Tools to Help States Manage Their Debt

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Tools to Help States Manage Their Debt

Now is a critical time for state policymakers to learn the nuances of debt management. Interest rates are at historic lows, state infrastructure demands are growing, and state revenues are struggling to keep pace with spending. Yet, many states do not conduct adequate debt affordability studies. This finding and more is available in the new 50-state report, “Strategies for Managing State Debt," which was released on June 6, 2017, by The Pew Charitable Trusts. The report examines states’ use of debt affordability studies, or documents analyzing total state debt, which states use in deciding how much, if any, additional debt they can afford. Pew found that nearly half the states do not publish a debt affordability study, while those who do could all improve their studies.

NCSL will host a webinar for state officials to explore issues such as how to think about the affordability of state debt, the benefits of debt affordability studies, and what debt liabilities fall under a state’s responsibility. Participants will hear about other states’ experiences with debt management including how to develop a debt affordability study, incorporating the result of debt affordability studies into policymaking, and accounting for types of debt that are frequently overlooked.

View the Webinar

PowerPoint Presentation


  • Senator Daniel Da Ponte, Rhode Island
  • General Treasurer Seth Magaziner, Rhode Island
  • Anthony Sammons, fiscal staff director, Oklahoma State Senate
  • Adam Levin, senior associate, The Pew Charitable Trusts


This webinar is made possible with the generous support of The Pew Charitable Trusts.