Watchdog Podcast: A Greek tragedy, school choice at the Supreme Court and political spy games in Wisconsin

By   /  July 3, 2015  /  Accountability, Budget and Spending, California, Commentary, Education, Education Blog, Features, Federal Government, Finances, Issues, National, News, Pensions, Podcast, Politics & Elections, State Budgets, State Government, Watchdog Radio  /  No Comments

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Greece is in crisis after decades of over-spending finally caught up to it.

What lessons does the mess in Greece offer for American cities and states that have piled up debts in the public pension system?

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Brewing up a veto? Wolf still pondering liquor-privatization bill

By   /  July 2, 2015  /  Budget and Spending, Government Regulation, News, PA Independent, Pennsylvania, Politics & Elections, State Budgets, State Government  /  No Comments

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Republican lawmakers say privatizing state-owned wine and liquor stores would bring greater consumer convenience. Ultimately, Gov. Tom Wolf must decide.

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Pennsylvania budget battle poses taxing questions

By   /  June 29, 2015  /  Budget and Spending, News, PA Independent, Pennsylvania, Politics & Elections, State Budgets, State Government  /  No Comments

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Republican lawmakers spent the weekend advancing a $30.1 billion budget plan that holds the line on taxes, but it faces a near-certain veto from Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf.

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Paperless trail costs Minnesota taxpayers dearly

By   /  June 29, 2015  /  Accountability, Budget and Spending, Local Government, Minnesota, News  /  No Comments

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On paper, going paperless in government makes sense. Staff armed with iPads can significantly reduce the time spent entering duplicative data for participants in government programs and increase efficiency in providing services, theoretically saving taxpayers.

Yet Winona County is paying dearly for being on the cutting edge of implementing an electronic data management system. What started out as a promised profit center based on selling EDMS software and services to other counties turned into a money pit that may never break even.

“We’re into it for multiple millions, and it was supposed to not be a burden on our taxpayers. It was supposed to be a blessing to our taxpayers,” said Steve Jacob, Winona County Board chair.

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Walmart enters fight over Mississippi Power rate hikes

By   /  June 24, 2015  /  Budget and Spending, Economy, Energy and Environment, Government Regulation, Local Government, Local News, Mississippi, Politics, Regulations  /  No Comments

Photo by the Southern Company

Wal-Mart was accepted by the Mississippi Public Service Commission as an intervenor in the fight over Mississippi Power rate increases.

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Resident has concerns, but Mississippi Board of Mental Health doesn’t want to hear about them

By   /  June 19, 2015  /  Budget and Spending, Ethics, Government Regulation, Government Waste, Mississippi, News, Open Records, State Budgets, State Government  /  No Comments

Photo by Oxford House

The Mississippi Board of Mental Health didn’t have five minutes for a taxpayer to hear her concerns about taxpayer-funded halfway houses.

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