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.



Staff Contact

Brian Sigritz


Overview: Fiscal 2018-2020

  • Total state spending (including general funds, other state funds, bonds, and federal funds) grew 7.7 percent in estimated fiscal 2020.
  • Federal funds are estimated to have increased 14.0 percent in fiscal 2020, the highest annual growth rate since the Great Recession. The sizeable increase in federal funds spending is largely due to additional federal aid states received in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the CARES ACT and increased FMAP.
  • Spending from states’ own funds (general funds and other state funds combined, excluding bonds) rose 5.0 percent in estimated fiscal 2020.
  • The “all other” category saw the largest gain in total state spending in fiscal 2020, at 12.5 percent. Many of the top expenditure areas for CARES Act funds fall under the “all other” category including unemployment insurance, public health programs, housing assistance, emergency management, economic relief, aid to local governments, and broadband and other technology upgrades.
  • State general fund revenue declined 0.8 percent in fiscal 2020, the first decline since the Great Recession. The revenue data in this report are based on estimates provided over the summer and are subject to change; NASBO’s Fall Fiscal Survey of States, to be released in December, will provide preliminary actual data on general fund revenues for fiscal 2020.



Full Report