Study ranks Kentucky among bottom five states for fiscal health

07/11/2017 12:35 PM

Kentucky ranks among the worst in the nation when it comes to its fiscal health, according to a study by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

The study compares financial statements from 2015 in every state and takes a look at how well each state can cover short-term and long-term expenses. Kentucky ranks 47th in the nation overall, better than only New Jersey, Illinois and Massachusetts.

Factors considered in the Mercatus study include cash solvency, budget solvency, long-run solvency, service-level solvency and trust fund solvency. Kentucky ranked highest in budget solvency and worst in cash solvency.

The study says Kentucky has between 84 and 223 percent of the cash needed to cover short-term obligations. However, the long-term cash-on-hand assesment is bleak for Kentucky, according to the report.

“A net asset ratio of −1.16 points to the use of debt and unfunded pension obligations. Long-term liabilities are 133 percent of total assets, producing a long-term liability per capita of $9,249. On a guaranteed-to-be-paid basis, unfunded pension obligations are $91.52 billion, or 53 percent of state personal income. OPEB is 3 percent of state personal income,” the report says.

The full report can be found here .


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