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CSG South

On October 22, 2004, the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 was signed into law. The Act, which includes a range of corporate tax cuts, began as a repeal of an export tax break for U.S. corporations that had been deemed to be in violation of the rules of the World Trade Organization in 2003. The final Act became a vehicle for a range of business tax relief along with simplifying international tax law. Tucked away in the legislation is quite possibly the most historically significant part of the bill. Along with reducing the tax rate on corporations repatriating income from overseas operations, the Act contains a buyout for tobacco quota owners and growers.

CSG South

This presentation was given by Sujit M. CanagaRetna of the Southern Legislative Conference before the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors (ACRE) in Columbia, South Carolina, November 13, 2004.

CSG South

The United States spends an enormous amount of money on education. According to the U.S. Department of Education, total public expenditures for K-12 education in 2000 was nearly $373 billion. The United States is at the top of the industrialized world in per pupil expenditures on education. Most of this money—more than 90 percent in most states—is from state and local sources. Education is the single largest categorical expenditure in state budgets throughout the South and, as enrollment has risen, the costs related to educating the nation’s youth have grown. This report summarizes the current school finance systems for the 16-member states of the SLC.

CSG South

Few other topics generate more spirited discourse and disagreement among policymakers than a discussion on devising a comprehensive retirement system to account for the huge number of “baby boomers” scheduled to retire in the next few years. The primary goal of this retirement system would be to sustain participants with adequate benefits for the duration of their retirement years. However, a spate of economic setbacks in the past few years, such as the sputtering stock market, rising deficits at the federal and state levels, rising fears over terror attacks, mounting corporate scandals affecting consumer confidence, dwindling corporate profits resulting in severe cutbacks and a jobless economic recovery, continues to cause stresses in the retirement plans of millions of Americans. Hence, it probably is not a stretch to maintain that an increasing number of Americans, particularly those nearing retirement age, remain extremely apprehensive about their retirement situation in the years ahead.

CSG South

This Southern Legislative Conference Regional Resource examines several key components of the Clean Air Act in relation to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards. In particular, it focuses on state control strategies and compliance in the areas of ozone and particulate matter, as these have had the greatest impact on states’ ability to meet clean air requirements. Additional focus is on the transition between the 1-hour and 8-hour ozone and particulate matter standards. Recent federal actions significantly affecting ozone and particulate matter emissions also are highlighted.

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