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



    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.


    Why private-sector unions are much different than government unions

    by Bob Williams | February 19, 2011

    The dispute in Wisconsin is not a traditional private sector dispute between labor and management. It is in reality a question of important public policy –can states afford past unsustainable agreements for government employees salaries and benefits.


    Sharing the Load

    by Bob Williams | February 18, 2011

    Now, when nearly every state is tottering on the edge of a fiscal cliff as they try to balance their budgets, public sector workers are being forced to shoulder a share of the financial burden.

  • BLOG

    State Stimulus Funding - Nicotine from the Feds

    by Bob Williams | February 17, 2011

    Past federal stimulus funds to the states turned into "nicotine" for the states governments because the funds led to short-term, higher state government spending that the states can no longer sustain.


    Dayton's move to raise income tax ill-advised

    by Bob Williams | February 16, 2011

    Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton's move to raise the state income tax to be the highest in the nation ignores the fact that recent similar efforts have not been successful.


    New Sherriff in Town

    by Bob Williams | February 11, 2011

    Someone should tell the unions (in Wisconsin, at least) that there is a new sheriff in town.  And he's not afraid to call in the National Guard to quell unrest among state employees.

  • BLOG

    Medicaid Madness

    by Bob Williams | February 7, 2011

    As state legislators face budge pressure from all sides-lower revenues, depleted reserves, and enormous liabilities-they are coming to a head with federal lawmakers over Medicaid. Governors in several states have already begun to roll back Medicaid coverage, while others are seeking waivers from new provisions in the new health care law.

  • BLOG

    Making Changes

    by Bob Williams | February 1, 2011

    Spending increased for many states across the country while revenues fell for at least two years in a row, putting state agencies, workers, and legislators in a tight spot with this year's budget. But with adversity comes opportunity.

  • Solutions

    ALEC's State Budget Reform Toolkit

    by Jonathan Williams, Leroy Gilroy, Bob Williams | January 25, 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. The toolkit assists legislators in prioritizing and more efficiently delivering core government services through advancing Jeffersonian principles of free markets, limited government, federalism, and individual liberty.

  • BLOG

    Moving Forward and Looking Back

    by Bob Williams | January 24, 2011

    Though nearly every state is in serious fiscal pain that will almost certainly adversely affect citizens, budget shortfalls are forcing states to rethink and redesign government for the better.

  • BLOG

    Soak the Citizens

    by Bob Williams | January 18, 2011

    State budgets are in big trouble, but cities and municipalities may not fare much better in the coming fiscal year. Also, an update on the size of state deficits.

  • BLOG

    Merciful Bankruptcy

    by Bob Williams | January 14, 2011

    From coast to coast, states are drowning in a sea of debt with no clear way out. Some states are already starting to hint at the need for additional federal help as they deal with the pain of ebbing stimulus funds, but House Budget Chief Paul Ryan says Republicans will not bail them out.

  • BLOG

    New Year, Old Troubles

    by Bob Williams | January 5, 2011

    Though the new calendar year has just begun, state lawmakers are already crafting budgets for the next fiscal year that begins over the summer for most states. What will this calendar year bring?

  • BLOG

    Approaching the Cliff

    by Bob Williams | December 27, 2010

    Years of irresponsible funding for pensions, entitlements, and other government programs have created a state budget crisis of unprecedented scale. Nearly every state faces grave challenges in meeting their financial obligations for at least the third year in a row. While some states are "just" struggling to balance budgets and shore up shortfalls in an official sense, others are running out of money to make basic payments. Something's got to give. Change is coming, one way or another.

  • BLOG

    Swimming in Shortfalls

    by Bob Williams | December 22, 2010

    As shoppers fill the streets in anticipation of Christmas and the economy begins rebounding, states are far from out of the woods. The budget planning process for the next fiscal year is well underway in most states and the picture is grim; shortfalls abound.

  • State budget shortfall - November 29, 2010

    by Bob Williams | November 30, 2010

    A handful of states are already in clear trouble as the budget-process for the next fiscal year begins. Though states have dealt with shortfalls for several years in a row now, some of them are finally learning that one-time fixes aren't going to work any longer.

  • Solutions: WASHINGTON

    Time to Come Clean in Washington State

    by Bob Williams | November 15, 2010

    Washington State Treasurer Jim McIntire has learned some lessons from the fast and loose Wall Street accounting that plunged the country into recession - he's learned to obfuscate and mislead. When current and prospective bond holders look to Treasurer McIntire to understand the condition of the state's pension fund, they'd best beware.

    Treasurer McIntire appears to be going beyond simple carelessness or cleverness. Treasurer McIntire is leading bond holders to believe the State Actuary's grim Risk Assessment fully reflects the condition of the pension fund. In fact, the situation is much worse. And Treasurer McIntire knows it.


    The Changing of the Guard

    by Bob Williams | November 11, 2010

    Tick Tock Goes the Pension Bomb

    by Bob Williams | October 26, 2010

    Public sector compensation and retirement benefits have made headlines lately for their sheer size and weight in comparison to the private sector. The problem of unfunded liabilities is decades in the making, but the bills are starting to come due this legislative session. Budget leaders are learning that they won't have decades to undo this disaster.


    Clouds on the Horizon

    by Bob Williams | October 11, 2010

    A growing number of states, California among them, already have hefty budget shortfalls mounting for the next fiscal year amount to billions of dollars in some cases. Here's a look at some of the latest developments in state budget shortfalls.

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