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  • HEADLINES : MISSOURI

    Mo. House panel endorses spending limit proposal

    StLToday.com | January 12, 2012

    The proposed constitutional amendment would cap annual increases in the state budget at the rate of inflation plus the growth in population. The spending cap would apply only to the state's general revenue over which lawmakers have the most discretion.

  • SOLUTIONS : MAINE

    Unfunded Government Employee Pension Liabilities Reform

    The State of Maine | December 7, 2011

    Proposal for reforming Maine's pension plans, including freezing pensions for three years (2011 - 2013), identical to the state employee salary freeze, and ensuring reasonable increases in pensions after that, close to the historical norm of 2.8% annually, based on CPI (inflation), but capped at 2% (currently capped at 4%).

  • SOLUTIONS : NORTH DAKOTA

    Pension Reform: Patching the Hole in the Sinking Ship

    North Dakota Policy Council | by Brett Narloch | November 29, 2011

    Opening up the NDPERS's defined-contribution (DC) plan to all workers would have a dramatic impact on the system's bottom line. A DC plan, similar to a 401k plan, would allow the employees and the employer to contribute a defined amount of salaries and wages - say, the current 8.12% - but the state would not have to worry about ensuring the viability of the system.

  • HEADLINES : UTAH

    State could save $1 million by eliminating department

    The Deseret News | by Lisa Riley Roche | October 20, 2011

    The state could save more than $1 million annually by eliminating the Department of Community and Culture and turning over its functions to other agencies.

  • HEADLINES : CALIFORNIA, FLORIDA, ILLINOIS, NEW YORK, TEXAS

    5 large states, 5 different paths to fix budgets

    The Austin American-Statesman | by Brendan Farrington | April 19, 2011

    The five states are the nation's most populous but are taking very different approaches to solving their respective budget deficits, illustrating that the priorities of the majority party play as much a role in budgeting decisions as a state's fiscal health.

  • 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.

  • HEADLINES : PENNSYLVANIA

    State schools faculty offers pay freeze

    The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | by Bill Schackner | March 23, 2011

    The union representing 6,000 faculty and coaches at the 14 state-owned universities in Pennsylvania announced it had "agreed in principle" to negotiate a wage freeze.

  • SOLUTIONS : FLORIDA

    Education Savings Accounts

    The Goldwater Institute | by Matthew Ladner and Nick Dranias | February 28, 2011

    Children with disabilities are often poorly served by public schools. In 1999, Florida created a school voucher for children with disabilities called the McKay Scholarship Program. This program allows children with disabilities to take a portion of the funding the state would spend on their education and use it at any school they choose - whether that's a traditional public school, a charter school, an online program, or a private school.

  • SOLUTIONS : ALABAMA

    Charter Schools in Alabama

    Alabama Policy Institute | February 28, 2011

    Charter schools are independent public schools authorized through a charter agreement with a
    sponsor--usually a school district, state governmental body, or university. Unlike traditional public
    schools, charter schools are overseen by a governing board of parents and members of the local
    community.

  • SOLUTIONS : PENNSYLVANIA

    Medicaid Reform

    Commonwealth Foundation | by Michael Bond | February 28, 2011

    Medicaid, the joint federal/state program that was created to provide health care for the poor, celebrated its 40th birthday in 2006. There was no party for the program, however. In Pennsylvania and around the nation, Medicaid is growing at an unsustainable rate and threatens both state and federal budgets.

  • SOLUTIONS : LOUISIANA

    Cajun Care: Medicaid Reform in Louisiana

    The Pacific Research Institute | by Adam Frey | February 28, 2011

    Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, and Health Secretary Alan Levine, both veterans of Medicaid reform, have developed a plan based on key reforms such as accountability, consumer choice, cost efficiency, marketplace competition, and transparency.

  • 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.

  • SOLUTIONS : NEW YORK

    49 Suggestions for Cutting Billions in State's Medicaid Costs

    February 16, 2011

    Personal shopping and cleaning services for the disabled would be eliminated, weak hospitals could be merged and brand-name drugs would be limited under a series of budget-cutting proposals announced by the New York State Health Department.

  • HEADLINES : FLORIDA, IOWA

    How to fix a budget crisis? Cut taxes!

