December 18, 2015
California is saving millions making people compare prices for certain medical services.
November 6, 2015
Meditation can improve inmates’ mental health better than traditional care, which is why it’s being reintroduced in some prisons.
October 20, 2015
Studies are mixed on the effectiveness of incentivizing employees to get healthier. But one county is chalking up some big savings.
December 11, 2014
Will Congress be swayed by the entry of a Chinese e-commerce competitor?
November 13, 2014
Pension plans want to support environmental projects, but there is one thing holding them back.
October 16, 2014
Two researchers say the answer comes down to how a tax cut is financed.
September 11, 2014
Many states are rethinking once-popular production incentives -- a contrast from California, which is offering more to protect one of its biggest industries.
August 14, 2014
Industrial development bonds historically have the highest default rate, but a bill in Congress would revamp them.
July 17, 2014
After years of planning, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act is finally in effect. How will it affect your state?
June 12, 2014
Cloud sales are expected to generate billions in revenue this year, but state and local governments are unsure whether they can (and how they would) tax them.
May 29, 2014
The president’s public retirement savings account only goes so far, so about a dozen states are looking for alternative ways to help their many constituents who have no nest egg.
May 15, 2014
Although issuance is down, there have been a few good developments on the municipal bond front.
April 24, 2014
At the same time states are looking to beef up corporate tax collections, they are also cutting corporate taxes.
April 10, 2014
D.C.'s Tax Revision Commission has suggested an unusual way to broaden the city's tax base -- and get around the federal government.
March 27, 2014
Partially driven by a devastating alternative, Congress appears closer than ever to passing an Internet sales tax bill.
March 13, 2014
A group of local pension plans has a strategy to fight 2-and-20 fees and lower the costs of private equity investments.
February 27, 2014
With the ways for funding transportation infrastructure changing, what options do Congress and the states have left?
February 13, 2014
A new report lays out several fiscal planning tools that can help officials see what's sustainable.
January 30, 2014
Analysts see a better year ahead, but say there are factors that could cause a 2013 repeat.
January 16, 2014
Do states and localities have a revenue interest in virtual currencies?
October 24, 2013
While Congress stalls on federal online sales tax legislation, a growing number of states are now taking advantage of the extra revenue -- but not without a fight.
September 26, 2013
A tax fight in Missouri may signify the limits to cuts.
September 12, 2013
States that don't recognize same-sex marriage will face a few tax complications come 2014.
August 29, 2013
A veteran issuer gives his perspective on the mounting woes over muni bonds.
August 15, 2013
Richmond, Calif.’s plan -- which dozens of localities are considering -- is facing legal and legislative challenges. What are the pros and cons of seizing underwater mortgages using eminent domain?
July 31, 2013
The well-to-do city in Southern California will pay off 30 years worth of liabilities in a decade.
July 18, 2013
A recent Brookings report evaluates their effects on the housing market.
June 13, 2013
Despite some positive developments, it seems the SEC and IRS are cracking down on the municipal bond market.
May 30, 2013
States and localities have $3 trillion in debt, but the purpose and use of debt differs significantly from the federal government.
May 16, 2013
Defined-benefit plans put all the risk on states and localities; defined-contribution plans put it all on employees. Now there's a new approach to risk sharing.
April 30, 2013
When there’s public outcry over something -- whether it’s gun control or apartheid -- states and cities reevaluate what their pension plans invest in. But should they be social investing at all?
April 25, 2013
Cash-strapped states are questioning the tax exemptions they offer the elderly.
April 11, 2013
According to finance experts from the left and right, it's the worst reform measure passed by a state in the last two years.
March 14, 2013
The fiscal facts on what a state gains or loses by broadening its Medicaid roles.
February 14, 2013
A handful of states and localities are considering gun and ammunition taxes. Is there any state and local revenue in this approach?
January 31, 2013
Issuers may be enjoying low-interest rates when they come to market, but that doesn't mean these are the best of times.
January 17, 2013
Two states, two different approaches for fixing how we pay for roads.
December 13, 2012
New studies afford a state-by-state or city-by-city analysis of fiscal well being.
