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    • 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.

    • HEADLINES: New Jersey

      Christie's Call For Pension Concessions Sets Up Budget Battle With Sweeney

      NJ Spotlight | by Mark J. Magyar | January 15, 2014

      Gov. Chris Christie used his State of the State speech to argue that “further pension changes are needed” because the annual payments required to restore the pension system to solvency prevent the state from increasing the funding for education, crime prevention, infrastructure, and other needed programs or enacting a tax cut.

    • HEADLINES: Iowa

      Branstad proposes record $7 billion state general-fund budget

      The Sioux City Journal | by Rod Boshart | January 14, 2014

      The budget proposes to spend slightly more than $7 billion in the fiscal year that begins July 1, an overall increase of 7.8 percent from current funding levels.

    • HEADLINES: California

      Brown budget plan faulted on bullet train, teacher pensions

      The Los Angeles Times | by Chris Megerian | January 14, 2014

      Legislative analyst praises Brown for paying down debt and adding to a reserve fund, but says more should be put into teacher pensions and calls bullet train funding risky.

    • HEADLINES

      State Budgets Still Need Reform

      Fox Business | by Peter Barnes | January 14, 2014

      Pension reforms enacted or under review by 43 states cover mainly new employees, the task force said, and "have had minimal effect on unfunded liabilities."

    • HEADLINES: North Carolina

      McCrory administration explores broad budget cuts to boost teacher pay

      The News & Observer | by Patrick Gannon | January 11, 2014

      A memo from State Budget Director Art Pope to department heads is additional evidence that state leaders may increase pay for state workers in the 2014-15 budget, but it also suggests that departmental budgets might be cut to cover the cost.

    • HEADLINES: Alabama

      Alabama's state budgets: Agencies could face spending cuts next year

      AL.com | by Mike Cason | January 10, 2014

      Rep. Steve Clouse, chair of the General Fund committee, said Medicaid is expected to seek an increase of about $100 million above this year's appropriation, which was $615 million out of the total General Fund budget of $1.75 billion.

    • HEADLINES: California

      Brown Proposes Record $106.8 Billion California Budget

      Bloomberg | by Michael B. Marois | January 10, 2014

      California Governor Jerry Brown proposed a record $106.8 billion budget as state coffers brim with the biggest surplus in more than a decade, setting up a fight with fellow Democrats who want more spending.

    • California

      Jerry Brown’s budget plan proposes cautious spending, paying down debt

      The Sacramento Bee | by David Siders, Jim Miller and Jeremy B. White | January 9, 2014

      Bracing against calls for more spending after years of recession-era cuts, Gov. Jerry Brown today will propose modest increases for social services next fiscal year, with billions of dollars in surplus revenue going to reduce state debt.


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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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