The Williams Report
Colorado: Hickenlooper Signs $26.8 Billion State Budget That Avoids “Draconian Cuts” to Hospitals, Schools
The Governor signed a $26.8 billion spending plan that increases school funding and avoids the expected cuts to hospitals.
Connecticut: Connecticut, Home to Great Wealth, May Be Sinking Into A Fiscal Mire
The administration projects a budget deficit of more than $5 billion over the next two years; largely due to the generous state pension plans of the state and the ever shrinking population and business environment.
Massachusetts: State Budget Now in Hands of Conference Committee
A six member committee has been tasked with working out the differences between the senate and the house budgets with the intent to have a viable solution on the Governor’s desk by the end of the fiscal year on June 30.
Minnesota: $46B State Budget Deal Heads to Governor’s Desk
The budget contains some a $650 million tax cut and hundreds-of-millions of dollars being cut from health and human services, The budget is currently awaiting the approval of the Governor.
New Mexico: The Latest: New Mexico Governor Praises Budget Agreement
The Governor praised the budget agreement but said she intended to veto all outright tax increases.
Oklahoma: Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs Announces Intent to File State Supreme Court Challenge Over Income Tax Increase
Jonathan Small, president of OCPA, explained, “House Bill 2403 is designed to raise revenue for state government, but it passed the state House of Representatives with far less than a three-fourths vote. This makes it a blatant violation of Oklahoma’s Constitution, suggesting our state’s highest Court would strike it down.”
South Carolina: Still no final state budget for South Carolina
The Conference Committee, consisting of three members of the house and three members of the senate, are still working on a final budget. They cannot agree on what should be done to the state pension system, nor can they agree on how much to spend on new school buses. The senate has passed a continuing resolution to continue operating on the current budget if the Committee cannot come up with a solution by July 1.
Texas: The Texas Budget Sees Small Increases with Large Cuts in the General Government and Regulatory Spending
While most areas only received a raise or lower in spending from 1-3.5 percent, the General Government spending was cut by 11.4 percent ($803.2 million) and the Regulatory spending was cut by 34.1 percent ($325.8 million). Business and Economic Development spending was the largest increase at 7.4 percent ($2.2 billion).
Vermont: Lawmakers Seek Compromise Over State Budget
Because of a disagreement over the teacher healthcare plans, the governor threatened to veto the state budget; the Vermont lawmakers are searching for a compromise.
Washington: Second Special Legislative Session Begins with No Compromise in State Budget in Sight
Both democrats and republicans agree on raising education spending, but democrats would rather use carbon and capital gains taxes, while the republicans would rather increase the property taxes in places like Seattle to afford the increase.
Wisconsin: Governor Walker threatens to veto entire state budget if it raises property taxes on homeowners
Governor Scott Walker threatened to veto the entire state’s budget
California: Forget Fiscal Responsibility: Governor Brown Embraces Pension Shell Game
California applies a “band-aid” to their pension fund but ignores the elephant in the room; excessive spending.
California: Growing Retirement Costs are Hitting New State Budget Hard
Low financial returns mean increased reliance upon the General Fund for Californian retirement plans.
Illinois: Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund Paid Out $1.5 Billion in 2016, Earned $7.8 Million
Poor investment and management lead to Chicago public pension program relying on current contributions to fund current liabilities.
Illinois: Chicago Schools to Borrow $389 Million to Pay Pensions, Finish Year
Running on empty, Chicago schools borrow more money in order to meet their pension obligations and finish both the school and fiscal year.
Kentucky: Why Kentucky’s Public Pension Debt Just Grew by $2 Billion
Among poor returns and inflation, Kentucky readjusts pension projections, making an underfunded program even more so.
Texas: Houston Pension Reform Plan Passes Texas House, Awaits Governor’s Signature to Become Law
Houston makes tough compromise to stabilize its pension program and ensure benefits for public employees in the future
Texas: Firefighters Plan to Challenge Houston Pension Reform
Firefighters are protesting the pension reform bill that the Texas House just passed to the be approved by the governor. The bill will reduce the pension plan, but save the jobs of hundreds of city employees in Houston.