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The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government

Thursday, July 30, 2015
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Blinken Report: States Struggling With Slow Fiscal Recovery



Despite the rising U.S. stock market and the fifth year of continuous growth in employment, state and local governments still face enormous fiscal challenges, including slow growth in tax revenues, cuts in most areas of spending, and difficulties in performing essential functions. Conditions will likely be inadequate to restore state government spending cuts, fund infrastructure expansion, pay for growth in Medicaid, and cover insufficiently funded public pensions, making the choices available to states even harder. This is the second of an ongoing series of reports funded by former U.S. Ambassador to Hungary Donald Blinken and his wife, Vera, longtime supporters of the Rockefeller Institute.
Report

Windfall “April Surprises” Despite Weak Withholding and Weak Fiscal Climate



States that collect personal income taxes faced widespread income tax shortfalls last year and income tax windfalls this year, according to a Rockefeller Institute report. The study — Windfall “April Surprises” — examined January to April tax collections for 38 of the 41 states that impose broad-based personal income taxes. It showed income tax growth of 11.5 percent, or $13.2 billion, compared to the same period a year earlier. However, state forecasters should be careful not to overestimate revenues for future years and elected officials should not build budgets based on windfall revenues.
Report

Partnerships with Private Sector Fuel Arkansas’s Expanded Health Care Coverage



A report released by the Rockefeller Institute of Government and the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement (ACHI) reveals significant collaboration between Arkansas’s public and private sectors to expand health care coverage through the Health Care Independence Program (commonly known as the “private option”) and the federally facilitated marketplace partnership. The political environment in Arkansas that led to decisions related to the ACA are detailed in the report, along with the fluid status of the state’s pioneering decisions in light of recent leadership transitions and uncertainty at the federal level.
Report                                News Release

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The Institute in the news...

“Government Spending, Edging Up, Is a Stimulus”

; The New York Times
The Times quotes Senior Fellow Donald J. Boyd on increasing government spending.

“Valuing Diversity and Investing in Our Nation’s Children”

; The Huffington Post
Institute Director Thomas L. Gais comments on the effects of poverty on educational performance.

“Tennessee Shows How Republicans Learned to Embrace Obamacare”

; Bloomberg.com
Senior Fellow Richard Nathan discusses how money is influencing implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

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