State Debt

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    • HEADLINES: Arizona

      State budget returns to unsustainable deficits

      The Arizona Republic | by Robert Robb | April 11, 2014

      The spending lobby had the usual complaints about what the recently adopted state budget doesn't fund. The real news, however, is that the spending that was approved probably puts the state back into the position of having an unsustainable structural deficit.

    • HEADLINES: Washington

      Who is the leading budget reformer in Washington? Olympia, Washington that is

      State Budget Solutions | by Joe Luppino-Esposito | April 8, 2014

      Although Washington's budget debate was simpler than in past years, lawmakers kept Jason Mercier of the Washington Policy Center busy with fiscal reforms and budget gimmicks.

    • HEADLINES: Illinois

      Quinn budget makes tax hike permanent

      The Chicago Tribune | by Ray Long and Monique Garcia | March 26, 2014

      Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has prepared an election-year spending proposal that would make permanent the 67 percent income tax increase set to expire in 2015 and couple it with property tax relief for homeowners.

    • HEADLINES: New Jersey

      New Jersey Credit Outlook Revised to Negative by Fitch

      Bloomberg | by Romy Varghese | March 24, 2014

      New Jersey’s credit outlook was revised to negative by Fitch Ratings, which cited budget strains and ballooning retirement costs.

    • HEADLINES: California

      California Controller John Chiang proposes prefunding state retiree health care

      Sacramento Bee - State Worker | by Jon Ortiz | March 10, 2014

      A new tally of unfunded state retiree health care costs shows long-term obligations grew by hundreds of millions of dollars last year, prompting Controller John Chiang to propose a plan on Thursday to chip away at the debt..


    • HEADLINES: Pennsylvania

      At a time of surpluses elsewhere, Pennsylvania faces deficit

      Washington Post - GovBeat | by Reid Wilson | February 10, 2014

      After years of harsh budget cuts, the economic recovery has meant good news for states reaping the benefits of rebounding tax revenue. California has a $4.2 billion surplus. New York has $2 billion in extra cash. Across the country, state revenue is up 3.8 percent over last year, according to the National Association of State Budget Officials.

      But in Pennsylvania, the picture isn’t as rosy.


      New data reveals amount of federal aid to states in 2012

      State Budget Solutions | by Joe Luppino-Esposito, Shannan Younger | January 28, 2014

      Surprised to learn that state governments combined received 31.6% of their general revenue from the federal government in 2012, with one state getting a whopping 45.4% from the feds? Click here to learn what percentage of your state's general revenue came from Washington, D.C.

    • HEADLINES: Arizona

      Brewer, budget committee release conflicting budgets

      Arizona Republic | by Alia Beard Rau | January 27, 2014

      Gov. Jan Brewer and legislative economists over the past week released conflicting budget predictions for the next three years, setting the stage for a battle over Arizona’s future.


      How states spend their cash, in 5 maps

      Washington Post - GovBeat | by Niraj Chokshi | January 24, 2014

      States spent more than they made for the third time in four years, according to new Census data.


      Data Shows Correlation Between Government Union Power and State Government Solvency

      Union Watch | by Mike Shedlock | January 23, 2014

      In terms of long-term solvency (the most critical issue), New Jersey and Illinois are at the bottom of the heap. Pension plans and union activism are to blame.


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      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.


      States of Bankruptcy

      by David A. Skeel Jr. | October 25, 2012

      Should Congress provide a bankruptcy option for states, or would bankruptcy be a mistake? The goal of this Article is to carefully vet this question, using all of the theoretical, empirical and historical tools currently available. The discussion is structured as a "case" for bankruptcy.

    • RESEARCH: California, New Jersey, Hawaii

      Is State Debt Constitutional?

      State Budget Solutions | by Kristen De Pena | February 6, 2012

      An analysis of the state constitutional debt provisions in California, New Jersey and Hawaii, and the debt that these states face in spite of those provisions.


      Analysis of total state debt shows Alaska, New Jersey, and Hawaii among states in worst fiscal situations

      State Budget Solutions | by Andrew Guevara | November 17, 2011

      The latest study by SBS reveals total state debt averages $13,754 for every American and $38,721 for each of the private sector workers in this country.


      Report reveals aggregate state debt exceeds $4 trillion

      State Budget Solutions | by Andrew Guevara | October 24, 2011

      State Budget Solutions' second annual state deficit report reveals aggregate state debt presently exceeds $4 trillion. While states themselves can rely on budget gimmicks to hide the extent of the deficit, SBS takes a straightforward approach to calculating total state debt. See where your state ranks.


