Session #9

Economic Report for the States
2:50 – 4:05 p.m.   
CPE Field of Study: Economics

PPT Presentation

The fiscal outlook for states has changed dramatically since the beginning of the year. This session will examine the fiscal situation in the states as they entered the pandemic and ensuing economic downturn, and the expected impact the downturn will have on state budgets.

S&P Global Ratings expects COVID-19 and current economic conditions will create challenges for all states, but not all states are facing the same credit conditions.  This session will explore how we incorporate our economic outlook in ratings and highlight emerging risks driving discussions of credit.

GAO’s 2019 State and Local Government Fiscal Outlook Update again suggested the state and local sector will face challenges during the next 50 years—in a pre-COVID-19 world. The current pandemic brought new funding and new challenges as all levels of government reacted to the public health and economic crisis. This presentation will discuss the federal response and oversight of the assistance to state and local governments.


Shelby Kerns is the executive director of the National Association of State Budget Officers in Washington, D.C. She joined NASBO in March 2020.

Prior to coming to NASBO, Kerns served as deputy director at the Idaho Department of Labor, having previously worked in the Idaho Division of Financial Management from 2009-2019. In her prior position as budget bureau chief, she led staff in developing, presenting, and advocating for the governor’s executive budget. As a past member of NASBO, Kerns served for two years on the association’s Executive Committee.

Earlier in her career, Kerns was executive director of the Idaho Rural Partnership, program director at the Idaho Association of REALTORS®, and assistant executive director of the Idaho Wool Growers Association.
Kerns received a master’s degree in business administration from Northwest Nazarene University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Idaho.

Carol Spain is a director in the U.S. Public Finance group at S&P Global Ratings and is based in the Chicago office. Carol is a member of the states and transportation ratings team and started at S&P Global in 2010 in the local government group. She currently serves as the primary analyst for several high profile issuers, including the state of Illinois. In addition, she helps leads S&P Global’s U.S. state ratings team, managing related thought leadership, outreach, training and criteria projects.
Carol is a recipient of the 2016 Bond Buyer Rising Star Award. She is a board member of the Chicago Municipal Analyst Society and currently serves as secretary. She previously served as a board member of the Women in Public Finance Chicago Chapter, serving as education chair in 2016. Carol is a member of the external advisory panel for the Government Finance Research Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Carol attended graduate school at the University of Chicago, where she received her master of public policy degree. She also has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Notre Dame.

Michelle Sager is a director in the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s strategic issues team. She oversees a range of crosscutting governance issues spanning multiple federal agencies as well as state and local governments. Her work includes evidence-based policy, DATA Act implementation, state and local fiscal issues, grants management, and intergovernmental collaboration.


The NASACT Community

NASACT serves as the premier organization working to bring together state auditors, state comptrollers and state treasurers to cooperatively address government financial management issues. NASACT also manages two secretariats - the National State Auditors Association (NSAA) and the National Association of State Comptrollers (NASC). Both NSAA and NASC are included under the umbrella of NASACT’s budget and utilize staff hired by NASACT.