Budget Transparency

Transparency, and the accountability that follows, is necessary for state's to fix their fiscal problems.  Citizens should now demand ready access to state and local government budgets, regulations, contracts, and contacts.  Absent transparency, there is far greater risk of continued failure, corruption, fraud, waste and regulatory abuse.

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    • HEADLINES: Alabama, Arizona, Massachusetts , New Jersey, North Carolina , Pennsylvania

      Williams Report - March 10, 2015

      by Bob Williams | March 10, 2015

      Join us on Twitter today by following @StateBudgets and tweeting with the hashtag #SBSBob. 

    • HEADLINES: Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Vermont, Virginia

      Williams Report - February 4, 2015

      State Budget Solutions | by Bob Williams | February 4, 2015

      Join us on Twitter today by following @StateBudgets and tweeting with the hashtag #SBSBob.

    • HEADLINES: Arizona, California, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire , Pennsylvania, West Virginia

      Williams Report - January 20, 2015

      State Budget Solutions | by Bob Williams | January 20, 2015

      Join us on Twitter today by following @StateBudgets and tweeting with the hashtag #SBSBob.



    • HEADLINES: Illinois, Missouri, North Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin

      Williams Report - October 27, 2014

      State Budget Solutions | by Bob Williams | October 27, 2014

      Join us on Twitter today by following @StateBudgets and tweeting with the hashtag #SBSBob.

    • HEADLINES: California, Connecticut, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina , Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin

      Williams Report - August 19, 2014

      State Budget Solutions | by Bob Williams | August 19, 2014

      Join us on Twitter today by following @StateBudgets and tweeting with the hashtag #SBSBob.

    • HEADLINES: New York

      Six-figure state pensions are on the rise

      The New York Post | by Pat Bailey | May 29, 2014

      The number of state employees collecting an annual pension of at least $100,000 jumped by 259 last year, according to a government watchdog says.

    • HEADLINES: New Jersey

      NJ state budget primer: It's more than you think

      The Daily Record | by Michael Symons | May 27, 2014

      In general, the bottom-line number that gets used - which for the 2015 state budget, starting in July, was trimmed nearly 5 percent last week to $32.7 billion - reflects state appropriations, meaning the spending the state controls through the taxes it collects for general purposes. Federal funds and dedicated funds, all of which are required to be used for a specific purpose or program, aren't included in that number.


      Len Gilroy brings the public's attention to the benefits of privatization

      by Joe Luppino-Esposito | May 8, 2014

      Reason Foundation's Len Gilroy is studying new and innovative ways to incorporate the private sector into government servies--and he's showing that there can be great results.

    • HEADLINES: New York

      Public pension names public

      The Albany Times Union | by Casey Seiler | May 7, 2014

      New York state's highest court ruled Wednesday that the names but not the addresses of retirees who receive public pensions must be disclosed according to the provisions of New York's Freedom of Information Law.

    • HEADLINES: Louisiana

      Louisiana state budget discussed by public

      The Times Picayune | April 14, 2014

      The Appropriations Committee held public testimony day, letting people talk about what they like or don't like about Gov. Bobby Jindal's budget recommendations for the 2014-15 fiscal year that begins July 1.

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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.


      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? 


      State Budget Crisis Task Force Report

      State Budget Crisis Task Force | by Richard Ravitch and Paul Volcker | July 17, 2012

      State finances are not transparent and often include hidden liabilities as well as rapidly growing responsibilities which are difficult to control.  While state revenues are gradually recovering from the drastic decline of the Great Recession, they are not growing sufficiently to keep pace with the spending required by Medicaid costs, pensions, and other responsibilities and obligations.  This has resulted in persistent and growing structural deficits in many states which threaten their fiscal sustainability.

    • RESOURCES: Connecticut

      $100k Pension Club Includes 299 State Retirees

      In 2008, 175 former Connecticut state employees received pensions worth at least $100,000. That number rose to 299 people in 2009 and is expected to continue rising.

    • RESEARCH: Minnesota

      At a Crossroads

      Are students learning the things they need to know? Is there a healthy exchange of ideas? Are trustees upholding the public trust? Are taxpayers getting a good value for their money? These are the kinds of questions to which the people of Minnesota deserve answers. It is the goal of this report card to provide answers and to help Minnesota—a state rightly known for its passion for education—be a national standard bearer for excellence, accountability, and efficiency in higher education.

    • SOLUTIONS: North Carolina

      Spending reform in North Carolina

      The John Locke Foundation | December 2, 2010

      North Carolina should define government's role in each policy area. Some policy goals are better achieved by families, charities, or free enterprise.  It should post budget bills online 72 hours before the first vote and provide a five-year fiscal note with each budget.   The state should also expand the rainy day fund to 10 percent of General Fund appropriations in the most recent fiscal year.

    • SOLUTIONS: South Carolina

      10 Reforms for the S.C. Retirement System

      South Carolina Policy Council | by Simon Wong and Dr. Jameson Taylor | November 18, 2010

      Paper proposing 10 reforms that would facilitate funding the South Carolina Retirement System at 100 percent, keeping it solvent beyond 2024. The first nine ideas would streamline the existing system and provide for greater transparency. Adopting these reforms would not require a major overhaul of the existing plan. Reform # 10 looks to long-term changes that must be made to sustain the state’s retirement system.

    • SOLUTIONS: Massachusetts

      Out of the Shadows

      MASSPIRG Education Fund | by Deirdre Cummings, Phineas Baxandall, Ph.D., Kari Wohlschlegel | May 1, 2010

      In Massachusetts, quasi-public agencies perform vital government functions. They employ thousands of people and sometimes control billion- dollar budgets. Because they are not directly accountable to the legislature and exempt from many kinds of public oversight, these agencies should make their decisions and budgets especially open to public scrutiny.

    • SOLUTIONS: Illinois

      Budget Solutions 2011: A New Way Forward

      by Illinois Policy Institute | April 6, 2010

      A detailed, comprehensive alternative budgeting plan addressing Illinois' immediate financial problems focused on three key elements: spending reallignment, right-sizing government labor costs and pension fund reform.

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