Brenna Erford

Brenna Erford

  • Manager
  • State Fiscal Health and Economic Growth,
  • The Pew Charitable Trusts


Brenna Erford manages Pew's work on state budget policy, which helps states identify ways to better manage fiscal pressures resulting from increasing economic and revenue volatility.

Erford oversees the project's work with state budget leaders, including technical assistance to develop and adopt solutions that can best guide states towards improved long-term fiscal health. She also coordinates a research portfolio, including 50-state studies and state-specific analyses, designed to provide policymakers with options to better manage volatility in times of increasing economic and fiscal uncertainty, including budget stabilization policies, revenue and expenditure forecasting processes and practices, and approaches to multi-year budgeting.

Prior to joining Pew, Erford was a public policy analyst with the North Carolina Budget and Tax Center, where she worked on state fiscal and tax issues in a research and advocacy capacity.  She previously served as an analyst for the North Carolina General Assembly’s nonpartisan Fiscal Research Division, where she staffed state House and Senate committees on finance and directly assisted legislative leadership in the negotiation of the tax portion of the state’s biennial budget. Prior to her work in North Carolina, Erford was a legislative analyst in the Office of the House Minority Leader within the Illinois House of Representatives, and was a media coordinator for the Champaign County Health Care Consumers, a grassroots health care advocacy organization in east central Illinois.

Erford graduated from the University of Illinois and holds a master’s degree in public administration from North Carolina State University.

Recent Work

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  • Most States' Reserves Remain Short of Prerecession Levels

    States have made halting progress in rebuilding their financial cushions since the Great Recession. Overall, states had enough money in general fund budget reserves in fiscal year 2007—just before the economic downturn—to run government operations for a median of 41.3 days. That compares with 25.9 days in fiscal 2014 and early estimates of 20.5 days in fiscal 2015. Read More

  • Employment Rates Inch Closer to Prerecession Levels

    The U.S. employment rate for adults of prime working age has been rising for four years, and the number of states with lower employment rates than before the Great Recession has been shrinking. Despite these signs of improvement, however, the labor market had not completely recovered from the economic downturn by mid-2015. Read More

  • Fiscal 50: State Trends and Analysis

    Fiscal 50: State Trends and Analysis, an interactive resource from The Pew Charitable Trusts, allows you to sort and analyze data on key fiscal, economic, and demographic trends in the 50 states and understand their impact on states’ fiscal health. Read More

Media Contact

Sarah Leiseca

Officer, Communications