Measuring Transportation Investments

The Road to Results

QUICK SUMMARY

Just 13 states are leading the way overall, with goals, performance measures and data that decision makers can use to choose cost-effective policy options and ensure the likelihood of a strong return for taxpayers. 

The study comes at a time when most states are entering their fourth year of the ongoing budget crisis, having closed more than $400 billion in budget gaps since 2008. At the same time, policy and business leaders across the country acknowledge that states' transportation systems are essential to helping advance short- and long-term economic growth. 

Most of the states performed best in the areas of safety and infrastructure preservation. Roughly half the states fared well in the areas of mobility and access. Only about a quarter earned the top distinction in the areas of jobs and commerce and environmental stewardship.

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Report

Building State Rainy Day Funds

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This report will help policymakers prepare for the next economic downturn by explaining the ways states can design their rainy day funds to harness fluctuations in revenue.

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Managing Uncertainty

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This report is the first in a series that will offer policymakers strategies to improve their states' long-term fiscal health and manage budget uncertainty. Looking at revenue volatility across the 50 states between 1994 and 2012, the report examines the factors that drive volatility, including state-specific patterns of economic growth and contraction and their interaction with state taxes, and recommends the best ways to respond to these conditions.

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The State Role in Local Government Financial Distress

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iStock Note: In April 2016, this report was updated to include revised information about Louisiana’s intervention practices and to improve the clarity of citations. What role, if any, should states play in helping cities, towns, and counties recover from serious financial trouble, what officials generically call “intervention?” The Pew Charitable Trusts conducted a study examining the range of state involvement in local government finances that drew on current literature, statutes, a survey of state officials, and interviews with government finance analysts. "The State Role in Local Government Financial Distress" examines various intervention practices, identifies challenges, and elaborates on three key policy guidelines. The analysis and state profiles can help inform state decision making about whether, when, and how to assist municipalities facing fiscal stress, the likely outcomes of various approaches, and the implications for cities, counties, states, and taxpayers.