Illinois: resumes bond sale as the worse-rated US state. April 2, 2013.
California: sounds like the US Post Office problem. The LA Times is reporting that California legislators recently discovered the state needs to come up with $4.5 billion/year -- that's $4.5 billion every year -- to fully fund public teacher pensions:
For years, problems with California's pension fund for teachers and school employees have been growing. Now a new report says the fund needs an additional $4.5 billion every year -- more than Sacramento spends on both university systems combined -- to stay above water.
Senate leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) told reporters on Thursday that lawmakers can't ignore the growing costs.
"This is a serious issue," he said. "We have to address it."Well, duh. Serious issue. More than Sacramento spends on the University of California system and the California State University system every year. Yes, it sounds a bit serious. March 21, 2013.
Illinois: go down this page and see how serious Illinois' problem is, and then read the Reuters article:
The Illinois House of Representatives on Thursday dealt a setback to efforts to reform the worst-funded state pension system in the nation, soundly defeating several proposals to make substantial changes affecting public sector workers. Illinois has the worst-funded state pensions system in the nation, at only 39 percent, when 80 percent is considered healthy. And note below: Illinois can't even sell bonds. February 28, 2013.Virginia: bump in the road? Budget shortfall this year of $473 million; will "cover it" by delaying property tax refunds into next fiscal year. February 26, 2013.
Illinois: in a very rare move, Illinois "yanked" bonds after they realized expectations would not be met, January 31, 2013.
Illinois: credit rating downgraded to A-. Worse credit rating among US states, January 25, 2013.
California: wow! Talk about smoke and mirrors in the statehouse.
California: state's payroll automated system about ready to implode.
One of the state's biggest technology endeavors, a $371-million overhaul of the government payroll system, is beset with problems and "in danger of collapsing," according to the state controller's office.
The company hired for the project is in over its head and may be unable to deliver on its promise to update a payroll system so old that even simple salary adjustments can tie it in knots, the controller's chief administrative officer said in a letter.California: any wonder that California is broke?
The numbers are even larger in California, where a state psychiatrist was paid $822,000, a highway patrol officer collected $484,000 in pay and pension benefits and 17 employees got checks of more than $200,000 for unused vacation and leave. The best-paid staff in other states earned far less for the same work, according to the data.Minnesota: state announces a $1 billion deficit; deficit will be worse if "we" go over the ObamaCliff; immediately after the announcement state employees union says taxes need to be increased; this story is so full of internal inconsistencies one wonders if anyone even listens to what they say any more; December 5, 2012
Massachusetts: first time on the list. Kind of looks like Illinois, right now. Cue up Connie Francis.
Boston Globe: the state of Massachusetts is in trouble, going into 2013, November 25, 2012
Buffett: exits the municipal bond market; sees defaults coming. August 21, 2012.Facing weaker than expected state tax revenues, Governor Deval Patrick’s administration has curbed state hiring, halted an automatic income tax reduction, and begun identifying cuts in spending that may be necessary to balance the budget.Recent tax collections have been unexpectedly disappointing, failing to measure up to last year’s levels. In October, revenues were $162 million short of budgetary estimates and $48 million below the level reached in October 2011.State revenues are running $256 million behind budget and $33 million behind last year’s actual collection, officials said.
California: scrambling to pay bills with more borrowing; when you look at the numbers at the link, it is downright scary. The LA Times says the state will raise taxes when voted upon in November. We will see. The comments are priceless. August 13, 2012.
California: Facebook implodes; huge loss for California. Actually I find it incredible that a state the size of California was counting on tax revenue from one company to make up its deficit.
California: assumptions = "smoke and mirrors." Too big to fail? The folks are betting on these assumptions: a) windfall in federal estate taxes (won't happen); b) voters will pass $8 billion in new taxes this fall (don't hold your breath); c) $1 billion in money from counties defunct redevelopment agencies will pan out (probably not); and, d) Facebook stock will provide huge win (probably not this year, if ever). The biggest assumption not mentioned in the article: California is "too big to fail. " Current deficit is around $16 billion.
