Economics and Finance

RESOLVED, that Congress of the United States and the United States Department of Agriculture make the Rural Development title of the Farm Bill reauthorization a priority in terms of both programming and funding.

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments supports and encourages state actions to preserve the pre-eminence of state insurance systems and seeks to educate state elected officials on the potential ramifications of a bifurcated scheme on consumers and state revenues.
 

CSG South

The major objective of this Regional Resource is to provide a broad sketch of how the 16 SLC states are working proactively toward luring the motion picture and television industries to work within their borders. In addition, this Regional Resource sets the stage for why the film industry landscape in the United States recently has become very competitive with states vying aggressively for the business of filmmakers by offering both new and revised financial and other incentives.

CSG South

This report was prepared for The Council of State Governments Financial Services Working Group by Dwight V. Denison, Merl M. Hackbart, Juita-Eleana (Wie) Yusuf, and Jay H. Song of the University of Kentucky's Martin School for Public Policy and Administration.

Rapidly expanding proportions of retail- and business-related payments, traditionally made by cash and check, are now being made electronically through Automated Clearing House (ACH) or using credit or debit cards. Increasingly, the shift to electronic payments is also occurring in the public sector. The principal purpose of this study was to determine current state government acceptance and use of electronic tax and fee payments. Related purposes included an analysis of policies and procedures implemented by the states to more effectively facilitate and manage electronic payment processes.

A vital tool for policymakers across the region, Comparative Data Reports (CDRs) offer a snapshot of conditions on a number of issues. Published annually, the CDRs track a multitude of revenue sources, appropriations levels, and performance measures in Southern states, and provide a useful tool to state government officials and staff. CDRs are available for adult correctional systems, comparative revenues and revenue forecasts, education, Medicaid, and transportation.

CSG South

This presentation by Sujit M. CanagaRetna, Fiscal Policy Manager at the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC), was given as Testimony Before a Hearing of the Georgia Senate Grassroots Arts Program Study Committee at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta, Georgia on November 20, 2006.

The economic impact of the arts is an issue that the SLC has been studying for well over two decades now. The SLC’s ongoing review of this topic and publications is a reflection of the recognition of its importance to SLC economies and public officials in the South. As demonstrated in these reports, a relatively miniscule investment in the arts results in substantially larger financial returns alongside many other benefits. The presentation summarizes a report completed earlier this year, entitled From Blues to Benton to Bluegrass: the Economic Impact of the Arts in the South, the most recent SLC report focusing on the arts in 16 Southern states.

CSG South

This presentation was given by Sujit M. CanagaRetna, Fiscal Policy Manager at the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC), before the SLC Fall Legislative Issues Conference in Savannah, Georgia, November 12, 2006. It deals with a topic that has enormous implications for state finances: under-funded and unfunded state pensions.

CSG South

On December 12, 2005, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) awarded The Council of State Governments’ (CSG) Southern Office, the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC), a grant to determine pension portability among public health employees in the United States. RWJF focuses on the pressing health and healthcare issues facing the United States and is the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and healthcare of all Americans.

In order to meet the requirements of the grant, the SLC conducted a survey of the administrative entities managing the pensions of public health employees in all 50 states to determine their rules and regulations regarding pension portability for this category of public employee. Based on the responses to the survey questionnaire and additional research, the SLC researchers were able to ascertain whether the pension plan in a state permits an employee to purchase service credits for prior periods of qualified employment in another jurisdiction, both in another state and within the state; whether the pension plan is a defined benefit (DB) or defined compensation (DC) plan; the minimum amount of time required for an employee’s pension benefits to be fully vested; the existence of any recent legislative activity related to the portability of retirement plans of public health officials in each state; whether any federal tax laws impact on the pension portability of these public health employees; and the existence of pension portability in other public employment sector categories.

Based on the information gleaned from the survey responses and additional research, this report contains:
» Details on the current status of the different elements of our nation’s retirement infrastructure;
» Information on the public health employee landscape, including a snapshot of current and expected shortages and other workforce challenges facing this employment category;
» Analysis of the survey responses on pension portability from the 50 states;
» Federal tax implications relating to pension portability in the states;
» Information from other non-health, public sector categories on pension portability; and
» Issues for consideration by state policymakers that would help create an environment to retain and attract professionals to the public health sector.

A vital tool for policymakers across the region, Comparative Data Reports (CDRs) offer a snapshot of conditions on a number of issues. Published annually, the CDRs track a multitude of revenue sources, appropriations levels, and performance measures in Southern states, and provide a useful tool to state government officials and staff. CDRs are available for adult correctional systems, comparative revenues and revenue forecasts, education, Medicaid, and transportation.

CSG South

The multilayered contributions of the arts and arts-related activities rank among the lesser known and unheralded aspects of contemporary American society. Beyond the intrinsic benefits of the arts—i.e. benefits that serve to enrich an individual’s life experiences, standard of living and learning—advocates recently have demonstrated the crucial role played by the arts in generating a significant level of economic growth. In fact, highlighting the substantial private and public economic benefits from a thriving arts environment continues to be a theme often stressed by arts advocates of every stripe across the country.

Consequently, the objective of this report* is to capture elements of this theme by focusing on the 16 states that belong to The Council of State Governments’ Southern office, the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC). This is not the first time that the SLC has featured this topic among its publications, with the most recent effort in November 2000, and the SLC’s ongoing review of this topic is a reflection of the recognition of its importance to SLC economies and public officials in the South.

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