States are managing through a slow and uneven economic recovery and many have not yet returned to pre-recession revenue levels. Rising health care, education, and infrastructure costs are placing pressures on annual budgets. The ways in which policymakers confront these challenges will affect states and the nation for years to come. Pew's work on states' fiscal health provides data, analysis, and guidance to help states navigate their fiscal challenges and identify and understand potential policy approaches. We examine key trends in state economies and budgets, and research and advance promising approaches to managing volatile state finances in an era of heightened uncertainty.
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With the enactment of H.B. 696 during the 2016 regular session, Louisiana became the eighth state to create a sovereign wealth fund that receives a portion of severance revenue, which are taxes collected on the extraction of natural resources such as oil and natural gas. The bill, initially sponsored by Speaker Pro Tem Walt Leger (D), received bipartisan support with 13 representatives... Read More
Not all state budget estimates are created equal. Although fiscal projections are usually good-faith efforts to translate uncertainty into reasonable expectations, some assumptions merit close scrutiny. As most states approach the start of the new fiscal year, lawmakers should consider how overly rosy assumptions can make policy changes more expensive than expected. A new state budget issue brief... Read More
These examples highlight instances in three major budget areas where questionable or unrealistic fiscalassumptions could cause significant problems for states. Read More
Explore Fiscal 50 Interactive
Sort and chart data about key fiscal and economic trends in the 50 states, and read Pew's insights.