CSG Research & Expertise in the News: Federal Highway Plans; State Taxes; Criminal Justice

CSG Research & Expertise in the News: 7/3-7/9, 2011

The following compilation features published news stories during the week of July 3-9 that highlight experts and/or research from The Council of State Governments. For more information about any of the experts or programs discussed, please contact CSG at (800) 800-1910 and you will be directed to the appropriate staff.  Members of the press should call (859) 244-8246.

Senate, House Highway Plans Are Miles Apart
July 7, 2011

U.S. Rep. John Mica released his vision for a highway bill Thursday that is wildly different from that proposed by his Senate counterpart, setting up a lengthy debate about the future of transportation funding.

In the coming months, the chambers will have to bridge major differences between the plans – amounting to four years of authorization and $20 billion in annual spending – or else Congress will have to continue to issue more temporary spending bills for the surface transportation programs. The previous long-term, surface transportation bill, SAFETEA-LU, expired in 2009. The country has been operating on short-term bills ever since. More...

Higher state tax collections
July 5, 2011

Recent state tax collection reports looked positive. The New York Times reported that Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Texas all reported higher tax collections than expected, and that tax collectors in California reported that the state was on track to collect $6.6 billion more this year and next year than had been projected. More...

Unequal crack cocaine penalties cleaned up as cost balances anti-crime pressure
Cleveland Plain Dealer
July 3, 2011

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- For more than a decade, Ohio lawmakers, faced with political pressure, failed to correct one of the most glaring inequalities in the criminal-justice system: penalties for crack versus those for powder cocaine. More...