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    • Headlines

      Little-Known Health Act Fact: Prison Inmates Are Signing Up

      New York Times | by Erica Goode | March 11, 2014

      In a little-noticed outcome of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, jails and prisons around the country are beginning to sign up inmates for health insurance under the law, taking advantage of the expansion of Medicaid that allows states to extend coverage to single and childless adults — a major part of the prison population.

    • Headlines

      US public pensions need more than investment windfall

      CNBC.com | March 10, 2014

      The higher-than-expected returns since 2012 are welcome, but experts say they don't make up for a legacy of insufficient funding, a problem that afflicts many states that allow elected officials to control the process.

    • 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

      Buffett Says Pension Tapeworm Means Decade of Bad News

      Bloomberg News | by Noah Buhayar and Zachary Tracer | March 3, 2014

      "Local and state financial problems are accelerating, in large part because public entities promised pensions they couldn't afford," Buffett said. "Unfortunately, pension mathematics today remain a mystery to most Americans."

    • Headlines

      Study rates public pension overhauls in other states

      Sacramento Bee - State Worker | by Jon Ortiz | February 27, 2014

      Public pension-change efforts in states that have rolled back benefits share some common characteristics, according to a paper issued today by the influential Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.

    • Headlines

      Public Pension Tabs Multiply as States Defer Costs and Hard Choices

      The New York Times | by Rick Lyman and Mary Williams Walsh | February 25, 2014

      More than 40 states have taken steps in recent years to rein in mounting public employee pension costs that threaten to strangle government services. But none have come close to closing their pension gaps quickly enough to keep pace with a rapidly aging - and retiring - public work force.

    • Headlines

      Powerball, Mega Millions give state budgets a lift

      Associated Press | by Ryan J. Foley | February 24, 2014

      The scores of losing players in this week's $425 million Powerball jackpot did more than take an extremely long shot at getting rich. 

    • Headlines

      Why big cities so often lose in state legislatures

      Washington Post - GovBeat | by Niraj Chokshi | February 24, 2014

      For more than a century, lawmakers from big cities have complained that their voices are ignored in state legislatures. And, it turns out, they’re right.

    • Headlines : California

      California's government to increase contributions to employee pensions

      Associated Press | by Fenit Nirappil | February 20, 2014

      California’s government will increase the amount it contributes to state employees’ pensions starting this summer, and cities and other government agencies will follow suit in two years, to help cover the cost of benefits for retirees who are living longer.

    • Headlines

      Common-Core Tensions Cause Union Heartburn

      Education Week | by Andrew Ujifusa and Stephen Sawchuk | February 20, 2014

      From the early days of the Common Core State Standards, the two national teachers' unions have been among the initiative's biggest boosters, helping to make the case to the nation's 3.5 million teachers for the tougher expectations and putting significant money into the development of aligned curricula and tools.

      But in some union quarters, that support is starting to waver—the product of flawed implementation in states, concerns about the fast timeline for new testing tied to the standards, and, in at least one instance, fallout from internal state-union politics.


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    • Budget timeframe: Annual

      Fiscal Year begins: July 1

      Find the legislative session calendar here.

      The current state budget can be found here.

      Find the current legislative leaders here.

       

      Jerry BrownGov. Edmung G. "Jerry" Brown
      State Capitol
      Sacramento, CA 95814
      Phone: (916) 445-2841
      Fax: (916) 445-4633
      http://gov.ca.gov/

       

       

       

       

       

      Ana Matosantos

       

      Ana Matosantos, Director of Finance
      Department of Finance
      915 L Street
      Sacramento, CA 95814
      Phone (916) 445-3878
      Fax: (916) 324-7311
      www.dof.ca.gov

       

       

      Want a more robust, long-term look at your state's fiscal health, beyond the budget? There are two parts: Click here for the FY2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) compiled by the state government, and click here for information on the state's pension liabilities

       

      California is required to pass a "balanced budget." California Code Section 13337.5 of state law prohibits the annual budget act from authorizing expenditures in excess of revenues. In 2004 the Constitution was amended to include language to specifically prevent the presentation of a budget bill that would appropriate from the General Fund more than that Fund would receive in revenues. California law forbids the carrying over of a deficit from one year to the next. The State only budgets for expenditures, not revenues.

