California leads the nation in pension underfunding. The state government has $464.4 billion in unfunded liabilities — the difference between resources that will be available in the state's pension fund and what will be owed to retiring employees.
Budget cuts at the state court level can mean courthouse closures, hiring freezes and layoffs, leading to longer wait times for the public. Educating the public about the role and importance of the state courts is key to preventing more budget cuts in the future.
While there are many policy options that may decrease pension liabilities for Chicago and cities and states in similar situations, some options being considered may also have serious consequences for the public sector workforce, now and in the future.
Promoting the 'Better Regulation' agenda in the EU could be given a real boost by turning the proposed Regulatory Scrutiny Board into an impartial evidence and scrutiny centre, putting high-quality and objective impact assessment at the heart of the legislative process.
Policymakers in Western countries seeking new policy levers to tackle costly lifestyle behaviors in the age of austerity may do well to take up programs based on cash incentives. Recent analysis of conditional payment programs in Latin America highlights some useful lessons.
Poor coordination in government services has long been a source of frustration to users, and a cause of inefficiency and ineffectiveness. The emerging debate about devolution of powers and responsibilities for some public services, and ongoing resource pressures, have encouraged innovative, locally developed approaches.
As the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing report suggests, local governments should evaluate police on more than crime statistics, and police departments and officers should be held publicly accountable for meeting the community's expectations. Adding new dimensions of performance metrics would help.
Like so many issues in public policy, one of the factors shaping the complex policing challenges facing America—and a potential lever to help address them—is simple and unsurprising. That factor is money.
President Obama's Task Force on 21st Century Policing has done a great service by providing dozens of sound recommendations—good ideas that could help avoid another Ferguson. Now we need good implementation to go along with them.
After two controversial grand jury decisions not to indict police in the deaths of unarmed African Americans, a White House task force has 90 days to provide recommendations for promoting accountability among law enforcement agencies to cultivate trust between police and communities. The timeline may seem impossible, but, sadly, these issues are old and the solutions are well known.
In a tight fiscal climate the UK government has been an innovator in ways to fund and deliver effective public services. New funding arrangements present opportunities for developing the evidence base for policy and practice, since they are associated with different types of service providers.
The Chicago Teachers Union strike erupted over classic issues: an extended day, a new evaluation system and hiring and firing. Yet, somewhat classically, neither the union nor Chicago Public Schools has put forth research evidence to support their stance, writes Darleen Opfer.
The way forward is not for the government to say no to outsourcing of sensitive functions, but to think carefully about which efficiency savings are real and which are, instead, a result of introducing a far greater degree of risk, writes James Gilbert.
Publicly funded R&D investment is a coherent policy to support long term economic growth. Our only note of caution is about how far and how fast that growth can be delivered because the evidence we have is out of date and skewed towards the experience of just one country, write Jonathan Grant and Jon Sussex.
In the federal legislation signed this spring to reform student lending, one feature has been largely overlooked by the press: The new law increases the incentive for college graduates to choose public-service careers, such as teaching, write Jennifer L. Steele, Richard J. Murnane, and John B. Willett.