The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

December 4, 2013

Even if pensions get fixed, state has work to do

If and when a pension solution is acted upon, expect at least some elected officials to act as if the state’s financial problems are over.

But that’s clearly not the case, and pension reform is just the beginning of a series of issues that need to be resolved with the state’s budget.

Of these issues, pension reform is the biggest and it appears there is a better chance for a solution. House members have been told to return to Springfield for one day on Tuesday after a deal was struck last week by the four legislative leaders.

Reforming the pension system should free up some money in the state’s budget and also bring to a halt recent credit rating downgrades that will cost taxpayers more money every time the state borrows money.

But the state’s budget has a fundamental flaw — most call it a structural deficit. It’s an issue that won’t be solved just by solving the pension crisis.

The problem was pointed out in a bit of news last week — the state’s backlog of unpaid bills is growing again and might reach $9 billion by the end of December. The amount fluctuates because of high revenue and low revenue months. But the fact remains that, at the end of its fiscal year, the state is several billion dollars short of paying its vendors on time.

If you take the budget as a whole, not just the general fund, the state spends more than it brings in. That has been the problem for several years, dating back to before the recession.

The recession undoubtedly made things worse and the state’s slow recovery hasn’t helped. But the state’s budget is fundamentally flawed and until that’s fixed, the financial struggles will continue.

Text Only
Opinion
  • Holly Youngquist Friends of the Library book sale is underway

    Friends of the Library Book Sale is open now. The sale is open to all until 8 p.m. today and on Friday, Aug. 1, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Finally, Saturday, Aug. 2, is box day. From 9 a.m. to  3 p.m., books will sell at $3 per box.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Cremation service helped pet owner in her time of need

    I wanted to share some positive news about a business located in Clinton that I’m guessing most residents aren’t aware even exists. It’s Northridge Pet Cremation on Main Avenue and for me they were recently a godsend.

    July 31, 2014

  • LETTER TO THE EDITOR: A Cappella choir concert was a success

    The CHS A Cappella reunion was great. It was real great to hear so many good voices of so many former choir members.

    July 31, 2014

  • LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Time to boost social security

    It's time for Congress to act so that Social Security benefits can finally start to keep pace with the cost of living.

    July 31, 2014

  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Off and on the record Let us now praise anonymous sources.The new White House press secretary got into a familiar old spat with the White House press corps the other day over the use of anonymous sources.Josh Earnest — has there ever been a more perfectly named White Hous

    July 25, 2014

  • Be more informed

    Blame the city.That is a favorite pastime of many, including me at times. Driving over that pesky pothole or paying that annual property tax bill can lead to some choice words referencing the city. Nobody takes the brunt of being the scapegoat more t

    July 25, 2014

  • CCC thanks community, collaborators for successful movie night Clinton Community College would like to thank those who participated in the free outdoor movie showing of “Captain America – Winter Soldier” on the evening of Friday, July 18.We are grateful to have such wonderful community collaborators in the Erick

    July 25, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    The NCAA once cracked down on colleges that went too far luring top prospects, then it targeted teams that lathered players with special treatment. That was until the NCAA's get-tough approach backfired, rendering it ineffective and creating an opportunity for those who want to play dirty.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Tiger Woods finished near bottom last weekend at Royal Liverpool, drawing out his drought of major tournament wins. Despite the disappointing showing, Woods' return to form remains a matter of when, not if.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

With the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission and the Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussing proposals to construct a new jail, do you think the time has come for Clinton County to construct such a facility?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook