Headlines: West Virginia
The West Virginia Senate's budget pulls more money from the Rainy Day Fund to pay for increases in Medicaid.
A legislative panel on Thursday endorsed a plan to spend nearly $22 million of the state's projected $125 million budget surplus, settling on a handful of the more than $90 million in projects that legislators and Gov. Mike Beebe had proposed.
Headlines: New Jersey
The question is whether the New Jersey public retirement system - facing a $52 billion deficit - can afford to pay big pensions to retirees who are still working in high-paying public jobs.
A GOP lawmaker has filed legislation that would allow quasi-governmental agencies to withdraw from Kentucky's public pension system if they agree to pay off their retirement liabilities.
Republicans and Democrats settled on a $6.97 billion budget for the 2015 fiscal year, which begins July 1, 2014. Such a compromise is not at all typical in the divided Legislature, and could allow lawmakers to adjourn ahead of schedule this year.
This year's package includes a $25 million boost in property tax credits, as well as money for water projects, prison overcrowding, parks maintenance, job training, developmental disability services and pediatric cancer research.
Headlines: Rhode Island
Under the settlement, individuals who retired before June 30, 2012, would get a one-time 2 percent COLA. Going forward, COLAs would be awarded every fourth year (instead of every fifth under the original legislation) until state pensions are 80 percent funded.
The measure makes adjustments to the $33.6 billion, two-year state operating budget approved by the Legislature last year.
Republicans in the House said their version of the bill was a more fiscally responsible supplemental budget.
Chicago's financial standing took a hit Tuesday when a major bond rating agency once again downgraded the city's credit worthiness because of a huge government worker pension shortfall and the overall amount of money it owes.