Press "Enter" to skip to content

$1.1 Trillion in Bonded Obligations Must be Managed Effectively

New Report Proposes Solutions to Prevent States’ Default.

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) today released a first of its kind report entitled “State Bonded Obligations, 2018.”

The report surveys the State Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFRs) of all 50 states and analyzes their bonded liability structures along with total liabilities and liabilities per capita.

While some states have avoided large amounts of debt accumulation by budgeting properly and maintaining healthy budget stabilization funds, many states have taken a different approach and now have unsustainable debt burdens.

The new report details the history of state obligation structures, debt management and past deliberation over state default. It also provides options for policymakers as they examine ideas to restructure state obligations and determine best practices for state financial reforms.

“While the unfunded state pension crisis has started to receive needed scrutiny from taxpayers, investors and elected officials, many states also bear a massive burden of bonded obligations,” said Jonathan Williams, Chief Economist and Vice President of the Center for State Fiscal Reform. “States like Indiana, Wyoming, and Nebraska have prudently avoided crushing debt burdens, while Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts have taken a far riskier path and accumulated massive amounts of bonded obligations. Our report provides unbiased data and comparative analysis to begin a much-needed discussion on the bonded indebtedness of states.”

The top ten and bottom ten states for 2018 for Bonded Obligations are:

States with Most and Least Amount of Bonded Obligations (per capita)

Top Ten

  1. Wyoming
  2. Indiana
  3. Nebraska
  4. Tennessee
  5. Florida
  6. Missouri
  7. Montana
  8. Colorado
  9. Arizona
  10. North Carolina

Bottom Ten

  1. South Carolina
  2. California
  3. Vermont
  4. Washington
  5. New Jersey
  6. Hawaii
  7. Massachusetts
  8. Rhode Island
  9. Connecticut
  10. Alaska

The American Legislative Exchange Council is the largest nonpartisan, voluntary membership organization of state legislators in the United States. The Council is governed by state legislators who comprise the Board of Directors and is advised by the Private Enterprise Advisory Council, a group of private, foundation and think tank members.


For more information contact: Anna Tarnawski – – 973-879-2273

Be First to Comment

%d bloggers like this:
Close Bitnami banner