About

Stephen C. Fehr

Stephen C. Fehr

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

Profile

Stephen Fehr is a senior officer with Pew's state and local fiscal health initiative, which researches state budget issues and provides policy guidance to help policymakers manage finances through the turns in the economy.

As a lead researcher on the project, Fehr oversees a wide-ranging portfolio that includes state intervention efforts in distressed local governments, state revenue systems, rainy day funds, borrowing, public pensions, and state tax policy. He is a frequent speaker to professional and academic associations and contributes to Stateline, the daily news service of The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Fehr, who joined Pew in 2008, draws from 33 years’ experience as a reporter and editor at the Washington Post and the Kansas City Star. During those years, he covered every level of government, from city councils and school boards to state legislatures, governors, Congress, and the White House.

Fehr holds a bachelor of journalism degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia. 

Recent Work

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  • North Carolina Enacts Comprehensive Savings Reform

    Most states struggle with decisions on when to save, when to use those savings, and how much to save in order to have a cushion against the impact of a revenue downturn. That’s because while 47 states have rainy day funds—reserve accounts to stabilize their budgets during difficult times—many lack policies that encourage savings when revenue growth is high and establish clear... Read More

  • Pew: States Should Establish Clear Withdrawal Rules for Rainy Day Funds

    Many states struggle with when and how to make withdrawals from their rainy day funds, a situation that can lead to poorly timed use of these reserve accounts, according to a report by The Pew Charitable Trusts. Read More

  • When to Use State Rainy Day Funds

    When the Great Recession hit in 2008, it put enormous pressure on state budgets. Tax revenue dropped precipitously and mandatory costs—particularly for health and human services—rose. Delaware, for example, entered fiscal year 2010 facing a $750 million budget shortfall because of declining revenue from personal and corporate income taxes. Read More