Sustaining the States: The Fiscal Viability of American State Governments, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Sustaining the States

The Fiscal Viability of American State Governments, 1st Edition

Edited by Marilyn Marks Rubin, Katherine G. Willoughby


318 pages | 43 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2014-08-26
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State fiscal decisions have a significant impact on the US economy. Taken together, subnational governments employ more than one out of every eight workers and provide the bulk of all basic governmental services consumed by individuals and businesses. Sustaining the States: The Fiscal Viability of American State Governments will give you a basic understanding of trends in, current status of, and future prospects for the fiscal sustainability of state governments. After reading this book, you should have a great appreciation for the reach and multiple contributions of state governments to individuals and communities across the nation.

The book examines the broad range and depth of state revenues, responsibilities, and activities. It begins with an assessment of executive budgeting in the states, then presents the experiences of states with strong executive-driven systems and the various rules and institutions that impact state government budget discipline. The book goes on to examine state revenue sources, debt, pensions, and spending, honing in on vital state functions including education, transportation, health services and public safety. It concludes with an assessment of the challenges that will test the fiscal vibrancy of US state governments going forward: vulnerability to future economic downturns, growing dependence on an increasingly austere federal government, the obsolescence of state tax systems and an ever more coercive system of federalism.

Edited by experts, with a hand-picked panel of contributors, the book delineates the resources that states generate and use to conduct the business of government. The chapters outline the very real and significant constraints on the ability of the states to fulfill their responsibilities and introduce several challenges that state governments face and are actively addressing as they strive for fiscal sustainability. These features provide a clear, realistic understanding of state operations and financing in the United States, today. The book should also leave you with a sense of optimism for the capacity of state governments to advance forward.

Table of Contents

Sustaining the States: An Introduction, Scott Pattison and Katherine Willoughby

Political Institutions for Sustainable State Budgets, Irene S. Rubin and Roy T. Meyers

Changing State Revenue Strategies, John L. Mikesell

State Tax Structures: Past Trends, Future Possibilities, David L. Sjoquist

State Competition for Debt Resources, Dwight V. Denison and Robert A. Greer

State Debt Management Challenges, Merl Hackbart and Dwight V. Denison

State Pension Plans in Crisis, Cynthia S. Searcy and William R. Darnell

The Future of State Spending, Carolyn Bourdeaux

State Education Expenditures, Sean P. Corcoran, Sarah A. Cordes, and Amy Ellen Schwartz

State Health Care Expenditures, Shanna Rose

Future Issues in State Transportation Finance, John R. Bartle and Can Chen

Financing Criminal Justice in the States, Michael C. Walker

State Government Workforces of the Future, Sally Coleman Selden

A Vision of the Future Sustainability of the States, Robert D. Ebel and Marilyn Marks Rubin

About the Editors

Marilyn Marks Rubin is professor of public administration and economics at John Jay College of the City University of New York and director of the college’s MPA program. She has authored several publications on fiscal policy and budget-related issues and was an advisor to the Korean Women’s Development Institute on gender budgeting. Rubin is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and a past chair of the Association for Budgeting and Financial Management.

Katherine Willoughby is professor of public management and policy in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University. Her areas of expertise include state and local government budgeting and financial management and performance management. She has trained government officials and staff from several countries in public budgeting, management, and reform. Willoughby is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and a past chair of the Association for Budgeting and Financial Management.

About the Series

ASPA Series in Public Administration and Public Policy

Founded in 1939, the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) is the premier professional organization for public administration, dedicated to advancing its art, science, teaching and practice. The ASPA book series provides expert information on a range of public administration issues, each authored by a leader in the field. Series Editor David Rosenbloom is Distinguished Professor of Public Administration in the School of Public Affairs at American University, USA.

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