Capitol Comments

In order to get the new SLIMPACT Commission up and running in July, The Council of State Governments (CSG), the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL), and the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) will be hosting a series of conference calls beginning Friday, June 24. The purpose of the Webinars is to review and tentatively approve draft SLIMPACT bylaws, and an initial draft rule to adopt, amend, and repeal Commission rules.   The draft bylaws and rule, which can be found by clicking here, are based on the Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Compact (IIPRC), much as SLIMPACT itself was based on the IIPRC structure. 

I’ve written before about how many suggest that future funding for transportation could and should be based on performance measures (see here and here). Now the Bipartisan Policy Center’s National Transportation Policy Project is just out with a new report that offers their recommendations on how to incorporate them into the decision-making process.

Weeks after college commencement ceremonies, this is a time when many young adults are polishing their resumes and asking themselves, “OK, I have my diploma, now what?” The search for jobs may lead them to careers within the states where they attended college, but in many cases recent graduates will join the exodus to find work someplace else.

In an effort to encourage in-state graduates of Connecticut colleges to put down roots and stay at home, the Connecticut legislature this month adopted HB 6525. One provision of the bill is dubbed “Learn Here, Live Here.” It allows Connecticut residents who graduate from in-state colleges to set aside up to $2,500 annually from their state income tax liability for up to 10 years and deposit the funds into a first-time homebuyer’s account. That money can be withdrawn to use as a down payment on a house. After purchasing their homes, the graduates would have to live in Connecticut for at least five years or would be required to repay a percentage of the funds.

It would be easy for one to assume that, as in most states, Texans’ chief concern might be the economy. Or perhaps given its proximity to Mexico, Texans are feeling just a little more uneasy about immigration than any other issues. However, an independent poll released June 14 concludes education has emerged as the highest priority in Texas.

He felt it was the only decision he could make.  He stepped down as the district’s number-one administrator in hopes of helping his cash-strapped budget.

Medora Community Schools Corp. Superintendent John Reed resigned Wednesday after his school board accepted his resignation.  This small, 270-student rural school district is facing cuts mandated by the Indiana legislature.  “I told the board that to maintain your programs – all that you offer the kids – the only thing that’s logical is that you do something at the administrative level.  And that’s when I gave them my resignation,” said Superintendent Reed. 

Despite the efforts of Governor Perdue to keep a $19.7 billion budget offered by the state GOP, Republican leaders, with the help of five Democrats in the House, were able to override the veto. The two year budget will take effect July 1, eliminating temporary taxes and reduce the sales tax from 7.75 to 6.75 percent.

In a statement issued by Gov. Perdue, she states “this budget is shortsighted and irresponsible. It cuts a full...

Oregon Attorney General John Kroger has been soliciting support for Senate Bill 40. If passed, this bill will punish charities by stripping them of their tax-deductible status from donations to charities that spend less than 30 percent of their money, averaged over three years, on programs and services.

For example, Kroger wants to target charities operating in Oregon such as Shiloh International Ministries which raises $900,000 a year in donations but spends less than 4 percent on programs and services. The state would...

The Tax Foundation estimates that states spent almost $6 billion beteween 2000-2010 to attract the motion picture industry.  The trends are eye catching.  In 2000, four states offered incentives to film makers, worth about $3 million.  By the beginning of 2010, those numbers rocketed to 40 states and almost $1.4 billion in subsidies, according to Tax Foundation estimates.  During the year, three more states climbed on board, bringing the total number offering film production incentives in 2010 to 43, per a tally from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP).    

Amidst tight budgets and mixed results, however, some states are reining in their efforts to court Hollywood.   

This week 29 Republican governors have written a letter to Congressional leaders asking for more flexiblity within the Medicaid program. These governors are dissatisfied that the Obama administration and Congress have limited states' options to control Medicaid budgets.

Rhode Island Governor Chaffee signed L3C Legislation into law on June 13, 2011 with the legislation to be effective July 1, 2012. HB 5279 was sponsored by Rep. Christopher Blazejewski.

In April, Blazejewski stated that “With many students graduating from our colleges and universities with a focus on entrepreneurship and community service, Rhode Island is well-positioned to become the Silicon Valley of the social venture movement,” said Representative Blazejewski (D-Dist. 2, Providence, East Providence). “As a tool for...