All Research Studies

State Health Plans in Fiscal Austerity: The Challenge of Improving Benefits While Moderating Costs

Like all employers, state and local governments must control health care costs while still offering competitive benefit packages that will attract and retain talented employees. Eight states that have adopted innovative practices to reduce costs and improve employees’ health are featured in this publication, which comes out of a joint Center for Excellence-North Carolina State University symposium that addressed both national trends and a rich variety of lessons learned from state innovations.

Strengthening State and Local Government Finances: Lessons for Negotiating Public Pension Plan Reforms

This report offers lessons from five governments — Iowa, Oregon, Vermont, Gwinnett County (GA), and Houston (TX) — that have reformed their pension plans to make them more fiscally sustainable while still providing retirement security to their employees. It offers lessons for other reform-minded governments, on plan funding and governance, the importance of using good data from experts, communication, governance, and financial education.