Budget Planning

There’s One Surefire Way to End Big Sewage Spills: End Big Sewage

COMMENTARY | To ‘futureproof’ wastewater treatment against the rising threats of climate change, sewage should go local.

Voters Have No Clue How Much Money State Lawmakers Make

Registered voters overshot their lawmakers’ annual pay by large margins in a recent survey. When given the correct salaries, respondents were more likely to support pay increases for legislators.

One City’s Inventive Plan to Spark Employee Collaboration, Loyalty and Retention

Each of the five analysts hired as a team in San Rafael, California, will be based in a different department, but they’ll train and work together on special projects.

Challenges Ahead for $3.5T Budget Bill After Senate Approval

Disagreements over the cost of the budget bill among Senate Democrats could slow progress on a separate infrastructure package headed to the House.

Using Federal Relief Funds to Ensure Equitable Recovery for Small Businesses

Governments can leverage American Rescue Plan dollars to help local companies impacted by the pandemic, including those owned by women and minorities.

How State Finances Fared During the Covid-19 Crisis

A new survey of budget officials shows that economic activity and tax revenue improved or fully recovered for most states by the end of 2020.

This Week in Federal Funding

In the July 13 edition we talk with Erie County, New York executive Mark Poloncarz about plans there for $124 million in recovery spending. And we have a roundup of ARPA action in Alabama, Virginia, Milwaukee and St. Louis.

Pandemic Growth Led This State to Slash Taxes, Issue Rebates

Tax policy experts and state officials believe Idaho’s rapid economic growth will offset the tax cuts, making them feasible under federal funding rules.  

How Governments Can Leverage Federal Funds to Partner With Local Nonprofits

The American Rescue Plan allows states and localities to funnel federal relief dollars to nonprofit organizations, which the National Council of Nonprofits says could be key to local economic recovery.

How to Fix Skyrocketing Overtime

Overtime is often a necessary cost, but to deploy it effectively, officials need reliable data to track where and how it is being used and who is using it. 

State and Local Officials Push Back Against Calls to Redirect Federal Aid

Republican lawmakers and others have suggested that money from coronavirus relief measures could be shifted to pay for infrastructure.

Ohio Lawmakers Approve Bill to Allow Teleworkers to Seek Commuter Tax Refunds

The issue of how to tax remote workers has been debated in several states, including New Hampshire, which filed a federal lawsuit against Massachusetts over the practice.

How Cities Are Using Citizen Feedback to Guide Federal Relief Spending

There’s a wide range of possibilities for how the $350 billion in funding can be used. “We really wanted to understand how the community was thinking in terms of investment versus recovery,” says one city official.

Most States Held Off Draining Savings in Response to Pandemic

Only 15 tapped rainy day funds in fiscal 2020 and reserves remained near record levels. Now, better-than-expected tax revenues and federal aid could limit the need for further withdrawals.

Analysis: How Governments Can Effectively Spend American Rescue Plan Funds

If they spend wisely, states and localities can put their budgets and economies in a better position—now and in the future, according to The Pew Charitable Trusts.

To Budget for Equity, Cities First Must Define Equity

COMMENTARY | Without a clear and shared definition of equity, city leaders cannot understand the underlying conditions that create existing disparities in their community, let alone make informed budget decisions that foster equity.

One State’s Plan to Ease the ‘Invisible’ Diaper Gap for Families

A third of families nationwide experience diaper need, regardless of age, race or income, data shows. Washington state will allocate funding for diaper banks in its latest budget to help close that gap.

Texas’ Pandemic Budget Shortfall Disappears, as Latest Forecast Shows a Surplus

The latest revenue estimate doesn’t take into account all of the federal relief that has been sent to Texas over the past year by Congress through pandemic relief packages. State lawmakers have wrestled with how and who has the authority to spend that money.

As Influx of Aid Nears, Some Spending Principles For States and Localities to Consider

Billions in federal coronavirus relief payments to states and localities are expected in May. Important choices lie ahead about how to best put the money to use.