Pamela Prah

States Mull Borrowing to Bolster Pension Plans

By: - May 28, 2003

A handful of cash-strapped states plan to borrow to put money into their state employee pension systems, an idea that analysts say is a gamble that might not pay off. New Jersey first tried the approach in 1997, but California, Illinois, Kansas, Wisconsin and West Virginia might be next. Here’s the current situation: In California, […]

Budget Battles Lead to Special Sessions

By: - May 16, 2003

State lawmakers are working overtime as many legislatures are called into special sessions to wrap up work on budgets and other issues. Twenty-one state legislatures have adjourned, but governors in about one third of those states have called for –or threatened to call — special sessions. All 50 state legislatures are in session this year. […]

States Lose Billions in Senate Tax Plan, Analyst Says

By: - May 16, 2003

States could lose some $40 billion a year in lost tax revenue through 2013 under the tax package the Senate approved May 15, nearly double the $20 billion in “relief” the bill would give the states, a liberal think tank said Friday. Ironically, the House tax package and President Bush’s own tax proposal would cost […]

Wall Street Settlement Yields Millions for States

By: - May 13, 2003

California, New York and Texas will get the biggest chunk of an estimated $487 million that states will share as part of a recent mega-settlement that aims to end conflict of interest in Wall Street investment firms. The agreement makes final a proposal that regulators and the top 10 investment firms reached last December. The […]

Iraq War Boosts High-Tech States

By: - April 30, 2003

The war in Iraq will help California and other states rich in high-tech military know-how and bolster flagging aerospace economies in Washington and Missouri, economists predict. While it’s too early to tell the full impact of the war on states, it’s likely the U.S. reliance on technology over troops and reservists over full-time soldiers will […]

Budgets, Divided Governments Delay Adjournments

By: - April 23, 2003

Mired in funding battles and partisan bickering, statehouses are staying in session for record lengths and getting little else done except budgets. Only 10 of the 50 legislatures have adjourned so far and nine more are to complete work by the end of April. At least two Arkansas and Maryland — may be called back […]

Iraq Crisis Spurs Tightened State Security

By: - March 19, 2003

As the nation braced for war with Iraq, states reacted to an elevated terror alert level with responses that ranged from beefing up patrols to considering emergency drills. Many governors called for increased vigilance during the Orange level alert, but were careful not to say anything that might trigger another run for duct tape. South […]

Wall Street Deal Will Mean $450 Million for States

By: - January 2, 2003

A proposed $1.4 billion settlement between state regulators and the nation’s leading investment firms is expected to put an estimated $450 million in states’ coffers once the agreement is formally inked and approved. It will be up to the states to decide how to spend the money, but first, state, federal and Wall Street bigwigs […]

Education Reform Wins Big

By: - November 21, 2002

Candidates for governor who stumped for education “reform” won big in the midterm elections, but voters didn’t always see “reform” in precisely the same way. The overall results on November 5 amounted to a mixed verdict for such issues as education spending, learning standards, charters and school choice. Voters replaced Democrats Jim Hodges and Roy […]

States Go After Wall Street

By: - November 8, 2002

States are following New York’s lead and pursuing Wall Street firms whose analysts have publicly touted stocks that they don’t really consider good buys in the hopes of helping their companies win more investment-banking business. Just last month, Massachusetts fired a complaint against Credit Suisse First Boston Corp and Utah may be next in the […]

Voters Endorse Education Measures

By: - November 6, 2002

Education loomed large in Tuesday’s election as voters supported proposals to reduce class size and increase funding for school projects. But in the two states that considered banning bilingual education, there was a split decision. Voters in at least 18 states weighed in on 24 education policy questions, according to a tally of measures by […]

Education Initiatives Take New Approach

By: - October 11, 2002

The emphasis in this election has shifted away from “traditional” education issues — such as vouchers and tuition tax credits — to issues ranging from smaller class-size to universal pre-kindergarten. “This election cycle seems to be dominated by more progressive education reforms than conservative,” says Kristina Wilfore, executive director of the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center […]