Economics and Finance

Suggested State Legislation: This Act creates the “Nonimmigrant Agricultural Seasonal Worker Pilot Program” in the state department of labor. The purpose of the program is to expedite the federal H-2A Visa certification process to enable eligible workers to come to the state legally to meet the staffing needs of farmers and ranchers in the state.

Suggested State Legislation: According to a Florida legislative bill analysis, Florida Chapter 2008-66 makes major changes to state insurance law.

Suggested State Legislation: Rhode Island Chapter 08-165 requires analysis and documentation of how certain financial incentives offered by the state to promote economic development impact the state economy. Generally, such incentives are offered through an economic development corporation, the state Distressed Areas Revitalization Act, state Jobs Development Act, a state Mill Building and Economic Revitalization Act, and the state Motion Picture Production Tax Credits program.

Suggested State Legislation: This Act requires a mortgagee, trustee, beneficiary, or authorized agent to wait 30 days after contact is made with the borrower, or 30 days after satisfying due diligence requirements to contact the borrower, as specified, before filing a notice of default.

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments supports and encourages state actions to preserve the preeminence of state-regulated insurance systems and seeks to alert and educate state officials about the continuing efforts to preempt state regulatory authority with a movement toward an optional federal charter.
 

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments encourages Congress to amend the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act to:

1. Apply UMRA’s cost estimation requirements to legislation that alters the conditions for receiving already existing federal grant assistance such as Medicaid and federal grants under the No Child Left Behind Act.

2. Expand the scope of cost estimates to include indirect costs imposed by new legislation and rule making such as lost revenue.

3. Remove the exception for mandates issued by independent regulatory agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

4. Remove the current exception for urgent federal regulations issued without prior notice by requiring cost estimates to be issued for such urgent rule making decisions within six months after their adoption.
 

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments opposes the State Video Tax Fairness Act of 2007 (H.R. 3679) and;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that CSG calls upon the Congress to resist this unjustified interference into state efforts to create a tax neutral choice for consumers; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be sent to all members of the 111th Congress and the 44th President of the United States.

Suggested State Legislation: Pharmacy Benefits Managers (PBMs) are businesses that administer and manage prescription drug benefit plans either through health insurance products or separately. Approximately 95 percent of all patients with prescription drug coverage receive benefits through a PBM. In recent years, concerns have been raised by consumer organizations and states regarding the business practices of PBMs.

CSG South

The multi-faceted contributions of the arts and arts-related activities have not fully grasped the attention of a broad cross-section of American society. To many Americans, the arts are considered the enclave of a few high-profile cultural institutions and their elite patrons. To the contrary, beyond the intrinsic benefits of the arts—i.e., benefits that serve to enrich an individual’s life experiences, standard of living and learning—there is substantial research on the crucial role played by the arts in generating a significant level of broad-based economic growth in practically every corner of the country. Public funding for the arts suffers considerably during an economic downturn as governments cut back on spending but research demonstrates that a relatively miniscule legislative appropriation to the arts leads to economic flows that far exceed this investment.

CSG South

Declining tax revenues and increasing costs of operations combined with recent turbulence on Wall Street have plunged state finances into turmoil. For schools, which receive much of their revenue from property taxes, the long and precipitous drops in housing prices and turmoil in the mortgage sector have caused further budgetary pressure. In light of these events, many states have reduced already conservative revenue projections and reassessed their approved budgets. In the face of budget shortfalls, states across the region are reviewing their spending plans for the current fiscal year to determine where cuts can be made.

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