States on Track for Default

Louisiana’s unfunded liability of $24 billion cause for “serious concerns”

NEW ORLEANS, La. – On account of immense fiscal pressure, some states are “simply not going to be able to honor their promises,” asserts John Hood, author of “The States in Crisis,” a report from the latest issue of National Affairs.

Commentary: City Journal: New Orleans a Model for Urban Renewal

In spite of the despair which clouded our city during and after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans has experienced a historic renewal. With the election of a new administration, a burgeoning sense of optimism pervades New Orleans. The City Journal recently published an article by Nicole Gelinas which illuminates the governmental and socioeconomic factors contributing to this renaissance.

Jindal’s Prison Privatization Proposal Must be Properly Structured, But Can Generate Savings, Spokesman Says

Corrections System the Second-Fastest Growing Part of State Budgets

By Kevin Mooney

While some high profile state officials have expressed skepticism toward the idea of selling off state correctional facilities, a spokesman for Gov. Bobby Jindal says the proposal can be structured to alleviate costs and “right size” state government.

States Lack of Strict Budgetary Requirements Increases Budget Shortfalls

Stronger balanced budget amendments safeguard against shortfalls
By Phillip Suderman

As states complete their budget forecasts, 40 states are already reporting more than $80 billion in budget gaps for the next two fiscal years, according to the National Association of State Budget Officers. In a joint report released last week by NASBO and the National Governors Association nearly half of the states are already projecting shortfalls for the upcoming fiscal year. A further 11 states are still trying to close the deficits of this year’s budget.

Shining the Light of Transparency

Introducing a new home for government accountability

The Sunshine Standard, a new website, espouses the view that all levels of government “have an obligation to proactively share the information people need to hold officials accountable.” Through model legislation, pledge appeals, a news portal, and relevant links the creators intend the site to be a “one-stop resource for citizens seeking to enhance government transparency” and to “shift the burden from citizens and journalists to state and local governments.”

Medicaid Expenses Drain State Coffers

Mercatus study identifies expansion of eligibility

By Phillip Suderman

The most contested and popular issues during this year’s election races focused on government spending and debt. And, although many newly elected members of Congress will soon arrive in Washington to work on the national fiscal picture, the finances they leave behind in their various states aren’t in top shape. In 2010, 48 states grappled with budget gaps that totaled nearly $200 billion. The chief culprit for many states’ financial woes, most recently is Medicaid.

Constitutionality of $200 Billion “Backroom Tobacco Deal” Challenged

Two Louisianians bring lawsuit to Supreme Court against government-tobacco cartel

NEW ORLEANS, La. – The Competitive Enterprise Institute has filed a new challenge with the U.S. Supreme Court against the $200 billion deal between major tobacco companies and 46 state attorneys general of 1998. CEI’s petition for two Louisianians and one Virginian, filed last week, comes after five years of litigation and alleges that the tobacco “Master Settlement Agreement” violates the constitutional provision against multi-state agreements that have not been approved by Congress.