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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Wolf’s veto, opposing mandates leave Pennsylvania without budget

By   /  July 1, 2015  /  News, PA Independent, Pennsylvania, Pensions, Politics & Elections, State Budgets, State Government, Taxes  /  No Comments

Andrew Staub/PA Independent

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent
HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania – Republican lawmakers on Tuesday steamrolled through liquor privatization, public pension reform and a state budget without a tax increase.
They were doing what the people elected them to do, they said.
Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, squashed the conservative celebration not long after, announcing he will veto the entire […]

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Scranton handed out $3 million in ‘double pensions,’ adding to fiscal woes

By   /  June 26, 2015  /  Finances, Issues, Local Government, Local News, News, PA Independent, Pennsylvania, Pensions, State Government  /  No Comments

Image via Wiki Commons

Even as it was careening towards bankruptcy, the city of Scranton, Pennsylvania, okayed $3 million in bonus pension payments for a handful of city employees.

Those extra payments effectively doubled the retirement pay of 35 city workers, and they were handed out without a proper analysis of the cost to the city’s taxpayers, according to a state audit released this week.

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Christie runs for president – and away from $170 billion pension mess

By   /  June 25, 2015  /  New Jersey, Pensions, Politics, State Budgets, State Government  /  No Comments

Governor's Office/Tim Larsen

Fresh from a failure to fix New Jersey’s pension system and its $170 billion deficit, Gov. Chris Christie is scheduled to formally announce his run for the White House next week. But first, the governor is expected to veto parts of a state budget that would restore $1.8 billion he cut from the state’s scheduled pension contribution. Next Tuesday, Christie has a date to tell the world why he should be the next president.

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Christie and lawmakers fight budget battle over pension crisis

By   /  June 24, 2015  /  New Jersey, Pensions, State Budgets  /  No Comments

Governor's Office/Tim Larsen

Unable to work together to reform an ailing state pension system that faces a $170 billion deficit, Gov. Chris Christie and the New Jersey Legislature are headed for state budget showdown in Trenton next week.

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PA GOP leadership ‘within a day or so’ of agreeing on pension reform, liquor privatization

By   /  June 19, 2015  /  News, PA Independent, Pennsylvania, Pensions, State Budgets, State Government  /  No Comments

Photo courtesy of Ballotpedia

Pennsylvania lawmakers have just 12 days to deliver a budget to Gov. Tom Wolf to meet the June 30 deadline, but the state Senate’s top Republican said Thursday afternoon there’s “plenty of time” to finish a spending plan and finally address two of the GOP’s most vexing public policy issues.

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