Top 5 in 2016: Federal Instability Trickles Down

Federal Instability Trickles Down: As the federal appropriations process remains largely dysfunctional, that volatility and instability will continue to affect states negatively. Federal dollars made up 30 percent of state revenue in fiscal year 2013—a decline after reaching a peak of 35.5 percent in fiscal 2010 after the Great Recession. However, Congress has not approved all 12 appropriations bills on time since 1996, and it has relied on the use of stopgap continuing resolutions, also known as CRs, and omnibus bills to provide federal appropriations. That causes significant uncertainty, making it difficult for state and local governments to manage fiscal resources and strategically plan.