- March 13, 2018
- Katya Spear
First featured in the March 2018 Community Health issue of The Municipality – Your Voice. Your Wisconsin. Published by the League of Wisconsin Municipalities.
To be reprinted nationally in Current Municipal Problems, a quarterly, with a bound annual volume. For those interested in identifying and solving problems of local government, it is published by Thomson Rueters.
Op-Ed from KCEP Executive Director Jason Bailey identifies the myth underlying a number of policies moving through the 2018 Kentucky General Assembly and the new Medicaid work requirements: that good-quality jobs are available for those who want them.
- February 20, 2018
- Connecticut Voices for Children
- Ray Noonan, Lauren Ruth, Ph.D., Ellen Shemitz, J.D., Karen Siegel, Camara Stokes Hudson, Nicole Updegrove, and Jane McNichol, J.D.
Connecticut’s long-term fiscal health depends on an economy that benefits all families, businesses, and communities. To achieve this objective, the state needs a strategic budget that balances investment with fiscal responsibility. In this report, we find that the Governor’s latest budget proposal would move Connecticut away from these goals. Under the Governor’s plan, the Children’s Budget, the share of state spending devoted to children, would drop to 27.2 percent, a historic low, down from 27.8 in the budget approved last November.
The Governor’s budget includes significant cutscompared to the biennial budget approved by the General Assembly last October. The proposal would reduce spending in health and human services by 3.9 percent, K-12 education by 3.3 percent, early care and education by 2.6 percent, and higher education by 1.7 percent. The report warns that fixed costs (pensions, debt service, and retiree healthcare), although slightly lower than in the previous year, will continue trending upward, potentially further eroding these programs.
In addition to the present budget cuts, the Governor’s budget fails to address the impact of four fiscal restrictions inserted into the budget implementer during closed-door negotiations. The combination of a newly defined spending cap, a bond cap, a volatility cap, and a bond lock diminish this flexibility, tying the state’s hands and making it more difficult for Connecticut to make the strategic investments necessary to promote equitable opportunity and inclusive economic growth.
The report calls on the General Assembly to prioritize repealing or amending these fiscal restrictions.Furthermore, we urge policymakers to modernize the state’s revenue system, eliminating loopholes and broadening the tax base, and to invest in Connecticut’s future, with a focus on child care, education, and healthy child development.
- February 15, 2018
- Fiscal Policy Institute
- Ron Deutsch, David Dyssegaard Kallick, Jonas Shaende, Cyierra Roldan, Shamier Settle, Melissa Krug, Brent Kramer, and Xiao Cheng
The Trump Administration’s tax law, looming federal budget cuts, multi-billion-dollar state budget deficits, glaring unmet human and physical infrastructure needs throughout the state…this year’s New York State budget negotiations are taking shape against a worrisome and uncertain backdrop. The president and congress are threatening to dismantle decades-old federal entitlement programs, make drastic cuts to programs that help millions of struggling New Yorkers, and create a hostile environment for the state’s four and a half million immigrants. The state has an important role to play to help make life better for all New Yorkers—and we must provide protections to our residents even if the federal government won’t. Based on last year’s congressional budget resolutions and what lies on the horizon in terms of cuts to federal programs, we know that things are going to change, and likely not for the better. The policy ideas advanced by Washington thus far do not bode well for New York State. While New York sends more in tax dollars to Washington than we get back, over one-third, or $57 billion, of New York State’s FY 2019 All Funds Budget is comprised of federal funds. The potential for substantial cuts in domestic spending poses gargantuan challenges for the state budget and budgets of local government entities throughout the state.