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, The Williams Report compiles the latest news and headlines on state budgets, public pensions, and other important news about the budget stability of the states. Bob's exclusive commentary can be tweeted with the hashtag #SBSBob.
Bob's full biography can be found here.
Updates this week:
The SBS take on budget surpluses: States with budget surpluses may not really be in the black
Hawaii: Hawaii is so convinced it can lower recidivism, it's already spending the money it thinks it'll save
HI has a good program to lower recidivism rates, but it shouldn't count its chickens before they hatch on the potential savings #SBSBob http://is.gd/4SZlF5
Kentucky: Beshear plugs $91 million budget shortfall, mostly with money from state reserves
There is no excuse for the Governor to wait until after the fiscal year ended before he acted #SBSBob http://is.gd/2lYKcm
KY should have cut spending before it raided its reserves #SBSBob http://is.gd/2lYKcm
Bad budgeting in Kentucky means that emergency reserves dip to 1% of total budget. Should be 5-15% #SBSBob http://is.gd/2lYKcm
New York: New York to add $3B windfall to state budget "New York is poised to collect nearly $3.3 billion from a recent record settlement with France's largest bank, and the Cuomo administration plans to add it to the state's general fund."
Here's your perfect example of a budget gimmick-NY relies on short term funding to justify more spending #SBSBob http://is.gd/OEte81
North Carolina: McCrory Threatens Senate Budget Veto "Gov. Pat McCrory says he'd veto any North Carolina budget plan on his desk that raises teacher pay dramatically like the Senate wants because it would mean huge cuts elsewhere to pay for it."
Pennsylvania: Governor signs budget, vetoes some legislative funding, lashes out over pension reform
Gov. Corbett needs to lead on pension reform; he needs to pull together the leadership of both parties and work on a solution #SBSBob http://is.gd/Z7VTKu
Updates this week:
California: Sacramento Bee Editorial: CalPERS remains in a deep hole despite big return "California's $300 billion public employee pension fund reported the upbeat news that its rate of return exceeded 18 percent in the fiscal year that ended last month. Even with the 18.4 percent return, CalPERS estimates that it is only 76 percent funded, a remnant of overpromises made by the Legislature in 1999 and the financial crash of 2007 and 2008. CalPERS would need to make 18 percent on top of 18 percent for several years running, and no one should expect that to occur."
#SBSBob: It is past time for California to enact meaningful pension reform.
Time for pension reform 2.0
IL Guv & legislators must face reality. Day of Reckoning is here. Delays = massive tax increases or pensions not being fully funded. #SBSBob
Minnesota: Pensions: Keeping the promise: Securing the retirement benefits for current and future public employees
.@FollowCAE has common sense solutions to reduce MN unfunded pension liabilities & paying down this liability #SBSBob http://is.gd/1olhac
Mississippi: Mississippi pension fund heads for final ‘Jeopardy'
Pennsylvania: While state stalls, local governments solve pension mess
Washington: Pension committee looks for middle-way on rising retirement costs for state, local government and employees "The upshot is potentially a $1.2 billion bill next year for state and local government employers for the coming two-year budget cycle, and employees could be on the hook for $408 million more - if most of the costs are eaten in one budget cycle."
Typical: WA state legislators put their heads in the sand & kick the unfunded pension costs to the future. #SBSBob http://is.gd/M9W9WA