Up to the minute news and views

  • Blog: California

    CalPERS latest financial report shows another dismal year

    by Cory Eucalitto | January 7, 2013

    Reports have estimated California’s unfunded public pension liability somewhere between $400 and $500 billion dollars. The California Public Employees’ Retirement System’s (CalPERS) latest Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for fiscal year 2012 shows the extent to which the state’s pension problem continues to grow. 

  • Blog: Washington

    WA State Auditor recommends financial management reforms

    by Jason Mercier | January 4, 2013 | Comments

    Retiring Washington State Auditor Brian Sonntag eleased his final annual report highlighting the need for ongoing open government reforms.

  • Opinion

    States, municipalities must make pension reform top funding priority

    January 4, 2013 | Comments

    State and local politicians may think they can relax as third quarter tax revenues showed 12 consecutive quarters of growth year over year. But that would be a mistake in light of pension investments that again failed to erase any of more than $5 trillion owed to government workers.

  • Blog: Washington

    Columbian: Legislators must regain public confidence by emphasizing transparency

    by Jason Mercier | January 3, 2013

    What better way for legislators to kick off the New Year than by ensuring the people have a seat at the table as laws are being drafted and debated?

  • Blog: Washington, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, California

    Outgoing Washington governor wants to leave residents with a tax hike hangover

    by Cory Eucalitto | December 21, 2012 | Comments

    Selling tax hikes as a "temporary" budget solution is hardly a new tactic for government officials. Just give the state a bit more for a little longer, they say, and the brighter budget future just around the corner will finally arrive. Such was the case when Washington State temporarily tripled its tax on beer.

  • Blog: New Jersey

    Report ignores NJ pension corruption

    December 17, 2012 | Comments

    How can anybody fill 88 pages on New Jersey's fiscal catastrophe and not once use the word "corruption"? That is what authors of the State Budget Crisis Task Force New Jersey Report managed to do.

  • Opinion: Kentucky

    Kentucky state pension catastrophe a warning signal to others

    December 14, 2012 | Comments

    What one whistleblower calls "a culture of cover-up and corruption" in Kentucky caused pension debt that puts government workers' retirement at risk and citizens on the hook for billions of dollars in tax increases and service cuts. Kentucky Retirement Systems officials recently revealed that officially they have only 27 cents to pay every dollar of promised benefits.

  • Blog

    Monday Map: Federal Aid to State Budgets

    December 11, 2012 | Comments

    This map looks at state government budgets - specifically, how much of each state's budget comes from the federal government. Mississippi tops the list with 49% of its general revenue coming from Washington; Alaska, by contrast, gets only 24% of its general revenue from the feds.

  • Opinion

    New 'issue brief' ignores government pension 'pathology'

    December 9, 2012 | Comments

    A National Insistute on Retirement Security brief on proposals to freeze local and state defined benefit pension plans in a shift to defined contribution plans that limit taxpayer risk ignores is what protections are needed against endemic public pension corruption and offers no explanation of who is going to sacrifice to pay this massive hidden debt.

  • Blog: Washington

    Voters' mandate on tax increases in Washington State

    by Jason Mercier | December 8, 2012 | Comments

    Requiring a supermajority vote for taxes or voter approval is the overwhelming will of the people of Washington State.

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