State and Local Budgeting in the COVID-19 Era: New York: State of Debt Webinar

The Volcker Alliance


New York: State of Debt

Report Release Webinar

Thursday, February 10, 2022 at 2 p.m. EST

The Volcker Alliance invites you to watch William Glasgall, Volcker Alliance Senior Director, Public Finance, in a conversation with longtime credit analysts Matt Fabian and Lisa Washburn of Municipal Market Analytics Inc., the authors of the newly released Issue Paper, New York: State of Debt, the first in a forthcoming series of Alliance issue papers on State and Local Budgeting in the COVID Era.  

The Issue Paper describes the composition of New York State’s $186.7 billion in bonds and notes that the state’s longtime borrowing practices helped contribute to its D average grade in Budget Maneuvers—the use of one-time actions to achieve nominal budgetary balance—for fiscal years 2015-19 in the Alliance’s 2021 report, Truth and Integrity in State Budgeting: Preparing for the Storm. New York was one of only four states to receive the second-lowest possible mark for its reliance on potentially unsustainable maneuvers.

In New York: State of Debt, the authors find that the state’s practice of delivering many services through independent public authorities that issue bonds makes its overall debt structure more complex than in most other states. In the webinar, the authors will draw upon the experiences of California, Florida, Michigan, and New Jersey—each representing an archetype of more traditional state debt practices—to propose concrete reforms for New York. At minimum, the authors maintain that New York should establish a centralized advisory entity to collect data on all state debts.

The State and Local Budgeting in the COVID Era issue paper series builds on the work of previous research efforts to focus on the impact of the pandemic and resulting recession on states and localities; explore how budgeting policies of states prior to the pandemic have impacted how well they were able to handle the crisis; identify risks and opportunities within states that will contribute to their ability to successfully recover from the financial impacts of COVID-19; and make recommendations for policy improvements that will contribute to fiscal sustainability of states.


William Glasgall is senior director, public finance at the Volcker Alliance, a New York-based nonprofit organization where he has supervised the publication of numerous working papers and studies, including four Truth and Integrity in State Budgeting reports. He is also the creator of the Special Briefing webcast series, co-produced with the University of Pennsylvania Institute for Urban Research, where he is a fellow and co-lead of the Initiative for State and Local Fiscal Stability. Mr. Glasgall serves on the editorial team advisory board for Route Fifty alongside other leading thinkers on state and local governance. Previously, he was managing editor for states and municipalities at Bloomberg News and senior editor at BusinessWeek Magazine. He is also a member of the National Federation of Municipal Analysts and a governor of the Overseas Press Club Foundation. A Boston University graduate, he was a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economics and Business Journalism at Columbia University and a DAAD Fellow at the University of Bonn, Germany.

MattFabianMatt Fabian is a partner at Municipal Market Analytics, where he heads market and credit research and is the lead contributor to its weekly Outlook and biweekly Default Trends reports. Mr. Fabian was previously the lead US municipal research analyst for UBS Financial Services. Earlier in his career, he was an underwriting analyst at Financial Security Assurance and a municipal rating analyst with Moody’s Investors Service. He has served as chairman of the Municipal Analysts Group of New York and as a member of the board of governors of the National Federation of Municipal Analysts. Mr. Fabian has an undergraduate degree from Penn State University and a master of public administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.

LisaWashburnLisa Washburn is a managing director and the chief credit officer at Municipal Market Analytics, where she leads the firm’s consulting practice and credit surveillance business. She is a contributor to MMA’s Outlook and Default Trends publications and assists in maintaining its Default and Impairment Database. Before joining MMA, Ms. Washburn spent twenty years with Moody’s Investors Service, where she was a managing director in the public finance group and led several ratings teams. She is a member of the National Federation of Municipal Analysts and is currently co-chair of its Industry Practices Committee and the organization’s representative on the Governmental Accounting Standards Advisory Council. A graduate of Lehigh University, Ms. Washburn is a certified management accountant and holds a credential in fundamentals of sustainability accounting.