Josh Barro moderates a discussion on governors' performances in their State of the State addresses, with Paul Kersey on Michigan, E.J. McMahon on New York, Bob Williams on Washington, and Barro on New Jersey.
Here at PublicSectorInc.org, we expect public employment issues to be near the top of the 2011 agenda in many state capitals. So, over the next few months, we will be soliciting opinions from experts in the states about how their governors are handling issues like employee compensation, collective bargaining, and pension reform.
We asked our panelists: what is your governor saying about public employee union and compensation issues? And does his or her record match up with those public statements? Click the map below to hear what they have to say:
This week, we have dispatches from eight states: Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington. In most cases, these reports focus on a governor's State of the State Address, but in states where one of those isn't expected, we instead look at other major remarks from the governor.
More reports will follow in the coming weeks, as more governors settle into their offices. While this crop is heavy on the northeast, we'll soon be covering states like California, Florida, Illinois, Ohio, North Carolina, and Texas.
In the interest of accountability, we are also giving out letter grades. Nobody has gotten an A yet--Chris Christie led the current pack, with a B--and some governors have been marked "Grade Pending," like a New York restaurant challenging its unfavorable sanitary inspection. This is for governors whose records are, to date, not thick enough to judge--we'll revisit them later this winter when they have released budget proposals or otherwise gone on the record with more specific agendas.
If you disagree with our assessments, please respond in the comments--we hope to generate a productive discussion of which states' leaders are most effectively promoting taxpayers' interests, and which are just trying to muddle through.