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American Recovery & Reinvestment
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Financially Distressed Cities: Should Unfunded Pension Obligations Impair Funding of Essential Services?

public safety
Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy
unfunded pension obligation

The financial health of some municipalities across the nation that are in financial distress is being threatened by unfunded public employee pension obligations that are not affordable and sustainable. When the cost of meeting public pension obligations crowds out the government’s ability to deliver essential public services such as police, fire and water, priorities need to be established and creative solutions are required.… Continue

Lessons Learned from Detroit’s Bankruptcy

Detroit bankruptcy
Chapter 9
municipal bankruptcy

In July of 2013, Detroit was the first city that was the largest city in the state to seek protection under Chapter 9 of the Bankruptcy Code for municipal debt adjustment ... The fact that Detroit has confirmed a Plan of Debt Adjustment is one important step in a longer process of recovery. While we hope that Detroit will make a full economic recovery, its experience has been constructive in offering a number of important lessons… Continue

California Takes a Proactive Leap in Local Government Transparency

When California State Controller John Chiang took office in 2007, increasing transparency and accountability were among his top priorities. One of his goals was to increase public access to local government financial data. Fast forward to 2014. Public access to local government financial information has never been so accessible, powerful and intuitively organized, thanks to the California State Controller’s Office open data website, By the Numbers.… Continue

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