Fiscal Federalism Initiative

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Why the Federal-State Relationship Matters

State and federal budgets and their economies are inseparably linked. Federal government grants make up an average of $1 out of every $3 in state revenues. Several of the largest state programs, such as Medicaid and education, are supported by these funds. Almost three-fourths of states tie their income tax calculations to the federal income tax. And many state economies are heavily reliant on federal activities within their borders. As a result, almost any federal policy change, from changing tax rules to military spending, will have an effect on the states

How We Conduct Our Work

  • Research. We conduct original, non-partisan research to examine the connections between federal and state governments, with a focus on budget, tax, and regulatory policies.
  • Convene.  We bring together federal and state decision makers to promote consideration of the fiscal and economic health of states when federal policy makers propose and evaluate various tax and spending changes .
  • Inform. We give federal and state policy makers the data they need to enhance understanding of this multi-faceted relationship and make informed decisions in key policy areas where federal and state governments intersect.

Meet the Team

Ingrid Schroeder


Ingrid Schroeder directs Pew’s fiscal federalism initiatives, which provide independent and unbiased data on the relationships between the federal, state, and local governments, particularly the impact of federal fiscal and economic policy on states and the intersection of immigration laws and policies at all levels of government.

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Anne Stauffer


Anne Stauffer oversees a team of researchers exploring the impact of federal tax and spending changes on the states. She also directs efforts to engage policymakers at both levels of government in proactive discussions on this critical fiscal relationship.

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Phillip Oliff


Phillip Oliff, a manager with Pew’s fiscal federalism initiative, directs research and analysis examining the fiscal and policy relationships between federal and state governments. He previously worked as a policy analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, where he authored reports on topics including education finance, state tax policy, states’ postrecession fiscal conditions, and the impact of emergency federal aid on state budgets. Oliff served as a Hugh L. Carey fellow with the New York State Division of Budget, focusing on education finance and property tax reform. He has also been an educator in both the U.S. and Japan.  Oliff holds a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and a bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University’s College of Social Studies.