MENU

BUDGET TRANSPARENCY

Budget Transparency

Transparency, and the accountability that follows, is necessary for state's to fix their fiscal problems.  Citizens should now demand ready access to state and local government budgets, regulations, contracts, and contacts.  Absent transparency, there is far greater risk of continued failure, corruption, fraud, waste and regulatory abuse.

  • Breaking News
  • Research
  • Solutions
  • Commentary
    • HEADLINES: New York

      Six-figure state pensions are on the rise

      The New York Post | by Pat Bailey | May 29, 2014

      The number of state employees collecting an annual pension of at least $100,000 jumped by 259 last year, according to a government watchdog says.

    • HEADLINES: New Jersey

      NJ state budget primer: It's more than you think

      The Daily Record | by Michael Symons | May 27, 2014

      In general, the bottom-line number that gets used - which for the 2015 state budget, starting in July, was trimmed nearly 5 percent last week to $32.7 billion - reflects state appropriations, meaning the spending the state controls through the taxes it collects for general purposes. Federal funds and dedicated funds, all of which are required to be used for a specific purpose or program, aren't included in that number.

    • HEADLINES

      Len Gilroy brings the public's attention to the benefits of privatization

      by Joe Luppino-Esposito | May 8, 2014

      Reason Foundation's Len Gilroy is studying new and innovative ways to incorporate the private sector into government servies--and he's showing that there can be great results.

    • HEADLINES: New York

      Public pension names public

      The Albany Times Union | by Casey Seiler | May 7, 2014

      New York state's highest court ruled Wednesday that the names but not the addresses of retirees who receive public pensions must be disclosed according to the provisions of New York's Freedom of Information Law.

    • HEADLINES: Louisiana

      Louisiana state budget discussed by public

      The Times Picayune | April 14, 2014

      The Appropriations Committee held public testimony day, letting people talk about what they like or don't like about Gov. Bobby Jindal's budget recommendations for the 2014-15 fiscal year that begins July 1.

    • RESEARCH

      Federal Aid to the States 2008-2011

      by Kristen De Pena | February 21, 2013

      It is well understood that the federal government must make spending cuts-these cuts will most likely drastically change the amount of federal dollars that are allocated to the states. Unfortunately for most states, dependence on federal funding has continually risen since 2008.

    • RESEARCH

      Forecasting the Recovery from the Great Recession: Is This Time Different?

      The National Bureau of Economic Research | by Kathryn Dominguez & Matthew Shapiro | February 4, 2013

      Was the slow recovery of the U.S. economy from the trough of the Great Recession anticipated? 

    • RESEARCH

      State Budget Crisis Task Force Report

      State Budget Crisis Task Force | by Richard Ravitch and Paul Volcker | July 17, 2012

      State finances are not transparent and often include hidden liabilities as well as rapidly growing responsibilities which are difficult to control.  While state revenues are gradually recovering from the drastic decline of the Great Recession, they are not growing sufficiently to keep pace with the spending required by Medicaid costs, pensions, and other responsibilities and obligations.  This has resulted in persistent and growing structural deficits in many states which threaten their fiscal sustainability.

    • RESOURCES: Connecticut

      $100k Pension Club Includes 299 State Retirees

      In 2008, 175 former Connecticut state employees received pensions worth at least $100,000. That number rose to 299 people in 2009 and is expected to continue rising.

    • RESEARCH: Minnesota

      At a Crossroads

      Are students learning the things they need to know? Is there a healthy exchange of ideas? Are trustees upholding the public trust? Are taxpayers getting a good value for their money? These are the kinds of questions to which the people of Minnesota deserve answers. It is the goal of this report card to provide answers and to help Minnesota—a state rightly known for its passion for education—be a national standard bearer for excellence, accountability, and efficiency in higher education.

    • SOLUTIONS

      How Reality-Based Budgeting Can Permanently Resolve State Budget Gaps

      State Budget Solutions | by Bob Williams | November 7, 2012

      State Budget Solutions recommends that state legislators take action in 2013 to resolve the serious state financial crises by changing their focus from inputs to outcomes by redesigning budgets from the ground up based on priorities and performance.

    • SOLUTIONS: North Carolina

      A Blueprint for Budget Reform

      Civitas Institute | by Brian Balfour | September 12, 2012

      The ongoing state budget "crisis" strongly underscores the urgent need for North Carolina to adapt significant state budget reforms, including putting North Carolina taxpayers back in charge of approving new debt, and forcing legislators and state agencies at reasonable intervals to justify all spending, not just spending increases.

