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Minnesota’s Tax Plan a Recipe for Future Growth

May 21, 2013

As states finalize their budgets for the next fiscal year, Minnesota stands out for making smart changes to its tax system that will position the state for future economic growth.  The legislature passed a tax plan last night that — after years of spending cuts —...

Brownback’s Claims Wilt Under Scrutiny

April 11, 2013

In delivering the Republican Party’s weekly address on Saturday, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback made the rosy claim that states can cut taxes deeply without hurting their schools and other investments in the future, and he used his state as an example.  But the governor’s...

Some (Relatively) Good News in Today’s Jobs Report

April 5, 2013

Today’s jobs report suggests that state and local public job losses may be leveling out, a more hopeful picture than last month.  States and localities gained a modest 7,000 jobs in March and have cut 28,000 jobs over the last 12 months, a much...

The Ryan Budget’s Huge Cost Shift to States

March 27, 2013

Federal support for services that states and localities provide — schools, health care, clean water, and law enforcement, for example — would fall precipitously under the House-passed budget from Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, our new report explains.  These cuts would come on top of the deep cuts in federal...

Big Cuts in State Income Taxes Aren’t a Ticket to Stronger Growth

March 21, 2013

A number of states, including Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, and Wisconsin, are considering deep cuts in personal income taxes to spur economic growth. But both recent history and empirical studies suggest that this approach doesn’t work particularly well, as our new report explains.


State Jobs Picture Darker Than We Thought

March 8, 2013

States’ and localities’ ability to provide public services has been damaged even more deeply in recent years than experts had thought, today’s jobs report indicates — and federal funding cuts are making it even harder for states to recover.

States and localities lost another 10,000 jobs in February, with three-quarters of the job...

North Carolina’s Costly Cut in Jobless Benefits

February 14, 2013

North Carolina, where unemployment is over 9 percent, is close to enacting a breathtaking cut in jobless benefits that would surely prove extremely harmful for unemployed workers — and very bad for the state’s economy.  The proposal would:

  • Slash regular state unemployment insurance (UI) benefits by nearly three-quarters. The proposal cuts the maximum
  • ...

What Deeper Cuts in “Non-Defense Discretionary Funding” Would Mean for States and Localities

December 21, 2012

If budget negotiators agree on a deficit-reduction deal, it could well include more cuts to the federal budget category that includes most grants to states and localities outside of Medicaid, on top of nearly $900 billion in cuts already enacted.  But, there’s been little public discussion about how exactly further cuts would...

Kansas Offers Unintended Lesson to Governors Considering Tax Cuts

December 11, 2012

Governors are preparing their budgets for next year and a number of them (those in Indiana, Iowa, and Maine, for example) are considering major tax cuts.

They ought to take heed of what’s going on in Kansas.

Governor Sam Brownback, who last year pushed through a massive income tax cut that he claimed would provide a “...

For States, Alternatives to “Fiscal Cliff” Could Be Even Worse

November 16, 2012

Today’s report from the Pew Center on the States rightly notes that “sequestration” — the across-the-board federal budget cuts scheduled to begin January 2 — has major implications for states.  But it fails to make a fundamental point:  the alternatives could be even worse.

If federal policymakers avoid...