      States hide trillions in debt

      Aggregate state debt now exceeds $1.8 trillion, with much more potentially hidden off the official books.  As of 2009, total state debt averages almost $17,000 for each of the 107 million private sector workers in the United States.

      Research by State Budget Solutions reveals the total official financial liability for each state according to the latest comprehensive annual data available. The research included total debt outstanding, recent budget shortfalls, pension and retirement health care liabilities, and Unemployment Trust Fund loans. The research also looks at the overall financial landscape for each state by considering top income tax rates, past economic performance, and economic outlook.


      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: Nevada

      Responsible budgeting

      The Nevada Policy Research Institute | by Geoffrey Lawrence | November 3, 2011

      States should use the budget solutions of avoiding budget gimmicks and use any additional revenue to first eliminate all the dubious financial devices from budgets and to avoid state debt.

    • SOLUTIONS: North Dakota

      State debt in North Carolina

      The John Locke Foundation | by Joseph Coletti | December 2, 2010

      North Carolina should limit non-voter-approved debt. Any further borrowing by the state should be subject to voter approval. It should also reform state employee pensions by moving to more portable and flexible benefits, such as a 401(k). State government should set aside reserves to cover future health care costs for retired state employees. Health Savings Accounts would be one solution and will remain an option at least until 2018, when the state will need to meet federal health insurance regulations.

    • Washington

      $43.5 million left to pay for imploded Kingdome

      March 26, 2014

      Taking on debt is a lot like trying to tackle Marshawn Lynch - it sounds easy right up to the point you are left behind as he runs over you.

    • BLOG: Kansas, New Mexico , Virginia, Maryland, Michigan, Utah, Arkansas, Indiana, New Jersey

      States react to the federal shutdown

      State Budget Solutions | by Joe Luppino-Esposito | October 2, 2013

      Since states rely so heavily on the federal government for their general budgets, they will feel the pinch of a federal government shutdown.

    • BLOG

      Let's Put Privatizing Municipal Services Back on the Table

      by Kristen De Pena | February 6, 2013
    • BLOG

      Yes, Your Paycheck is Smaller...And it May Get Worse

      by Kristen De Pena | January 16, 2013

      And it isn’t just individuals who must reconfigure budgets, the states are looking at smaller “paychecks” as well.


      New 'State of the States' fiscal crisis study recognizes reality

      December 6, 2012

      The "State of the States" report released this week puts hidden state and local debt at $7.3 trillion, stating: "States do not account to citizens in ways that are transparent, timely or accessible." If state and local governments fail to act decisively now, cities, towns and counties will go bankrupt, and states could fall beyond a fiscal event horizon into perpetual debt.



      Hurricane Sandy, tsunami scare expose state catastrophe debts

      October 30, 2012

      Of all accounting frauds state leaders commit to push devastating costs onto future generations, the worst is deluding citizens about the security of so-called catastrophe insurance funds. Hurricane Sandy and a tsunami scare in Hawaii at the same time should be warning enough for governors to start paying the premiums.


      Public workers pay taxes with taxes paid by private workers

      October 2, 2012

      When State Budget Solutions started looking at real total state debt, just the staggering size of the numbers alone did not tell the whole story. So how to get a fix on the real burden taxpayers must bear in each state? Per capita is the usual way. But even that does not tell the whole story.

    • BLOG: California

      California State Parks Lose $54M Surplus

      by Kristen De Pena | July 26, 2012

      It initally seems that the money was lost, as opposed to purposefully hidden, indicating a gross number of foolish mistakes. 


      Cities and states bleed out while politicians dither

      July 18, 2012

      If our states and municipalities were trauma victims, they would be bleeding out while doctors argued about injuries. Even as financial gurus Paul Volcker and Richard Ravitch studied the municipal and state fiscal crisis for a report released this week, public pension debt alone grew to an untreatable $4.6 trillion, according to analysis released Wednesday by economist Andrew Biggs for State Budget Solutions.

    • BLOG

      Assuming Open Government To Save Money--California Tosses Funding for Transparency

      by Kristen De Pena | July 16, 2012

      One such cut is impacting Marin County where lawmakers requested a measly $61,957 to cover costs associated with implementing a vital open and accessible government law, in operation since for nearly 60 years, and were summarily rejected. The end result? Toss funding, toss transparency.

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