State Fiscal Analysis Initiative
Few public policies more directly affect the well-being of America’s low-income children and families—for better or for worse—than government tax and budget decisions. Federal and state policies and programs such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), federal nutrition programs, tax rates, health care, and unemployment insurance all have huge impacts on families’ economic success.
Since 1993, the Casey Foundation has been working with several dozen grantees and funding partners to explore ways to reform the U.S. and state tax systems in order to help struggling working parents in the bottom third of the nation’s families. We and our partners also have collaborated to inform and guide federal and state budget and spending decisions on behalf of these families.
Our State Fiscal Analysis Initiative is rooted in the Casey Foundation’s approach to improving the economic well-being of children and their families. We believe that on-the-ground, place-based efforts at improving families’ economic success—usually at the neighborhood or community scale—must be pursued in conjunction and close coordination with federal and state budget and fiscal policies.
Casey in Action
- At the federal level, our investments were pivotal in the creation of the Tax Policy Center at the Urban Institute, the Budget Center at Brookings, and the Fiscal Policy Center at The New America Foundation.
- At the state level, the State Fiscal Analysis Initiative has grown from 12 states in 1994 to 40 today, covering over 90% of the nation’s children, and including a significant number of state KIDS COUNT organizations.
- Through work supported by our funding state-level EITCs has grown from five states in 1989 to 21 in 2007, with five million low-income families now being helped.
- The number of states that have boosted their state minimum wages has doubled in five years, with over half of all Americans now living in states that mandate higher hourly wages than $5.15.