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  #451  
Old 10-03-2017, 03:39 PM
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tracker & map

http://www.governing.com/gov-data/mu...-defaults.html

Quote:
List of Bankruptcies Since January 1, 2010

All Municipal Bankruptcy Filings: 61
(Includes one municipality with two separate bankruptcy filings)

General-Purpose Local Government Bankruptcy Filings: 9
-- City of Hillview, Ky. (Dismissed)
-- City of Detroit, Mich.
-- City of San Bernardino, Calif.
-- Town of Mammoth Lakes, Calf. (Dismissed)
-- City of Stockton, Calif.
-- Jefferson County, Ala.
-- City of Harrisburg, Pa. (Dismissed)
-- City of Central Falls, R.I.
-- Boise County, Idaho (Dismissed)

LAST UPDATED: Sept. 14, 2017
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  #452  
Old 10-05-2017, 06:43 AM
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http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blo...giving#new_tab

Quote:
Your state is probably facing a new dawn of public finance problems

Spoiler:
U.S. states have entered a new era characterized by chronic budget stress. For the past 130 years, states have mostly been financially resilient through a range of economic conditions. In fact, no state has defaulted on its debt since Arkansas in the 1930s. This long period of relative calm may have lulled some people into complacency when it comes to state finances. It shouldn’t have.

S&P Global Ratings has been evaluating the creditworthiness of U.S. states and municipalities since 1940. We now see a profound shift unfolding in states such as Illinois, Kentucky, and New Jersey, whose pension systems are funded at distressed levels. The pervasiveness of budget pressures in these and other states is inconsistent with a mature national economic expansion and signals real credit stress. Our recent negative rating actions on several states’ debt reflect this. Since January 2016, we have issued 11 state credit rating downgrades and just two upgrades.


Nevertheless, the states continue to benefit from certain inherent advantages that result in mostly high credit ratings. Among these are self-imposed controls against financial excess, such as balanced-budget requirements and limits on borrowing. We shouldn’t forget that states adopted these restraints in response to a series of debt crises from 1840 through the 1880s.


To this day, these fiscal institutions remain important pillars underneath states’ credit standings. The states’ co-sovereign status and fiscal integration with the federal government has also protected them in tough economic times. Now, however, demographic and macroeconomic shifts are creating stress that, for some states, render these institutions inadequate.

Low oil prices explain the fiscal gaps for the leading energy states like Alaska and North Dakota. But slower revenue growth, declining worker-to-beneficiary ratios in state retirement systems, and rising Medicaid enrollments are widespread and have meant that fiscal stress is no longer confined to recessionary times. This stress is leading states to forego crucially needed investment in infrastructure and higher education.

There is an asymmetry to the new era for state finances. While the budgetary gains to states during the current expansion have been subdued, recent downdrafts have been severe. In the aggregate, from 1951 through 2001, state tax revenues never posted year-over-year declines, but have done so three times in just the past 15 years.

The most dramatic decline was also the most recent, when in 2009 revenues plunged 8.5 percent. Furthermore, we believe states can expect to largely go it alone the next time a recession strikes. In our view, it’s unlikely that in a downturn the current Congress would deliver enhanced aid to states via Medicaid as previous Congresses did in response to the last two recessions.

Large unfunded pension and retiree health care liabilities will also continue to squeeze state finances. The aging population and low gains in productivity imply a federal funds rate that — even after the expected round of tightening monetary policy — is low by historic norms. Yet most states still assume investment rates of return in the range of seven to eight percent, incentivizing greater risk taking, which brings with it greater risk of underperformance.

Recent equity market appreciation and various business sentiment readings indicating improved confidence offer a reasonable basis for near-term optimism. But even a burst of federal fiscal stimulus and deregulatory zeal is likely to lift gross domestic product growth (GDP) growth only temporarily considering the structural headwinds facing the U.S. economy. Therefore, whatever pace of expansion materializes in 2017 or 2018, we expect economic growth will revert to around two percent over the long term.

Not all states will stumble on this more challenging landscape. Those that have maintained pension funding discipline and consistently sought balance between revenues and spending will fare best. The strongest states will also likely expand their efforts at pension reform to cover retiree health care, which will become more important as time goes on.

With the potential for less countercyclical federal aid, states will need larger budget reserves and fiscal policy guided by a goal of aligning spending with revenue. Healthy budget reserves, balanced fiscal operations, and funding discipline vis--vis long-term liabilities will help any state better withstand the effects of protracted slow growth. A review of our rating actions over the past two to three years bears this out and shows that state credit quality has already begun to diverge along these lines.