California: it may be worse than we are being told.
California: record number of California school districts facing bankruptcy this year. But the state presses on with bullet train to nowhere.
California: Jerry Brown says it's worse than I was told! $16 billion vs $9 billion.
Illinois: is broke. WSJ, April 28-29, 2012. Pension costs will break Illinois, other states. Caterpillar made decision not to locate new plant in Illinois due to property taxes, health costs, yada, yada, yada. April 29, 2012.
California, Illinois, and New Jersey: three states in most trouble, according to Meredith Whitney. April 26, 2012.
Minnesota, Connecticut: seldom do I get a chance to find a "twofer." Two states, tied for biggest budget shortfall:
Let’s not forget that Minnesota is tied with Connecticut among states with the biggest budget shortfalls ($3.8 billion).California: will run out of cash in early March without swift action; short $3.3 billion; lawmakers surprised -- had been under impression enough cash to get them through fiscal year ending in June; you will remember that Governor Brown recently fired anti-oil bureaucrats; desperately needs cash; my hunch -- band-aid fix to get them through April 15; January 31, 2012
California: higher education slashed; worse to come around the corner -- $13 billion shortfall next year starting January, 2012; even if Californians approve $7 billion increase in taxes, still facing dire cuts, December 13, 2011
Rhode Island: huge pension problem; worse in the nation per capita, September 19, 2011.
Minnesota: S&P could cut Minnesota's credit rating, August 28, 2011.
All states: debt ceiling cut backs could have huge impact on states. July 31, 2011.
Rhode Island: third highest unemployment in the US, behind Nevada and California. One wonders how a little state with great coastline opportunities could let this happen. Tragic. July 31, 2011.
Florida: $4 billion deficit; 1,600 state employees laid off Friday; another 562,000 begin paying into pension plan for first time in 37 years; July 1, 2011.
Washington State: closes tourism office; saves $2 million; faces $5.2 billion budget deficit; only state with no tourism office; Colorado lost one-third of overnight visitors after its tourism office closed from 1993 to 2000, calling that decision "an incredible economic travesty." Is $2 million/$5.2 billion = 0.03 percent? Well, it's a start. July 1, 2011.
Minnesota: state goes dark tonight, June 30, 2011; can't balance budget; $5 billion shortfall; biggest concern -- the state's two horse racing tracks would close.
Kentucky: #1 state with worst pension fund status. #2 -- Illinois. Top ten listed by WSJ.
California: in deeper doo-doo than Michigan.
Michigan: Governor ready to sign bill giving state emergency powers over cities and school districts facing bankruptcy. Unions will probably take case to state supreme court. March 13, 2011.
Minnesota: Budget deficit 7th worse in the US. $5 billion deficit exceeds Wisconsin's $3.6 billion. March 13, 2011. [Note: July 1, 2011 -- state shuts down -- see above.]
California: Debt repayment of $8 billion will be a quarter of the state's deficit. This is more than what the state will budget for its prized university system. February 26, 2011.
California: Ready to require 30 percent of power to come from renewable energy sources by 2020. This will end up costing California more than they can afford. If my blog is still going ten years from now, it will be interesting to see how this plays out. It appears Californians don't mind paying more for their energy. February 25, 2011.
California: The state may have to start issuing IOUs as early as April; they could delay state tax refunds. January 21, 2011.
North Dakota: Retirement plans for teachers (TFFR) and retirement plans for non-classified state employees are under pressure. There is a move to have new employees enrolled in a defined contribution plan much like a 401(k). Funds for both pension plans will run out in 2030 - 2040 time frame without changes now. Moving new employees from current pension plans to a defined contribution plan would result in the current pension funds running out of money sooner due to less money coming in now (sort of like a Ponzi scheme, as it were). The link will be broken soon; it's a link to a regional newspaper. [By the way, they keep using the canard that state employees could earn 15 percent more in the private sector but they stay with the state because of the retirement plan. Let's test that theory. Drop the current pension plans, establish the defined contribution plans, and let's see how many folks walk away. January 22, 2011.
