Category Archives: state government

Another factor behind ballooning state pension bills

In Illinois, highway maintenance workers can retire at age 50 and receive $75,000 a year for life. In Florida, a crime lab employee with 25 years on the state payrolls can retire at age 50 and take home $60,000 a … Continue reading

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Attempted California tax hike: take two

Call it a case of déjà vu. Two years ago, then-California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger asked voters to approve a temporary tax increase to help fill the state’s massive budget deficit. I had just started working as a City Hall reporter … Continue reading

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Super Committee failures spell bad news for state governments

Some say the Congressional “Super Committee” was doomed from the start. The committee made up of six Republicans and six Democrats, made headlines last week when it failed to reach agreement on spending cuts– triggering $1.2 billion automatic budget cuts … Continue reading

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POLL: Weigh in on the NY state “millionaire’s tax” debate

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Read their lips: No new taxes

Colorado voters made one message clear this week — “Read our lips. No new taxes.” In Tuesday’s election, voters across the state voted 2 to 1 against Proposition 109, a ballot measure that would have used higher tax rates to … Continue reading

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You fix the budget

Some of my former colleagues used to joke that I was interested in things that most people find terribly boring. And hey, if you find municipal budgets, pension rates and boring, then maybe they were right. But given the fact … Continue reading

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Why are parks and libraries so often the first to go?

In the era of gaping municipal budget holes, parks and library patrons are some of the biggest losers. In Glendale, Calif., where I worked as a City Hall beat reporter, nearly 50% of budget cuts outlined in an initial proposal … Continue reading

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