Glasgall Reveals Post-Pandemic State Budget Outlook at OECD in Paris

Bill at OECD

Bill Glasgall, the Alliance’s senior director, Public Finance, travelled to Paris in April to present the outlook for US state budgets at the 18th annual meeting of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Network on Fiscal Relations Across Levels of Government. During the two-day conference, about forty fiscal officials from the UK, Germany, India, South Korea, and other countries gathered in  the OECD’s century-old Château de la Muette to discuss the future of fiscal relations between national and local governments in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic. 

In his presentation, Glasgall highlighted findings in the Alliance’s latest state budgeting paper, The $195 Billion Challenge: Facing State Fiscal Cliffs After COVID-19 Aid Expires. He then discussed with Luiz de Mello, Director of Policy Studies at the OECD Economics Department, and Teresa Ter-Minassian, former director of the International Monetary Fund Fiscal Affairs Department, their new paper, Improving Subnational Governments’ Resilience in the Wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic.  

The OECD paper made numerous calls for reforms that dovetail with the Alliance’s own recommendations in our Truth and Integrity in State Budgeting reports, including adopting long-term forecasting and ensuring debt sustainability. Glasgall pointed out that, unlike in many other countries, in the US such reforms generally must be instituted at the state or local level. However, he said, there is ample room for Congress to improve its oversight of the almost $900 billion it was sending to states and municipalities annually before COVID—not to mention the trillions more it has provided since 2020 as the pandemic threatened to collapse the nation’s economy.