CSG Regions

Vital Moreira, a member of the European Parliament and chairman of its Committee on International Trade, shares his thoughts on what the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership would mean to Europe and the United States. This 12-nation agreement with the trans-Pacific region and with the European Union is one of the trade deals on the table.

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The U.S. Supreme Court has accepted all the cases it will decide during its 2013-14 term. A previous article covered the cases the Court accepted before its term officially began at the beginning of October. This article covers the cases accepted since then. This year’s biggest cases—a challenge to the president’s recess appointment power, a campaign finance case and a challenge to the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate—aren’t as impactful on states as recent cases. Yet, the docket remains interesting to state governments.

February 2014 ~ Stateline Midwest »

In 1977, South Dakota’s state prisons held just 550 inmates. Over the next 35 years, however, that population would multiply six times — and, in the process, drive costs through the roof.
By 2011, the state’s corrections budget was more than $100 million and had quadrupled in 20 years. And the prison population was projected to grow by another 25 percent in 10 years, with costs increasing to the tune of $224 million.
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The chairs of the House and Senate appropriations committees last week unveiled a $1.1 trillion spending package that would fund the federal government for the remainder of the fiscal year.

Agreement on spending bills has been rare over the past decade, but what is even rarer is that the bill cleared the House and Senate with strong bipartisan majorities, and was signed into law by President Obama. In this sense, it is the first time the federal government has been fully funded in four years.

Normally, after Congress...

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The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and the House Energy and Commerce Committee in November held a series of hearings on the impact of patent assertion entities on the economy. Concern has been growing about these entities—businesses that purchase patent rights but then do not actually create innovative products, instead filing lawsuits against other innovators who do. Patent assertion entities send out hundreds and thousands of demand letters to not just large and small businesses, but also to the consumers of products.

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