State Budgets

The Williams Report

A look at fiscal headlines from statehouses nationwide

State Budgets

National: This Labor Day, Support Workers
“The best way to honor America’s workers this Labor Day is to trust them,” writes Ben Wilterdink, director of the ALEC Task Force on Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development.

National: An Outbreak of Fiscal Responsibility in the States
Limited government remains en vogue with many of the nation’s governors, according to State of the States: An Analysis of the 2016 Governors’ Addresses.

National: SEC Censures 71 Governments for Lack of Fiscal Transparency
State and local governments in 45 states reached settlements with the SEC after “self-reporting” their failure to disclose financial information to investors. In a statement, SEC enforcement director Andrew Ceresney called the issue “widespread and pervasive.”

Arkansas: State Wins Big on Capital Gains Tax Cut
The Razorback State ended fiscal year 2016 with a surplus of $177.4 million — after cutting taxes.

Florida: State Revenues Climb as Scott Earns Kudos for Tax Cuts
With no income tax, Florida’s surplus now stands at $1.7 billion.

Illinois: Chicago Teachers Union Bargaining Team Urges  Strike if No Deal by October
Here we go again.

Wyoming: Governor Mead Says More Wyoming Budget Cuts Coming
With coal production falling, state revenues have taken a hit.

Pension Reform

National: Public Pension Plans’ Risky Investments Could Cost Taxpayers Billions
When plans fail to meet unrealistically high expectations, taxpayers will have to make up the difference, warns Donald Boyd, director of fiscal studies at the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government.

National: Covering Up the Pension Crisis
“The public dispute over accounting standards is a signal to taxpayers, retirees and political reformers that fundamental flaws remain in how pensions measure their finances,” writes Manhattan Institute senior fellow Steve Malanga in the Wall Street Journal.

National: Controversial Pension Paper Will Be Published After All
After facing “a storm of criticism,” the Society of Actuaries announced it will not block publication of a study that is highly critical of state pension accounting methods.

California: State Court Ruling Allows Pension Changes
Pension reform advocate Ken Churchill provides a thorough analysis of the decision and its implications for California policymakers.

New Jersey: State Pension System Still Among Worst-Funded in U.S.
According to Pew Charitable Trusts, New Jersey’s public pensions are just 42 percent funded.

South Carolina: Pension Fund Deficit Increased by $1.4 Billion
Representative Bill Herbkersman calls it “the state’s biggest problem of the decade.”

Tennessee: State’s Pension Faces Headwinds
In fiscal year 2015, Tennessee pension funds generated a 3.3 percent return on investments; in fiscal year 2016 the funds earned 2.8 percent — well below their stated target of 7.5 percent.

In Depth: State Budgets

Smart budgeting is vital to a state’s financial health. The ALEC State Budget Reform Toolkit offers more than 20 policy ideas for addressing today’s shortfalls in a forthright manner, without resorting to budget gimmicks or damaging tax increases. One way to stabilize budgets over time is to embrace…

+ State Budgets In Depth