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Investing in Infrastructure: A Good Strategy for State Economic Growth

February 26, 2016

Some states have cut taxes and offered corporate subsidies in recent years in misguided efforts to boost their economies, even as they neglect overdue and...

Construction Worker

Reinvesting in Infrastructure Would Boost State Economies

February 23, 2016

State and local investment in transportation, public buildings, water treatment systems, and other forms of vital infrastructure has fallen to a 30-year low.  Reversing this decline is key to creating good jobs and promoting full economic recovery — and it’s an especially good time for states to do it, as we explain in a...

State and Local Spending on Infrastructure Is at 30-Year Low

Weaker Unions Could Lead to More Income Inequality in States

January 8, 2016

The Supreme Court will consider a case next week that could have implications for income inequality, which has been growing across the country and in individual states since the 1970s, as we’ve documented here and...

Public Workers in States That Allow Fair Share Fees Are Twice as Likely to Join a Union

Weaker Unions Likely Would Mean Greater Income Inequality

November 19, 2015

November 20, 2015: We’ve updated this post.

The Supreme Court is considering a case that could have implications for income inequality, which has grown across the country and in individual states since the 1970s, as we’ve documented here...

Gavel at Court

Interactive: State Cost Estimates of Legislation

October 22, 2015

State policymakers need accurate information about the cost of spending- and tax-related proposals to make good decisions about them.  Nearly all states produce a cost estimate of bills, typically called a “fiscal note,” but in many states these estimates aren’t very useful, as we explain in a new...

Most States Could Improve their Cost Estimates of Legislation

Interactive: State Budget Planning Tools

October 20, 2015

States routinely put at risk some of the country’s highest priorities ― educating children, maintaining a healthy and trained work force, and caring for the elderly, for example ― by failing to employ proven budget methods that would help them plan farther into the future. A few improvements would make considerably more information available to policymakers and the public for budget debates,...


Long-Range Projections Key to Smart State Decision Making

October 19, 2015

State policymakers need reliable, multi-year information about revenues and program costs to make sound decisions about how best to provide for the high-quality education systems, roads and bridges, and other public investments that build a foundation for strong economic growth.  Three key pieces of data — revenue forecasts, budgets that show the cost of maintaining current services, and cost...

6 Ways to Improve State Budgeting

June 12, 2015

A new report from The Volcker Alliance, headed by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, outlines six ways states can write budgets that keep the future more in mind.

It’s timely advice:  as states finally emerge from the aftermath of the Great Recession, they need to address serious...

State House

Wisconsin Law Would Tilt Playing Field Even More Against Workers

March 4, 2015

My colleague Jared Bernstein recently addressed some of the canards around Wisconsin’s proposed “Right to Work” (RTW) law, which would dilute unions’ bargaining strength by making it harder for them to collect dues from the workers they...

New Jersey Going from Bad to Worse on Budget Practices

October 7, 2014

New Jersey, which already comes up short in budget planning and budget transparency, is falling even further behind.

The state Treasury Department recently stopped publishing monthly comparisons of actual tax collections to projected collections — information that the state’s revenue status reports...