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Posts by Nicholas Johnson

Additional, Well Targeted Federal Fiscal Aid Key to Advancing Racial Equity

July 1, 2020

Unless federal policymakers provide enough aid to states, localities, territories, and tribal governments to offset all or nearly all of their massive revenue losses due to the pandemic, the longstanding inequities from historic and ongoing racism and discrimination — which have left Black and brown communities most harmed by COVID-19 and the economic crisis — will only worsen from the deep...

Postal Worker Making Deliveries

The Great Recession Badly Hurt Kids’ Schooling; Today’s Recession Could Do Much Worse

May 27, 2020

Whenever our kids return to school, a severely diminished learning experience awaits them unless the federal government learns an important lesson from the past and significantly boosts state aid — and soon.

The last time that states faced a budget crisis, in the wake of the Great Recession of a decade ago, emergency federal aid closed only about one-quarter of state budget shortfalls....

Empty classroom

Bipartisan Stimulus Agreement Contains Significant Funds for States

March 25, 2020

The emerging bipartisan agreement on the Senate’s economic emergency legislation contains very significant new resources to help states address their massive, immediate budget problems due to COVID-19, though it almost certainly doesn’t go far enough. Congress will need to come back and provide more help to states and families affected by the crisis, as some policymakers have already called...

The Capitol

Hidden New Tax Breaks for Wealthy Households, Corporations Risk State Revenues

March 22, 2018

As states develop legislation to adapt their tax laws to the new federal tax law, corporate lobbyists and anti-tax advocates are trying to capitalize on the legislative process to secure state tax breaks that they’ve been seeking for years. If they succeed, states will lose tax revenues that they otherwise could be allocating to strengthen schools, infrastructure, and other state services by,...

money puzzle

Steps for Fixing Puerto Rico’s Fiscal Problems

February 9, 2016

As both parties now agree, the federal government must respond in the coming months to Puerto Rico’s economic and fiscal challenges — most immediately, the $70 billion or so that Puerto Rico owes creditors and on which its government says it must default unless the debt is restructured.  Policymakers must address this threat, but they should go further and also implement health and tax policy...

Dollar Bill Puzzle Pieces

State Policy Fellowship Applications Are Open

November 6, 2015

We’re now accepting applications for the 2016 class of State Policy Fellows.  Since 2010, CBPP and our State Priorities Partnership have placed fellows in leading state-based policy organizations across the country.  The fellowship is designed to:

  • Bring diverse perspectives to state policy debates.  To expand the voices
  • ...
Texas State Capitol Dome

Improving State Budget Policies

December 4, 2014

States’ choices about investing in schools, health care, child care, and other services can either help create opportunity and prosperity for people or hold them back.  This short video explains how the State Priorities Partnership, a national network of 41 independent state policy...

What Does Kansas’ Botched Tax-Cut Experiment Portend for Other States?

June 12, 2014

The budgetary disaster emerging from Kansas’ radical tax-cutting experiment is making pro-tax-cut elected officials in other states uneasy.  The Wall Street Journal...

In Illinois, a Chance to Fix a Constitutional Flaw

April 23, 2014

Illinois’ constitution has a requirement that is quite unusual among states:  the state must have a single-rate income tax, meaning that middle-income taxpayers pay income tax at the same rate as the state’s wealthiest.  This provision has been a fiscal and economic failure.  Now lawmakers are considering a fix that would benefit the state’s middle-income taxpayers and economy for the long...

Brownback Reiterates Faulty Claim to Justify Radical Tax Cuts

February 25, 2014

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback said recently that his radical 2012 income tax cuts — among the largest that any state has ever enacted — generated over 15,000 small businesses in Kansas.  He’s...