State fiscal challenges

The Rockefeller Institute of Government has recently published three reports by Donald Boyd on current financial challenges and issues facing state and local governments. The public policy research center of the State University of New York, the Institute "conducts research on the role of state and local governments in American federalism and on the management and finances of states and localities." One of the Institute's programs, The Rockefeller Fiscal Studies (RFS), "produces reports on important developments in state finances - from tax collections to spending on education, health, and welfare programs." The RFS publishes State Revenue Report and State Fiscal Briefs and News.

The Donald Boyd series is based on his article, State Finances: Solid Recovery But Challenges Ahead, from the 2006 edition of The Book of the States, scheduled for a June 2006 release by the Council of State Governments.

Retiree Pensions and Health Benefits: State and Local Governments Face New Budget Challenges (04/04/2006, pdf, 510KB)
Whether and how governments respond is a decision for elected officials. Options include raising taxes; cutting other spending; using surplus funds or issuing bonds to begin prefunding existing liabilities; and scaling back benefits.

The 2001 Recession Continues to Affect State Budgets (04/25/2006, pdf, 613KB)
...beyond 2007 states will face challenges, including the need to fund or constrain rapid Medicaid growth, pressures to strengthen pension funding and begin financing newly disclosed liabilities for retiree health care, and the likely need to respond to large cuts in federal grants.

Impact of Proposed 2007 Federal Budget Actions on States (05/25/2006, pdf, 85KB)
The outlook is for federal budget actions to have a limited impact on state budgets in the near term. However, over the longer term, states should anticipate significant pressure from constrained federal spending as Washington grapples with the ballooning deficit.

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