    • SOLUTIONS

      Transparency Key to Fixing State Budget Crises

      by Mike Barnhart | March 12, 2012

      Transparency, and the accountability that follows, is necessary for state's to fix their fiscal problems.  Citizens should now demand ready access to state and local government budgets, regulations, contracts, and contacts.  Absent transparency, there is far greater risk of continued failure, corruption, fraud, waste and regulatory abuse.

    • SOLUTIONS

      Creating a New Public Pension System

      The Laura and John Arnold Foundation | by Josh B. McGee, Ph.D. | December 5, 2011

      Sound pension reform meets four general criteria: (1) establish transparency with respect to the true cost of the benefits promised to public employees; (2) mandate that the pension plan sponsor pay the full cost of accrued benefits each year; (3) mandate that the pension plan sponsor pay down the unfunded accrued liability over a reasonable time horizon and (4) improve the generational equity, portability and security of benefits for public employees.

    • SOLUTIONS: South Carolina

      The South Carolina state budget is a mystery. What can be done about it?

      The South Carolina Policy Council | December 2, 2011

      The South Carolina state budget should be more transparent. There should be one document showing the exact amount lawmakers appropriated in a given year and the budget should reveal where all money is coming from.  The budget should list every program each agency is running, how much that program is receiving, and a description of the program.

    • BLOG: West Virginia

      The Greenbrier's subsidized sport's affinity

      State Budget Solutions | by Elia Peterson | July 23, 2014

      The New Orleans Saints should thank the lawmakers in the “Wild and Wonderful” state for being so accommodating.

    • Washington

      Do you know how the current state contract negotiations are going?

      by Jason Mercier | June 11, 2014

      No? Neither do we. Realizing that potentially hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake, we believe that like other budget related decisions, these meetings should be open to the public. This is exactly what already occurs in several states.

    • HEADLINES: New York

      Six-figure state pensions are on the rise

      The New York Post | by Pat Bailey | May 29, 2014

      The number of state employees collecting an annual pension of at least $100,000 jumped by 259 last year, according to a government watchdog says.

    • HEADLINES: New Jersey

      NJ state budget primer: It's more than you think

      The Daily Record | by Michael Symons | May 27, 2014

      In general, the bottom-line number that gets used - which for the 2015 state budget, starting in July, was trimmed nearly 5 percent last week to $32.7 billion - reflects state appropriations, meaning the spending the state controls through the taxes it collects for general purposes. Federal funds and dedicated funds, all of which are required to be used for a specific purpose or program, aren't included in that number.

    • BLOG

      Ravitch and SBS agree that GAAP and making required pension contributions are keys to fiscal stability

      by Shannan Younger | May 19, 2014

      Richard Ravitch warned in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal echoes what State Budget Solutions has been saying for a while: more Detroits are on the way.

    • HEADLINES

      Len Gilroy brings the public's attention to the benefits of privatization

      by Joe Luppino-Esposito | May 8, 2014

      Reason Foundation's Len Gilroy is studying new and innovative ways to incorporate the private sector into government servies--and he's showing that there can be great results.

    • HEADLINES: New York

      Public pension names public

      The Albany Times Union | by Casey Seiler | May 7, 2014

      New York state's highest court ruled Wednesday that the names but not the addresses of retirees who receive public pensions must be disclosed according to the provisions of New York's Freedom of Information Law.

    • HEADLINES: Louisiana

      Louisiana state budget discussed by public

      The Times Picayune | April 14, 2014

      The Appropriations Committee held public testimony day, letting people talk about what they like or don't like about Gov. Bobby Jindal's budget recommendations for the 2014-15 fiscal year that begins July 1.

    • HEADLINES: Louisiana

      Louisiana state budget gaps start to come to light

      New Orleans Times-Picayune | by Julie O'Donoghue | March 18, 2014

      After a week of scrutiny, Gov. Bobby Jindal's $25 billion state spending proposal for the fiscal year beginning July 1 is beginning to show some trouble spots. Elected officials and legislative staff said that some revenue the Jindal administration had baked into the budget wasn't necessarily guaranteed to materialize, and other obvious expenses don't have any revenue assigned to them.

    • BLOG: Washington

      Senate Ways & Means to act on revenue forecast reform

      by Jason Mercier | January 15, 2014

      The public should have an opportunity to participate each session on the bills being considered before a vote occurs despite their treatment in a different year.