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Taxing and Spending

CalPERS has yet to recover the approximately $42 million in pension payments to 22,000 dead people, according to an internal audit. About 1,800 CalPERS recipients die each month, and the agency isn’t immediately notified.
The right kind of public-private partnerships could liberate billions of dollars for other infrastructure and to address critical urban needs. But it’s important to protect public values.
The City Council has voted to redistribute funds from approximately 200 police officer departures and reinvest it in technology projects and other department needs. $3 million will be used for community-based public safety programs.
A New Mexico legislative committee is believed to be the first to try the management approach in a lawmaking context. It’s an effort that bears watching, and some lessons are being learned.
Despite predictions that COVID-19 would crush state tax revenues, most of them didn’t need megabillions in pandemic aid to balance their budgets. But for the most part they seem to be spending the money wisely.
A blockbuster video stars a LEGO re-creation of the city of Arlington, Texas. A city official’s hobby is helping citizens understand how it makes budget decisions.
Several of the state’s Democratic Congress members are working to advance policies such as child care, Medicaid expansion, nutrition assistance, electric vehicle charging and more as a part of the proposed $3.5T budget reconciliation.
There have been plenty of failures along the way, but there’s no question coordination between levels of government has improved over the past 20 years, along with security capabilities for blocking catastrophic attacks.
States have set aside millions of federal dollars for mental health and substance use disorder services, but the money must be spent by the end of 2026. Then, states will have to find other ways to fund the programs.
The $95 billion pension has pushed back against an independent review that it has not been transparent when it comes to earnings and fees associated with alternative investments like hedge funds and equity firms.