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    • Headlines

      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. 

    • Headlines

      States with budget surpluses may not really be in the black

      State Budget Solutions | by Joe Luppino-Esposito | July 17, 2014

      State Budget Solutions tracks the claimed surpluses of state budgets and explains why there is more than meets the eye.

    • Headlines : California

      Flabby Obamacare spending: America's Most Outrageous State Spending Proposals

      State Budget Solutions | by Joe Luppino-Esposito | June 26, 2014

      Say “Farewell to Fat” and “Hello” to pork.

    • Headlines : 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.

    • Headlines : 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!

    • Headlines : Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Wyoming

      Showdown in the west: Federal lands put state budgets at risk

      State Budget Solutions | by Hannah Oh | June 16, 2014

      On June 11, Carl Graham, director of the Coalition for Self-Government in the West (CSG-W), told an audience at Americans for Tax Reform that the financial future of the western United States is being jeopardized by federal ownership over large swaths of land. 

    • Headlines

      States Push Annual Park Passes to Raise Revenue

      Stateline | by Sandy Johnson | May 23, 2014

      As the Memorial Day holiday opens the 2014 summer vacation season, state parks have had to get creative about ways to raise money because budget officers are being chintzier with tax revenue.

    • Headlines

      Revenues in half the states still haven't recovered

      The Washington Post | by Niraj Chokshi | May 20, 2014

      In 26 states, revenues today are lower than they were at their early-recession peak, according to a new Pew analysis.

    • Headlines

      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.

    • Headlines : California

      Gov. Brown's revised budget proposal boosts spending for Medi-Cal

      The Los Angeles Times | by Chris Megerian | May 14, 2014

      Enrollment in the state's healthcare program for the poor has soared past expectations as a result of President Obama's federal overhaul, Gov. Jerry Brown said Tuesday, and by next year about a third of Californians will be covered, costing hundreds of millions of dollars more than anticipated.


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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

       


    • Pensions :

    • HEADLINES: California

      San Jose mayor files public pension initiative

      The Sacramento Bee | by Jon Ortiz | October 16, 2013

      In a move that portends a labor firestorm, San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and four other city leaders filed papers on Tuesday aiming to put a public pension measure on the November 2014 statewide ballot.

    • HEADLINES

      New fiscal survey finds nation’s cities struggling, but surviving

      The Washington Post | by Michael A. Fletcher | October 11, 2013

      Pressure from soaring health-care and pension costs coupled with cuts in state and federal aid are undermining the improving but still shaky financial health of the nation's cities, according to a report released Thursday.

    • HEADLINES: California

      San Jose mayor days from filing state pension measure

      The San Jose Mercury News | by John Woolfolk | October 10, 2013

      San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed said Wednesday he hopes to file papers within days for a statewide constitutional measure that would empower governments to trim pension benefits for their workers' remaining years on the job.

    • HEADLINES

      State Pension Litigation Update, October 2013

      State Budget Solutions | by Joe Luppino-Esposito | October 9, 2013

      In attempts to reign in the costs of pensions, state lawmakers legislate pension reform. Challengers to those reforms often bring suit, alleging violations of state law, contracts, and the Constitution. This month, we summarize a new case form California regarding health benefits.

    • HEADLINES

      Political, popular obstacles block pension changes

      The Charleston Daily Mail | October 7, 2013

      Detroit's bankruptcy is casting a shadow over a long list of cities across the U.S. and giving mayors new urgency in the search for solutions to the greatest challenge to face America's cities in a generation.

    • HEADLINES: California

      Jerry Brown sues U.S. Labor Department over pension law

      The Sacramento Bee | by Jon Ortiz | October 7, 2013

      As he announced last month, Gov. Jerry Brown sued the U.S. Department of Labor over its ruling that California's new pension-reform law violates mass-transit workers' collective bargaining rights.

    • HEADLINES: California

      California State Auditor report devastating for pensions, healthcare, more

      by Cory Eucalitto | October 7, 2013

      The 2013 update of the State Auditor's annual report is a devastating indictment of the current state of affairs in California, and succinctly details the many failures and false solutions that have brought the Golden State to this point. 

    • HEADLINES: California

      The State Worker: Pension reformers retooling with help from Texas

      The Sacramento Bee | by Jon Ortiz | October 3, 2013

      With the first deadline looming for a new public-pension proposal to make the November 2014 ballot, a Texas nonprofit has emerged in a behind-the-scenes battle poised to break into public view next year.

    • HEADLINES: California

      San Jose mayor leading push to roll back pensions

      The Fresno Bee | by Jon Ortiz | September 24, 2013

      A new push to ask California voters to let state and local governments roll back pensions for current employees is taking shape, with San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed leading the charge.

    • HEADLINES

      The state pension situation is improving, but most plan funding is still low

      Washington Post | by Niraj Chokshi | September 17, 2013

      Wisconsin has the nation’s strongest pension plan, while Illinois has the worst, according to a new report. And the situation across states is starting to moderate.


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    • 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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    • 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.

    • California

      New pension plans differ greatly from 'classic' models

      Sacramento Bee - The State Worker | by Jon Ortiz | April 10, 2014

      California became a dual-class public employee state last year when a sweeping law lowered pension benefits for state and local government workers hired in 2013 and later.


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