July 7, 2015

Understanding Your State's Fiscal Health

Eileen Norcross

Senior Research Fellow

How financially healthy is your state? Previously that information was buried in hundreds of pages of financial documents called CAFRs. Not fun reading. Now it's available in an at-a-glance index at “Ranking the States by Fiscal Condition”.

Most states are nearly back to normal since the Great Recession, although there are troubling signs that many states are still ignoring the risks on their books, mainly in underfunded pensions and health care benefits. Even states that appear to be fiscally robust—perhaps owing to large amounts of cash on hand or revenue streams from natural resources—must take stock of their long-term fiscal health before making future public policy decisions.