State Budget Solutions - Balanced Budget Tricks!


News from State Budget Solutions

February 2014

EXography: States use gimmicks, late payments and other accounting tricks to meet balanced budget requirements

Paying bills late, selling buildings and swiping money from special accounts are some of the gimmicks states are using to bypass balanced budget requirements, according to a new report on the tricks being used to paper over deep deficits.

From California to New Hampshire, state governments are using smoke and mirrors instead of cash to meet the constitutional or statutory mandates that they finish their fiscal years with balanced budgets, according to research from State Budget Solutions, a non-partisan group that monitors state spending.

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The Shortfalls of Oklahoma's Defined Benefit Public Pension Plans

Across the country, unfunded public pension liabilities are the single largest threat to the stability and solvency of state and municipal governments. State Budget Solutions' research in "Promises Made, Promises Broken - The Betrayal of Pensioners and Taxpayers," found that state-administered pension plans have a combined $4.1 trillion unfunded liability. 

The figure may seem distant or abstract. The truth, though, is that these unfunded liabilities amount to trillions of dollars worth of shattered promises. 

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State Budget Solutions In the News

State Budget Solutions is a known expert in fiscal responsibility and pension reform. Every month, countless media outlets and financial professionals cite the work of SBS's expert analysis and publish the opinions of SBS leaders. Here are a few highlights from February:

On pensions, don't betray Oklahoma's public retirees
The Oklahoman
Imagine that you invest decades in public service working a state job and serving your community. You earned a fair, not exorbitant, salary. You chose public service, in part, to secure a decent retirement for your family and trusted that promises made will be kept. That monthly pension check is the cornerstone of your retirement plan. But then imagine a day when those pension checks just stop. You are left high and dry. READ MORE

Utah begins preparing for the day if/when federal funds less available
Idaho Reporter
llinois’ worst-in-the-nation pension systems alone owe at least $130 billion, but now comes a new warning about the high cost of simply managing that debt. READ MORE

State watch: New Jersey's pension money pit
The Trentonian
Experts who look into the finances of New Jersey’s public-employee pension plans often wind up making the same observation. READ MORE

The Williams Report

As a former state legislator, gubernatorial candidate and auditor with the Government Accountability Office, State Budget Solutions' President Bob Williams is a national expert in fiscal and tax policies.  Each week, he compiles the latest news and headlines pertaining to state budgets, collective bargaining and state public pensions into The Williams Report.

Governor Otter magic: Turning $140 million and 6 percent into $104 million and 3.7 percent. Idaho Freedom Foundation

Governor says longer living state workers will drive pension costs up $1.2 billion a year. Governor urges CalPERS to move quickly to address this issue. The Sacramento Bee

Speaker Weatherford returns for another showdown on pensions. Florida Times-Union

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