Economics and Finance

CSG South

This presentation was given by Sujit M. CanagaRetna, Senior Fiscal Analyst at The Council of State Governments' Southern Office, the Southern Legislative Conference, as testimony before the Alaska House of Representatives Ways & Means Committee (via Conference Call), July 14, 2005.

CSG South

The current farm bill reauthorization takes place in an environment more heated than any in recent times. Trade and budget concerns combined with growing domestic fiscal policy demands will make the 2007 Farm Bill a very difficult piece of legislation to craft. Public and political engagement in agriculture has declined as the number of Americans living on farms has steadily dropped over the past several decades. This translates into a considerably weaker political position for agriculture as farm policy competes at the table with numerous other sectors of the economy. To make sense of some of the complexities associated with the crafting of the 2007 Farm Bill, this document will explore a few of the major forces shaping the Farm Bill debate.

CSG South

The severe economic distress of the 1980s produced an interest in state action to help rural citizens and communities. One result of that interest has been the creation of statewide offices and agencies whose primary mission is to study rural concerns and develop policy options to address rural needs.

We are again in an era when interest in such offices is at a peak level. Four state “rural centers” were created in 2004. Another has been created this year in Indiana, and a serious effort in Alabama fell just short of success. The current level of interest led SLC to form a Rural Development Task Force, and the Task Force encourages states to consider establishing such centers. As an aid to such efforts, the Task Force offers these profiles of four rural centers in the South: North Carolina, Louisiana, Maryland and Texas.

This presentation was given by Sujit M. CanagaRetna of the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC), as testimony before a Joint Hearing of the Mississippi Senate & House Finance, Appropriations and Ways & Means Committees at the Mississippi State Capitol in Jackson, Mississippi, April 27, 2005.

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 article, published in Business Xpansion Journal in April 2005, is adapted from a report issued by The Council of State Governments' Southern office, the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC), in October 2003. The article outlines the growing role of the automobile industry in the Southern states and why it continues to be a leading destination for the industry.

CSG South

This article, published in Global Corporate Xpansion Magazine in Spring 2005, is adapted from a report issued by The Council of State Governments' Southern office, the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC), in October 2003. The article outlines the growing role of the automobile industry in the Southern states and why it continues to be a leading destination for the industry.

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

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.

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