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House Budget Far Costlier to States Than Expanding Medicaid

September 6, 2012

The Supreme Court’s June ruling upholding health reform (the Affordable Care Act, or ACA) gives states the choice of expanding their Medicaid programs to cover most non-elderly individuals up to 133 percent of the federal poverty line.  Despite the benefits of the expansion, some...

Unbalanced Deficit-Reduction Package Would Slash Funds to States and Localities

August 8, 2012

As we explain in a new analysis, a deficit-reduction plan that lacks significant revenues would almost certainly deeply cut federal funds that support states and localities as they educate children, build roads and bridges, protect public health, and provide law enforcement.

Policymakers generally agree...

K-12 Schools Continue to Shed Jobs

August 3, 2012

Today’s jobs report shows that local school districts continue to struggle with job losses.  After school districts cut 7,000 positions in July, they now have 321,000 fewer teachers and other staff than they did when employment peaked in August 2008.  As the graph below shows, local education jobs have been falling for four years. ...

Rational Thinking Trumps Anti-Tax Sentiment in North Dakota

June 13, 2012

North Dakota voters made the right choice in yesterday’s election in voting down — by a margin of 3-to-1 — a constitutional ban on local property taxes.  This was an election with national significance:  North Dakota would have been the first state ever to enact such a ban.


Wisconsin Governor's "Tough Decisions" Have Been the Wrong Ones

June 6, 2012

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker credits his victory in yesterday’s recall election to his “tough decisions” that helped turn a big budget shortfall into a modest surplus, and his victory may encourage...

New CBO Report: Hundreds of Thousands of People Still Owe Their Jobs to the Recovery Act

May 30, 2012

A new Congressional Budget Office report finds that the 2009 Recovery Act is continuing to save jobs and protect the economy from what would have been a much deeper recession, as our ...

Tax and Spending Decisions: A Tale of Two States

May 25, 2012

As states make final decisions about their budgets for the coming fiscal year, some are doing themselves more harm than good.  Others, fortunately, are choosing approaches that will pay off for their future economies. Let’s take a look at one of each:

The poster child for states making irresponsible and economically damaging fiscal decisions this year is Kansas, where...

North Dakota’s Risky Bet to Replace Property Taxes With Oil Revenues

May 16, 2012

North Dakota is considering one of the year’s most reckless state fiscal proposals — a constitutional ban on property taxes.  This measure — which would make North Dakota the only state ever to ban property taxes in its constitution — would damage the state’s future economic potential, as we detail in a new report. ...

Local School Employment Still Headed Down

May 4, 2012

Today’s jobs report would have been somewhat more encouraging if schools hadn’t eliminated more jobs for teachers and other workers last month.

Local school districts cut 10,700 jobs in April, continuing a nearly four-year-long trend.  They have cut 274,000 jobs since school employment peaked in August 2008 (see graph).


States Not Following the Money on Business Tax Breaks

April 12, 2012

Two reports out today add to the evidence that states spend billions of dollars each year on business tax breaks without knowing if they are worth the cost — or do any good at all. As we’ve written, states should pay closer attention to these and other tax breaks, especially during...