How pension reform shrinks R.I. deficit

Rhode Island Governor-elect Gina Raimondo rose to political prominence engineering a difficult pension reform in the Ocean State back in 2011. Now one of her challenges as governor will be grappling with a state budget deficit that, by her calculation, will be much larger if the courts overturn those reforms after a long legal battle…

Unfunded pension liabilities are worse than we thought

State Budget Solutions just released a new report analyzing the funding status of pension systems across the country. The news is far from good. The report, which incorporates data from more than 250 pension plans in all 50 states, estimates pension funding levels far more …

The UFT and New York City school policy

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has been keen to show how he his different from his predecessor Michael Bloomberg. As I’ve argued elsewhere, nowhere is this clearer than in school policy. This is even reflected in the ease with which teachers are now getting tenure.
Bloomberg …

“Unfinished business”: Chuck Reed’s just getting started on pension reform

All Chuck Reed needs is $25 million, and that’s all he needs.
“For me, it’s unfinished business,” says Reed, the outgoing mayor of San Jose, California. “I’m stubborn, persistent, whatever you want to call it.”
He’s talking about his plans for a statewide pension reform initiative in …

Poll: The high-tax, gov’t union model at work

leaving njA new poll finds that half of all New Jersey residents say they plan to leave the state, compared to just 45 percent who want to stay. The desire to leave is particularly strong among working age people, reflecting the state’s more than 10 years of economic struggles. Some three-in-ten who say they want to leave specifically blame the state’s high taxes for their desire to leave…

Four unanswered questions about the Detroit bankruptcy

Capably fulfilling journalism’s obligation to be “the first draft of history,” The Detroit Free Press yesterday published an 8,000-word account of how the city’s bankruptcy was resolved. This “backstory” bookends “How Detroit went Broke“ (6,000 words; September 2013),” in which Free Press reporters explained the …

Urban revitalization, conservative-style

Conservative influence in City Hall has been on a downward slide. By late 2013, there were no Republican mayors governing the largest twelve cities in America, down from six in 2000. At present, there’s just one: San Diego’s Kevin Faulconer, elected in February.
The voting trends …

Municipal bankruptcy is about cutting retiree healthcare

Rhodes: OPEB is unsecured. Unlike retiree pensions, it had “no arguable constitutional protection.”
— ChristineFerretti_DN (@cferretti_dn) November 7, 2014

The real crisis in journalism now is reporters being tasked by editors to identify “precedents” in Detroit, Stockton, and other bankrupt cities. Because each case appears unique when …

Election 2014 in California: Where were the issues?

Californians may have just experienced the sleepiest election cycle in the state’s history. Only 30% of registered voters turned out; 40% of registered voters did not even know Governor Jerry Brown would be on the ballot for re-election.
The contest between Governor Brown (D) and his …

Colorado court: Things go better without COLA

Something that initially escaped my attention. The Colorado Supreme Court recently restored a measure of fiscal sanity to public sector retirement law in the Centennial State by reversing a Court of Appeals ruling which said that the state could not cut cost-of-living adjustments to help …