State Budgets

The Williams Report

A look at fiscal headlines from statehouses nationwide

State Budgets

Delaware: Budget lawmakers face $167M less to spend
Although state revenue is expected to rise, costs are expected to rise even faster. Medicaid and health benefits for state workers are largely to blame.

Illinois: Moody’s warns no state budget may mean further credit downgrades
Still more gridlock in the Land of Lincoln.

Kansas: State faces another budget gap, memo says
Although many blame the state’s landmark tax reforms, Kansas lawmakers still can — and should — work harder to pare down spending.

Maryland: State cuts revenue projections $800 million
Governor Hogan spokeswoman Amelia Chasse is on the money: “Maryland doesn’t have a revenue problem. Certain members of the General Assembly have a spending problem.”

Mississippi: Governor Bryant cuts $57 million from state budget to offset accounting error
The governor should be commended for prioritizing fiscal discipline over “revenue enhancement.”

New Mexico: Governor, House slam Senate budget plan, plan tweaks
The Senate plan would delay implementation of a pre-scheduled corporate income tax cut.

Pensions

Alabama: How to strengthen state pension system for workers and taxpayers
The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Greg Mennis argues for greater transparency when it comes to state pension investments, which over the past 15 years have fallen $10 billion short of expectations.

California: Pension mess can’t go on; that’s no reason to ignore it
“At some point, even the most dogged public-pension defenders will realize the gravy train — six-figure guaranteed lifetime pensions inflated by myriad spiking gimmicks — will end because the math must catch up with the wishful thinking, writes Steven Greenhut, Western region director for the R Street Institute.

Kentucky: State’s pensions are the nation’s worst-funded, study shows
According to S&P Global Ratings, Kentucky state pensions are 37.4 percent funded, with more than $31.2 billion in total unfunded liabilities.

New Jersey: Residents owe $15K per person in pension debt. Compromise is the only fix
“There can be no doubt that the retirement system has reached critical status by generally accepted standards,” writes the Manhattan Institute’s Steve Malanga in the Newark Star-Ledger.

South Carolina: State treasurer says pension debt threatens to ‘swallow us whole’
He is correct — and the same could be said of most U.S. states.


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