Gabriel Petek is a managing director and sector leader in the U.S. Public Finance States group at S&P Global Ratings in San Francisco.


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  #453  
Old 10-05-2017, 06:48 AM
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CONNECTICUT

http://www.governing.com/topics/fina...nnecticut.html

Quote:
Veto Prolongs Connecticut's Longest Budget Stalemate Ever

Spoiler:
Citing deep cuts to higher education, sharp reductions in aid to needy communities, and unsound deferrals of pension payments, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Thursday made good on his pledge to veto the budget that cleared the legislature earlier this month.

Malloy called the Republican-written budget "unbalanced, unsustainable and unwise" and said it would undermine the state's long-term fiscal stability and essentially guarantee Hartford's bankruptcy.

RELATED

Why a Record Number of States Passed Budgets Late This Year (If at All) S&P Lowers Hartford's Bond Rating for the Second Time in 2 Weeks Is Connecticut to Blame for Hartford's Looming Bankruptcy? How Did America's Richest State Become Such a Fiscal Mess?
The move prolongs the ongoing fiscal gridlock at the state Capitol that has already become the longest budget impasse in Connecticut history -- more than a month longer than the summerlong struggle to create the state income tax that ended on Aug. 22, 1991. The veto came as Malloy and top legislators continued bipartisan talks Thursday in an attempt to reach an agreement that would end the standoff.

Meanwhile, despite attempts to pass a bill that would increase the hospital provider tax to 8 percent, up from the current 6 percent, officials said there would be no special session Friday. The tax increase would have been part of a broader effort to close the budget gap of $3.5 billion over two years.

In the short term, the state will now continue to be operated through a series of executive orders that allow key services to remain running but also bring steep cuts to municipalities, certain social service programs and other aspects of state government.

About 85 communities would see their education cost sharing grants, the biggest source of state funding for public education in Connecticut, cut to zero in October. The Connecticut Council of Small Towns that represents more than 100 of the state's smallest communities, is seeking an override of the veto in a special session on Oct. 10 in order to avoid local property tax increases.

But Malloy stood strongly against the Republican plan and a potential override Thursday.

"This budget adopts changes to the state's pension plan that are both financially and legally unsound,'' the Democratic governor wrote in his veto message. "This budget grabs 'savings' today on the false promise of change a decade from now, a promise that cannot be made because no legislature can unilaterally bind a future legislature."

Malloy said the changes proposed to the state's pension system could expose Connecticut taxpayers to potentially costly litigation down the road.

"Prior administrations and legislatures have, over decades, consistently and dangerously underfunded the state's pension obligations,'' Malloy said. That strategy, he said, has led to crippling debt and limited the state's ability to invest in transportation, education and other important initiatives.

The two-year, $40.7 billion budget was crafted by Republicans but drew support from three fiscally conservative Democrats in the Senate and six in the House of Representatives. Republican leaders urged Malloy to sign the plan, saying it makes significant structural changes, such as capping the state's bonding authority and limiting spending. Fiscally conservative Democrats who bolted to the Republican side had criticized a Democratic budget proposal that created new taxes on vacation homes, monthly cellphone bills and fantasy sports betting, and increased taxes on cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and hotel room rates.

But Malloy and Democratic leaders in the legislature were critical of the Republican spending plan from the start and Malloy's decision to send the bill back without his signature was widely expected.

"I think the budget that was passed in both chambers is a terrible budget for the state of Connecticut,'' House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz, D-Berlin, said Thursday after emerging from closed-door talks with Malloy and legislative leaders from both parties. "It will have toxic effect on our economy and our institutes of higher learning and it is incumbent on us ... not to overturn the veto, there are things we agree to ... but there are big things left and we should be in that room concentrating on it, not talking about a veto override."

The 1,098-page bill also contained cuts that would wreak havoc on the University of Connecticut and other public colleges, Malloy said. UConn would have seen its funding slashed by $300 million, a reduction that could have resulted in closing the law school, the nursing school or shutting down UConn Health, President Susan Herbst said.

Malloy had proposed cutting $100 million, which UConn officials had said they would accept as part of the shared sacrifice. Republicans said that Herbst and others were exaggerating the possible cuts at UConn.

Republicans, who have been working to craft an effective legislative majority with fiscally conservative Democrats, hit back.

