* The Pew Charitable Trusts has a new interactive analysis of state fiscal health and, of course, Illinois isn’t doing well at all. From an e-mail…
Just in time for the start of the Illinois legislative session next week, The Pew Charitable Trusts has launched a new interactive featuring 50-state data on key fiscal, economic, and demographic indicators. Fiscal 50: State Trends and Analysis also features insights and analysis from Pew experts in five core areas of fiscal health: revenue, spending, economy and people, long-term costs, and fiscal policy.
Fiscal 50 launched with six key indicators of state fiscal health, and will be updated with additional indicators, fresh analysis, and new data over time. Our first six indicators are: 1) tax revenue, 2) federal share of state revenue, 3) change in state spending over the past 20 years, 4) employment to population ratio, 5) debt and unfunded retirement costs, and 6) reserves and balances. These indicators were carefully selected to illustrate macro fiscal and economic trends that encourage policymakers to think outside of the annual budget bubble and focus on long-term fiscal issues.
The interactive offers state-by-state comparisons on each of these indicators, so you can quickly see which states are leading and which are lagging behind. The tool also allows you to compare state data to a national benchmark.
For example, in the “Reserves and balances” indicator, you can quickly see that, in fiscal year 2013, Illinois had sufficient reserve funds to operate for just 0.4 days, compared to a national average of 20 days. Of all of the states that report this figure, Illinois had the lowest amount of reserve funding.
Emphasis added for obvious reasons.