4 trillion a year, volcker rule to more than a fifth of the entire US gross domestic product. These spending decisions are appropriate and necessary issues for political debate and decision. The Great Recession and the relatively slow growth of the US economy in recent years have intensified budgetary pressures in many states.
Faced with constitutional, statutory, or customary requirements for annually balanced budgets, a large number of states have been forced to reduce or reallocate spending. The potential to defer or obfuscate in making these adjustments is very real. In this report covering all fifty states over the fiscal years of 2015 through 2017, the Volcker Alliance focuses on five critical areas that explain methods used to achieve budgetary balance, as well as how budgets and other financial information are disclosed to the public. In addition to assigning grades, the Volcker Alliance proposes a set of best budgeting practices for policymakers to follow. Critical to this work has been the cooperation of eleven universities, each with a demonstrably strong interest in public service education and particularly in the management of state and local governments.