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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As local governments across the country struggle to resolve budgetary challenges, some states are exploring ways to help their counties, cities, towns, and villages avoid defaulting on loans or filing for bankruptcy. Read More
This fall, Louisiana voters will consider a ballot measure that would create a severance tax-based sovereign wealth fund to receive a portion of the state’s tax collections on the extraction of natural resources such as oil and natural gas. This nonoperating, investment fund is intended to generate interest earnings to support the state’s general fund expenditures. 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
Explore Fiscal 50 Interactive
Sort and chart data about key fiscal and economic trends in the 50 states, and read Pew's insights.