House Republican leader Themis Klarides of Derby is not giving up, saying she and her colleagues will try to override the veto. That is a tall task because it requires a two-thirds vote in both chambers, meaning 101 votes in the House and 24 in the Senate. The crucial Republican amendment passed with 78 votes in the House and 21 in the Senate -- well short of the override margin in both chambers.

"I am disappointed he vetoed this budget,'' Klarides told reporters. "I think there is another opportunity and a responsibility by the legislators in this building to override this veto and move forward. The cuts that have to face this state education-wise, municipal aid-wise, social service-wise ... that this state will face after Oct. 1 are unacceptable and there is another way to do this."

Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano of North Haven agreed on the override, saying the veto "has now put Connecticut in chaos."

Malloy acknowledged the urgency of resolving the fiscal standoff in his veto message. "I cannot overstate the urgency of the need for all parties to come together to negotiate a realistic, responsible budget that addresses our state's fiscal issues, distributes education aid equitably and balances without the use of illusory gimmicks,'' he wrote. "I remain committed to engaging in honest dialogue with legislative leaders to reach an agreement that achieves these goals."



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  #454  
Old 10-06-2017, 01:50 PM
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http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-1...ankruptcy-next

Quote:
Which American Cities Will File Bankruptcy Next?
Spoiler:
We harp on the massive, unsustainable, yet largely unnoticed, debt burdens of American cities, counties and states fairly regularly because, well, it's a frightening issue if you spend just a little time to understand the math and ultimate consequences.

.....
Luckily, for those looking to escape the trauma of being taxed into oblivion by their failing cities/counties/states, JP Morgan has provided a comprehensive guide on which municipalities haven't the slightest hope of surviving their multi-decade debt binge and lavish public pension awards.

If you live in any of the 'red' cities below, it just might be time to start looking for another home...



To add a little context to the map above, JP Morgan ranked every major city in the United States based on what percentage of their annual budgets are required just to fund interest payments on debt, pension contributions and other post retirement benefits.

The results are staggering. To our great 'shock', Chicago residents win the award of "most screwed" with over 60% of their tax dollars going to fund debt and pension payments. Meanwhile, there are a dozen municipalities where over 50% of their annual budgets are used just to fund the maintenance cost of past expenditures.

.....
So, what will it take to fix the mess in these various municipal budgets? How about massive tax hikes of ~30% or a slight 76,121% increase in worker pension contributions in Honolulu...


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  #455  
Old 10-11-2017, 07:21 AM
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PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES

https://www.theatlantic.com/educatio...llions/542352/

Quote:
Why Colleges Are Borrowing Billions
Higher-education institutions are overspending on renovations and new facilities that they hope will boost enrollment, but experts say this plan could lead to financial crisis.


Spoiler:
.....
While public attention has been focused on runaway student loan amounts, colleges and universities themselves are also borrowing heavily — often in the hope of shoring up enrollments, but in many cases leaving them financially weaker, analysts say.

Colleges and universities collectively owe $240 billion, the Moody’s bond-rating service reports. That debt rose 18 percent, to $145 billion, in the last five years at public universities, Moody’s says. At privates, it went up 3 percent, to $95 billion.

Last year alone, colleges and universities borrowed a record $41.3 billion through municipal bonds, their principal source of debt funding, the financial information firm Thomson Reuters reports. That’s up from $28.7 billion a decade ago.

The annual cost of servicing this accumulated debt more than doubled, from $21 billion in 2003 to $48 billion in 2012, the most recent year for which it has been calculated by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley.

This means 9 percent of college and university budgets, on average, now goes to servicing debt, a cost that has been rising faster than enrollments.

Just the interest payments come to the equivalent of $750 per student per year at public universities, the Berkeley researchers found, and $1,289 at private colleges.

.....
But much of it is happening because—despite budget cuts at public universities, sluggish endowment growth at private ones, and falling enrollments everywhere—colleges and universities have continued to build new facilities at record-setting rates.

Colleges and universities collectively spent $8.4 billion on new construction and renovations from January through August of this year, up nearly 10 percent over the same period the year before, according to Dodge Data & Analytics, a private company that tracks this. That’s after laying out about $12 billion in each of the last three years.

But the idea that these expenditures will pay for themselves by attracting new students may be wishful thinking, observers caution.

“Sometimes that doesn’t pan out—the ‘if you build it, they will come’ approach,” said Susan Menditto, the director of accounting policy at the National Association of College and University Business Officers.