November 30, 2012
What is the future of the 'death tax'?
November 15, 2012
As cities face extreme fiscal pressure, can Chapter 9 ease their pension obligations?
October 25, 2012
The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board is hoping to help arm issuers with more information before they borrow money.
October 11, 2012
The effect of higher federal taxes and sequestration cuts on state budgets and revenue.
September 27, 2012
Are there ways to open taxpayers' wallets for K-12 kids?
September 13, 2012
A look at past, present and future issues that have been swept under the fiscal rug.
August 30, 2012
A private banker has an idea for "rentalizing" upfront costs when agencies consolidate and move into smaller office space.
August 16, 2012
A new initiative hopes to pair the science of alternative energies with the power of bond financing.
August 2, 2012
States have been battling Amazon and other online retailers over sales tax collection for years. Have they finally made progress?
July 12, 2012
Wall Street opposes the idea, but a county in California thinks it can use eminent domain to seize underwater mortgages and restructure them on behalf of homeowners.
June 28, 2012
The Great Recession was hard on private workers. Will states and localities have to rescue them?
June 14, 2012
Four states have already considered eliminating income or property taxes this year.
May 24, 2012
While things appear to be looking up, new questions arise about loans, debts and borrowings from banks.
May 10, 2012
As technology improves, more and more businesses are using tax zappers to skim sales taxes.
April 12, 2012
One professor argues it's a way to bring revenue gushing into state coffers.
March 29, 2012
A reform aimed at Wall Street is taking a shot at the bonds states and localities issue.
March 15, 2012
Hydraulic fracturing is being touted as a revenue bonanza for the 35 states that have shale gas potential, but it's not without its issues.
March 1, 2012
Legislation moving through Congress could help states and localities finance public works projects.
February 16, 2012
Will online poker be the revenue boost states are looking for?
January 12, 2012
Economists and analysts are optimistic this year will be better than the last. Still, there are a few storm clouds on the horizon.
December 15, 2011
Everyone knows the havoc disasters wreck on finances. How about the good they have?
December 12, 2011
Raise it or reform it: Is it time for states to rethink the gas tax?
November 16, 2011
Are city taxes and revenues affected if professional sports teams cancel their season?
November 10, 2011
Cities that retool for a global economy can set the stage for a reliable revenue stream.
October 19, 2011
Are localities looking for revenue in the wrong place?
October 13, 2011
With localities scrambling to find investors, the National League of Cities ponders jumping into the insurance business.
September 21, 2011
The feds are talking about ending the popular tax expenditure, which could be positive and negative for state and local economies.
September 15, 2011
For state and local revenues to improve, housing sales need to improve. The problem is that the outlook for housing isn't very pretty.
August 17, 2011
Consumers may like back-to-school tax holidays, but are they good public policy?
August 11, 2011
If you thought the Great Recession was the most trying time for state and local government credit ratings, think again.
July 20, 2011
A new report scores states on how well they administer the unpopular tax.
July 14, 2011
Plus, what might a lost NFL or NBA season cost your state and city?
June 22, 2011
Tax amnesties are unpopular with the public. On the other hand, they raise much-needed money in this cash-strapped climate.
June 16, 2011
Municipal bond market investors want to know more about issuers -- and they want to know it on a quarterly, semi-annual and annual basis.
May 18, 2011
Desperate for revenue, states are trying all the tricks in the book to force Internet retailers to collect sales taxes.
May 12, 2011
Both borrowing and lending have decreased. The municipal bond market's problems run deeper than simple headline risk.
April 26, 2011
The student loan bubble could hurt state and local revenue.
April 20, 2011
They're the hottest topic in budget-balancing and deficit-cutting circles. They are also the least understood and the most controversial.
April 14, 2011
As revenues return, legislators and policymakers are beginning to take stock of how well their rainy day funds functioned.
March 16, 2011
In a year when severe budget cuts are on the table, states are rethinking film tax-credit programs.
March 10, 2011
Some argue that the municipal bond market's recent upheaval is the fault of a single 60 Minutes segment.
February 16, 2011
Does taxing food partially or not at all make sense politically or fiscally? One University of Connecticut law professor says it doesn't.