California: Governor declares emergency over budget / deficit. Legislators ignore his declaration. Wow. January 21, 2011.
California: Boeing plant in Long Beach will most likely close down completely next year; laying off 900 now. C-17 sales diminishing. But is there more to it? At same time, Governor Brown "pleading" for help from cities to balance state budget. Not gonna happen. January 19, 2011. [I was right: did not happen. Obama stepped in and saved the plant. All of a sudden, AF generals saw the light. March, 2011.]
All states: 2011 -- toughest year yet for states. Along with that story, another little nugget: the states owe the Federal government $1.3 billion this year for money to pay for unemployment benefits. January 17, 2011. By the way, this is a nice article from the Minnesota-based Fed in 2006 explaining how we got where we are: when times were flush, benefits were increased. Folks assumed the good times would go on forever, and/or uninterrupted.
Illinois: Wow, this is dire. "Massive tax increases," including person income tax up 66 percent and corporate income tax up to 7 percent, from 4.6 percent. The best line (in an earlier story) was this: "The state's income tax rates have not risen since 1989." Why should they rise at all. How about cutting some spending. They agree to borrow $4 billion to pay for pensions, but refused to borrow $9 billion to pay for current bills owed. They also tabled raising cigarette taxes from a buck to two bucks. Hmmm. January 11, 2011.
California: $25 billion headache for new governor; must deal with crisis by June 30, 2011. January 10, 2011.
Illinois: Days to resolve a $13 billion deficit. The two US states in the most financial trouble are California and Illinois. It is actually costing Illinois more than California to insure against default. January 3, 2011.
California: Schwarzenegger declares a fiscal emergency; calls on legislature to come up with $9.9 billion in budget cuts. December 6, 2010.
California: bond sales met with tepid demand. Not a good sign. November 18, 2010.
Texas: first time on this page! Always under the radar, but now it's getting serious: possibly $25 billion in debt; public education accounts for 55% of the budget. No income tax; would require change in constitution; ain't gonna happen. November 10, 2010.
California: ready to launch $14 billion in debt sales; will be $25 billion in debt by mid-2012. November 10, 2010.
California: the state is now $8.6 billion in debt and borrowing $40 million/day to pay for unemployment benefits. November 7, 2010. [November 9, 2010, two days later: the debt is now estimated to be $10.3 billion.]
Illinois: first state to run out of money (pension fund), 2018. The next to fall: Connecticut (2019), Indiana (2019), New Jersey (2019), Hawaii (2020), Louisiana (2020), Oklahoma (2020), Colorado (2020), Kansas (2022), Kentucky (2022), New Hampshire (2022). The bill for Illinois the following year (2019): $14 billion; Connecticut (2020): $4.9 billion; and, Indiana (2020): $3.6 billion.
California: Finally some sanity -- high court upholds governor-ordered furloughs.
California: The state is in arrears for $6.3 billion for unpaid bills from July, August, September; and is now unlikely able to pay $2.9 billion in bills that will come due in October without a budget. The comptroller put this information on his website today. It should be noted that the comptroller refused to execute the governor's plan to save state money through mandated furloughs. The comptroller said the computer system could not manage such a change. October 1, 2010.
California: Payday loan required by the state to stay solvent. September 27, 2010.
California: State approaches 85-day impasse; will set new record. No vote set on budget. September 22, 2010.
California: State misses payment to public schools to save cash due to budget impasse. State weeks away from issuing IOUs. August 23, 2010.
Connecticut: the state treasurer says the state may have just one week's worth of cash. August 19, 2010.
California: August, 2010 -- no spending plan; no serious discussion; bills piling up; waiting for Godot. July 28, 2010.
