The Council of State Governments
November 13, 2008

From the Expert:

Taking Homes from
Mikko Lindberg
Unsuspecting Property Owners

By Mikko Lindberg, research associate,
CSG Southern Legislative Conference

Deed fraud leaves unsuspecting property owners' mortgages in shambles. It is exacerbated because most state statutes require the Register of Deeds to accept real estate transfers if they meet the legal requirements-but those requirements are often minimal, requiring nothing more than a signature, notarization and legibility. States, counties and cities are now combating the problem.

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In This Issue
Taking Homes from Unsuspecting Property Owners
State Retirement Plans Take a Hit
State Laws Allow Four-Day School Weeks

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State Retirement Plans Take a Hit

Many states continue to struggle with existing and increasing commitments in their underfunded state pension plans--$361 billion and growing. Payments are surpassing receipts mainly due to health care expenditures and explosive growth in state elderly populations outpacing other demographic groups (nearly four to one). According to the Pew Center on the States, in the next 30 years, states likely will struggle with pension plan and health care payouts approaching $2.75 trillion. Today, state leaders face an unprecedented problem.

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State Laws Allow Four-Day School Weeks

By Tim Weldon

In Webster County, Ky., the hallways are quiet on Mondays. There are no banging lockers and no students crowding the hallways on their way to class. Like Webster County, some local school districts across the country are taking advantage of flexible state laws that allow them to adopt innovative approaches for greater efficiency. The hallmark approach is the four-day school week and some states are changing state laws to allow it.

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