As a former state legislator, gubernatorial candidate and official with the General Accountability Office, State Budget Solutions President Bob Williams is a national expert in fiscal and tax policies. Each week, he compiles the latest news and headlines pertaining to state budgets, collective bargaining and state public pensions into The Williams Report. Bob's full biography can be found here.
Governor's budget exceeds constitutional spending cap by $466 million so Governor proposes gimmicks to get around state spending cap. The new exemptions to the spending cap the governor proposed involve state spending in the first year of any federal program and certain payments into the teachers' and state employees' pension funds. The CT Mirror
House approves and sends to the Senate a $34 billion budget. Boston.com
Governor Christie budget faces $444 million revenue shortfall with only weeks left in this fiscal year which ends on June 30. The Record
Updates this week:
ARIZONA: Senate begins debating $8.8 billion state budget. The Republic
CALIFORNIA: Governor's May budget revisions balances only by ignoring unfunded liabilities. California Watchdog
CONNECTICUT: Governor's budget exceeds constitutional spending cap by $466 million so Governor proposes gimmicks to get around state spending cap. The new exemptions to the spending cap the governor proposed involve state spending in the first year of any federal program and certain payments into the teachers' and state employees' pension funds. The CT Mirror
FLORIDA: Governor signs $74 billion budget and vetoes $380 million in projects. WTSP
HAWAII: State budget not balanced without paying off massive debts. Hawaii Reporter
KANSAS: Legislators set stage to resume negotiations on 2014 state budget. The Republic
MASSACHUSETTS: State unveils nearly $34 billion state budget. The plan increases spending by $1.4 billion dollars or 4.4 percent over the current fiscal year. The Senate budget resembles the $34 billion dollar plan approved by the House of Representatives last month. It relies on tax increases on tobacco, gas and utility companies - and borrows $350 million from the state's rainy day fund. It's also much smaller than the 7 percent budget increase proposed by Governor Deval Patrick. WWLP
MICHIGAN: State budget players reach consensus: $484 million in unexpected revenue next year. Crain's Detroit Business
MINNESOTA: Legislature adjourns as $2 billion in tax increases close $627million state budget deficit. The Democratic-led Legislature voted to tax the rich and smokers and to close corporate loopholes in raising about $2 billion in new taxes in its omnibus tax bill. Isanti County News
MISSOURI: Legislature approves $25 billion state budget. NixaXPress
MONTANA: State budget increases spending 11 percent over next two years. Ravalli Republic
NEBRASKA: $7.8 billion budget heads to Governor's desk. Omaha.com
NEW HAMPSHIRE: Next two year state budget faces $168.6 million revenue shortfall. Nashua Telegraph
NEW JERSEY: Governor Christie budget faces $444 million revenue shortfall with only weeks left in this fiscal year which ends on June 30. The Record
NORTH CAROLINA: Senate budget moves in right direction, has room for improvement. John Locke Foundation
OREGON: The Democrats in charge of writing a new state budget said Friday they're casting aside proposed tax increases and public-employee pension cuts and will begin advancing early pieces of a spending plan for the next two years. Democrats want to increase taxes, Republicans want steeper cuts in public-employee pensions, and each side is accusing the other of refusing to negotiate. The Register-Guard
RHODE ISLAND: State trying to close projected $30 million budget deficit. Providence Journal
TEXAS: Lawmakers strike a budget deal. Star-Telegram
Updates this week:
Why Moody's' changed pension analysis. Bond Buyer
ILLINOIS: Proposed state budget only temporary solution until pension problem resolved. The Republic
OKLAHOMA: Governor vetoes pension reform bill. In her veto letter to the State Legislature, Gov. Fallin said the bill failed to address any of the real structural challenges with the state's defined benefit plans, which have a combined $11 billion unfunded liability. She added there is "no measurable impact on the state's unfunded liabilities due to unknown variables such as the number of individuals that may voluntarily elect to participate, their potential career length and salary of those participants." Business Insurance
Updates this week:
Obamacare vs. Unions."‘This tax increase will most directly affect union families and early retirees, who are likely to be covered by such plans. This Obamacare tax will be levied on insurance policies whose premiums exceed $10,200 for an individual and $27,500 for a family. Middle class union members tend to be covered by such plans in states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan.'" Detroit News.
CALIFORNIA: State worker unions lose ruling on loss of two paid holidays. Sacramento Bee.
MICHIGAN: The SEIU ‘Dues Skim' Finally Ends. Since 2006, the SEIU took $34.4 million from the elderly and disabled in mandatory union dues. Mackinac Center: Michigan Capitol Confidential.
MINNESOTA: Home child-care unions bill passes Senate after 17-hour debate. Star Tribune.
NORTH CAROLINA: "The legislature is poised to curtail civil service protections for state employees, giving preliminary approval to a bill pushed by Gov. Pat McCrory. House lawmakers voted 110-5 to remake the grievance procedures for about 90,000 state workers, moving the key link in the appeal process from the hands of an independent administrative law judge to hearing officers named by political appointees of the governor." News & Observer.
WASHINGTON: Teacher union staff strife."‘Staffing has decreased significantly over the past 4 years and on August 30, 2013, an additional 27 staff members will retire leaving the organization without the ability to continue the necessary work,' reads the flyer. ‘WEA does not plan to fill those positions with permanent employees which is a violation of the negotiated Collective Bargaining Agreement.'" EIA Online: Intercepts.