My presentation deals with a topic that has enormous implications for state finances: public pensions. Broadly, my presentation comprises five interconnected parts. Part I explores how the overall condition of state finances impacts state retirement systems. Part II reviews why it is important for policymakers to focus on the financial position of state retirement systems. Part III looks at where we stand in terms of state pensions and Part IV provides a snapshot of several key developments related to these plans. Finally, Part V describes the various strategies deployed in states across the country to bolster their pension systems.
Expedited partner therapy is a recommended option for treating sexually transmitted diseases. Typically when a patient tests positive for a STD they are treated with an antibiotic. EPT enables healthcare clinicians to provide patients with either antibiotics or prescriptions for antibiotics for their sexual partner without a visit by the partner to a health care center.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott wasted little time after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced it was cutting off Medicaid funding for the Women's Health Program. He filed suit the next day.
It was Abbott's second lawsuit against the federal government last week. The first suit challenges the Voting Rights Act used to reject Texas' new voter ID law. Abbott posted on his Twitter account "Don't think I let the day go by without another lawsuit against the Federal Gov't. One coming any minute."
The lawsuit argues, according to the Austin American-Statesman, that the federal government is "seeking to commandeer and coerce the states' lawmaking processes" by forcing the state into giving taxpayer money to elective abortion providers.
Staff from CSG’s National Leadership Center presented the webinar Protecting Your Online Identity as part of its series, Sharing Capitol Ideas 2.0. CSG recognizes that state leaders face a new reality: the public expects them to be accessible on social media and the web, but these tools open up a range of public relations and technological literacy challenges. Given that many state leaders may not have the resources for a communications staff to manage their online identity, CSG seeks to help educate state leaders through this programing.
Natural gas futures prices inched north of $2.30 per 1,000 cubic feet for the first time in several days, but it underscores the pessimism by some utility companies in the economics of building new nuclear, alterative energy, and new coal power plants. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported late last week that coal's share of power generation fell below 40 percent for the first time since 1978 during November and December of 2011. According to an article in today's Wall Street Journal, NRG's CEO David Crane observed, "It's killed off new coal and now it's killing off new nuclear."
After being mired for years in deep and harsh budget cuts, public colleges and universities in some states could be about to see daylight. Stateline reports several governors are calling for sizeable increases in postsecondary spending as their state budget woes begin to ease.
Yesterday I blogged about the surface transportation authorization bill approved by the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, which despite its deficiencies has won mostly praise, particularly for the bipartisan nature in which it was conceived. But a last-minute change in the Senate bill is drawing the ire of some state officials who believe it could hinder their efforts to use private financing to help get more transportation projects built at a time when funding from other sources is drying up.
The numbers tell the story: 483 million people are on Facebook every day, there are 50 million daily Twitter users and one hour of video is uploaded to YouTube every second. Using social media and Web-based interaction tools such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube is no longer a choice for public officials who want to remain relevant. Yet taking the Internet plunge can be daunting to say the least. Much has been made of ever-changing privacy policies and everyone has heard at least one nightmare story of a Facebook post or tweet gone awry.
The U.S. Department of Labor released the latest state unemployment figures earlier this week. According to this report, in January 2012, 45 states recorded a decrease from the previous month, one state (New York) experienced an increase and the remaining four states (Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New Mexico) did not see a change. A comparison of state unemployment trends in January 2012 with January 2011 reveals that 48 states had rate decreases with only New York experiencing an increase and Illinois remaining unchanged.