For one thing, with the number of 18- to 24-year-olds declining and students older than 24 being drawn back into the workforce as the economy improves, there were 2.4 million fewer people enrolled in higher education in the academic year that ended this spring than there were in the fall of 2011, and the supply of potential customers continues to fall.
.....
“Borrowing is not necessarily bad,” said Howard Bunsis, a professor of accounting at Eastern Michigan University who has studied the growth of institutional debt in higher education for the American Association of University Professors. “What matters is what you’re borrowing the money for.”

At most schools, the debt burden remains manageable when measured as a share of revenues and assets, Moody’s says.

......
“The big Ivy League schools and the big public universities, this is not who we’re talking about,” said Bunsis. “The problem is at regional public universities and small private colleges.”


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  #456  
Old 10-13-2017, 04:03 PM
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This hits Puerto Rico, Illinois, and New Jersey.... so I'm putting it here
https://twitter.com/munitrend/status/918829807852331008

Quote:
Another way to slice it: debt over revenues. PR, VI, and Guam are all higher than IL and NJ #muniland
Spoiler:


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  #457  
Old 10-15-2017, 01:55 PM
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CONNECTICUT

http://www.courant.com/opinion/edito...012-story.html

Quote:
Editorial 5 Reasons Connecticut Needs A Budget Now

Spoiler:
Connecticut's political paralysis is now on display for the whole country to marvel at. The state has gone more than 100 days without a tax-and-spending package because the legislature lacks the collective guts to get government's financial problems under control.

Why should readers care? For five reasons:

1. It looks bad. Connecticut is the only state in the union without a budget. Even Illinois, the basket-case state, finally settled on a budget this summer after two years of dickering.

Connecticut risks looking like the rich brat who can't balance a checkbook — not helpful when trying to court businesses. To quote the Chicago Tribune, "Employers don't want to pay for someone else's dysfunction."

Speaking of the Land of Lincoln, what a mess. Illinois cut off Powerball sales for a week in June; without a budget, it couldn't contribute to the prize pool. It still has billions in unpaid bills even though the budget stalemate ended in July. Let's not get to that place.

2. Connecticut is losing out on federal money. By taxing hospitals and then giving them back some of that money, the state could be getting hundreds of millions of dollars in federal matching funds. Yes, it's an odd way to make money. Nevertheless, the scheme is being held up by the budget impasse.

3. The state's credit rating could fall (again). In May, three credit rating agencies downgraded Connecticut. We're now just behind — guess who? — last-place Illinois and second-to-last New Jersey in Fitch and Moody's ratings. If budget squabbles go on much longer, Wall Street could lose even more faith. Even lower credit ratings means higher costs for borrowing and higher interest rates to do things like help build local schools.

4. Communities need money. The budget stalemate means that hundreds of millions of dollars in state aid won't go to dozens of towns and cities at the end of October. Some municipalities will have issue supplemental tax bills and/or slash away at schools. Some are already laying off teachers.

The capital city is looking at bankruptcy. Hartford's mayor says it needs $40 million to stave off insolvency, which could happen by early November.

5. The state needs to adjust to a new reality. Let's face it, the Land of Steady Habits will have to change its ways. We might as well get started.

Eventually, for example, Connecticut will have to do what states from Maine to North Carolina have done: install tolls on the state's highways, the third busiest in the nation.

Eventually, towns will have to start budgeting for teacher pensions, which they've never had to worry about before. Teachers contribute 6 percent toward their pensions and the state covers the rest — but the state has no control over what towns pay their teachers and how many they hire. The bill has gotten too high for the state to handle alone.

3. The state's credit rating could fall (again). In May, three credit rating agencies downgraded Connecticut. We're now just behind — guess who? — last-place Illinois and second-to-last New Jersey in Fitch and Moody's ratings. If budget squabbles go on much longer, Wall Street could lose even more faith. Even lower credit ratings means higher costs for borrowing and higher interest rates to do things like help build local schools.

4. Communities need money. The budget stalemate means that hundreds of millions of dollars in state aid won't go to dozens of towns and cities at the end of October. Some municipalities will have issue supplemental tax bills and/or slash away at schools. Some are already laying off teachers.

The capital city is looking at bankruptcy. Hartford's mayor says it needs $40 million to stave off insolvency, which could happen by early November.

5. The state needs to adjust to a new reality. Let's face it, the Land of Steady Habits will have to change its ways. We might as well get started.

Eventually, for example, Connecticut will have to do what states from Maine to North Carolina have done: install tolls on the state's highways, the third busiest in the nation.

