Unfunded State Pension Liabilities Grow to $8.28 Trillion

Unfunded state pension liabilities have climbed to $8.28 trillion, or nearly $25,000 for every person in the United States, according to a new report from the American Legislative Exchange Council.

The American Legislative Exchange Council released the latest edition of its report on pensions in all 50 states Thursday. The report, “Unaccountable and Unaffordable 2021,” shows just a handful of states with outsize pension liabilities account for a large share of overall pension debt in the U.S. 

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Ohio’s Unfunded State Pension Liabilities Among Worst in U.S.

Ohio State House

Each person in Ohio is on the hook for more than $36,000 in unfunded state pension liabilities, one of the highest numbers in the nation, according to a new report from the American Legislative Exchange Council.

Nationwide, unfunded state pension liabilities have climbed to $8.28 trillion, or nearly $25,000 for every person in the United States. ALEC released the latest edition of its report on pensions in all 50 states Thursday. The report, “Unaccountable and Unaffordable 2021,” shows just a handful of states with outsize pension liabilities accounting for a large share of overall pension debt in the U.S.

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Commentary: A Win for Hospital Patients in Virginia

Thanks to a rare bipartisan effort in Richmond, patients in Virginia will soon have fewer costly surprises on their hospital bills.

After passing unanimously through the Senate and House of Delegates last week, HB 481, which requires Virginia hospitals to make public a list of standard charges for all items and services provided, now heads to Gov. Youngkin’s desk for his signature.

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Historic Income Tax Overhaul Reduces Burden by 13 Percent for Most Arizonans

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey is expected to sign a budget bill the Arizona Legislature sent to him on Friday that includes a historic tax reform package. HB 2900 implements the lowest flat tax in the country, 2.5%. The average Arizona family will see a 13% income tax reduction, about $350 per year. According to the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, Arizona previously had one of the highest marginal income tax rates in the country. 

The budget bill also eliminates taxes on veterans’ retirement pay and prevents a 77% increase on small business taxes. It reduces property taxes by 10% on small businesses and job creators by 10%, capping the maximum tax rate on businesses at 4.5% and reducing commercial property taxes. According to a report by Ducey, 43% of Arizonans in the private sector work for small businesses. HB 2900 increases the homeowner’s rebate so the state covers half of homeowners’ primary property taxes.

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Tennessee’s Unfunded Pension Liabilities Ranked in New National Report

Tennessee ranks as one of the top states in the nation in terms of how it funds its pension systems, according to a report that the Arlington, Virginia-based American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) released this week. ALEC officials titled their report Unaccountable and Unaffordable, 2020. This annual report collects and analyzes each state’s unfunded public pension liabilities. The report finds state governments’ unfunded liabilities total $5.82 trillion nationwide – an average of $17,748 per person.

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Despite COVID-19, New Report Credits Georgia Policies for Improved Economic Outlook Ranking

Cutting taxes, paying down debt and maintaining free market policies this past year helped Georgia and other states improve their rankings for economic competitiveness, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. An Arlington, Virginia-based organization this week released a report that praised Georgia, among other states, for its economic policies. Members of that group, The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) published the report, which they titled Rich States, Poor States. This is the report’s 14th edition.

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Tennessee’s Hall Tax Ends This Week, Promises New Economic Opportunities for the Volunteer State

Tennessee’s Hall Tax, as of this coming Friday, will cease to exist.

Experts say that will bring new opportunities to Tennessee and make the state’s economy more competitive.

The Hall Tax, instituted in 1929, applies a 6 percent tax to Tennesseans’ interest and dividend income. In 2016 members of the Tennessee General Assembly phased out the Hall Income Tax over years of scheduled reductions.

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Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee Gets High Marks in New Report on Economic Freedom During COVID-19

Bill Lee

  Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee ranks seventh in The American Legislative Exchange Council’s new scorecard that assesses America’s 50 governors on policy performance and leadership before and after the start of the COVID-19 health crisis. Members of the Arlington, Virginia-based ALEC released their 2020 Laffer-ALEC Report on Economic Freedom Tuesday.…

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Tennessee Revenues for July Exceed Budget Estimate by $667.1 Million

Tennessee tax revenues for the month of July exceeded the budgeted estimate by $667.1 million, Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration Commissioner Butch Eley announced Thursday.

Overall revenues of $1.86 billion in July were $689.4 million more than state revenues in July 2019.

The higher-than-expected revenues for July has the state finishing the 2019-2020 fiscal year in a surplus position of $369.2 million against the budgeted estimate and 2.42 percent above last year, despite the impacts of the COVID-19 economic slowdown.

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Tennessee Ranks High in Economic Outlook Compared to Other States, New Report Says

Tennessee ranks eighth out of 50 states in economic outlook, according to the 2020 edition of Rich States, Poor States, released Wednesday.

The Virginia-based American Legislative Exchange Council published the book. Economists Jonathan Williams, Art Laffer, and Stephen Moore wrote it. The authors say they base a state’s economic outlook ranking on its current standing in 15 state policy variables.

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Tennessee Democrat State Senator Raumesh Akbari Wants Voting Rights Restored for Certain Felons

State Senate Minority Chairwoman Raumesh Akbari, a Democrat, plans to sponsor legislation that could automatically help restore the right to vote for people with low-level felony convictions. But some research indicates felons, when given the chance, overwhelmingly pull the levers for Democrats. Is Akbari, who represents Memphis’ 91st District, doing…

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