February 10, 2011
A new online tool in North Carolina provides a systematic approach in analyzing financial conditions for local governments.
January 19, 2011
Property taxes once showed a sizable rate of growth. Not anymore.
January 18, 2011
The state of state corporate income taxes is a mess.
January 13, 2011
The list of cities in fiscal stress is growing. Will states intervene to help them work out their fiscal problems?
December 22, 2010
Several states not only help citizens find unclaimed property, but they also make money off of it.
December 16, 2010
States must make the least-worse budget cuts -- or consider dropping out of the program.
November 17, 2010
Confronting privacy and "nexus" issues, courts in several states have handed down new rulings in an escalating battle with online retailers to tax Internet transactions.
November 10, 2010
The state of the union, and four positive steps states can take to improve their fiscal outlook.
October 20, 2010
North Carolina is giving its online retailers an ultimatum: collect sales taxes now or risk an audit later.
October 14, 2010
State and local debt is at an all time high -- governments have borrowed $2.4 trillion as of mid-2010.
September 22, 2010
Colorado didn't legalize medical marijuana to make money, but since regulations went into effect, it has raised millions.
An expert discusses whether tax increment financing (TIF), a local development tool, can withstand declining real estate values and a tough economic climate.
August 18, 2010
Is gambling a great source of revenue for states and localities, or a peril-filled recreation?
August 12, 2010
Three experts share their views on efforts to reform the mortgage giants, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and why state and local governments should care.
July 21, 2010
More and more states are turning to a perennial favorite, the excise tax, to weather the recession.
July 15, 2010
When it comes to raising money and spending it, states and localities face formidable political obstacles.
June 23, 2010
In a bad economy, is a tax commission likely to have more of an impact?
June 17, 2010
Can new competition in the credit-rating arena reignite the municipal bond market?
June 1, 2010
GASB ups the ante on performance.
May 19, 2010
In these budget busting times, state-owned buildings are increasingly up for sale. But states may have better options.
May 13, 2010
When a public-purpose project fails, should taxpayers pick up the bill?
May 1, 2010
Pittsburgh's proposed tax would have been a first: a 1 percent levy on all tuition paid by the city's 100,000 college students. If it had passed, it...
December 31, 2009
The dwindling number of primary care physicians is a dagger at the heart of health care reform. If nearly all Americans have insurance, how will...
December 31, 2009
It's like a page out of the Brothers Grimm. Once upon a time -- and not so very long ago -- there were four giants....
November 30, 2009
Employers--and that includes states and localities--have been focusing on wellness and prevention as a means of keeping their employees healthy and thereby less costly to...
October 31, 2009
Here's the problem. The number of Americans who have diabetes is growing at an alarming rate, as are the medical costs of treating the disease:...
September 30, 2009
Put down that can. The sweet soda in front of you may be frosty and cold and just waiting to quench your thirst, but it...
August 31, 2009
When he headed up the Washington State Investment Board, Joe Dear oversaw a $67 billion portfolio. Now that he's the new honcho at CalPERS, the California...
August 19, 2009
There's a little joke that makes the rounds whenever Medicaid directors get together. It goes like this: If you've seen one state Medicaid program, you've...
July 31, 2009
Prevention is getting a bad rap--a growing number of health economists and providers are casting doubt on the ability of preventive medicine to squeeze costs...
June 30, 2009
The president brought it up himself. He talked seriously to a New York Times reporter in May about end-of-life health care choices--the tremendous drain they...
May 31, 2009
When it comes to surviving the swine flu, Texans, Californians and folks in other states along our southern border have fared better than their neighbors...
April 30, 2009
Winter Haven, Florida, imposes an accident- response fee-for services rendered when police officers and firefighters ride to the rescue. Wisconsin triples the price of its...
April 30, 2009
What will they think of next? Winter Haven, Florida, is imposing an accident response fee -- for services rendered when police officers and firefighters come...
February 28, 2009
The current buzzword among MBA grads is "disruptive innovation." It may sound like a term to use when all hell is breaking loose. But what...