Eventually, towns will have to start budgeting for teacher pensions, which they've never had to worry about before. Teachers contribute 6 percent toward their pensions and the state covers the rest — but the state has no control over what towns pay their teachers and how many they hire. The bill has gotten too high for the state to handle alone.

Towns will also eventually have to move ahead on dissolving and merging with other towns if they can't make a go of it on their own, as tiny Scotland is considering in eastern Connecticut.
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  #458  
Old 10-16-2017, 05:22 PM
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CONNECTICUT AND PENNSYLVANIA

https://www.forbes.com/sites/debtwir.../#194d24b45207

Quote:
Illinois May Be The Weakest State, But Watch For Others
Spoiler:
Connecticut and Pennsylvania are still without budgets four months into their fiscal years. It’s too soon to compare either state with Illinois, which recently went two years without a budget. But municipal market investors should be aware that prolonged disputes of this type are can be a harbinger of longer- term credit decline.

For many years, Connecticut was well-regarded by investors and had bond ratings solidly in the double-A range. The state even had plans just over two years ago to strengthen its “rainy day” fund. Those plans didn’t last, however, as revenues weren’t received as expected and state officials concluded its “rainy day” had arrived. In 2015, Connecticut’s rainy day fund contained $519 million but now holds only $171 million.

Adding to Connecticut’s woes is the weakened state of its capital, Hartford, where Mayor Luke Bronin has threatened to file for Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy if the state doesn’t provide “substantial and sustained” aid to the city. Connecticut’s problems make it unlikely to provide that level of assistance, and a bankruptcy filing or default by Hartford could damage investor perceptions of the state’s creditworthiness. A default on city cash-flow notes could occur on October 31st.


A different situation exists in Pennsylvania, which has adopted a spending plan for fiscal year 2018 but no corresponding revenues to pay for it. The political dynamic in Pennsylvania pits Governor Tom Wolf, a Democrat, against a Republican-controlled state legislature.

Revenue proposals have included a state hotel tax, commercial storage tax, and gambling expansion. The most controversial proposal however has been a severance tax on natural gas production.

But the governor and legislature haven’t been able to agree on how exactly revenues should be raised, leading to a budget impasse and a recent press conference by the governor during which he said he would “take action to manage our state’s finances". Part of the governor’s plan calls for $1.25 billion in bonds to be secured by profits of the state’s liquor system. It’s unclear though whether the governor would need legislative approval for this bond issue.

What are the short-term prospects for each state? Connecticut’s legislative leaders are working on a plan they hope will meet with approval from Governor Dannel Malloy (D). In Pennsylvania, the prospects for a quick resolution seem equally dire.

As budgets are finally adopted, investors should watch for either state’s use of one-time revenues, such as Governor Wolf’s proposed liquor bonds. That kind of remedy gets a state through a current crisis but leads to bigger problems down the road because recurring revenues will remain insufficient to support spending levels. Significant credit weakness can occur relatively quickly as a result.

Neither state wants to be known as the next Illinois. As recently as eight years ago, Illinois was rated in the AA range by S&P Global Ratings. But as deficits increased and pension funding deteriorated, its bond ratings steadily declined. The state’s diminished financial and economic strength caused political infighting and a budget stalemate that wasn’t broken for two years. Finally, in July 2017 the state was in danger of losing its investment grade ratings from the credit rating agencies. The state legislature overrode the governor’s veto and approved a budget.

Illinois leaders never expected to go two years without a budget, and those in charge of Connecticut and Pennsylvania don’t expect to either. If either state is to keep its credit situation from deteriorating further, it needs to adopt a reasonable budget very soon.


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  #459  
Old 10-18-2017, 02:44 PM
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http://www.governing.com/topics/fina...ess-tests.html

Quote:
Is Your State Ready for the Next Recession? Chances Are, It's Not.
A new report says one-third of states will face severe fiscal stress during the next economic downturn.


Spoiler:
Nearly a decade since the last recession started, most states still aren’t prepared for the next one.

Fewer than half of states have the funds they need to weather the economic downturn, and nearly one-third would likely face significant fiscal stress, according to a report released today by Moody’s Analytics.

The report conducted the first-ever stress test on all 50 state budgets to assess their ability to absorb a fiscal shock. It found that 16 states have enough in reserves to get through the next recession somewhat comfortably. Another 19 states have some or most of the funds they would need, which means they would likely have to raise revenue and/or cut spending, as well as tap reserves, to balance their budgets during a downturn. And 15 states are so “substantially unprepared” for the next downturn, they would face major “economic repercussions.”

