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    • HEADLINES: Missouri

      Some Missouri education funding still shy of past peaks

      The Kansas City Star | by David A. Lieb | January 27, 2014

      The figures from Gov. Jay Nixon's budget look big. There's $84 million in new operating funds for state colleges and universities. A 15 percent increase for public school busing. An additional $600 each for thousands of low-income students receiving state scholarships.

    • HEADLINES: Illinois

      Case before high court could shake public unions

      Sacramento Bee | by Jon Ortiz | January 24, 2014

      Maybe you haven’t heard about Harris v. Quinn, but you will, especially if the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling dooms public-employee collective bargaining.

    • HEADLINES

      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.

    • HEADLINES: Vermont

      Medicaid, housing up for boost in state budget

      The Barre Montpeleier Times Argus | January 23, 2014

      The Vermont House is set to consider an annual midyear budget adjustment today that deviates very little from Gov. Peter Shumlin's proposal.

    • HEADLINES: Kentucky

      Beshear proposes state budget that boosts school spending, cuts many other programs

      The Lexington Herald-Leader | by John Cheves | January 23, 2014

      Gov. Steve Beshear on Tuesday proposed a $20.3 billion, two-year spending plan for Kentucky that would return much of the state's lost funding for K-12 schools but nearly $100 million in cuts to much of the rest of state government.

    • HEADLINES: California

      Loan for bullet train part of Gov. Jerry Brown's budget proposal

      The Los Angeles Times | by Ralph Vartabedian | January 23, 2014

      California would lend $29 million to the High-Speed Rail Authority. Financing proposals for the project have raised concerns from lawmakers, including a key bullet train supporter.

    • HEADLINES

      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.

       

    • HEADLINES: Wisconsin

      Wisconsin budget surplus nears $1 billion

      Businessweek | by Scott Bauer | January 17, 2014

      Wisconsin's budget surplus was projected to reach nearly $1 billion, money that Gov. Scott Walker and Republican legislative leaders are eyeing for income and property tax cuts.

    • HEADLINES: Maryland

      Analysis: Putting a different spin on $39 billion state budget

      The Maryland Reporter | by Len Lazarick | January 16, 2014

      The budget has record spending on K-12 public schools ($6.1 billion) and health care ($8.9 billion), the largest share of the budget.

    • HEADLINES: Rhode Island

      Chafee's $8.5B budget holds tax rates, boosts K-12

      WPRI.com | by Ted Nesi | January 16, 2014

      The governor's proposed budget would increase Rhode Island's state spending by 4% to $8.5 billion in the 2014-15 fiscal year that starts July 1, with about a third of the money coming from the federal government.


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    • RESEARCH: Texas

      Report to the Governor and Legislative Budget Board on the Monitoring of Community Supervision Diversion Funds

      Texas Department of Criminal Justice | December 1, 2013

      Recent Legislatures in Texas have diverted some funding from state lockups to community-based supervision and diversions. Reallocating funding in this way continues to better protect the public safety and reduce crime, as a recent report details.

    • 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

      Public Servants or Privileged Class:

      Citizens Against Government Waste | by John Dunham and Associates | October 17, 2012

      State governments pay on average 6.2 percent more per hour in wages and benefits, including pension benefits, than the private sector for the 22 major occupational categories that exist in both sectors. This combination of excessive wages, pensions and other benefits at the state and local levels is wreaking havoc on public finances in nearly every state.

    • RESEARCH

      Fiscal Policy Report Card on America's Governors: 2012

      The CATO Institute | by Chris Edwards | October 9, 2012

      This fiscal report card on the governors examines state budget actions since 2010 using statistical data to grade the governors on their taxing and spending records-governors who have cut taxes and spending the most receive the highest grades, while those who have increased taxes and spending the most receive the lowest grades.

    • RESEARCH

      Spring 2012 Fiscal Survey of States

      States will face particularly intense budgetary challenges in education and health care in fiscal 2013, putting pressure on all budget areas - including corrections and infrastructure. As budgets face strain from slow revenue growth and expenditure pressures, states will likely confront tough budgetary choices in the next fiscal year.

    • RESEARCH

      Do Roads Pay for Themselves?

      U.S. PIRG | May 9, 2012

      Highways do not - and, except for brief periods in our nation's history - never have paid for themselves through the taxes that highway advocates label "user fees." To have a meaningful national debate over transportation policy-particularly at a time of tight public budgets-it is impor- tant to get past the myths and address the real, difficult choices America must make for the 21st century.