January 31, 2009
As state and local revenue sources go, the property tax always has been the steady one. Its cousins -- the income and sales taxes --...
March 31, 2008
Blame it on Orange County. Back in 1994, the huge California county filed for bankruptcy after losing billions of dollars on a risky investment in financial...
December 1, 2007
State tax collections had a strong case of the milds in the second quarter of 2007--a 6.1 percent increase in tax revenue, compared to the same quarter of 2006. That said, this nominal growth rate, as measured by the Rockfeller Institute's "State Revenue Report," was weak by long-term historical standards.
December 1, 2007
The West Virginia legislature recently gave the thumbs up to a radical experiment in health care: doctor-run pay-in-advance plans that provide a family unlimited primary and urgent care for $125 a month. No insurance coverage is involved.
November 1, 2007
Having worked on both sides, Coughlin is passionate in his belief in the assisted-living philosophy, and that belief drives the way he approaches regulation. A key part of assisted living, he points out, is a resident's right to autonomy, but autonomy poses safety risks.
October 31, 2007
They're on the rise - again. Health insurance premiums are up 6.1 percent on average this year - a relatively modest increase - but overall they're 78...
October 31, 2007
When public finance officers met this summer in Anaheim, their association's outgoing president kicked off the convention with an all-out assault on an accounting board....
August 31, 2007
Get ready for a medical malpractice crisis. The roiling stock market could drag down earnings on investment portfolios: If it does, insurance companies that issue...
It's one thing to use the carrot to encourage healthy behavior. It's
another to use the stick--especially on children.
June 30, 2007
Picture this: Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell comes to the nation's capital to tell a gathering of health care advocates, health industry representatives and health writers...
April 30, 2007
Language is powerful. So when a negative word becomes linked to an idea or program, the result often is damaging.
That's what I see happening...
April 1, 2007
Changes are afoot--some welcome, others less so.
February 28, 2007
It isn't a strong economy that produces healthy people. It's healthy people that produce a strong economy." Peter Johnson is standing in a meeting room...
February 1, 2007
There's a new and higher level of strain in the already-tense
relationship between GASB and state and local officials.
February 1, 2007
A growing number of states and localities are turning to incentives to
move the employees they insure into healthier lifestyles. Indiana is
going one step further. It is trying to target employees who are at
risk for illnesses and offering them special services to improve their
odds of staying healthy.
The current system of blame and lawsuits is no way to deal with medical errors.
December 31, 2006
Talk about impact. One day Wal-Mart is launching a small pilot program in Tampa to sell 314 generic drugs at $4 each for a 30-day supply. Two...
December 1, 2006
The rise of health clinics in retail stores could affect both health
policy and regulation.
As biologic drugs enter the mainstream, they could break the Medicaid
bank--and the health care system.
October 1, 2006
These are threatening times for retirement funds and retirees.
It turns out that lower-income people are not the ones clogging up emergency rooms.
State-sponsored Web sites are enabling consumers to compare hospital and physician prices and performance.
Government-backed reinsurance could make health coverage more
affordable for the middle class.
March 1, 2006
Health savings accounts can spur consumers to shop for the best care
at the lowest price. But these insurance plans also carry a lot of
Florida and Kentucky are custom-tailoring the benefits package in an
effort to make fiscal sense of the program.
It's time to walk people through the choices they have to make in
order to get health care that works for everyone.
Under Florida's newly approved waiver, Medicaid patients will have to
slog through all the fine print that is a health insurance plan.
September 1, 2005
There's danger in expecting wellness programs to work miracles and
abandoning them when they don't.
August 1, 2005
A few weeks ago, Governing sat down with Michael Leavitt, the U.S.
Health and Human Services secretary and former governor of Utah, to
talk about changes that could be in store for the Medicaid program.
Here are some key points he made.
It's time for the states to break down Congress's door with some basic
solutions to the sustainability problem.
As TV ads hype the demand for costly brand-name drugs, those who pay
Medicaid's pill bill are fighting back.
March 1, 2005
From TennCare's end to Florida's proposed new beginning, state
Medicaid programs are working through difficult times.
A new accounting rule could seriously undermine the health insurance
that states and localities provide to their retirees.
