A Cloudy Crystal Ball

Man with telescope looking at horizon

Pandemic Forecasting Challenges Highlight Need for Budget Relief Valves

The Issue Paper by Phil Dean, A Cloudy Crystal Ball: Pandemic Forecasting Challenges Highlight Need for Budget Relief Valves is the latest in a series of Alliance issue papers on state and local budgeting in the COVID Era.

This issue paper focuses on budget forecasting and management lessons learned from the pandemic, drawing on data from all fifty states and interviews with executive or legislative budget officials in Alaska, California, Connecticut, Idaho, Maryland, and Utah—states with varied economic and fiscal profiles. It concludes with concrete recommendations and offers a set of tools help states improve their budget management processes, no matter what challenges the world throws our way. The paper also provides an appendix that outlines how revenue and expenditure estimates function with other budget management tools to help state officials manage amid sudden changes.

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The Volcker Alliance hosted a release webinar that can be viewed here.

About the Initiative and Issue Paper Series

The goal of the Truth and Integrity in Government Finance Initiative is to help improve budgeting and fiscal sustainability in states by identifying practices that need improvement and providing concrete examples of best practices for all to follow.

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 the fiscal sustainability of states.