Budget analyst warns that Los Angeles is at a financial crossroads (Daily News)


February 8, 2013 – Los Angeles’ top budget analyst warned that the city could lose 500 cops and be forced to close jails, cut the Fire Department and make other public-safety cuts if a proposed half-percent sales tax doesn’t pass on March 5. Los Angeles is at a financial crossroads, City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana wrote in a detailed report released Thursday. Although the city has made significant budget savings in recent years, without new money, the city could have to reverse hard-fought police staffing gains. LA Mayor Villaraigosa said the report shows the progress that has been made in reducing the projected structural deficit from more than $1 billion to the projected level of $200 million this year.

Link to Full Article: http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_22544647/budget-analyst-warns-that-los-angeles-is-at

Link to “City at a Crossroads” Report: http://cao.lacity.org/Reports/City%20at%20a%20Crossroads%20Report%20020713%20-%20final.pdf

Judge OKs deferred prosecution in WakeMed case (Modern Healthcare)


February 8, 2013 – A federal judge is allowing North Carolina’s WakeMed Health and Hospitals (A1 / 65821DCR0) to take an unusual deal to avoid a criminal trial because the risk of closing down a Raleigh, N.C., hospital is too perilous for patients and workers. The not-for-profit WakeMed corporation was charged in December with one count of making materially false statements in order to increase Medicare reimbursements—an unprecedented criminal charge for a community hospital, according to prosecutors and numerous legal experts. Hospital officials admitted in court records that staff members in the Wake Heart Center on the system’s Raleigh campus routinely ignored or even fabricated physician orders, and as a result billed Medicare for inpatient care when cardiac patients didn’t stay overnight in the hospital.

Link to Full Article: http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20130208/NEWS/302089948/breaking-judge-oks-deferred-prosecution-in-wakemed-case

Link to Court Order: http://www.modernhealthcare.com/assets/pdf/CH8549828.PDF

Link to WakeMed / OIG Corporate Integrity Agreement: https://oig.hhs.gov/fraud/cia/agreements/Wakemed_Raleigh_Campus_12192012.pdf

What does an additional penny of gas tax buy in Michigan? (Center for Michigan)


February 8, 2013 – For each penny of gas or diesel tax, Michigan gets about $45 million for transportation funding needs that include roads. Both fuel and sales tax increases are being offered up in Lansing as ways to find more money to repair Michigan roads. Which is better, and how it affects the public, is a mixed bag. Gov. Rick Snyder has called for shifting Michigan’s per-gallon gasoline and diesel tax to a percentage tax at the wholesale level, increasing registration fees and allowing local registration fees. A penny of Michigan sales tax brings in about $1.1 billion to $1.3 billion.

Link to Full Article: http://www.mlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/02/what_does_an_additional_penny.html

Allegheny Airport Authority approves $500 mln gas-drilling deal with Consol (Pittsburgh Tribune)


February 8, 2013 – The Allegheny County Airport Authority on Friday approved a natural-gas drilling deal with Consol Energy that county officials say could generate about $500 million in revenue for the authority over the next two decades. The sum includes about $50 million in up-front payments, expected to be made in about a month when contracts are signed. The remaining $450 million would come from predicted royalties from up to 50 wells at Pittsburgh International Airport over the next 20 years.

Link to Full Article: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/3450133-74/county-million-airport#axzz2KLd993mU

California January revenues $3.4 bln above budget thanks to increased tax rates (CA State Controller)


February 8, 2013 – State Controller John Chiang today released his monthly report covering California’s cash balance, receipts and disbursements in January 2013. Total revenues for the first month of the calendar year were $4.3 billion above (39.1 percent) estimates found in the Governor’s proposed 2013-14 State budget.  “Last month’s revenues were by far the highest that California has seen in any January for the past decade. Along with increased auto sales, rising home values, and more construction, it signals that California may be entering an era where we can govern outside of crisis,” Chiang said. “However, given our state’s troubled history with boom-or-bust revenue cycles, this good news must be tempered with increased fiscal discipline in how we interpret and budget January’s collections.”

Link to Full Press Release: http://sco.ca.gov/eo_pressrel_13086.html

Link to California Controller’s February 2013 Summary Analysis: http://www.sco.ca.gov/Files-EO/02-13summary.pdf

Link to California January 2013 Statement of General Fund Cash Receipts and Disbursements: http://www.sco.ca.gov/Files-EO/fy1213_jan.pdf


Ohio budget a mixed bag for colleges, universities (Akron Beacon-Journal)


February 8, 2013 – In the first year of Gov. John Kasich’s proposed $63.2 billion, two-year budget,  17 of the state’s 61 universities, branch campuses and community colleges are expected to receive cuts although state higher education funding rises overall in the budget’s first year by about 2 percent to $1.78 billion, according to newly released estimates. Ohio State University is projected to receive a 3 percent increase under the plan, with three branch campuses experiencing cuts. OSU President E. Gordon Gee helped design the funding deal. Kent State and Cleveland State would see increases of more than 5 percent, Wright State of 3.5 percent and others smaller increases.

Link to Full Article: http://www.ohio.com/news/break-news/ohio-budget-a-mixed-bag-for-colleges-universities-1.371676

SUNY votes to close Brooklyn hospital (Crain’s NY Business)


February 8, 2013 – The State University of New York Board of Trustees voted unanimously Friday to shutter money-losing Long Island College Hospital. But Brooklyn’s hospital crisis and questions about the future of parent organization, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, are far from resolved. The closure, which must first be approved by the state Health Department, could lead to the sale of the five-building campus just south of Atlantic Avenue and west of Hicks Street in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. SUNY Downstate purchased the complex in 2011. It was worth $143 million. If it were sold today, it could fetch more than $500 million, according to brokers who say it would be most valuable if redeveloped for residential use.