Stephen C. Fehr

Stephen C. Fehr

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


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.

Fehr works on 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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  • How States Allocate Their Prison Health Care Dollars

    Prison health care spending varies dramatically among states even though they have common goals, such as meeting constitutional obligations to provide “reasonably adequate” health care, strengthening public health, protecting public safety, and practicing fiscal prudence. This variation in spending among states raises questions about what causes the variation and what it... Read More

  • Prison Health Care Spending Varies Dramatically by State

    Every state has an interest in delivering health care in its prisons that conforms to constitutional requirements and leverages opportunities to improve public health and reduce crime and recidivism. Nevertheless, the provision of care throughout the country varies significantly. There is no starker evidence of this dissimilarity than the wide range in what states spend per inmate. Read More

  • New Orleans Voters Approve City's First Rainy Day Fund

    Last month, New Orleans residents voted to strengthen the city’s finances by creating a rainy day fund. The City Council had unanimously agreed in August, with Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s support, to let voters decide whether to amend the city’s charter to establish the Savings Fund.  Read More