Federal Issues


Information on federal legislation, mandates, programs, executive orders, and other actions that impact state finance. In fiscal year 2011, federal funds represented 34 percent of total state expenditures, although this percentage is likely to decline following the wind down of the funding provided through the Recovery Act. The possibility of future federal budget cuts combined with likely congressional changes to healthcare, K-12 education, tax policy, and other areas, has led to a significant level of uncertainty among state decision-makers.

Staff Contact: Kathryn Vesey White

NASBO Publications

  • Based on information from budget officers, NASBO has summarized some of the major challenges that states are facing at this moment. The federal government shutdown has caused significant disruptions and states are now seeking to determine which programs they will fund and which will be stopped.
  • This National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO) report, supported by a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, highlights and discusses lessons learned by budget officers during the recent recession. States turned to a variety of actions to stabilize state budgets in this challenging and uncertain fiscal environment.
  • After several years of slow recovery in the national economy, fiscal distress is finally beginning to subside for most states. However, the unemployment rate continues to remain high and the economic recovery is relatively weak compared to other post-recessionary periods. Thus, state operating budgets likely will be constrained by elevated expenditure pressures and slow revenue growth in the upcoming fiscal year.