“Brewer and GOP legislative leaders believe they’ll be able to keep the budget in balance throughout the coming year, instead of seeing it slip almost immediately into deficit, because they have balanced it structurally.
There are no tax increases and no new borrowing, although debt remains from previous years of borrowing.”
The most major cuts are $510 million in healthcare costs and about $420 million in education cuts, which is traditionally the largest area of spending in state budgets across the country,
“Florida’s legislature Wednesday began a month’s debate on a series of budget cutting measures that could bring it into the cutback spotlight, part of the firestorm of state government shrinkage nationwide.”
Looks like Florida is planning to lead the way for other states to get their acts together.
Katherine R. Windels, a 26-year-old woman, was charged Thursday with two felony counts and two misdemeanor counts for allegedly making email threats against Wisconsin lawmakers during the height of the battle over Gov. Scott Walker’s budget-repair bill.”
Part of her alleged emails read:
The subject line of the second email was: “Atten: Death Threat!!!! Bomb!!!” In that email, she purportedly wrote, “Please put your things in order because you will be killed and your families will also be killed due to your actions in the last 8 weeks.”
“I hope you have a good time in hell,” she allegedly wrote in the lengthy email in which she purportedly listed scenarios in which the legislators and their families would die, including bombings and by “putting a nice little bullet in your head.”
“If you want to understand better why so many states—from New York to Wisconsin to California—are teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, consider this depressing statistic: Today in America there are nearly twice as many people working for the government (22.5 million) than in all of manufacturing (11.5 million). This is an almost exact reversal of the situation in 1960, when there were 15 million workers in manufacturing and 8.7 million collecting a paycheck from the government.”
“The Virginia Retirement System currently faces an unfunded liability of $17.6 billion, according to the letter Governor Robert McDonnell sent Tuesday night to the Virginia House of Delegates explaining why he had not signed the funding plan.”
While Wisconsin was getting all the press, protests and outside attention, Ohio has gone forward with a new union restraint law that effects a much larger union government workforce than Wisc, 360,000 govt workers. This gives the state a shot and getting its budget under control.
“Ohio is far more important to the union movement. It has the nation’s sixth largest number of public sector union members, which is twice as many as Wisconsin.”
Currently Illinois is tied with California for the lowest ratings of any state from Moody’s and Fitch rating services.