"State of the States" Report Predicts Key Trends for 2009

"State of the States" Report Predicts Key Trends for 2009

Today the Pew Center on the States' Stateline.org released a new report, “State of the States,” which summarizes key state political and policy developments from the past year, and examines likely state policy directions for 2009. The report, in its tenth edition, features graphics and state-by-state charts that showcase the events that shaped 2008 and upcoming trends that will define the year ahead.

“State of the States 2009 contains valuable information for those interested in state policy issues and trends,” said Susan Urahn, managing director of The Pew Center on the States. 

The report highlights the significant budget trade-offs that states are making in light of the recession and explains how the new administration and Congress are likely to affect state policy. Issues covered include:

  • Recession trends – “The year after a recession ends is typically when state budgets are hit hardest.”  
  • Education – “States traditionally have been reluctant to cut school funding during hard times...This time, up against the worst economic crisis in decades, schools are not immune.”
  • Corrections – “Criminal justice reform – for years a controversial issue for legislators wary of being labeled ‘soft on crime' – is finding new proponents as public officials seek ways to save money.”
  • Energy – “After being in the forefront of energy and environmental policymaking for nearly a decade, states may be thrust into a more subordinate role in 2009.”
  • Infrastructure – “By 2055, as much as $338 billion a year could be needed to maintain the nation's transportation system.”
  • Medicaid – “Even before the recession, states struggled to pay their share of $330 billion in fiscal 2007 for Medicaid coverage for more than 59 million low-income Americans and $8.6 billion for 7 million children and parents covered by the State Children's Health Insurance Program.”

Copies of State of the States 2009 may be downloaded in PDF form or requested in print form at www.stateline.org.   

Stateline.org is a project of The Pew Center on the States (PCS).  In addition to its reporting on state policy and politics, Stateline.org provides a daily rundown of the top 10 state policy and political stories from the 50 states, as ranked by Stateline.org's editors, as well as free email “News Alerts” featuring daily news summaries and a weekly compilation of Stateline.org's original news stories.