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.

November 2014, Volume 32, Issue 21

TANF Report Challenges Conventional Wisdom

Although many researchers and advocacy groups contend that Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) failed as a safety net during the Great Recession, a recent report by the Brookings Institution argues otherwise. It finds that TANF was responsive to rising unemployment in most states. Some advocacy groups have taken issue with the report’s methodology and tried to rebuff its findings.  

 

October 2014, Volume 32, Issue 20

How Liquid Are Your Assets: FAQs on HQLAs

Municipal bonds were recently excluded from the definition of “high-quality liquid assets” (HQLAs), creating consternation among state and local governments.

SNAP Starts Shrinking, But Not By Much

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is designed to be counter-cyclical, and it is. Benefits have declined since their 2013 peak, but not nearly so fast as the unemployment rate.

October 2014, Volume 32, Issue 19

State Prison Population on the Uptick

The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) recently published its report Prisoners in 2013, which found that the state prison population rose modestly, after declining for three years. Is this increase a sign of things to come, or is it just a minor blip as states continue to look for ways to conserve financial resources in strained, post-recession budgets?

September 2014, Volume 32, Issue 18

Index of State Economic Momentum

The Index of State Economic Momentum, developed by Reports founding editor Hal Hovey, ranks states based on their most recent performance in three key measures of economic vitality: personal income growth, employment growth and population growth. Reports updates the index each quarter. In the third quarter of 2014, the District of Columbia was closest to the national average economic performance.

 

September 2014, Volume 32, Issue 17

Where it Pays to be a Working Woman

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) released its first update since 2006 that evaluates the status of women in the workplace. The results are based on state rankings on four component measures, each weighted equally.

Revenue Estimating: Does Process Trump Accuracy?

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities added to the recent mix of papers examining state revenues and revenue practices with a report outlining five good revenue-estimating practices.

 

August 2014, Volume 32, Issue 1516

Taming the Impact of the Business Cycle

The Pew Charitable Trusts has released two reports that call on states to examine key budget practices and tweak them where necessary.

Delinquent Debt by State

A recent analysis by the Urban Institute examines the prevalence of debt that is past due and in collections by state.

An Ounce of Prevention in North Carolina

North Carolina’sLocal Government Commission reviews every local government bond offering in the state prior to issuance, and takes control over every approved bond sale. As a result, its municipal bonds are among the highest rated of any state.

July 2014, Volume 32, Issue 14

Caution on State Pension Plans

Minimum Wage: Correlation is Not Causality

Food Fight

July 2014, Volume 32, Issue 13

Areas with Concentrated Poverty

The Balance Wheel in State Budgets

June 2014, Volume 32, Issue 12

Index of State Economic Momentum

June 2014, Volume 32, Issue 11

A Silver Lining in Weak Tax Collections

On Capital Budgeting

May 2014, Volume 32, Issue 10

Real Personal Income Estimates Shake Things Up

May 2014, Volume 32, Issue 9

The 2014 Camelot Index

April 2014, Volume 32, Issue 8

What Census Can’t Tell You (Anymore)

April 2014, Volume 32, Issue 7

Many Minimum Wages

Old But Good News

March 2014, Volume 32, Issue 6

Index of State Economic Momentum

March 2014, Volume 32, Issue 5

High(way) Finance

February 2014, Volume 32, Issue 4

State Government General Expenditures in 2012

February 2014, Volume 32, Issue 3

State Government General Revenues in 2012

January 2014, Volume 32, Issue 1

State and Local Finances in FY 2011

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