Here’s a look at some of this week’s most interesting, and consequential, budget- and economy-related issues in the 50 states:
California’s estimated $24.5-billion budget shortfall has prompted Governor Jerry Brown to declare California in a state of fiscal emergency. As noted in the Thursday’s L.A. Times, the declaration of fiscal emergency is a procedural move that allows the legislature a 45-day extension to act on the budget. Former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger enacted the same declarations, but legislators have failed to approve any deficit-reducing measures.
This weekend, the Detroit Free Press listed some of the most often-mentioned ideas for budget cuts to tackle Michigan’s projected $1.8-billion deficit. One proposal would replace the Michigan Business Tax (MBT) with a 5% flat tax for large corporations and an exemption for small businesses. A shift of funds from the state’s $523-million School Aid surplus to less-endowed community colleges is also up for discussion.
Leaders in Massachusetts are encouraging current public employees to delay retirement, and looking to increase the retirement age for newly hired employees. According to Massachusetts Officials, the changes could save an estimated $5 billion over 30 years, plus an additional $2 billion in health care costs, Bloomberg reported Tuesday. Administration and Finance Secretary Jay Gonzalez said, “Extending the schedule just makes the imperative for pension reform that much more important. We need to bring down the cost of our system to make it sustainable over time.”
Read Entire Story: Bankrupting America