State Debt

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    • HEADLINES: New Jersey

      NJ Pension time bomb still ticking

      Trentonian | by Dave Neese | September 16, 2013

      Although Christie says a “broken” pension system has been “fixed” and is “now on a path to restored health,” outside analysts who have looked into New Jersey’s state-managed public-employee pension plans say it’s premature to be putting up a “Mission Accomplished!” banner.

    • HEADLINES: Virginia

      State revenue figures down 4.8 percent compared with August 2012

      Richmond Times-Dispatch | by Olympia Meola | September 16, 2013

      State general fund revenue collections for August dropped by 4.8 percent compared with the same month in 2012, but year-to-date revenue collections are up 3 percent through August.

    • HEADLINES: Illinois

      The Labor Book: A guide to Illinois government unions

      Illinois Policy Institute | by Paul Kersey | August 29, 2013

      When considering Illinois’ economy and politics, it is clear that unionized government causes or exacerbates many of the state’s problems.

    • HEADLINES: Michigan

      Detroit union files challenge to city's bankruptcy petition

      Reuters | by Joseph Lichterman and Bernie Woodall | August 22, 2013

      One of Detroit's biggest public labor unions on Monday became the first major party to file an objection to the city's bankruptcy filing ahead of a midnight deadline for challenges.

    • HEADLINES: Iowa

      Iowa auditor lauds state budget, but notes areas of concern

      Des Moines Register | by Jason Noble | August 7, 2013

      Iowa state Auditor Mary Mosiman lauded the state budget signed into law by Gov. Terry Branstad earlier this year as an “excellent” spending plan that “serves Iowans well.”

    • HEADLINES: Illinois

      Illinois paying the price for ignoring pension crisis

      The State Journal-Register | June 25, 2013

      When Illinois tries to borrow money, it faces the same problem as the spendthrift cousin: far higher interest rates.


      Why Those New State Budget Surpluses May Not Last

      CNBC | by Mark Koba | June 21, 2013

      State coffers are building back up—some with record surpluses. But experts warn that reduced tax revenues— along with a return to overspending—could jerk states right back into the red, and quickly.


      State Budget Transparency: A Look Behind the Numbers

      RealClear Markets | by Tracy Gordon | June 19, 2013

      Most states are now wrapping up their 2013-2014 budget cycles, and apparently they're in good shape too. But thanks to the lack of budget transparency, state and local governments are estimated to owe up to $4 trillion more than they have set aside for pensions and retiree health care.


      Report Says State Budget Surpluses Don't Mean That Much

      Governing | by Ryan Holeywell | June 17, 2013

      A new study shows that many states could end the current fiscal year with surpluses in their general funds. While that may seem like good news, it's probably too early to get excited. That's because those positive numbers are largely the result of one-time influxes of tax revenue that came when investors sold off assets late last calendar year to avoid higher federal tax rates that came in 2013.

    • HEADLINES: California, Nevada, Texas

      Meredith Whitney: The 'Shocking' Details Behind California's Budget Surplus

      Yahoo! News | by Bernice Napach | June 6, 2013

      "Nevada and all across the United States, cities and states that were once flush with cash are running out of money needed to pay for libraries, safe streets, clean drinking water, and yes, schools," writes analyst Meredith Whitney.

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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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