In an era of heightened economic uncertainty, state governments are facing unpredictable revenue as well as rising health care, education, and infrastructure costs. How policymakers choose to confront these challenges will affect states and the nation for years to come. Through both research and advocacy, Pew provides data, analysis, and guidance to help states navigate these fiscal challenges and identify potential policy approaches. Our research—including 50-state assessments—examines key trends in state finances and evaluates states on their performance, underscoring effective approaches and creating an environment for potential reform.
We collaborate with policy leaders in states in a variety of ways:
- Research: We conduct comprehensive and policy-relevant research. Our findings give states evidence-based options to address their unique fiscal challenges.
- Information sharing: We serve as a resource to policymakers making research-driven decisions to improve fiscal outcomes in their states. We lead webinars, events, and meetings and provide communications assistance to encourage state, regional, and national conversations on budget policies and practices.
- Technical assistance and policy advocacy: We provide strategic technical assistance to states seeking to improve their budget practices. Our capabilities encompass policy design, including state comparative analysis; drafting or advising on legislation; offering testimony; and supplying other assistance, as requested.
Through these strategies, our goal is to help policymakers manage economic and revenue volatility, enhance transparency, and improve their states’ fiscal health over the long term.
Affordability studies can help states decide how much to borrow
Approaches include limiting the use of nonwage collections
Our WorkView All
A new law in Utah will strengthen state efforts to ensure fiscal stability. The measure creates new requirements to identify and manage the effects of potential economic and policy changes on long-term spending and revenue. Read More
The health care that prisons provide affects more than simply the well-being of incarcerated people. Inadequate treatment for infectious diseases and behavioral health conditions, for example, can undermine efforts to strengthen public health and safety in the communities to which individuals return. Assessments of what taxpayers are getting for their prison health care dollars and how that... Read More
During Pittsburgh’s years under state supervision, officials adopted a series of practices intended to ensure that the city does not slip back into financial distress in what turned out to be a successful strategy to end state control. 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.
How States Raise Their Tax Dollars
Taxes make up about half of state government revenue, with the bulk coming from levies on personal income and general sales of goods and services.