Tag archive for Boston

Do other big city balance sheets resemble Detroit’s?

With the federal bankruptcy judge’s ruling today that Detroit is, indeed, insolvent and can remain in bankruptcy, the media are again asking, what other cities may come under the kinds of fiscal pressures Detroit faces? Last month the Civic Federation of Chicago attempted to answer that question by comparing 12 American cities to Detroit on key issues of solvency. Boston and Chicago scored closest to the Motor City…

Want to empower cities? Reform binding arbitration.

Local governments dominated domestic policymaking in 19th century America. In general, government was quite small, but most of the services that were provided, such as public education and road-building, were the responsibility of city and town officials.
The Brookings Institution and the political theorist Benjamin Barber have recently advocated …

Public sector unions = higher debt

States with more heavily unionized public-sector workforces are more likely to have higher total debt, according to this new study from the Beacon Hill Institute in Boston. Specifically, the study finds that each percentage point increase in public sector unionization equates to an added $78 …

Project labor agreements on the rise in Massachusetts

Unionwatch.org reports that the Sacramento and San Diego school boards have just voted to place bond measures on the November ballot, totaling $346 million and $2.8 billion, respectively.  Both districts require project labor agreements on all projects above $1 million. Thus, in addition to approving the funds, voters will also have to decide about “the wisdom of government-mandated Project Labor Agreements.”

2012: Year of the urban fiscal crisis

Last year was marked by crises in state government public finance. This year is shaping up to be the year of urban fiscal crises. As my colleagues on this blog have been covering the major stories are from places such as Stockton and San Diego, California and Yonkers, New York. This is because many states balanced their budgets last year by pushing the pain down onto localities. Those decisions are now hitting home.

The battle between big city mayors, most of whom are Democrats, and public employees unions is therefore heating up. So far this has been primarily a battle between mayors and teachers unions, which is not surprising since teachers are often a majority of government employees in many jurisdictions. The battles have been taking place in Newark, Cleveland, Boston, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Battles between mayors and teachers unions can be epic. And mayors often lose.