    • RESEARCH

      Risk/Needs Assessment 101: Science Reveals New Tools to Manage Offenders

      The Pew Center on the States | March 14, 2012

      After decades of experience managing offenders and analyzing data, practitioners and researchers have identified key factors that can help predict the likelihood of an individual returning to crime, violence or drug use. When developed and used correctly, these risk/needs assessment tools can help criminal justice officials appropriately classify offenders and target interventions to reduce recidivism, improve public safety and cut costs.

    • RESEARCH

      Reallocating Justice Resources

      Vera Institute of Justice and the Pew Center on the States | by Lauren-Brooke Eisen, Juliene James | March 1, 2012

      Most states are facing budget crises as they plan FY 2013 and beyond. With fewer dollars available, state criminal justice agencies are challenged to increase public safety while coping with smaller budgets. This report distills lessons from 14 states that passed research-driven sentencing and corrections reform in 2011 and is based on interviews with stakeholders and experts, and the experience of technical assistance staff at the Vera Institute of Justice. It is intended to serve as a guide to policy makers and others interested in pursuing evidence-based justice reform in their jurisdiction.

    • RESEARCH

      The Price of Prisons: What Incarceration Costs Taxpayers

      Vera Institute of Justice and the Pew Center on the States | by Christian Henrichson & Ruth Delaney | January 2, 2012

      Researchers found that the total taxpayer cost of prisons in the 40 states that participated in this study was 13.9 percent higher than the cost reflected in those states' combined corrections budgets. The total price to taxpayers was $39 billion, $5.4 billion more than the $33.6 billion reflected in corrections budgets alone.


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    • 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

      The Case for Reform: Prisons

      Right on Crime | August 1, 2012

      Prisons are supremely important, but they are also a supremely expensive government program, and thus prison systems must be held to the highest standards of accountability.

    • SOLUTIONS

      The Case for Reform: Adult Probation

      Right on Crime | August 1, 2012
    • SOLUTIONS

      Risk/Needs Assessment 101: Science Reveals New Tools to Manage Offenders

      The Pew Center on the States | March 14, 2012

      State policy makers across the country are putting research into action by passing legislation that requires their courts and corrections agencies to use evidence-based practices. over the past few years, a number of states have passed comprehensive corrections reform packages that require the use of risk/needs assessment and are projected to save taxpayers millions of dollars.

    • SOLUTIONS: New Hampshire

      On Highways, The One Good Idea in Washington

      The Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy | by Charles M. Arlinghaus | December 7, 2011

      Highway spending in New Hampshire is not funded by general taxation. Our highway spending is supported entirely by user fees like the gas tax and turnpike tolls. So, if we're developing a real plan, let's start by figuring out how much money those fees will raise over the next ten years.

    • SOLUTIONS: Georgia

      Eight Affordable Ideas for Georgia

      The Georgia Public Policy Foundation | by Eight Affordable Ideas for Georgia | December 2, 2011

      Georgia should continue to push the reforms that have made this one of the best managed states in the nation, but innovation is the best opportunity for true reform. Tax, regulatory and tort reform will create the right conditions for innovation in the private sector while the state pursues innovation in the areas of criminal justice, education and heath care.

    • SOLUTIONS: Missouri

      Private Funding an Important Option for Missouri Highways

      The Show-Me Institute | by David Stokes | November 29, 2011

      it is time for Missouri to consider alternative modes of financing highways and bridges as we attempt to deal with MoDOT's projected shortfall in the billions over the next 20 years.

    • SOLUTIONS

      Unemployment Insurance Taxes: Options for Program Design and Insolvent Trust Funds

      The Taxpayer Foundation | by Joseph Henchman | November 21, 2011

      Unemployment Insurance reforms should be considered, including eliminating the "firewall" between administrative costs and benefits, reducing cross-subsidies to high-layoff employers, and relying more on face-to-face training and advising. More significant reforms that could be considered include adopting elements of state workers' compensation programs and experimenting with individual accounts.

    • SOLUTIONS: New Mexico

      Ten Reasons to Shut the Rail Runner Down Now

      The Rio Grande Foundation | by Paul J. Gessing | October 31, 2011

      Passenger rail will always have its advocates and, while technology and population densities may someday make passenger rail financially-viable, it is not currently feasible in New Mexico. Unfortunately, solutions like higher fares and additional emphasis on tourism are not likely to fill the gaping holes in the train’s finances. Luckily, the Rail Runner is by no means essential to our transportation network and it can be shut down. The sooner our leaders realize this, the better off New Mexico’s finances will be.


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