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Extracting funds for K-12 (access required)

Extracting funds for K-12 <span class="dmcss_key_icon"><img alt="(access required)" src="/files/2013/12/lock1.png" border=0/></span>

Crandell’s overhaul of school finance plan attracts skepticism and support

It’s a puzzle that has vexed policymakers, education leaders and business groups for decades, but it’s one that Sen. Chester Crandell hopes to solve: How can the state revamp education funding to be both fair and simple?

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State revenue up for 15th consecutive month (access required)

State revenue rose again in October, giving policymakers a reason to cheer. This marks the 15th month in a row of revenue growth, the Joint Legislative Budget Committee reported last week. Buoyed by a strong showing in individual income taxes, revenue increased by 16.6 percent last month compared to the year before.

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States look toward expanded gambling for revenue

Long after the recession ends, one of its most visible legacies is likely to be more places - and ways - for Americans to gamble. Pennsylvania lawmakers in October ended the nation's longest state budget standoff by counting on some $250 million in revenue that would be raised by legalizing and taxing casino table games, such as blackjack, craps and roulette.

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Lottery renewal needed before state can borrow (access required)

The odds of winning the Arizona Lottery's big jackpot are about one in 175 million. The odds that lawmakers will sell off future lottery revenues for a quick cash infusion are exponentially better. As lawmakers ponder how to fix a fiscal 2011 budget deficit that is expected to top $2 billion, many are viewing lottery securitization as a last resort whose time has come.

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States forgive penalties, reap late taxes

State legislators looking for extra money to balance their budgets are historically quick to forgive penalties for tax delinquents, provided they pay their back taxes during amnesty periods. Twelve states are offering programs this year, including two - Hawaii and Oregon - that are holding amnesties for the first time.

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