The Market Urbanism Report Podcast

The Market Urbanism Report is the brainchild of Scott Beyer, a fellow journalist and commentator on the cross between free-market policies and urban issues. This year, he launched a podcast and I was invited to join an episode to discuss the state of municipal finance in America.

Are cities spending their way into long-term financial ruin? Or do their good credit scores and lack of bankruptcy signal health? Tune in to find out.

Big Mayor, Small Town

When I first saw Chris Cabaldon speak at an event nearly six years ago, I did a mental double-take. What was the mayor of tiny, old West Sacramento (West Sac, as everyone back in California calls it) doing giving a speech in Washington, D.C.? But it didn’t take long to see why: size, schmize. This man can command a room. And what he’s saying is really important.

Let's Make a Deal, Houston Edition

In January, photographer David Kidd and I spent three days in Houston for a profile story on the city’s mayor, Sylvester Turner. Turner first came on my radar in 2016, when he negotiated landmark pension reform for the city in remarkably quick fashion. Turner was less than a year into his term and he’d managed to achieve what previous administrations had failed to do.

Turner, who spent 27 years in the legislature prior to becoming mayor, clearly has some deal-making chops. That was the theme of the story and I saw it play out in various ways over my trip there.

The cost of the opioid crisis to governments

The cost of the opioid crisis to governments

The opioid crisis is taking more lives every year than the Vietnam War. It’s also taking a toll on public resources like hospitals, public safety and schools. Millions — billions — of dollars are at stake.

I’ve been writing about this subject for the past year and my stories were noticed by the Minnesota Recovery Corps. They asked me to come out to a conference in October to deliver a talk about how governments are grappling with the crisis.

C-SPAN Washington Journal: Liz Farmer on Federal Grant Money for U.S. City Budgets

Liz Farmer on Federal Grant Money for U.S. City Budgets Liz Farmer examined the federal grant money large urban areas receive to supplement their budgets in light of President-elect Donald Trump’s threat to pull funds from cities that refuse to deport undocumented immigrants.



Transcript available at C-SPAN:


Liz Profiled in State Tax Notes Magazine

Covering the State Finance Beat
by Billy Hamilton

Billy Hamilton is the executive vice chancellor and CFO of the Texas A&M University System. In 2015 Hamilton led Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s Strike Force on the Health and Human Services Commission to complete a management analysis of the agency. Before that, Hamilton was the deputy comptroller for the Texas Office of the Comptroller of Public Accounts from 1990 until he retired in 2006. He is also a private consultant, advising on numerous state tax matters. In this edition of State Tax Merry-Go-Round, Hamilton interviews Governing magazine public finance reporter Liz Farmer to get her thoughts on state and local tax policymaking from her perspective on the periphery, as well as her insight on the big public finance issues elected officials across the country are facing.

Association for Budgeting and Financial Management Annual Conference

Liz was a panelist at the Association for Budgeting and Financial Management's annual conference in Washington, D.C.

Next Generation Public Finance – Social Impact Bonds
Moderator: Justin Marlowe, Associate Professor, University of Washington
Michelle A. Sager, Director of Strategic Issues, U.S. Government Accountability Office
John Roman, Senior Fellow, Urban Institute Justice Policy Center
Sean French, Management and Program Analyst, Corporation for National and Community Service
Lili Elkins, Chief Strategy Officer, ROCA Inc.

Liz Farmer, Public Finance Writer, Governing magazine


The Association for Budgeting and Financial Management (ABFM) is a section of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA). ABFM aims to promote the professional development of budgeting and financial management in the public and non-profit sectors.