Lisa's Feed
Apr 18, 2013

Congress returns to public pension battle with new bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Congress is again joining the fight over public pensions, as a Republican Representative on Thursday pushed a bill to require state and local funds to give more accurate information on their assets and to bar the federal government from bailing them out during a financial crisis.

The legislation introduced by Representative Devin Nunes of California is essentially the same as the bill he offered in 2010 that languished as unions and advocacy groups for the retirement systems objected to having the federal government intervene in state and local affairs.

Apr 17, 2013

Pension gaps prompt Moody’s to review 29 local gov’ts

WASHINGTON, April 17 (Reuters) – Moody’s Investors Service
has placed the ratings of 29 U.S. local governments and school
districts under review as part of its new approach to analyzing
public pension liabilities, it said on Wednesday.

Chicago was put under review – rating agencies have already
downgraded Illinois over a yawning pension gap – as were
Cincinnati, Minneapolis and Portland, Oregon.

Apr 16, 2013

Rate spike may lead to US muni ‘Armageddon’-SEC member

WASHINGTON, April 16 (Reuters) – Investors in the $3.7
trillion U.S. municipal bond market could soon face an
“Armageddon” if interest rates spike, a member of the Securities
and Exchange Commission said on Tuesday.

Commissioner Dan Gallagher told a roundtable of market
participants hosted by the SEC that recent bankruptcies in
California pose the threat of losses to bondholders.

Apr 16, 2013

Rate spike may lead to U.S. muni ‘Armageddon’ -SEC commissioner

WASHINGTON, April 16 (Reuters) – Investors in the $3.7
trillion U.S. municipal bond market could soon face an
“Armageddon” if interest rates spike, a member of the Securities
and Exchange Commission said on Tuesday.

Commissioner Dan Gallagher told a roundtable of market
participants hosted by the SEC that recent bankruptcies in
California pose the threat of losses to bondholders.

Apr 12, 2013

Kentucky’s pension reforms seen as positive for the state

April 12 (Reuters) – Kentucky’s recent overhaul of its
long-crippled public pension system is winning over the rating
agencies that had expressed deep concerns about the state’s low
retirement funding.

The Kentucky legislature passed a reform of the public
pension system on March 26, and Governor Steve Beshear signed it
into law on April 4.

Apr 11, 2013

States moved beyond budget crises in 2012: Census

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The worst of the budget crunch that afflicted state governments after the 2008 financial crisis appears over, data from the Census showed on Thursday.

The Census reported that state tax collections last year surpassed their previous peak, and all but three states registered a surge in receipts.

Apr 11, 2013

U.S. states moved beyond budget crises in 2012 -Census

WASHINGTON, April 11 (Reuters) – The worst of the budget
crunch that afflicted U.S. state governments after the 2008
financial crisis appears over, data from the U.S. Census showed
on Thursday.

The Census reported that state tax collections last year
surpassed their previous peak, and all but three states
registered a surge in receipts.

Apr 10, 2013

Obama proposes municipal bond tax exemption cap, again

WASHINGTON, April 10 (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama
in his budget on Wednesday suggested capping the value of the
tax exemption for interest paid by municipal bonds, re-proposing
an idea that has rattled the $3.7 trillion municipal bond market
for more than a year.

Obama is seeking to limit the value of tax benefits for the
top 2 percent of earners to 28 percent from the current 35
percent.

Mar 27, 2013

U.S. state budget officers seek overhaul of university funding

WASHINGTON, March 27 (Reuters) – U.S. public colleges and
universities face a funding crunch, state budget officers from
across the country said on Wednesday, as the fiscal watchdogs
called for reforms and even broached the possibility of boosting
state spending to limit tuition increases.

The National Association of State Budget Officers joined a
chorus of voices calling to make college affordable and also
suggested increased state spending could keep tuition in check.
State budget officers rarely advocate for appropriations or
policy.

Mar 26, 2013

U.S. state, local tax revenues continue to rise in fourth quarter: Census

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Tax revenues of U.S. state and local governments grew for the 13th quarter in a row at the end of 2012, rising 2.7 percent from the fourth quarter of 2011, according to Census data released on Tuesday.

Tax revenue totaled $399.7 billion, compared with $389.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011. For states alone, the increase was sharper. Their total tax revenue grew 4.9 percent to $193.9 billion in the final quarter of 2012.