaining Update

    by Bob Williams | April 4, 2011

    Ohio's New Collective Bargaining Law

    by Bob Williams | April 1, 2011

    Ohio's new collective bargaining law contains many provisions that reshape the landscape in the Buckeye State.


    Cuts, Taxes, and Creativity

    by Bob Williams | March 31, 2011

    It's that time of year again; one by one, states are passing their budgets for the next fiscal year. Shortfalls still loom for some while others have used a variety of tools to balance their books. Some states have taxed, others have cut, and still others have just gotten creative with their accounting.

  • Texas vs. California

    by Bob Williams, Bob Williams | March 24, 2011

    California perhaps faces much larger hurdles than Texas does, but government services are likely to be seriously curtailed in both states. Are these states continuing to do things differently?

  • BLOG

    Different states try different budget approaches

    by Bob Williams | March 17, 2011

    It is crunch time once again for state budget leaders. Some states are making serious cuts to welfare and other programs while others are relying on reserves.  Still others are engaging in budgetary trickery to mask their true problems.


    Victory for individual worker rights in Wisconsin

    by Bob Williams | March 10, 2011

    The Wisconsin Assembly passed collective bargaining reform and sent the bill to the Governor. This is a major victory both for individual government employees, who are no longer are forced to join a union in order to work for the state or local government, and also for taxpayers.


    Past Budget Woes Limit Today's Options

    by Bob Williams | March 10, 2011

    The recession continues to haunt state legislators as they attempt to balance growing demands for state services with stagnant revenues.

  • BLOG

    UPDATED: Why private sector unions are much different than government unions

    by Bob Williams | March 7, 2011

    President Roosevelt once said, "The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted in the public service."  There are fundamental differences between private-sector unions and government unions.  Understanding those differences is key to understanding the public sector union issues in many states.


    Bargaining for a Solution

    by Bob Williams | March 3, 2011

    With pension liabilities and health care benefits out of control and unions asking for more, states are finally taking action. Here's a look at some of the effort-within and beyond Wisconsin-that are underway.


    The Writing on the Wall

    by Bob Williams | February 24, 2011

    Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's pursuit of reform in public employee compensation incited a vitriolic response from public unions and a de facto boycott by the Democrats in the state legislature. Amidst the political drama and the flashing headlines, there are lessons to be learned.

  • Solutions

    ALEC's State Budget Reform Toolkit

    The American Legislative Exchange Council | by Jonathan Williams, Bob Williams, Leroy Gilroy | February 21, 2011

    ALEC's State Budget Reform Toolkit will advance a set of budget and procurement best practices to guide state policymakers as they work to solve the current budget shortfalls. SBS President Bob Williams was one of the authors of the toolkit, which assists legislators in prioritizing and more efficiently delivering core government services.


    Why Governor Walker should not negotiate with the government unions

    by Bob Williams | February 20, 2011

    The reasons why Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker should refuse to negotiation with unions range from their attempts to push more generous contracts through a lame-duck legislature to teachers' demands for Viagra despite 480 of the colleagues being laid off.

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