Association for University
Business and Economic Research

A national association of regional
economic research centers

State Fiscal Stimulus: How Are Unanticipated Revenue Surpluses Helping States? -Thursday, April 1, 2 PM Eastern

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As 2020 drew to a close, the federal government had approved over $3 trillion in stimulus funding (equivalent to about 15% of GDP) and the Federal Reserve increased its balance sheet by $3 trillion (near 75%) in response to the COVID-19 recession. After extended negotiation in Congress, an additional $1.9 trillion in federal fiscal relief will soon hit the US economy.

A number of states began to consider state-sponsored stimulus programs as the initial round of federal funding began to wane in the fall of 2020, amidst uncertainty about magnitude and type of additional federal support and a retrenching of the economy. Among other policies, these programs include boosting unemployment benefits, providing businesses with emergency loans, and making targeted infrastructure investments. While states are constrained by balanced budgets, some states have found capacity for these stimulus programs in unexpected revenue surpluses after early-pandemic spending cuts. There is debate about the capacity for and efficacy of local stimulus.

Join this roundtable to hear expert insights on the current state of state budgets, lessons learned from the Great Recession, and how these policies are playing out at the state level.


Kate Watkins
Chief Economist, Colorado State Legislature
Kate Watkins is the Chief Economist for the Colorado state legislature’s nonpartisan research agency, Legislative Council Staff. Kate leads a team of economists who provide economic, revenue, and caseload forecasts as well as fiscal policy and equity impact analyses. These analyses inform the state budget and legislative decision making in Colorado. In the past, Kate served as a regional economist at the Denver Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, and as a consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton, where she provided economic and business analysis for various federal government agencies. Kate holds a PhD from Cornell University, with research concentrations in economic and fiscal sociology. She also holds a Master of Arts in Global Finance, Trade, and Economic Integration from the University of Denver, Korbel School of International Studies.
Jason Saving
Senior Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
Jason Saving is a public finance and regional economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. In this position, he conducts research on issues including tax reform, regional migration, income inequality and the interplay between political polarization and fiscal policy. His articles have appeared in scholarly journals such as Economic Inquiry, Southern Economic Journal and the National Tax Journal. Saving has also written policy-relevant articles on state and local fiscal issues that impact Texas and the Eleventh Federal Reserve District. A recurring theme of his articles is that public policy decisions have important consequences for equity and economic efficiency. Saving holds a BA in mathematical economic analysis from Rice University and MA and PhD degrees in economics from the California Institute of Technology. He has taught economics and business courses at George Mason University, the University of Texas at Dallas and Baylor University’s executive MBA program in Dallas.
Kathryn Vesey White
Director of Budget Process Studies, National Association of State Budget Officers
Kathryn Vesey White is Director of Budget Process Studies at NASBO. In this role, she tracks changes in budget and financial management practices and authors the semi-annual Fiscal Survey of States report. She also produces NASBO’s Budget Processes in the States report. In addition, White monitors state budget developments in areas including K-12 education, higher education, and economic development, and conducts ongoing research on the use of performance data and evidence in state budgeting and management. Prior to joining NASBO, White served as a research associate for The George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center. She also spent two years with Deloitte’s federal consulting practice. White is a graduate of Georgetown University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in English. She also holds a Master of Public Policy degree from The George Washington University, where she concentrated her studies in budgeting and public finance.
March 29, 2021

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