Capitol Comments

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...

Ohio House Bill 86, which overwhelmingly passed the House late last month and enjoys the support of Gov. John Kasich, has been sent to the Senate for consideration and debate.  While the bill aims to reduce the state’s overcrowded prisons during a severe budget crunch, it would also allow Ohio to join the updated Interstate Compact for Juveniles.  Redrafted by CSG’s National Center for Interstate Compacts, the compact is now active in 47 states and governs the extradition and supervision of delinquent juveniles between member states.  The new compact was developed to update the nearly 60 year old Interstate Compact on Juveniles.  Should the remaining three states join the new compact, it would join the Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision as compacts drafted by NCIC to be adopted by all 50 states.  For more information about the Juvenile Compact please click here.

The Rural Physician Scholars Program, a medical school initiative in the state of Mississippi, aims to attract current and future medical school graduates to the practice of medicine in rural Mississippi communities in exchange for scholarship funding.

How should states react to the exponential growth in e-commerce transactions that largely occur without the collection of sales taxes? As states struggle to deal with the sharp drop-off in revenues caused by the Great Recession, the issues related to collecting sales taxes on e-commerce transactions continues to roil state policymakers across the country.