State Budgets

The Williams Report

A look at fiscal headlines from statehouses nationwide.

State Budgets:

Alaska: State of the State                                                                                                   

“Alaska is in the midst of the gravest fiscal crisis in state history.”

Arizona: State of the State                                                                                               

“Overall, the agenda set forth by Governor Ducey promises to make the environment yet more conducive for growth in the Grand Canyon State.”

Iowa: Iowa House-Senate agree on $117.8 million budget cuts                       

“The Iowa Legislature agreed on over $115 million in spending cuts. Governor Branstad attributes revenue shortfall to a “very difficult farm economy.”

Illinois: Far-reaching Illinois budget fix faces long odds                                   

“Illinois lawmakers try and devise a budget amid intense political feuding, featuring billions in tax increases.”

Mississippi: State of the State

“The address covered everything from government process reform, budget and economic development policy, to the need for improvements in education as well as in the state’s troubled foster-care system (specified as his top priority).”

Missouri: State of the State                                                                                               

“Governor Greitens focused on shrinking government, enacting Right-to-Work legislation, paying down debt and ridding the state of regulatory burdens in his first address.”

Minnesota: State of the State                                                                                           

“The biennium budget recommendation released by Governor Dayton includes nearly 10 percent more general fund spending than the previous budget, a proposal totaling $45.8 billion.”

Nevada: State of the State                                                                                                 

“His speech offered hope for continued education reform, but on the economics front, the governor expressed a continuing approval of cronyism.”

Rhode Island: State of the State                                                                                   

“Taxpayers should welcome the governor’s call in the State of the State address to reduce the anti-growth Motor Vehicle Excise Tax. However, her other agenda items of free tuition (i.e. higher education spending)  and increasing the minimum wage will further inhibit Rhode Island’s economy.”

South Dakota: State of the State                                                                                   

“Though he did not focus heavily on fiscal issues,  Governor Daugaard discussed the need to balance the budget, roll back burdensome regulations, and make government more efficient.”

Washington: State of the State                                                                                       

“Rather than saddling hard working Washingtonians with billions in new taxes for public schools, education reforms should be pursued.”

West Virginia: Governor Recognizes Problems, but Solutions Fall Short   

“Raising taxes, begging for federal subsidies and plunging into debt are not solutions to West Virginia’s woes.”

Wyoming: State of the State                                                                                             

“A projected $1.5 billion education funding shortfall in the 2019-2020 biennium and Wyoming’s long-term success make principled fiscal leadership even more vital.”

Pensions:

California: City and County Pension Funds Are Billions Short                         

“The latest shortfalls mark new troubling heights for each pension fund, surpassing levels that rocked the city during the pension scandal of the early 2000s.”

California: Editorial: Gov. Brown keeps fumbling pension reform               

“The governor should come clean with the public and truly address California’s mounting retirement debt rather than passing it on to future generations.”

Colorado: PERA at risk of insolvency if another recession comes, director says                                                                                                                                         

“That’s not just a risk for members. That’s a risk for employers, that’s a risk for taxpayers, that’s a risk for Colorado communities.”

Connecticut: Spiking CT pension costs                                                                         

“The legislature’s Appropriations Committee issued a dual-endorsement Tuesday of a new plan that would allow Connecticut to defer billions of dollars in required contributions to the state employees’ pension fund until after 2032.”

Illinois: State’s pension liabilities grow even as payments made                   

“Despite continued and increasing payments, the unfunded liabilities in the systems also continue to rise, growing from $111 billion in fiscal year 2015 to nearly $130 billion last year, according to the General Assembly’s Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability.”

Maryland: Hogan proposes 401k option for new state employees                 

“Protecting the integrity of our pension system and keeping the promises made to our hardworking state employees will always be a priority of this administration.”

New York: Assembly and Senate pass pension reform bill                                 

“State lawmakers in both houses have approved a bill to remove pensions from state lawmakers convicted of corruption crimes.”

South Carolina: S.C. treasurer, armed with attorney general opinion, blasts pension fund management

“Treasurer Curtis Loftis points to a recent opinion from the Attorney General’s Office, which he requested, that says a court would likely find the methods used to calculate the pension plan unconstitutional.”


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