The idea of stress testing state budgets, which was borrowed from the U.S. Federal Reserve, essentially throws different economic scenarios at a state budget to see how revenues would be impacted. While the idea is popular with economists and ratings firms, only a few states actually conduct their own stress tests.

In its analysis, Moody’s Analytics ran two different scenarios: a moderate recession and a more severe downturn that mimics the losses experienced during the Great Recession. The models took into each state’s tax structure, revenue volatility, expected spending on Medicaid, and existing reserves and fund balances, among other things.



Having the proper cushion allows lawmakers to keep making policy when times are tough, rather than simply just reacting, says Moody’s senior economist Dan White, the report’s author. “If you have the reserves put away and don’t have to worry about making ends meet," he says, "that gives you more time to focus resources on things that are really plaguing you -- like the cost of Medicaid.”

White’s modeling gives states at least one or two years before the next economic downturn. That means places like California, Kentucky and Wisconsin, which have about half of the savings Moody’s estimates they need, potentially have time to improve their position. But for the states with slim-to-no savings set aside (such as Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania), White says it’s likely too late to make the needed adjustment before the next recession.

Many of the states that fall into the unprepared category are there because they haven’t addressed their structural budget burdens. Pennsylvania, for instance, has consistently struggled with balancing its budget over the last decade. Part of the reason is that its Medicaid spending is gobbling up nearly 40 percent of the budget and giving it less flexibility than any other state. “They just really haven’t had the breathing room necessary to set aside any amount for reserves,” says White.

While many state budgets were seemingly blindsided in 2008 by free-falling revenues, White says there was at least one person in every state who should have known the recession was coming: the state Medicaid director. That’s because enrollment jumped significantly beginning in the first half of 2008, nearly a year before revenues began taking a nose dive.

Medicaid enrollment in states that have expanded their programs under the Affordable Care Act is still increasing for noneconomic reasons. But White expects that to level off before the next downturn.

chart:






https://www.moodysanalytics.com/-/me...-recession.pdf

https://www.economy.com/getlocal?q=9...0&app=eccafile

Quote:
Stress-Testing States
Spoiler:
Introduction
One of the few great inescapable facts in the field of economics is the reality of the business
cycle. No matter how high-flying an economy might appear, another recession is coming
sooner or later. It can be difficult, if not impossible, to regularly predict when one might occur,
or how severe it may be, but recessions and their place in the business cycle are an accepted
fact of economic life. Therefore, preparing for recessions is an equally inescapable concept.
It has been more than eight years since the end of the last recession, the third longest period
of expansion in U.S. history, and many are rightfully beginning to look ahead to the next
economic downturn. However, one of the most effective ways to look forward is to look back
and make sure that we have adequately learned the lessons of the Great Recession. Nowhere
is this type of postmortem more appropriate than for state and local governments.

....
Stress-Test Findings
16 states have the funds they need
for the next recession
19 states have most of the funds
they need for the next recession
15 states have significantly less
funds than they need for the next
recession
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Old 10-18-2017, 10:43 PM
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TEXAS
DALLAS
https://www.dallasnews.com/news/dall...ntrol-projects

Quote:
Dallas hopes to issue hundreds of millions in debt for street repairs, flood control, other projects
Spoiler:
Assistant City Manager Majed Al-Ghafry said the city could kick off the 2017 bond package by issuing about $100 million in debt late this year or early next year. That would come if voters approve the 10 bond propositions — collectively worth $1.05 billion before interest — on the Nov. 7 ballot.
Before the bond package projects begin, however, city officials plan to issue $350 million in bonds to help refinance current debt and complete some of the remaining projects in the 2006 and 2012 bond packages.

The flurry of debt issuances will come after a worrisome few years in which the three major credit ratings agencies had dinged Dallas' credit score because of the city's pension woes. The tumult factored into the City Council's decision to delay the bond package until November rather than asking voters for the money in May, when officials were still hammering out a fix for the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System in the state Legislature.
But now, city Chief Financial Officer Elizabeth Reich said she is feeling "very confident" about the city's ability to sell bonds.
"The Dallas economy is strong and has been strong," Reich said. "What the rating agencies were concerned about is the pension crisis. Now we've got a solution in place."
The solution was a combination of benefit cuts and contribution increases for both the city's taxpayers and police and firefighters. The new law helped stabilize the credit outlook with one ratings agency, Fitch, which upgraded the city's debt outlook but not the rating.
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