Lisa's Feed
Jun 15, 2012

State jobless rates drop, raise election stakes

By Lisa Lambert

(Reuters) – Jobless rates in 49 out of the 50 U.S. states dropped in May from a year earlier, the Labor Department said on Friday, raising the stakes in a presidential contest where job creation is the top issue.

Only New York’s rate rose from May 2011, to 8.6 percent. Compared with April, jobless rates were higher in 18 states, lower in 14 states and the District of Columbia, and unchanged in 18 states.

Jun 12, 2012

U.S. state revenues recover but budgets still tight

By Lisa Lambert

(Reuters) – U.S. states are remaining tight-fisted with spending even though their revenues are expected to top the levels reached before the recession, unnerved by the clouds over the U.S. and global economies.

For the upcoming 2013 fiscal year, total U.S. state revenues will increase by $27.4 billion, or 4.1 percent, to reach $690.3 billion. General fund spending, however, will rise by only $14.6 billion, or 2.2 percent, according to a survey of governors’ budgets released on Tuesday.

Jun 12, 2012

Revenues recover but states still tight-fisted

By Lisa Lambert

(Reuters) – States are remaining tight-fisted over spending even as their revenues are expected to top the levels seen before the height of the recession, unnerved by the clouds over the U.S. and global economies.

For the upcoming 2013 fiscal year, total U.S. state revenues will increase by $27.4 billion, or 4.1 percent, to reach $690.3 billion. General fund spending, however, will rise by only $14.6 billion, or 2.2 percent, according to a survey of governors’ budgets released on Tuesday.

Jun 1, 2012

Muni board seeks to make posted trade info more exact

June 1 (Reuters) – The board that writes the rules for the
$3.7 trillion municipal bond market is trying to give all
investors equal access to trade information.

The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board on Friday said it
was accepting comments through July 2 on changes in posting the
exact par amounts in trades with par value equal to more than $1
million. The change would eliminate a five-day window when those
large trades are posted simply as “1MM+” on the MSRB’s web site,
EMMA.

May 18, 2012

U.S. swing states’ jobless rates dive in April

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Jobless rates in all but two U.S. states dropped in April from a year before, and were sharply lower in battleground states that could decide November’s presidential contest.

Sharp drops in unemployment rates were registered in Florida, Nevada and Ohio, while joblessness in Michigan, a key state in the election four years ago, hit its lowest since 2008.

May 15, 2012

Analysis: State income up in April, but may not be enough

By Lisa Lambert and Karen Pierog

(Reuters) – Personal income tax collections in states in April might have grown an average of more than 7 percent, but for some the increase may not be enough to ease budget crises.

Reuters found that the average increase of personal income tax collections in April 2012 from April 2011 for the 20 states for which data is available was 7.3 percent.

May 8, 2012

Analysis: Public pension fixes face stout legal challenges

SAN FRANCISCO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Public employees in San Jose, California’s third-largest city, are gearing up for a marathon court battle if local voters approve a measure in June to overhaul the city’s pension system.

“It’s just a straight-up war with us,” said Jim Unland, board president of the San Jose Police Officers’ Association, the union representing the city’s police force. ” Once the thing passes, we’ll be in court for years.”

May 8, 2012

US public pension fixes face stout legal challenges

SAN FRANCISCO/WASHINGTON, May 8 (Reuters) – Public employees
in San Jose, California’s third-largest city, are gearing up for
a marathon court battle if local voters approve a measure in
June to overhaul the city’s pension system.

“It’s just a straight-up war with us,” said Jim Unland,
board president of the San Jose Police Officers’ Association,
the union representing the city’s police force. ” Once the thing
passes, we’ll be in court for years.”

May 3, 2012

Revenue boost from Amazon tax ‘limited’- Fitch

May 3 (Reuters) – From the hearing rooms of the U.S.
Congress to the halls of state legislatures across the country,
a cry is rising for more states to be able to tax transactions
over the Internet as a fix for their budget problems.

On Thursday, the credit rating agency Fitch Ratings put a
damper on the promises of the “Amazon Tax,” saying that
additional revenues “would be of limited scope and are unlikely
to affect a state or local government’s overall budget picture.”

Apr 13, 2012

State revenues hobble toward pre recession peaks

By Lisa Lambert

(Reuters) – U.S. states’ tax revenues have improved greatly, but they remain below the peaks reached before the recession, a report showed on Friday.

The U.S. Census said on Thursday that tax collections rose in all 50 states in fiscal 2011, which for most ended on June 30, 2011. That was a strong reversal from previous years, when the financial crisis, housing downturn and recession combined to cause a revenue collapse in virtually every state.