State Expenditure Report

This annual report examines spending in the functional areas of state budgets: elementary and secondary education, higher education, public assistance, Medicaid, corrections, transportation, and all other. It also includes data on capital spending by program area, as well as information on general fund and transportation fund revenue collections.

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PURCHASE HARD COPY


Staff Contact

Brian Sigritz
202-624-8439
bsigritz@nasbo.org

 

Overview: Fiscal 2019-2021

    • Total state spending (including general funds, other state funds, bonds, and federal funds) is estimated to have grown 16.2 percent in fiscal 2021, the highest rate in the 35-year history of the State Expenditure Report.
    • Spending from states’ own funds (general funds and other state funds combined, excluding bonds) rose 5.7 percent in fiscal 2021, while federal funds sharply increased 35.7 percent. 
    • The large increase in total state spending, led by strong gains from federal funds to states, is directly related to COVID-19 pandemic response and recovery efforts.
      • States reported spending $321.6 billion in overall federal COVID-19 aid in fiscal 2021. 
    • Federal funds represented an increased share of total state spending in fiscal 2021.
      • Federal funds surpassed general funds as a share of total state spending.
      • However, state funds (general funds and other state funds combined) still make up a greater share of total state spending than federal funds. 
    • The “all other” category had the largest gain in total state spending in fiscal 2021, at 29.3 percent. Many of the top expenditure areas for both CARES Act and ARPA funds fall under the “all other” category.
    • Unlike fiscal 2020, when state revenues declined for the first time since fiscal 2010, state revenues rose sharply in fiscal 2021, increasing by an estimated 12.8 percent.
      • Both fiscal 2020 and fiscal 2021 revenues were impacted by the shifting of the 2020 tax deadline from April 15 to July 15.