The Williams Report
Alaska: Alaska looks to diversify their tax revenues but, unfortunately, looks in the wrong place, an income tax.
Alabama: Montgomery, Alabama continues to operate without a budget, largely due to a disagreement over the proposed lodging tax. .
Connecticut: Hartford is downgraded to CC, bankruptcy is assumed by two credit rating agencies.
Connecticut: Gov. Malloy is still pushing to nearly double the hospital tax.
Connecticut: Malloy vetoes budget, GOP prepares for override session.
Delaware: The state is attempting to reform state healthcare costs: Per capita, only two states spent more on healthcare in 2014 than Delaware. This year, Delaware is spending about $1.57 billion on state employee health care and Medicaid — nearly 40 percent of its total budget.
Delaware: Financial picture appears to be improving – ever so slightly – with an additional $64 million in revenue expected next year, a state panel said Monday.
Illinois: State budget crises trickles down into municipal education budgets due to fund raiding and weak economic growth.
Illinois: Despite one of the largest budget increases in state history, Illinois’s budget is in deficit halfway through the fiscal year.
Iowa: Governor Kim Reynolds move to close the state budget deficit by borrowing $13 million dollars may violate of state law.
Louisiana: The state closes its fiscal year with a $100 million dollar surplus.
Massachusetts: House overrides Gov. Baker’s $320 Medicaid spending increase veto. If the senate also passes the override, it will likely throw the budget into deficit.
Mississippi: Medicaid costs exceed expectations, requests additional state funds.
Missouri: State revenues up 6% from projections.
Montana: Montana governor Steve Bullock asked lawmakers to increase state taxes on tobacco, wine and medical marijuana, increase the bed tax and create a new tax bracket for those with taxable incomes above $500,000 a year.
Montana: The Legislative Fiscal Division is releasing its analysis of Budget Director Dan Villa’s recommended cuts on Friday.
Montana: The state must have a $143 million ending fund balance in 2019, but current revenue projections show the state ending fiscal year 2018 $35 million in the hole. The total projected shortfall would require $226 million in additional spending cuts to come out on target.
New Jersey: Gov. Chris Christie is pressuring gubernatorial candidates to support a more expensive incentive package for Amazon.
New Jersey: A New Jersey study of wage caps for police/fire found that caps reduce the growth rate of property taxes. However, the study isn’t being published- likely due to political pressure.
Oregon: Lagging revenues may signal a fiscal cliff for the state budget.
Pennsylvania: The state is on track for another credit downgrade due to the ongoing budget battle.
Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania’s state government is accused of violating the state’s balanced budget requirement.
Rhode Island: The Wexford project is now believed to create 90 percent fewer jobs than expected, calling into question the $40 million dollar subsidy.
Rhode Island: Pawsox stadium subsidy might go to a public vote.
Rhode Island: Schools fall $2.2 billion dollars behind on maintenance.
Vermont: Gov. Phil Scott requires budget proposals from state agencies to assume a 0 percent increase in spending from F18 in FY19. The budget freeze comes after revenue projects we revised down, again, by 28.8 million dollars.
Virginia: Virginia’s DMV has a current operating budget shortfall of $16.4 million. DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb said the solution is to raise fees, on residents and or intergovernmental departments.
Washington: As Washington struggles with property tax increases, some look to new taxes while others look to savings.
West Virginia: Commerce Secretary calls for increased economic development funding, specifically $100 million for the new Toyota/Mazda joint automobile assembly plant at taxpayer expense.
Wyoming: Wyoming considers imposing a gross receipts tax on business transactions. Draft bill to collect the information passed out of committee on an 8 to 3 vote.
Alaska: Alaska’s state pension plan saw a strong rate of return this year, earning more than 13 percent. However, it remains one of the worst funded pension plans in the country.
California: Two more municipalities have their pension payments from CalPERS cut by up to 90 percent.
Colorado: The state’s Public Employees’ Retirement Association, PERA, proposed and approved a plan which would increase municipal pension contributions and or reduce current retiree benefits. The plan will be suggested to lawmakers.
Florida: Preparedness and quick thinking by Florida pension managers reduced the potential disruption of hurricane Irma.
Hawaii: Hawaii joins the other 49 states in stress testing their pensions.
Kentucky: Kentucky’s Governor Matt Bevin readies for a pension reform battle. Reform may impact current retirees in addition to future hires.
Louisiana: The Louisiana teacher retirement system experienced a 16 percent rate of return for its most recent fiscal year.
Minnesota: State continues to wrestle with the realization that their overly optimistic discount rate led them to underfund their pension to dangerous levels.
Missouri: The Missouri State Employee Retirement System (MOSERS) has begun offering lump annuities in lieu of pension payments, “buying out” vested pension members, in an effort to reduce future liabilities.
Nebraska: The Nebraska Investment Council commits an additional $50 million dollars to their pension buyout fund.
North Dakota: The state pension plans experienced a 12.96 percent rate of return for fiscal year 2017.
Ohio: Ohio’s pension crisis is reaching a tipping point and, as a result, may cut benefits for current retirees.
Oklahoma: Oklahoma’s seven state public pension funds averaged a 14 percent rate of return for fiscal year 2017.
Oregon: Oregon’s pension deficit climbs to $25.3 billion dollars, due to a mixture of underfunding and a more realistic discount rate.
Tennessee: Tennessee committed $120 million dollars to its pension buyout fund, an increase over the previous investment of $65 million.
Virginia: Next month, the VRS board of trustees will recommend employer pension contribution rates for the two-year budget the governor will propose and the assembly will dispose in its upcoming 60-day legislative session. The rates are expected to be lower because of the state’s full funding of contributions and a robust 12.1 percent return on investments in the last fiscal year.