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The Future of Finance

Last year, pension plans enjoyed big returns in the market, bringing their balances back to levels not seen since the Great Recession. They are still $1 trillion short, however.
Gov. Gavin Newsom has suggested using the extra money on pension debt, budget reserves and, possibly, another round of stimulus checks. The Legislature has until June 15 to pass the final budget.
Barring unknowable virus mutation scenarios, state and local fiscal managers have the opportunity to navigate trends and crosscurrents already underway to make better decisions. One factor figures into almost everything: inflation.
Three Republican state legislators used taxpayer dollars to fund their trips to Sioux Falls, S.D., for MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s three-day “Cyber Symposium” which perpetuated 2020 election fraud conspiracy theories.
While the city has become known for its cryptocurrency advancements, other Florida regions, including Broward and Palm Beach counties, are looking for ways to get involved in cryptocurrency.
The state has two community coalitions as finalists in the “Build Back Better Regional Challenge,” which would spur economic growth and job creation in the Middle Rio Grande Corridor.
While the majority of a utility bill was once composed of energy costs, it now includes other charges, like network expansion, investment in pipes and distribution charges. Even as energy costs fall, bill prices continue to grow.
This year taught us to humbly expect the unexpected, from hundreds of billions in federal “helicopter money” to $35,000 bonuses to lure back retired transit workers. And how is your public pension fund doing on something called ESG?
Armed with three years of grocery shopping data, researchers found that total sugar sales are down by almost 20 percent, driven largely by falling soda purchases.
The Valencia lab, a public-private venture between the state and PerkinElmer, processed only 1 to 8 percent of all Californians’ COVID tests in the first 10 months of the contract. And the lab was riddled with dozens of problems, according to an inspection report.
Bureaucratic, compliance-driven contracting systems do little to create sustainable and equitable communities. Done better, procurement could be a creative tool for problem-solving.
The increase in the Texas metroplex is more than double the average rise for U.S. cities. At 15.3 cents per kilowatt hour, it’s the highest average since the Great Recession. Experts predict prices will continue to increase.
It will cost the city $938,000 each year for the next 10 years to gain access to 250 body cameras, which is more equipment for less money than officials originally had anticipated. But the tech may not arrive until 2023.
Populists are once again advocating the creation of state-owned banks to overcome private-sector lending market failures. But market innovations hold a lot of promise for accomplishing the same goal.
A report has found that low-income households in Detroit spend at least 25 percent of their disposable incomes on water and sewer bills. With inflation, water costs in Detroit have tripled between 1980 and 2018.
St. Louis County’s proposed 2022 budget is $43 million larger than this year’s, amounting to $463 million. The increase is projected to cause a 1.9 percent bump in property taxes.
To deal with a multimillion-dollar deficit, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department cut $99.9 million in overtime. But as crime and homicides increase across the county, officials say that’s not feasible this year.
To accelerate the transition to electric vehicles, every burg along our “blue highways” is going to need a place for motorists to plug in. For states, that means tax credits, matching grants or similar incentives. But we’re not talking big money.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has named three officials to oversee the $3.7 billion in federal infrastructure money, which the state will prioritize for broadband, transportation and water system projects.
Johnson County officials are creating programs that will provide direct payments to residents who were unable to receive pandemic relief funds, including undocumented immigrants. Implementation could begin by March 2022.
Investment policy changes at CalPERS, the giant state retirement system, have lowered its earning target by two-tenths of a percentage point, leading to increased charges for local governments and their workers.
The federal agency determined the state was ineligible for nearly $12 billion in federal grants for public transit. Officials fear that this loss of funding could be detrimental to transit agencies.
After a long wait, the federal infrastructure bill is headed toward President Joe Biden's desk. How can states and local areas take advantage of the $65 billion set aside for broadband? Here are some details.
The $1.2 trillion infrastructure package will give billions to the state in new spending over the next five years. Large swaths of the money will be used to upgrade Alaska’s outdated infrastructure.
The COVID recession and its fiscal aftermath should remind politicians, advocates and labor that budget reserves are not piggybanks for new discretionary spending. Economic cycles have not been repealed.
A newly launched Gender Equity Dashboard shows that the gender pay gap increased by 6 percent between 2016 and 2019 and experts are worried the pandemic has only worsened the divide.
The St. Louis County administration building in Clayton, Mo., requires a $50 million investment to meet current fire codes. It might be cheaper just to demolish the building and move to a new location.
While experts assure inflation levels are not yet deemed hyperinflation, Florida businesses of all kinds are still feeling the impacts of a 5.4 percent increase in prices from last year. But relief could come by mid-2022.
Mayor Ted Wheeler will seek $400,000 to hire back 25 recently retired officers to fill vacancies and $2.6 million for body cameras and a civilian dean of police training. The City Council will vote on the proposal in late November.
Detroit has spent less than $80,000 of the more than $826 million in COVID-19 relief funds it received; the state had spent none of its $6.5 billion by the end of July. Many blame politics for the slow spending.
The city’s Finance Committee has rebuffed three budget amendments that would have redirected $750,000 of the police department’s budget to fund a newly established team of mental health first responders.