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    Entries in California (10)

    Friday
    Jan062017

    The Week in Public Finance: Repealing Obamacare, How a California Ruling Threatens Pensions and More

    A roundup of money (and other) news governments can use.
    BY  JANUARY 6, 2017

    How Much Will Dismantling Obamacare Cost?

    As leaders in Congress kick off the 115th session by assuring the public they will repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in full by the end of this year, a newly released estimate puts the cost of a total repeal at roughly $350 billion through 2027.

    According to the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, repealing the law's Medicare-related cuts and its tax increases -- such as the "Cadillac tax" on high-cost insurance plans -- could cost the government more than if it left the ACA in place.

    But the report found that lawmakers could save money if they just repeal parts of the law. For example, if Congress only does away with the ACA's coverage provisions (mainly the Medicaid expansion), it could save $1.55 trillion through 2027.

    Click to read more ...

    Monday
    Dec122016

    To Prepare for the Next Recession, States Take Stress Tests

    No government can be fully prepared for every economic twist and turn. Still, some are trying.
    BY  DECEMBER 12, 2016

    The Great Recession was uniquely devastating for states and localities because it hit all three major tax revenue sources: income, sales and property. It was a scenario that few, if any governments, were really prepared to absorb. As a result, governments were forced to make massive budget cuts.

    Now, as the recovery trudges on longer than most, a growing number of states are making sure they aren’t blindsided by the next downturn.

    Enter stress testing. The idea, which was borrowed from the U.S. Federal Reserve, essentially throws different economic scenarios at a state budget to see how revenues would be impacted.

    “We’re in an environment where everyone is starting to think about the next downturn and what that’s going to look like,” said Emily Raimes, a Moody’s Investors Service analyst. “A stress test is a tool for states to think about what types of programs they should commit to and how much to save now.”

    Click to read more ...

    Wednesday
    Nov092016

    Arkansas, California Voters Approve Spending on Mega Projects

    In an anti-debt climate, voters in the two states cleared the way for spending on major economic development projects.
    BY  NOVEMBER 9, 2016

    In the post-recession era, "debt" is a four-letter word. State debt levels as a whole have been stagnant in recent years and, in 2014, actually recorded the first decline in the 28 years Moody's Investors Service has been tracking them.

    It's in this climate that voters in Arkansas and California have cleared the way for more spending on mega projects that could be economic development boons in those states.

    In Arkansas, voters overwhelmingly passed a ballot initiative that eliminates the state's current 5 percent cap on debt related to economic development projects. Proponents of Arkansas’ Issue 3, who included Gov. Asa Hutchinson, want the cap lifted so the state can be more competitive in attracting new corporations by helping fund mega projects. Voters easily approved the measure, 65-35.

    In California, which has one of the highest taxpayer debt burdens in the country, the results were much closer. Voters narrowly rejected a proposal, 51-49, that could have derailed two of Gov. Jerry Brown's legacy projects. Prop. 53 would have limited the state's ability to issue debt for major projects by requiring voter approval to issue more than $2 billion in revenue bonds.

    Click to read more ...

    Wednesday
    Nov092016

    Bilingual Education Will Make a Comeback in California

    The state, which has more English-language learners than any other, restricted bilingual education in the '90s. Voters are bringing it back.
    BY  NOVEMBER 9, 2016

    Nearly two decades after voters made California one of the most restrictive states for bilingual education in public schools, residents on Tuesday reversed that decision.

    In California -- which has the nation's highest rate of students who speak a non-English language at home -- fewer than 5 percent of public schools now offer multilingual programs. But by approving Proposition 58, school districts can now offer regular dual-language programs.

    In 1998, voters approved Prop. 227, a law passed amid anti-immigrant fervor that said students whose first language isn't English can only take one year of intensive English instruction before transitioning to English-only classes. Parents who wanted bilingual classes for their kids beyond that had to sign a waiver each year.

    Prop. 58 essentially repeals the waiver system but keeps intact the part of the law requiring proficiency in English. It cruised to victory Tuesday night by a nearly three-to-one margin.

    Click to read more ...

    Monday
    Oct312016

    To Limit Debt or Make It Limitless? 2 States’ Voters Will Decide.

    In an anti-debt climate, one state aims to rein it in while another tries to uncap it.
    BY  OCTOBER 27, 2016

    In the post-recession era, "debt" is a four-letter word. State debt levels as a whole have been stagnant in recent years and, in 2014, actually recorded the first decline in the 28 years Moody's Investors Service has been tracking them.

    It’s in this climate that voters in two states are considering nearly opposite proposals on debt.

    California, which has one of the highest taxpayer debt burdens in the country, will decide whether to limit lawmakers’ ability to issue debt for major projects. Prop. 53 would require voter approval to issue more than $2 billion in revenue bonds.

    In Arkansas, a ballot initiative proposes making it easier for the state to incur more debt. Issue 3 would eliminate the state's current 5 percent cap on debt related to economic development projects.

    Each state's history with bond debt has a lot to do with these conflicting proposals

    Click to read more ...