Welcome to The Council of State Governments' Economic Summit of the States. As the nation's only nonpartisan, netural convener of state government officials from all three branches, CSG has planned this Economic Summit to provide a platform for state legislators, key legislative staff, state executive branch officials, state judicial officials and private-sector partners to exchange ideas and insights, develop creative solutions, and consider how to transform state government and the economies of the states.
On Tuesday, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released its report: “Reaching Zero: Actions to Reduce Alcohol-Impaired Driving.” A call to action, the report issued recommendations to curb the 10,000 alcoholrelated yearly highway deaths. The easy take-away from the press release was the call for states to reduce their .08 Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) DUI laws to .05 as it is in much of the developed world. Currently, all states define driving at or above .08 BAC as a crime.
This recommendation drew a great deal of press coverage; however, the report also calls for expansion of some other policies which didn’t necessarily make the headlines but that may prove to be far more politically palatable.
Yesterday, the Obama Administration announced a new rule from the Department of Interior to regulate the process of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, on federal lands. The relaunch of the rule was made after Interior pulled back its original proposal in 2012 after receiving 177,000 public comments. According to an Interior press release, the updated draft proposal will be subject to a new 30-day public comment period on the notice of proposed rulemaking.
State personal income continued to increase in 2012, growing by 3.5 percent over 2011. That growth rate was slower, however, than in 2011, when income grew by 5.2 percent over 2010. Personal income grew the most in North Dakota in 2012—by an impressive 12.4 percent—while personal income fell slightly in South Dakota—the only state to have negative growth over the period—falling by 0.2 percent.