Piecemeal reforms show the unwillingness of policy makers to take bold
steps to deal with the nation's health care crisis.
December 1, 2004
Muni Bond Numbers Decline and Fall
November 1, 2004
Health care costs for retirees are like a hurricane that's gathering
strength in the ocean before it makes landfall.
November 1, 2004
Can broader insurance coverage bring health care costs under control?
One state is betting on it.
September 1, 2004
A new approach to cutting health care costs may end up transferring
medical risk to consumers.
July 1, 2004
Governor Bredesen aims to save TennCare, but one of his fixes flies in
the face of a cherished national notion.
June 1, 2004
Bond rating experts at odds on state of states
May 1, 2004
rising price of health care.
March 1, 2004
States have a fiscal link to the obesity crisis--it accounts for 5
percent of their overall medical spending.
January 1, 2004
The times may be ripe to form new--and surprising--alliances to solve
the crisis in health insurance.
December 1, 2003
Credit downgrades happen all the time: The economy turns sour, budgets are stressed, the powers that be don't want to raise taxes or slash spending.
December 1, 2003
Oregon's former governor is pushing a rational way to control drug
November 1, 2003
When it comes to reducing medical errors, assessing blame is less
effective than identifying patterns and steps to correct problems.
November 1, 2003
Investment markets can falter. When they do, pension bonds can become
a very risky business.
September 1, 2003
Several states made changes in their Medicaid and SCHIP programs that
will, in effect, push children off the rolls.
July 1, 2003
The assault on certificates of need, put in place decades ago to
control health costs, couldn't come at a worse time.
June 1, 2003
Sixteen states are on Moody's Investors Service negative outlook and four on negative watch, with "future credit deterioration likely," according to Robert Kurtter, senior vice president of state ratings for the credit-rating agency. Moody's had already downgraded eight states in the past two years.
May 1, 2003
For decades, a federal law has obstructed state innovation on private
health care coverage. That's finally changing.
May 1, 2003
To blunt the impact of deep Medicaid cuts, a few states are
experimenting with ways to control the program's costs.
March 1, 2003
There's a dagger at the heart of any solution to the crisis in health care costs--but it's not the skyrocketing price of prescription drugs. Rather, it's the uninsured: the 41 million Americans--one in seven-- who can't afford, aren't offered or choose not to carry health insurance.
March 1, 2003
Several health insurance companies have stepped up to say they intend
to promote universal health care coverage.
January 1, 2003
By touting its success, advocates hope to spare the children's health
insurance program from the budget ax.
July 1, 2002
Before Congress revisits the Internet-sales issue, states are
developing a simpler and more uniform tax-collection process.
March 1, 2002
A Web site launched in January is a big breakthrough for both investors in and issuers of municipal bonds. The site offers the closest thing yet to a real-time "ticker tape" on bond prices.
March 1, 2002
It's complex, costly and confusing. Most states are still trying to figure out what the law that standardizes electronic health data is all about.
January 1, 2002
Massachusetts and New Mexico made news three years ago when they issued bonds for construction projects and promised to repay the loans with federal highway grants they had coming their way. Now, Chicago has come to market with a variation on the grant-anticipation theme.
December 1, 2001
Driven by the effect of rising drug prices on state budgets, seven
states are banding together to change the way they buy pharmaceuticals
for their employee-benefit plans.
November 1, 2001
After years of benign neglect, the municipal bond market is back in
the spotlight. Falling interest rates, a volatile stock market and a
weakening economy created a resurgence of interest in both issuing and
buying muni bonds in the first three quarters of the year.
May 1, 2001
A reinvigorated municipal bond market is attracting investors, as well
as helping issuers lower their costs.
July 1, 2000
If you've been to Fitch for a credit rating, you may find your bonds experiencing grade inflation.
June 1, 2000
Two-thirds of managed care companies are losing money. When they get
in trouble, states often get in trouble as well.
January 1, 2000
New York City inhaled deeply and issued the first-ever tobacco bond in November. The $709 million bond, part of a $2.8 billion debt the city will sell in the next four years, sold out immediately.