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  • Off the Charts Blog
    December 19, 2014

  • Changing Priorities: State Criminal Justice Reforms and Investments in Education
    Michael Mitchell and Michael Leachman
    October 28, 2014

    Most states’ prison populations are at historic highs after decades of extraordinary growth; in 36 states, the prison population has more than tripled as a share of the state population since 1978.  This rapid growth, which continued even after crime rates fell substantially in the 1990s, has been costly.  …
  • Most States Still Funding Schools Less Than Before the Recession
    Michael Leachman and Chris Mai[1]
    October 16, 2014

    States are providing less per-pupil funding for kindergarten through 12th grade than they did seven years ago — often far less.  The reduced levels reflect primarily the lingering effects of the 2007-09 recession.  At a time when states and the nation need workers with the skills to master new technologies and …
  • K-12 Funding Still Below Pre-Recession Levels in Most States
    October 16, 2014

    At least 30 states are spending less per K-12 student — often far less — than before the Great Recession hit seven years ago, a new CBPP report finds.  The cuts undermine education reform and hinder schools’ ability to deliver high-quality education, harming the nation’s economic competitiveness over the long term.  “At …
  • Improving State Revenue Forecasting: Best Practices for a More Trusted and Reliable Revenue Estimate
    Elizabeth McNichol
    Updated September 4, 2014

    Every state estimates how much revenue it will collect in the upcoming fiscal year.  A reliable estimate is essential to building a fiscally responsible budget and sets a benchmark for how much funding the state will be able to provide to schools and other public services.  Yet some states forecast revenues using faulty …
  • States Likely Could Not Control Constitutional Convention on Balanced Budget Amendment or Other Issues
    Michael Leachman and David A. Super[1]
    July 16, 2014

    In the coming months, a number of states are likely to consider resolutions that call for a convention to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution to require a balanced federal budget, and possibly to shrink federal authority in other, often unspecified, ways.  Proponents of these resolutions claim that 24 of the 34 states …
  • A Guide to State Fiscal Policies for a Stronger Economy
    Erica Williams
    Updated June 24, 2014

    Building stronger state economies that create jobs and expand opportunity will require sensible, forward-looking state fiscal policies.  States need to invest adequately in education, health care, transportation, and workforce development.  To do that, they need to make decisions about how to raise and spend revenues with …
  • Most States Funding Schools Less Than Before the Recession
    Michael Leachman and Chris Mai[1]
    Revised May 20, 2014

    States’ new budgets are providing less per-pupil funding for kindergarten through 12th grade than they did six years ago — often far less.  The reduced levels reflect not only the lingering effects of the 2007-09 recession but also continued austerity in many states; indeed, despite some improvements in overall state revenues, …
  • States Are Still Funding Higher Education Below Pre-Recession Levels
    Michael Mitchell, Vincent Palacios, and Michael Leachman
    May 1, 2014

    Most states have begun in the past year to restore some of the cuts they made to higher education funding after the recession hit.  Eight states, though, are still cutting, and in almost all states — including those that are have boosted their support — higher education funding remains well below pre-recession …
  • State Higher Education Funding Remains Below Pre-Recession Levels
    May 1, 2014

    Higher education funding remains well below pre-recession levels in almost all states, a new CBPP report shows.  As a result, colleges and universities have had to raise tuition and make spending cuts that may diminish the quality of education available to students at a time when a highly educated workforce is more crucial than ever to the nation’s …
  • Media Briefing: Examining States' Dramatic Higher Education Cuts and Tuition Increases
    April 30, 2014

    The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities held a conference call briefing to discuss a new report that documents the deep cuts almost every state has made to funding for public universities and colleges, and explains how those cuts hurt students and state economies.
  • CBO Finds Health Reform's Medicaid Expansion Is an Even Better Deal for States
    Edwin Park
    April 22, 2014

    Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates released last week show that health reform’s Medicaid expansion, which many opponents wrongly claim will cripple state budgets, is an even better deal for states than previously thought.[1]  CBO has sharply lowered its estimates of the costs to states of adopting the Medicaid …
  • When and How States Should Strengthen Their Rainy Day Funds
    Elizabeth McNichol
    April 16, 2014

    With the budget challenges of the Great Recession and its aftermath still fresh in their minds, state policymakers are considering ways to strengthen their “rainy day funds” — budget reserves for use when recessions or other unexpected events cause revenue declines or spending increases.  It is still …
  • Policy Basics: Where Do Our State Tax Dollars Go?
    Updated March 27, 2014

    As state revenues recover from the recession and some states face unexpected surpluses, policymakers continue to confront major choices about how to pay for important services now and in the future. To inform this crucial decision making, it is useful to examine where state tax dollars go as …
  • Media Briefing: Impact of Kansas’ Massive Tax Cuts Should Be a Warning to Other States
    March 26, 2014

    The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities held a conference call briefing to discuss a new report that examines the impact of Kansas’ large 2012 tax cuts and offers lessons for states considering similar policies. Michael Leachman, director of state fiscal research, discussed large revenue …
  • Media Briefing: Budgeting for the Future: Are States Planning for the Long Run?
    February 4, 2014

    The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities held a conference call briefing to discuss a new report that examines the extent to which states conduct long-term budget planning. The report ranks the states on the degree to which they use key tools that can help states chart their fiscal course …
  • State Fact Sheets: Budgeting for the Future - Fiscal Planning Tools Can Show the Way
    February 4, 2014

    Budgeting for the Future: Fiscal Planning Tools Can Show the Way describes the ten key tools that can help states chart their fiscal course accurately and make corrections when needed; it also surveys the 50 states and the District of Columbia on the degree to which they use these tools.  Below are links to state fact sheets summarizing the survey findings for …
  • Budgeting for the Future: Fiscal Planning Tools Can Show the Way
    Elizabeth McNichol, Vincent Palacios, and Nicholas Johnson
    February 4, 2014

    Links: PDF of Full Report State Fact Sheets Spreadsheet of Table 1 Spreadsheet of Appendix Tables Executive Summary When state policymakers are writing a budget, they should be mindful of the future, not just the present.  The state budget is the single most important document that a state government produces each year, and it receives close public scrutiny.  It serves as both a financial plan and a policy document — that is, a description of the policies the state intends to pursue in the future.…
  • Most States Fall Short on Long-Term Budget Planning
    February 4, 2014

    Almost every state should adopt a much more rigorous approach to their long-term budget planning, according to a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.  The report ranks the states on the degree to which they use ten proven tools to help states chart their fiscal course accurately and make mid-course corrections when needed.  …
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