State Budgets

The Williams Report

A look at fiscal headlines from statehouses nationwide

State Budgets

Illinois: Budget still elusive as leaders lash out
Governor Bruce Rauner continues to press for pro-growth reforms.

Minnesota: Minnesota reports state budget surplus, but with federal uncertainty
The state budget office has projected a surplus of $1.4 billion.

New Hampshire: State budget priorities debated in Concord
Senate President Chuck Morse wants reforms to the state’s Department of Health and Human Services, which consumes roughly 40 percent of state tax dollars.

New Jersey/Pennsylvania: Tax filing agreement restored in Garden State budget deal
Residents who live in one state and commute to work in the other need only file income taxes in their home state.

Oregon: Governor’s budget proposes ways to fill $1.7 billion shortfall
House Republican Leader Mike McLane says the governor’s budget fails to address the state’s “unsustainable rate of spending.”

South Dakota: Governor predicts ‘lean’ state budget for upcoming cycle
State revenues have dipped 3.6 percent relative to expectations.

Tennessee: Governor Haslam believes he has ‘good problem’ on his hands
For the second year in a row, state revenues have surpassed expectations.

West Virginia: State budget woes continue
More spending cuts are needed.

Wisconsin: State projects $693 million shortfall
On Twitter, Governor Scott Walker assured taxpayers: “Just as we’ve done since I’ve been governor, Wisconsin will have a balanced budget.”

Pensions

National: What low interest rates mean for state and local government pensions
“As long as public-sector plans continue to look to risky asset returns to guarantee plan liabilities (the valuation mismatch), they have an incentive to continue seeking out risk in order to make up for past losses and to keep contribution levels low,” warns Eileen Norcross, director of the Mercatus Center’s State and Local Policy Project.

California: Public pensions facing day of reckoning?
If the Golden State is to avoid insolvency, the “California Rule” needs to go.

California: CalPERS says 7.5% returns over next decade is unlikely
It’s time for reality-based accounting.

Illinois: Chicago pension reform bills stall as state legislature adjourns; lame-duck vote possible
The Senate might consider the measures in early January.

Michigan: Teacher pensions could be curbed during lame-duck session
The proposal would transition some retirement accounts into modern, 401(k)-style plans.

New Jersey: How teachers unions drive state’s pension crisis
“By all conventional measures, the NJEA is the top political spender in the state by far,” writes Mike Lilley, an adjunct scholar with the American Enterprise Institute.

Texas: Dallas has a pension problem
The Dallas Police and Fire Pension System (DPFP) could run out of money by January.


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