State Policy Reports

State Policy Reports is rich with information about the 50 states. Published twice a month (except in August and December when it is published once), each issue covers a variety of topics including trends in state spending, the quarterly index of state economic momentum, federal aid to states and state tax burdens.

March 2014, Volume 32, Issue 6

Index of State Economic Momentum

This update of the index illustrates the disruptive effect that federal fiscal policy has had on the national economy. Specifically, it highlights surprisingly low personal income growth rates, reflecting re-imposition of the full Social Security withholding tax rate in 2013, as well as actions to minimize tax liabilities in late 2012. As such, it holds few unambiguous clues as to how state economies are performing.

March 2014, Volume 32, Issue 5

High(way) Finance

The condition of U.S. highways is much in the news, not only because a brutal winter has left its mark in many places, but also because many analysts believe that highway infrastructure is underfunded. The legislation that governs the federal highway program expires at the end of September 2014, and has its own funding problems. Specifically, the program pays out more than it takes in, requiring transfers from the general fund. With no apparent consensus in Congress over how to move forward, many states have taken it upon themselves to venture beyond the traditional financing framework.

February 2014, Volume 32, Issue 4

State Government General Expenditures in 2012

The U.S. Census Bureau has released its survey of state government finances for fiscal year (FY) 2012. The last issue of Reports (Volume 32, Issue 3) examined revenues; this issue looks at the expenditure side of the new data.

February 2014, Volume 32, Issue 3

State Government General Revenues in 2012

The U.S. Census Bureau has released its survey of state government finances for fiscal year (FY) 2012. This issue of Reports focuses on the revenue side of the new data. State general revenues declined in FY 2012, driven by a steep drop in federal grants. State tax revenue, which is a better measure of state fiscal health and recovery, increased in most places.

January 2014, Volume 32, Issue 2

A Call to Arms

A January report from the State Health Care Cost Containment Commission urges states to take the lead to reform fee-for-service health care delivery systems and gain control of the spiraling costs associated with them. To that end, seven specific recommendations have been advanced, along with a few for the federal government. The upshot of the report is that the nation is at a tipping point on health care costs; something has to give. While the arguments are compelling, the proposed solution is not without challenges.

January 2014, Volume 32, Issue 1

State and Local Finances in FY 2011

The Census Bureau has released its state and local finance series for fiscal year (FY) 2011, which allows meaningful comparisons of tax structures and burdens among the states. This issue focuses on the revenue highlights of the newly released data.

December 2013, Volume 31, Issue 23-24

Index of State Economic Momentum

Is Universal Preschool a Good Deal for States?

November 2013, Volume 31, Issue 22

Continuum of State Fiscal Stress

October 2013, Volume 31, Issue 20

Poverty Redefined

Variations in Property Tax Burdens

October 2013, Volume 31, Issue 19

The End of Welfare as We Knew It

September 2013, Volume 31, Issue 18

Index of State Economic Momentum

September 2013, Volume 31, Issue 17

State K-12 Funding Slow to Rebound

A Picture Worth a Thousand Words

States and Hunger

August 2013, Volume 31, Issue 1516

A Q&A on Municipal Bankruptcy

July 2013, Volume 31, Issue 14

Fiscal Stress Revisited

Moody’s on Pensions

July 2013, Volume 31, Issue 13

States and Immigration Reform

June 2013, Volume 31, Issue 12

Index of State Economic Momentum

June 2013, Volume 31, Issue 11

Continuum of State Fiscal Stress

May 2013, Volume 31, Issue 10

Laboratories of Democracy: Arkansas, Oregon and Medicaid

Gee Whiz: State Reliance on Sales Taxes

May 2013, Volume 31, Issue 9

Gee Whiz: Median Versus Per Capita Income

An April Surprise?