The Case for More Federal Oversight of State and Local Budgets

An influential good government group is calling for tighter standards and is out with new recommendations for how Congress and regulators can begin taking action.

The Outlook for State Budgets Heading Into 2023

Many states are on solid footing and expect to enjoy surpluses. But a couple are staring down sizable budget gaps.

New State and Local Government Financial Reporting Requirements Headed to Biden’s Desk

State and local advocates opposed the provisions, which were attached to a massive defense bill and call for financial data to be standardized, searchable and machine-readable.

Should the Deadline to Spend ARPA Dollars be Extended?

Some local officials involved in managing American Rescue Plan Act aid describe a 2026 cut-off to use up all of the money as uncomfortably close.

State and Local Governments Look to the Sales Tax to Refill Coffers

COMMENTARY | During past adverse economic cycles, the tax has often proven to be a more consistent and efficient method of funding compared to the income tax.

Cities and States Bristle Over Proposal to Change How They Report on Finances

Congress is weighing a plan that calls for overhauling how state and local government financial data is made public, stirring worries about new costs for software and staff. But supporters of the revamp say it’s long overdue.

A Leading Republican Looks to Get Tough on the SALT Deduction

Rep. Adrian Smith, who is vying to be the top Republican on the House Ways & Means Committee, views the state and local tax deduction as a potential federal “subsidy” for liberal policies.

Deciding How to Spend Billions in Opioid Settlement Payments

As states and localities begin receiving the money, advocates are pushing for it to go toward public health programs, and to avoid some practices that emerged around the 1990s tobacco settlement.

State Lawmaker Discusses New $125M Program That Will Help Pay for Home Repairs

Pennsylvania State Sen. Nikil Saval's Whole-Home Repairs Program was included in this year’s state budget.

Biden Signs Major Climate, Health Care, Tax Law

The legislation will mean new federal support for a range of state and local programs, as well as the extension of key health insurance subsidies. Most GOP governors oppose the measure.

State and Local Pensions Post Worst Losses Since Great Recession

The public sector retirement plans are in better overall shape than they were back in 2008. But some are still badly underfunded and many are gambling on riskier investments.

The Three Cs of Effective Public Engagement

COMMENTARY | Incorporating citizen feedback into government budget and finance decisions can often lead to disappointing results, but following these principles can help.

Localities Look To an Untapped 'Goldmine' of Potential Revenue

A new initiative focuses on how cities and counties can capitalize on underused public property, like parking lots and office space.

How Cities and Counties Are Thinking Big With Their ARPA Plans

Across the country, some local governments are using federal aid from the American Rescue Plan to launch "transformational" projects in areas like affordable housing, public safety and ridding homes of lead—things that will endure long after the money is spent.

This Federal Committee Is Watching Over Your Pandemic Funds Spending

The Pandemic Response Accountability Committee is on the lookout for fraud and other issues with trillions in federal Covid aid. But the watchdog is also assembling a wealth of data on programs the money is going to.

Trump Wades Into One State's Budget Discussions

The former president says Pennsylvania's spending plan should be "tied" to controversial elections legislation.

How One State Used Its Giant Budget Surplus

Idaho this year had extra revenue that was equal to nearly half the amount of its general fund revenues, and that was on top of federal aid. Here's what lawmakers did with the money.

Infrastructure Tops Mayors’ Concerns for 2nd Year

The National League of Cities’ analysis of local leaders’ speeches finds renewed interest in maintenance and construction projects, and worries about how they will handle billions in new federal dollars.

Booming State Budget Growth is Headed for a Slowdown

Governors are calling for a 4.2% increase in general fund spending, compared to 13.6% this year, according to a new report.

The Big Debate Around Statehouses: What to Do With Budget Surpluses

States had another year of exceptional revenue growth driven by a number of factors, but the conversation around how to reward taxpayers is complicated.

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