Fiscal Federalism Initiative

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Pew's Fiscal Federalism Initiative is currently exploring the impact of federal tax and spending changes on the states by investigating:

  • The sensitivity of state budgets to changes in federal spending;
  • The interconnectedness of federal and state tax policies;
  • How federal regulatory policy has a fiscal impact on states; and
  • The impact of federal tax and spending policies on state economies and the potential indirect effect on state finances.

Our original, non-partisan research gives both state and federal policy makers the information they need to make informed fiscal decisions.

Research & Analysis

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  • Two-Thirds of Federal Grants to States Are for Medicaid

    Medicaid is by far the largest federal grant to states, accounting for 67 percent of total grant funding in 2017. The next-largest funding area is income security (temporary cash assistance, employment services, school-provided meals, and similar programs), which at 13 percent is one-fifth the size of Medicaid. Medicaid was the main driver of the 40 percent increase in total federal grants to... Read More

  • Federal Grants to States Rose About 40% Over the Last 10 Years

    Federal grants to states are about 40 percent higher overall, after adjusting for inflation, than they were in 2008,when the recession began, but that growth has not been steady. Federal stimulus aid to states resulted in a spikeduring and immediately after the recession, with total grants increasing by 56 percent in the first year after theAmerican Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. By 2013,... Read More

  • Federal Spending Priorities Shifted Toward Health Over Past Decade

    States get roughly one-third of their revenue from the federal government—funding that pays for health care,schools, roads, public safety, and a range of other programs. Federal grants to states are about 40 percent higher,after adjusting for inflation, than they were in 2008 when the recession began. But federal support for this rangeof programs has varied significantly, with grants for... Read More

Media Contact

Jeremy Ratner

Director, Communications

202.540.6507