Economics and Finance

CSG Director of Federal and International Affairs Andy Karellas and Senior Policy Analyst Jack Cobb outline the top five issues in international affairs policy for 2017, including the impacts of macroeconomic policy, global trade, national security, conflicts overseas and global public health.

About one out of every three dollars of state revenue comes from the federal government. But with a new Republican-controlled White House and Congress, the future of that funding is unclear. “There is some uncertainty there. We just don’t know what’s going to happen with federal funding,” said Delaware state Rep. Helene Keeley. “It’s really too soon to tell,” said Brian Sigritz, director of state fiscal studies at the National Association of State Budget Officers. “But from a budgetary perspective, any kind of federal uncertainty can make it difficult for states to do their budget proposals.”

CSG Director of Fiscal and Economic Development Policy Jennifer Burnett outlines the top five issues in fiscal policy for 2017, including fiscal uncertainty, public employee retirement, health care costs, data- and evidence-based decision-making, and labor markets.

CSG Director of Education and Workforce Development Policy Elizabeth Whitehouse and Education and Workforce Development Policy Analyst Donna Counts outline the top five issues in workforce development policy for 2017, including skills and apprenticeships, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act implementation, wages and benefits, occupational licensure and workforce re-entry.

In 2016, The Council of State Governments and the National Conference of State Legislatures assembled a national task force to focus on workforce development efforts targeting people with disabilities in the states. This task force had four subcommittees composed of state policymakers along with non-voting stakeholders from the private sector and academia. The third in a four-part series that coincides with the subcommittee topics, this CSG Capitol Research brief highlights the recommendations from the Hiring, Retention and Reentry, or HRR, Subcommittee of the National Task Force on Workforce Development and Employability for People with Disabilities.

People with disabilities are a major contributing group to the workforce. However, the unemployment rate for those with disabilities is about twice as much as the unemployment rate of the general population. This high rate of unemployment could be reduced by taking the proper steps to provide workers with disabilities the appropriate accommodations to allow them to be successful in the workplace. These accommodations include access to transportation, assistive workplace technologies and other employment supports.

CSG Midwest
In 2015, lawmakers in North Dakota passed legislation (SB 2057) requiring the legislature to undertake an evaluation of 21 of the state’s tax incentive programs at least once every six years. According to Pew’s Business Incentives Initiative, North Dakota is one of 21 states (four in the Midwest; see map at right) that have passed laws since 2012 requiring regular evaluations of tax incentive programs offered by the state.
CSG Midwest
Two state legislatures in the Midwest took actions this past year to encourage private investments in affordable housing. In late 2016, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a law (SB 2921) extending a tax-incentive program that has been in place since 2011. It provides a 50-cent tax credit for every dollar donated to a not-for-profit group that is working to create or preserve housing for low-income residents. Since its inception, Illinois officials say, the tax credit has leveraged more than $370 million in private investment and helped create or preserve over 18,000 affordable housing units.
Nebraska’s LB 884 was signed into law in April 2016.
CSG Midwest
A few months before residents in one of their state’s largest cities were scheduled to vote on a proposed increase in the minimum wage, Ohio lawmakers stepped in to block the ballot initiative. SB 331, signed into law in December, bans all Ohio political subdivisions from “establishing minimum wage rates different from the rate required by state law.”

Workforce Development: 5 Things to Know

1. Employment and Training Administration (ETA) Publishes Guidance on Registered Apprenticeship Provisions and Opportunities in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)
2. ETA Releases Planning Estimate for WIOA Youth, Adult, and Dislocated worker Program Allotments for Program Year 2017
3. US Department of Labor Awards $65 Million to Help Unemployed Workers with Job Searches, Support Integrity of the Unemployment Insurance Program

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