Illinois: Worst off in the nation -- $12.1 billion deficit; $5.0 billion in bills it can't pay right now. It cannot grow itself out of its problem. This is the administration's home state. Can anyone spell "bailout"?
Califorinia: The budget deficit and solutions to solve it are worse than ever, but this story, in a well-respected newspaper, suggests a fantasyland optimism. The state is short $19.1 billion and with creative financing can eliminate $3 - $4 billion and opine that the economy will be better next year. By the way: how does the state eliminate $4 billion in deficit; return some state responsibilities back to the counties. The state looks financially better off but the taxpayer doesn't. June 23, 2010.
California: largest pension fund will take $700 million from schools. Seniors stealing candy from babies. Why does this not surprise me: seniors vote; babies don't.
New York: The Roman Circus begins. New York state government could close next week. Just for a few days. Obama will bail the state out. June 10, 2010.
Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania and 29 other states in deep trouble because they "pencilled" in Medicaid money from federal government; now they can't count on it. Don't worry: Pelosi, Reid, and Obama won't let the states down in an election year. June 7, 2010.
Connecticut: For the second year in a row, the "wealthiest" state (per capita income), will borrow nearly $1 billion to cover a budget gap. Credit rating has been lowered from AAA to AA+. June 4, 2010.
New York: "delayed" paying $2.5 billion to stay afloat, but cash crunch could get even worse in August and September. Budget yet to pass; currently NY has a $9.2 billion deficit which increases daily as budget is delayed. The article does not note that tax revenue for the year peaks in April when taxes are due. June 2, 2010. Comment: only $9.2 billion? Chump change. Obama administration will bail the state out with more interest-free loans in guise of stimulus. June 2, 2010.
Colorado: Unemployment coffers insolvent; borrowing massively from feds; businesses will see increased unemployment taxes. May 21, 2010.
Illinois: Poster child for pension liabilities. With financial year 2011 less than six weeks away, the pension arrears for Illinois look daunting. The state faces unfunded liabilities of about $78bn, the biggest pension hole in the US, and contributions of more than $4bn for 2011, the largest single element of its $13bn budget deficit. The state has a two-point plan for resolving the deficit: a) delay acting on the problem during an election year; and, b) asking for a Federal government bailout. Because Illinois is the president's home state, this seems as good a plan as any. May 20, 2010.
California: how bad is the deficit in California: California faces an estimated $18.6-billion shortfall, which amounts to roughly 20% of its general fund spending. Without raising taxes, balancing the budget would require cutbacks equivalent to releasing every prisoner in the state, closing state prisons and cutting off all funding for the University of California and California State University systems. May 14, 2010.
California: revenue in April (when income-tax payments are due), trailed estimates by $3.6 billion (26%) -- yes, the recession in California is worse than the state wants to acknowledge -- wiping out gains from the previous four months, leaving collections $1.3 billion behind projections for the budget year that ends in June, 2010. The state faces an $18.6 billion budget deficit through June, 2011. May 11, 2010.
California: unemployment rate hit a modern record of 12.6 percent in March.
California: last auto plant in California closes its doors. Health care costs, taxes, "green" energy finally did them in. April 1, 2010.
Florida: new unemployment record -- 12.2% unemployed in February, 2010; almost at the predicted rate for this summer: 12.3%. And now these states will start looking at paying for health care for these unemployed. March 26, 2010.
New York State: Governor Paterson has put on hold $500 million in state refund checks; won't start mailing them again until after April 1. $1.5 billion in school aid may be next. March 17, 2010.
California: For JPMorgan, California is a bigger risk than Greece. February 28, 2010.
Illinois: needs $4.7 billion stay afloat. March 10, 2010.
And even with the load, this is what the budget could do: cost some 13,000 teachers and staff their jobs, cut off poor seniors from help in paying for costly prescriptions and shut down some health care programs for the indigent. But even after about $2 billion in cuts, the state would still be $11 billion in the hole.Illinois: pending $12.8 billion deficit. Residents could be facing unprecedented personal income tax increases. February 24, 2010.