US & Canada round-up: Improving basic education can boost US economy by $27 trillion, and more

15 May 15

A round-up of recent public finance stories from the US & Canada you might have missed.

Improving basic education can boost US economy by $27 trillion

Nearly one-quarter of American 15-year-olds cannot successfully complete basic math and science tasks, a report by the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development has found.. (

Illinois governor sticks to his pension approach despite questions about legality

Governor Bruce Rauner is sticking to his plan to reduce retirement benefits for government workers, even after a recent Illinois Supreme Court ruling severely limited options for cutting state pension costs, administration officials said Wednesday. (Chicago Tribune)

Moody’s cuts forecast for 2015 Canadian growth

Moody’s Investors Service slashed its forecast for Canadian growth in 2015 to 1.5% to 2.5%, adding its voice to a growing chorus of forecasters suggesting the economic fallout from lower prices will last longer than the Bank of Canada expects. (Nasdaq)

Canada: federal government fends off criticism over $97M in 'lapsed' funds

Money promised for federal programs but never spent, referred to as ‘lapsed funds,’ is a normal part of the budgeting process and has nothing to do with politics, Canadian finance minister Joe Oliver says. (CBC News)

Amtrak crash: Obama makes transport funding pledge

President Obama has said the US must invest more in its infrastructure, in the wake of a train derailment in Philadelphia that claimed eight lives. (BBC)

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