       

      The California Constitution limits appropriations to the appropriations limit from the previous year, adjusted for inflation and the change in population. This is commonly called "budgeting for fiscal discipline," and is a way to keep the growth of appropriations from outpacing the growth in revenues from year to year.
      Unfortunately, the most recently passed budget relies heavily on accounting maneuvers, including moving tax receipts from one year to a next and borrowing $5 billion against future lottery earnings. The lottery borrowing requires the approval of voters in a ballot measure in a special election the Spring of 2009. If the lottery plan is defeated, midyear cuts and other measures to rein in spending are likely. [from the Institute for Truth in Accounting]

       

      Find the state's bond ratings here.

      PRI Logo

       


    • 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

      How to Prevent Future Pension Crises

      by Cory Eucalitto | November 1, 2012

      The time for state and local governments to offer defined contribution retirement plans that protect both taxpayer dollars and public employee retirement security is now.

    • Solutions: California

      Reform Before Revenue: How to Fix California's Retiree Health-Care Problem

      The Manhattan Institute | by Stephen D. Eide | October 31, 2012

      This paper examines the ongoing fiscal crisis caused by health-care plans for retirees (known as "other post-employment benefits," or OPEB) in one of the hardest-hit states, California, and outlines necessary reforms that should come before tax increases or cuts to government services.

    • Solutions

      State Lawmaker’s Guide to Evaluating Medicaid Expansion Projections

      The Heritage Foundation | by Edmund F. Haislmaier and Drew Gonshorowski | October 17, 2012

      Supporters of Obamacare claim that expanding Medicaid will entail little to no cost to state governments, since the federal government will fund the vast majority of the additional costs. Indeed, some analyses project states achieving savings from adopting the expansion. However, state lawmakers should be wary of accepting such analyses at face value.

    • Solutions: California

      Rising Pension Costs Threaten Cities’ Ability to Provide Services

      Hoover Institution of Stanford University | by Chuck Reed | October 16, 2012

      In June 2012, nearly 70% of San Jose voters approved "Measure B" - a set of pension reforms that the City Council placed on the ballot after more than 8 months of negotiations with our employee unions.

    • Solutions

      Medicaid Is Broken—Let the States Fix It

      The Wall Street Journal | by Paul Howard and Russell Sykes | October 15, 2012

      Block-granting Medicaid is the best way to deliver better, cost-effective care to the most vulnerable Americans.

    • 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

      Solutions to the public pension crisis

      State Budget Solutions | by Bob Williams | August 1, 2012

      Public pensions at the state and municipal levels are unsustainable in their current form.  State Budget Solutions' recent study by Andrew Biggs found that public pensions are underfunded by $4.6 trilion. Here we offer solutions to the pension crisis

    • Solutions: California

      Road Map to Recovery

      Pacific Research Institute | October 31, 2011

      Document that outlines ten steps to return California to prosperity.


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    • 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.

    • Williams Report - July 21, 2014

      State Budget Solutions | by Bob Williams | July 21, 2014

      The Williams Report is BACK after a one week hiatus. Be honest, you missed it! Join us on Twitter today by following @StateBudgets and tweeting with the hashtag #SBSBob. 

    • California, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina , Pennsylvania, Washington, Louisiana, Montana, Virginia

      Williams Report - June 23, 2014

      State Budget Solutions | by Bob Williams | June 23, 2014

      The latest news from State Budget Solutions, including commentary from Bob Williams. Tweet #SBSBob to talk about state budget and pension headlines throughout the nation.

    • California, Idaho, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina , Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington

      Williams Report - June 19, 2014

      by Bob Williams | June 19, 2014

      Welcome to the NEW Williams Report! Take a look at the top headlines from this week, provided by State Budget Solutions. And don't forget to tweet with Bob's signature-- #SBSBob!

    • Fitch: State pension plans' funding climbs in 2013 despite low contributions

      Pensions & Investments | by Rob Kozlowski | May 15, 2014

      While the funding ratios of U.S. state defined benefit pension plans improved in fiscal year 2013, significant challenges remain, according to a Fitch Ratings report.

    • BLOG : California

      California courts make right decision, uphold capping of OPEBs

      by Shannan Younger | May 13, 2014

      Hopefully more states and municipalities will face reality and start taking proactive steps to consider OPEB costs now and those looming in the future when budgeting.

    • California

      City Can Change Retiree Health Benefits: CA Supreme Court

      NBC San Diego | by Andie Adams | May 12, 2014

      The state's highest court denied to hear an appeal over the benefits.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • Pace of pension reform ebbs after 49 states change laws

      Hazel Bradford | by Pensions & Investments | April 15, 2014

      While the sense of urgency has diminished, reform attempts have become a legislative staple, as public retirement systems continue to grapple with unfunded liabilities and political pressure to change.


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