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

Excerpt:

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

 

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

Excerpt:

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

Reports and Studies Worth Reading – January 21, 2013

Reports and Studies Worth Reading – January 21, 2013:

 

Detroit Future City: Detroit Strategic Framework PlanDetroit Works Project Long Term Planning Steering Committee

“In 2010 an ambitious effort to re-imagine a better future for one of the world’s most important and storied cities was launched. The project has been both an exciting and, at times, challenging journey. It has also been a collective journey,  inviting diverse input from technical experts within Detroit and around the world and, most importantly, the community experts and everyday citizens who would be most affected by its recommendations. Each has played a critical role in forming what we hope will become a living framework for change and development in Detroit.”

$3 billion General Obligation Bond Proposal: Los Angeles Emergency Local Street Safety and Traffic Improvement MeasureLA City Council members Mitch Englander and Joe Buscaino

“Street repair in Los Angeles was underfunded from the 1950’s to 1990’s, allowing many streets to deteriorate.  Funding of pavement preservation was steadily increased from 2005 to present, preventing further decline in road system quality.  Annual funding focuses on streets in A, B, and C condition.  The Los Angeles Emergency Local Street Safety and Traffic Improvement Measure is needed to finance repair of streets in D and Failed condition.”

Economic Outlook and Revenue Estimates for Michigan FY 2012/13 through FY 2014/15Michigan House Fiscal Agency

“This report includes a national and State economic forecast for calendar year 2012 through calendar year 2015.  It also presents preliminary final General Fund/General Purpose (GF/GP) and School Aid Fund (SAF) revenue for FY 2011-12., revised revenue estimates for FY 2012/13 and FY 2013/14 and initial estimates for FY 2014/15. Estimates reported herein will be presented to the Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference on January 11, 2013 and will be used to facilitate the consensus estimating process.”

ASPE Issue Brief: Growth in Medicare Spending per Beneficiary Continues to Hit Historic LowsUS Department of Health and Human Services

“Medicare spending per beneficiary grew just 0.4% per capita in fiscal year 2012, continuing a pattern of very low growth in 2010 and 2011. Together with historically low projections of per capita growth from both the Congressional Budget Office and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of the Actuary, these statistics show that the Affordable Care Act has helped to set Medicare on a more sustainable path to keep its commitment to seniors and persons with disabilities today and well into the future.”

NY Rising: 2013 State of the State  – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

“Two years ago, I said we were at a crossroads; that New York needed to chart a new course and begin a journey to rebuild our state. It was imperative that we restore the public trust and renew the dream and reverse decades of decline. We started a New York comeback. The core elements of a New NY are: attract good jobs and economic growth; create a world-class education system that prepares the next generation for the future; establish fiscal integrity and discipline; and restore New York as the progressive capital of the nation.”

2013 is a Good Year to Repair State Rainy Day FundsCenter on Budget and Policy Priorities

“The last decade’s roller-coaster economy has highlighted the importance of state “rainy day funds” — budget reserves for when recessions or other unexpected events cause revenue declines or spending increases. States with rainy day funds were able to avert over $20 billion in cuts to services and/or tax increases in the recession of the early 2000s. Rainy day funds also helped states avoid service cuts and tax increases in the most recent recession.”

Financial Challenges Facing Local Governments: Federal and State Aid Shrink as a Share of Revenues NY State Office of the Comptroller

“From 2001 to 2011, total federal and state aid combined, grew at an average rate of 2.2 percent annually, slower than the rate of inflation (2.4 percent). To cover expenses, local governments have been forced to rely more heavily on revenues generated through sales taxes and real property taxes, which grew at annual rates of 5.9 percent and 4.2 percent, respectively. Federal aid to local governments grew by $932 million from 2001 to 2011, or by 3.5 percent annually on average. However, this increase is largely attributable to the infusion of temporary funds from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) of 2009.”

2013-14 California Governor’s Budget SummaryGovernor Edmund G. Brown, Jr.

