State governments have long lured workers with the promise of lucrative pensions that provide nearly the pay in retirement that employees earned on the job. But after years of budget crunches, nearly every state has revamped public retirement benefits in an effort to shrink the long-term obligations that are billions of dollars short of what is needed to cover benefits.
The moves have triggered a legal and political battle over whether states are reneging on their promises to millions of public-sector workers.
Faced with a major decrease in property tax collections and no expected increase in state aid, budget writers in Springfield Massachusetts are proposing scores of fee hikes. But the city's top finance officer says it still won't be enough to avoid budget cuts. WAMC's Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports..
A statewide poll finds New Yorkers think the secrecy and closed-door deals that led to last week state's budget approval are unnecessary and a serious problem. WAMC's Dave Lucas reports...
The Quinnipiac University poll is a rebuke of the continued "three-men-in-a-room" method of crafting a budget by Governor Andrew Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos.
The poll finds that 55 percent of voters said the closed-door negotiations weren't necessary to achieve the budget.
State lawmakers were headed for an on-time state budget for the second year in a row that keeps spending relatively flat. They hoped to wrap up voting by late Friday afternoon. As Karen DeWitt reports, the lack of the usual dramatics surrounding the budget this time is due to preparations that began over a year ago...
State legislators and Governor Cuomo have been touting the on time budget for the second year in a row that also, for the second time, reigns in spending.
Reaction to the newly agreed upon New York State budget continued to pour in at the State Capitol, as lawmakers began passing the first of a series of budget bills, in the hope of finishing the spending plan by the end of the week. Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports...
Senate Leader Dean Skelos praised lawmakers and Governor Cuomo, for their work on a budget plan that's likely to be in place by the deadline.
"This is a budget that we all can be proud of," Skelos said.