Politics

U.S. Governor Races Could Determine Swing States’ Fiscal Health

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback talks about the need for clean water during his State of the State address on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014, in Topeka, Kan. (AP Photo/The Topeka Capital Journal, Chris Neal)
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback talks about the need for clean water during his State of the State address on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014, in Topeka, Kan. (AP Photo/The Topeka Capital Journal, Chris Neal)

 

(Reuters) – U.S. voters’ readiness to face tough issues such as pension reform rather than simply kick the can further down the road will be put to the test next week as two-thirds of state governor posts go up for election.

A handful of the Nov. 4 races such as the dead heat in Illinois, possibly the most fiscally dysfunctional state, shape up as de facto referendums on reform and their results could make municipal bond investors alter their bets.

“People are not so much voting for governor in some of these states but how they want the pensions addressed,” said Craig Brandon, Co-Director of Municipal Investments at Eaton Vance in Boston.

Investors want to see the states tackling chronic underfunding of pension plans that over-promised and failed to deliver in the wake of the 2008-2009 global financial crisis.

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