“California today is poised to achieve something that has eluded us for more than a decade — a budget that lives within its means, now and for many years to come. We are in this favorable position both because of the huge budget reductions that you have made in the last two years, and because the people voted for Proposition 30. Under this budget, K‑12 school districts will see an increase in funds. School districts serving those students who have the greatest challenges will receive more generous increases — so that all students in California have the opportunity to succeed. This budget also focuses more responsibility and accountability on those who are closest to our students.”

Governor Brown Proposes Balanced Budget Highlighted by New Revenues, Investments in Education, and Expanded Health CoverageCalifornia Budget Project

“The Governor proposes to increase General Fund spending by 5 percent, from $93 billion in 2012-13 to $97.7 billion in 2013-14. The Governor’s proposed budget includes increased funding levels for K-12 schools and higher education and calls for the expansion of Medi-Cal, the state’s health care program for low-income families, as part of the state’s implementation of federal health care reform. The Governor’s proposal also includes a $1 billion reserve and pays down $4.2 billion in budget-related debt.”

 

Opinion: Texas budget process is about as clear as mud (SA Express-News)

EXCERPT:

January 21, 2013 – State leaders are proclaiming their dedication to a clearer, more honest budgeting process, but their starting-point spending plans show they’ve got a long way to go. House and Senate leaders noted their respective plans show an overall spending decrease from the current two-year budget, once they pay this fiscal cycle’s lingering IOUs. But that’s only because they are moving $6 billion off the books. For more than two decades, patient payments to higher education institutions that provide medical care have been included in the Texas budget’s bottom line. This time, those payments won’t be included. There are reasons for the change: state officials don’t control the money, and other local university income is also off the books.

Link to Full Article: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/news_columnists/peggy_fikac/article/Budget-process-is-about-as-clear-as-mud-4209620.php

 

With more money to spend, California Gov. Brown launches K-12 funding reform (EdSource)

January 11, 2013 – Gov. Jerry Brown proposed an unfamiliar budget for public education in the state this week – one with actual increases. His 2013-14 spending plan for K-12 schools includes a revision of his plan to reform the state’s convoluted, inequitable school finance system that  lawmakers and a coalition of education groups rejected last year. Passing it would be a priority, Brown said. Brown wants to increase overall spending for K-12 and community colleges in the 2013-14 fiscal year by 5 percent: $2.7 billion, which translates to $337 per student. Total spending would rise to $56.2 billion next year.

Link to Full Article: http://www.edsource.org/today/2013/with-more-money-to-spend-brown-launches-k-12-funding-refor/25317#.UPIt83dkgQo

Source: Proposed 2013-14 California state budget

Michigan’s economic recovery steady, but unremarkable, U-M economist says (Detroit Free Press)

January 11, 2013 – Michigan will continue a moderate but sustained recovery over the next two years, with about 40% of all the jobs lost during the decade-long recession recovered by the end of 2015, a University of Michigan economist told a state revenue-estimating conference today. The good news is that Michigan has improved its competitive position relative to other states, the auto sector has been strong, housing is recovering, and the highest wage sectors have shown the strongest growth in Michigan, Fulton said. The bad news is the recovery has not been nearly as strong as those in the past. Job growth remains sluggish, and the retail and government sectors are among those struggling, he said.

Link to Full Article: http://www.freep.com/article/20130111/NEWS15/130111032/1001/news

 

Colorado Democrats plan tax breaks despite shaky state budget (Denver Post)

January 8, 2013 – Just as Colorado’s state budget is finally showing signs of improvement, the first bill Senate Democrats will introduce when the legislative session opens Wednesday provides $120 million in tax breaks in the form of tax credits. Some 370,000 families would benefit, including workers caring for their parents, said the incoming Senate president, Democrat John Morse of Colorado Springs. The plan to give tax breaks comes at the same time Democrats admit an education proposal still in the works relies on a tax increase to provide more money for schools.

Link to Full Article: http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_22328379/colorado-democrats-plan-tax-breaks-despite-shaky-state