    February 14, 2011

    Some governors say that the key to spurring economic growth is reducing levies, particularly on businesses.

  • SOLUTIONS : MINNESOTA

    Public Pensions in Minnesota

    Minnesota Center for Public Finance Research | by Aaron Twait | February 10, 2011

    Are Minnesota taxpayers being exposed to significant risks from pension liabilities? Or is Minnesota successfully avoiding the problems other state and local governments are struggling with? What are the current and long-term costs of our public pension decision-making? Are there reforms we can pursue to improve both the financial health of the public pension system and the accountability of pension decision-making to state taxpayers? These are the questions addressed in this report.

  • RESOURCES

    World Pension Revolution

    JosePinera.com | February 10, 2011

    As Minister of Labor and Social Security of Chile (1978-1980), Dr. José Piñera was the architect of Chile's successful private pension system. His website addresses pension reforms around the globe and promotes the creation of pension systems based on personal retirement accounts.

  • SOLUTIONS : CALIFORNIA

    How to Fix California's Public Pension Crisis

    Reason Foundation | by Adam Summers | February 9, 2011

    Detailing how the state's public pension system broke and how to fix it.

  • SOLUTIONS

    10 Elements of Comprehensive Budget Reform

    The Heritage Foundation | by Brian Riedl | February 8, 2011

    These 10 elements, ranging from realistic budget scoring to tools for eliminating wasteful spending, are written for Congress but are very easily applied to state budgets as well.

  • SOLUTIONS : NEVADA

    Better Budgeting for Better Results

    February 8, 2011

    Performance-based budgeting reforms can save Nevada taxpayers billions.

  • HEADLINES : FLORIDA

    Scott proposes streamlining Florida government

    February 1, 2011

    Gov. Rick Scott plans to consolidate and streamline some government functions as part of his budget proposal, which also includes cutting the corporate income tax from 5.5 percent to 3 percent.

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    Blogs

  • OPINION

    The Spending-Performance Equation

    by Charles Chieppo | December 23, 2011

    Performance-based budgeting is a tool that offers the promise of providing taxpayers with a realistic answer to the question, "What am I getting for my money?" That alone makes overcoming the obstacles to its implementation well worth the work.

  • OPINION : WASHINGTON

    An Open Letter to Gov. Gregoire from Washington Policy

    October 20, 2011

    The Washington Policy Center proposes seven ideas for balancing the budget that, if adopted, would put Washington on the path to long-term financial stability so lawmakers do not feel they have to increase the financial burden they place on citizens by raising tax rates.

  • BLOG : WASHINGTON

    Governor signs agency consolidation/contracting reform

    by Jason Mercier | June 20, 2011

    Last week Governor Gregoire signed a proposal to consolidate several administrative agencies and create a review process to help identify opportunities for some competitive contracting.  he Governor's signature on SB 5931 is an important step in the right direction to help streamline state government and begin to restore balance concerning competitive contracting and the state's 2002 civil service reform.

  • OPINION

    A federal carrot and stick to ease public pension crisis

    The San Diego Union-Tribune | by Darrell Issa, Rep. Darrell Issa | January 14, 2011

    Ignoring the pension problem will only send states' budgets on a faster downward spiral toward bankruptcy and increase the likelihood that federal taxpayers will get stuck with the bill for benefits that are not only unaffordable but also far more generous than those enjoyed by most workers in the private sector who ultimately pay for them.

  • BLOG : WASHINGTON

    Governor proposes agency consolidation

    by Jason Mercier | December 14, 2010

    Governor Gregoire announced this morning her proposals for agency consolidations as recommended by her Budget Transformation Committee.

  • WASHINGTON

    Washington citizens engaged on need for budget reforms

    by Jason Mercier | August 12, 2010

    The Governor and Legislature are going to need more flexibility dealing with the state unions to truly transform the state budget.  A good place to start would be a law that simplifies an agency's ability to use performance-based contracts while also restoring the Legislature's flexibility over compensation issues for state employees.

  • NEW JERSEY, WASHINGTON

    New Jersey offers budget roadmap

    by Jason Mercier | July 18, 2010

    Letting state agencies use competitive pricing to lower the cost of delivering public services, and at the same time improve service quality, is one of the reforms necessary to solving the states' long-term budget problem.