Category Archives: State & Local Finance

Innovative State Transportation Funding and Financing: Policy Options for States

Source: David Burwell and Robert Puentes, National Governors Association, January 2009

From the press release:
The report, Innovative State Transportation Funding and Financing: Policy Options for States, outlines the challenges states face in funding transportation needs, and details a number of near- and longer-term policy solutions that states can examine.

The nation’s highways, roads, bridges, and transit systems currently are funded by an array of revenue sources, including fuel taxes, vehicle user fees, transit fares, impact fees, bonds, property and sales taxes, and general funds. However the total annual investment in surface transportation falls dramatically short of the amount needed to maintain the current system, let alone improve the status of the nation’s transportation infrastructure.

Proposed Funding for Education in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Source: Rebecca R. Skinner, David P. Smole, Ann Lordeman, Wayne C. Riddle, Congressional Research Service, R40151, January 22, 2009

On January 15, 2009, the House Committee on Appropriations released a draft version of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The primary purposes of the act focus on promoting economic recovery, assisting those most affected by the recession, improving economic efficiency by spurring technological advances in science and health, investing in infrastructure, and stabilizing state and local government budgets. As part of this act, funds would be provided to several existing education programs administered by the U.S. Department of Education (ED), including programs authorized by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The ARRA would also create new programs that would support school construction at the elementary, secondary, and postsecondary education levels and provide general funds for education to support state fiscal stabilization. This report provides a brief overview of the key provisions related to education programs that are or would be administered by ED that were included in the act under Title IX (Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education) and Title XII (State Fiscal Stabilization Fund). It also provides estimates of state grants for programs for which these estimates are relevant and for which data needed to produce the estimates are available. The report will be updated as warranted by legislative action.

2009 Economic Stimulus: Details of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, January 2009

2009 Economic Stimulus: Details of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are emerging. A new chart highlights the estimated state allocations for the House stimulus proposal.

The bill, approved by the Appropriations committee on January 22, includes $79 billion in state fiscal relief to prevent cutbacks to key services, including $39 billion to local school districts and public colleges and universities distributed through existing state and federal formulas, $15 billion to states as bonus grants as a reward for meeting key performance measures, and $25 billion to states for other high priority needs such as public safety and other critical services, which may include education.
See also:
2009 Economic Stimulus – main page

FY09 State Funding for Public Libraries

Source: American Library Association, 2009

2009 Survey of Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA), for the Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study

State Library Agencies play a critical role in sustaining public libraries. In recognition of this leadership role, the Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study includes an annual questionnaire of these agencies.

In December 2008, the questionnaire included a question asking about any declines or anticipated declines in FY09 state funding for public libraries. Ninety-six percent of states and the District of Columbia responded to the inquiry. The compiled results are listed here.

Economic Situation In The States

Source: Mike Griffith, Education Commission of the States, December 8, 2008

A recent PowerPoint presentation from ECS’ Senior Finance Policy Analyst Mike Griffith takes a
look at (1) The national and state economic situation; (2) How past economic downturns have impacted education spending; and (3) How education budgets will be impacted.

Nutcracker Effect’: The Fiscal Outlook For States

Source: Robert B. Ward, Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, April 26, 2008

Presentation to the National Education Writers Association’s 61st National Seminar, outlining the effects of falling property values, demographic trends, and inflation on school finance. State revenue data are provided by region and for selected states. Concludes that schools have three choices: raise taxes, cut services, and/or find ways to use resources more cost-effectively.

From a Bonanza to a Blue Chip? Gambling Revenue to the States

Source: Lucy Dadayan, Nino Giguashvili, and Robert B. Ward, Rockefeller Institute, June 19, 2008

For more than two decades, states saw lotteries and casinos as a bonanza of new dollars for education and other programs. Gambling revenue is now at an all-time high, but growth is slowing due to objections about social impacts and broader economic trends. And the report shows that states vary widely in their reliance on gambling revenues.

City Fiscal Conditions — From Main Street to Wall Street

Source: Chris Hoene and Michael A.Pagano, Government Finance Review, Vol. 24 no. 6, December 2008

The recent financial turmoil on Wall Street has had well-publicized effects on states and local governments. Problems in credit and capital markets have hit cities hard, and the fiscal conditions of state governments do not favor aid to cities.

Tough Times for States and Localities

Source: Public Policy Forum, November 13, 2008

National experts on state finances, including Rockefeller Institute Senior Fellow Donald J. Boyd, analyzed trends in state/local revenues and expenditures at a forum focusing on the economy’s impact on state and local governments.

Listen to the Audio (Full)

Price Indexes for State and Local Governments
Bruce E. Baker [Presentation – PDF]
Video Excerpts [YouTube]

The Fiscal Crisis: New York in the National Context

Donald J. Boyd [Presentation – PDF]
Video Excerpts [YouTube]

Key Questions for our Fiscal Future

Henry W. Wulf Video Excerpts [YouTube]

Concluding Observations

Richard P. Nathan, Co-Director, The Rockefeller Institute of Government Video Excerpts [YouTube]