Fiscal Policy Databases


Fiscal data

NCSL provides searchable databases on fiscal issues, including a recently released State Actions to Close Budget Shortfalls in Response to COVID-19 Database. Other databases include Tax Incentive Evaluations, State Tax Actions and Pension Legislation.

State Actions on Coronavirus Relief Funds 

To ease the financial strain of state spending on COVID-19 mitigation and response measures, the federal government passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which included $150 billion in direct assistance for state governments, local, and tribal governments.  These funds are known as the Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF). Each state received a minimum allocation of $1.25 billion. Local governments with a population of at least 500,000 were eligible for direct payments. 

To illustrate the ways states are utilizing its CRF allocation, the National Conference of State Legislatures created a database detailing CRF actions. This database brings up-to-date, real-time information in the 50 states.

Using NCSL's Power Bi database, you can search actions by state and category. 

NCSL Contacts: Mandy Rafool and Emily Maher

State Actions to Close Budget Shortfalls in Response to COVID-19 Database

State revenue collections across the country have plummeted as commerce has slowed down to curb the spread of COVID-19. As a result, states across the country are facing major budget shortfalls. To illustrate the actual implications of these budget gaps, the National Conference of State Legislatures has created a new database detailing budget-cutting and revenue-increasing measures states are taking to close the gaps. The database brings you up-to-date, real-time information in the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Using NCSL's Power Bi database, you can search actions by state, budget cuts, and revenue increases.

NCSL Contacts: Mandy Rafool and Emily Maher

COVID-19 Legislative Tracking Database

NCSL brings you up-to-date, real-time information about bills related to and responding to COVID-19 that have been introduced in the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

You can search legislation starting in 2020 by state, topic, keyword, year, status or primary sponsor using the state legislation database below. You can further analyze this legislation using NCSL’s Power BI state legislation data visualization.

COVID-19 topics included in the database and the data visualization include, but are not limited to, budgeting and revenue, child welfare, commerce, criminal justice, education, elections, employment, finance, health access and coverage, housing and homelessness, labor and retirement, legislative operations, public health, workforce and more.

NCSL Fiscal Affairs Contacts: Erica MacKellar and Emily Maher (Budgets, Revenue, and Economic Development). Heather Morton (Finance and Commerce).

State Tax Incentive Evaluations Database

State tax incentives continue to be on state legislative agendas and more and more lawmakers have expressed interest in having information on the effect of incentives. As a result, states are starting to gather data and use evidence to systematically evaluate tax incentives.

To illustrate what sort of evaluations states are conducting, NCSL, with the generous support of The Pew Charitable Trusts, created a database of state tax incentive evaluations. Evaluations published since the start of 2008 are included and more reports will be added over time.

NCSL Contacts: Mandy Rafool and Emily Maher

State Tax Actions Database

In the first quarter of each year, NCSL releases its annual State Tax Actions report.The latest report showed net revenue changes were minimal and the largest net tax change was a net increase in motor fuel taxes of $2.5 billion. All tax categories saw tax increases, except for personal and corporate income taxes. 

To illustrate what tax actions states are taking, NCSL put together a database detailing the states’ tax changes. The database includes all actions enacted from 2015 through 2019.

NCSL Contact: Emily Maher

Pension Legislation Database

Current legislation on pensions and retirement topics is available in a searchable database. You can search 2012-2018 pensions and retirement bills by topic, primary author, state, bill number, status or keyword. Pension and retirement topics include: 

  • Contribution Rates and Funding Issues
  • Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs)
  • Deferred Retirement Option Plans (DROPs)
  • Defined Benefit Plan Changes
  • Defined Contribution, Cash Balance and Hybrid Plans
  • Divestiture
  • Ethics, Forfeiture of Benefits and Privacy
  • Governance and Investment Policy
  • Military Service Credit
  • Measures Affecting Various Classes of Public Workers (Judicial, Elected Officials, Public Safety, Teachers)
  • Pension and Retirement Studies
  • Purchase of Service Credit
  • OPEB Issues (Retiree Health Benefits)
  • Re-employment after Retirement
  • State-facilitated Retirement Savings Programs (Private Sector)
  • Taxation of Retirement Income

The database was last updated in November 2018. New measures are added as they are introduced or identified by NCSL staff.

Bills may appear twice in carry-over states. In these states, please check the last date of action to ensure the status of the bill reflects the appropriate year.

This database is made possible by the generous support of The Pew Charitable Trusts.

NCSL Contact: Luke Martel