States Finished Fiscal 2015 on a Strong Note, But Forecasts for 2016 Are Less Promising
State tax revenues grew by 6.8 percent in the second quarter of 2015, the final quarter of the fiscal year for 46 states, according to the most recent State Revenue Report of the Rockefeller Institute. Personal income tax growth was robust at 14.2 percent, which was driven by strong payments with final returns up 20.0 percent and estimated taxes up 18.2 percent. This trend is not expected to continue, as this year’s revenue figures were bolstered by the strong stock market of 2014. States expect fiscal year 2016 to be weaker than 2015, largely because of an anticipated slowdown in income tax revenue.
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Adirondack Park Institute Recognizes Rockefeller Institute
The Rockefeller Institute of Government and Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve, a wild lands advocacy and educational not-for-profit, have received the 2015 Frank Hutchins Adirondack Environmental Education Leadership Award from the Adirondack Park Institute. This award was created by the Adirondack Park Institute to honor and recognize exceptional leadership in fostering educational programs and experiences as a foundation for stewardship of the Adirondack Park’s natural resources and sustainable communities.
Ohio Research Team Releases 25th ACA Network Report
The Health Policy Institute of Ohio (HPIO) has released the 25th report of the 40-state Affordable Care Act Implementation Network coordinated by the Rockefeller Institute, the Brookings Institution, and the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania. The report was released by HPIO at an event held on September 29th in the Statehouse Atrium in Columbus, OH. The study makes note of Governor and Republican political candidate John Kasich’s decision related to Medicaid coverage that has emerged as a key issue on the national political stage.
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Citizen Groups Create Campaign to Promote Awareness of the 2017 NYS Constitutional Convention Vote
The Rockefeller Institute; the Government Law Center at Albany Law School; the League of Woman Voters of NYS; the Center for Research, Regional Education & Outreach (CRREO) at SUNY New Paltz; and the Siena Research Institute (SRI) have announced the creation of a multiyear educational campaign to promote public awareness of the statewide referendum on a constitutional convention, scheduled by law to occur in November 2017. The initiative, organizers said, will effectively operate as a citizen's campaign to promote understanding of the constitutional convention vote.
Kaiser Family Foundation/Rockefeller Institute Report Highlights Trends in Medicaid Expansion
In a just released report, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Rockefeller Institute of Government of SUNY compared the demographic, fiscal, and economic characteristics of states that have expanded Medicaid and those that have not. To date, 30 states and the District of Columbia have adopted the Medicaid expansion, while the remaining 20 states have rejected expansion or are still debating the issue.
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ACA Implementation Research Network
Twenty-Five Baseline Reports In, with More to Come
The Rockefeller Institute of SUNY, the Brookings Institution, and the Fels Institute of the University of Pennsylvania are coordinating a network of indigenous field researchers in 40 states to analyze the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The Network aims to provide accessible, user-friendly, clear, and objective reports that can assist the public, governments, service providers, and experts in the process of reforming American health care. To date, 25 baseline state reports have been published, along with two regional overview reports on state experiences in the West and the South. More reports will be uploaded soon. To access the reports, go to the link below and click on the map for the states that have issued reports. Other information on this long-term project, including C-SPAN coverage of our recent release of reports on the southern states, is also available.
Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina Reconsidered 10 Years Later
From 2006 through 2008, the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government partnered with the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana to conduct a regional analysis of the recovery from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. The Institute and the Council assembled a network of field researchers from throughout the region to examine how local and state governments, as well as the nonprofit sector, were dealing with the many challenges of recovery. In addition, the Institute drew on the reports and other research to examine the role of the federal system in the recovery. At the 10 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Rockefeller Institute researcher Marc Landy revisits a proposal developed by him and a co-researcher, former Institute Director Richard Nathan, for the establishment of a federal officer in charge to coordinate federal response to major disasters.
Observation News Release
Blinken Report: States Struggling With Slow Fiscal Recovery
Despite the rising U.S. stock market and the fifth year of continuous growth in employment, state and local governments still face enormous fiscal challenges, including slow growth in tax revenues, cuts in most areas of spending, and difficulties in performing essential functions. Conditions will likely be inadequate to restore state government spending cuts, fund infrastructure expansion, pay for growth in Medicaid, and cover insufficiently funded public pensions, making the choices available to states even harder. This is the second of an ongoing series of reports funded by former U.S. Ambassador to Hungary Donald Blinken and his wife, Vera, longtime supporters of the Rockefeller Institute.
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State Policies Have Virtually No Effect on U.S. Organ Donation/Transplantation Rates, Researchers Say
In a new article in the JAMA Internal Medicine, Rockefeller Institute Senior Fellow and Director of Health Policy Studies Erika G. Martin, Ph.D., M.P.H., and co-authors point to the failure of a range of policy approaches now used in all 50 states to significantly increase rates of organ donation. Only where individuals could contribute to a protected state fund for donation promotion activities did there seem to be an improvement in donor commitment. The article points to the need for exploration of new policy designs to help ease this critical national health challenge.
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Institute Seeks Public Involvement with New Edition of NYS Government
The Institute is preparing a third edition of its best-selling textbook on New York State government to reflect major changes since the book was last updated in 2006. New York State Government by Robert B. Ward, first published in 2002, is widely considered the leading text on the subject for citizens, students and government employees. The Institute will use a form of crowdsourcing to invite perspectives and factual information for the new edition.
NYS Government Editing Project
The End of College? Or Science Fiction?
C-SPAN’s BOOK TV featured the Rockefeller Institute’s March 18th forum on Kevin Carey’s much-debated new book, The End of College: Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere. After Carey summarized his manifesto for a fundamental transformation of our higher education system, the Institute’s Ben Wildavsky moderated a spirited discussion among four panelists, including SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher.
State Revenues from Gambling Show Weakness Despite Gambling Expansion
States’ revenues from gambling showed soft growth at 0.6 percent in fiscal 2014, despite expansion of various gambling activities in recent years. In fiscal 2014, revenue collections from lotteries and racinos grew by 0.6 and 1.5 percent, respectively, while revenue collections from casinos declined by 1.4 percent. The expansion of gambling across the nation created stiff competition for certain regions of the nation and heightened rivalry for the same pool of consumers.
The Pew Charitable Trusts and Rockefeller Institute Report on Managing Volatile Tax Collections in State Revenue Forecasts
The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Rockefeller Institute have released a report designed to help policymakers better understand how volatile state taxes affect the accuracy of revenue projections. It examines data from 1987 through 2013 and reveals that predicting how much money state governments will raise has become more difficult than ever. The increase in revenue forecast errors is due largely to the growing volatility of tax collections across the states. From 2000 to 2013, the size of fluctuations in tax revenue rose in 42 states. And although no state can entirely eliminate forecasting errors, this study identifies three ways to help them manage volatility.
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About the Open Health Data, Open Opportunities Workshop
How can releasing millions of data points improve the health of New Yorkers? This interactive workshop brought together researchers and practitioners to explore how open health data can be a viable new resource for health research and developing innovative health interventions.