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STATE DEBT

State Debt

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    • HEADLINES: California

      Report says California owes $340.7 billion, some being ignored

      The Sacramento Bee | by Dan Walters | May 9, 2014

      The state of California is $340.7 billion in debt and while it is on track to repay much of the sum, it's not doing anything about unfunded liabilities for teacher pensions and state retiree health care, the Legislature's budget analyst said.

    • HEADLINES: Kansas

      Moody's downgrades Kansas' credit rating, citing sluggish recovery and risky tax plan

      The Kansas City Star | by Brad Cooper | May 7, 2014

      Plummeting revenues, underfunded pensions and millions in court-ordered school spending led Moody's Investors Service to cut the state's credit rating by a notch.

    • HEADLINES: Illinois

      Illinois residents paying more taxes for fewer services

      Illinois Watchdog | by Ben Yount | April 29, 2014

      "The pension obligation debt is eight times all the bond debt for building roads and schools and everything else," said Bob Williams, president of State Budget Solutions. "Essentially, the state has been living on credit cards."

    • HEADLINES

      Richard Ravitch: State fiscal crises aren't over

      Newsday | by Michael Gormley | April 25, 2014

      Former Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch, who helped New York City escape bankruptcy 40 years ago, warned Wednesday that the fiscal crisis isn't over in New York and other states, despite election year plans to cut taxes and spend more.

    • 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.


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    • 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

      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.

    • RESEARCH

      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.

    • RESEARCH

      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.

    • RESEARCH

      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.

    • 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: 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.