CSG Midwest logo
Moving cattle and pigs from North Dakota to Saskatchewan or from Manitoba to Minnesota has always required a lot of paperwork, but until recently, that didn’t slow the movement of animals between Canada and the United States. Because of the two countries’ highly integrated systems, animals have regularly traveled across the U.S.-Canada border for feeding and slaughter.
But a U.S. policy enacted as part of some recent farm bills appears to be inhibiting this movement. Mandatory country-of-origin labeling, or COOL, requires meat from outside the United States to be labeled — and thus segregated during the production process. These rules began to take effect in 2009.

With passage of this Act, Vermont enacted what observers believe is the first state anti-patent “troll” legislation in the country. Though the law still provides for legitimate claims of patent infringement in accordance with federal law, it will, however, require more detailed allegations in licensing demand letters and it increases the potential cost of making a baseless claim. Under the new law, demand letters must include detailed information about how the Vermont product, service or technology infringes on an existing patent. The demand letter must also allow for a reasonable amount of time for the licensing fee to be paid. The penalty for a bad faith claim is a bond equal to the cost of litigating the claim for the Vermont company. Violators risk being brought into court in violation of state law and the attorney general can also file suit against patent trolls who target Vermont companies without legitimate claims.

This act requires that economic development tax incentives undergo regular and rigorous evaluations including details on the scope, quality and frequency of those reviews and how evaluations should be linked to budget decisions.

What if a middle-skills job—one that requires more education than a high school diploma but less than a four-year degree—could be a ticket to the middle class? It’s possible, experts say, but not enough state policymakers are taking the steps to help ensure the middle can grow. It’s going to take good data, innovative programs and the will to work together, experts say, but growing the middle class can be done.

Econ Piggy

Recently, Inc. surveyed entrepreneurs and executives from 300 fast growing companies about which issues they consider the biggest impediments to U.S. growth. The top answer? Political gridlock in Washington. Fifty-nine percent of survey respondents said political gridlock on Capitol Hill is hampering the economy’s performance. Government regulations came in second at 54 percent and health care costs were third at 50 percent (irrespective of health care reform, which was a separate category and came in at 44 percent of respondents).

Today the EPA released its proposed update to the air quality standards for ground-level ozone.  The proposal lowers the ground-level ozone standard from 75 parts per billion, where it’s been since 2008, to a range of 65 to 70 parts per billion.   EPA estimates most areas will be in compliance with the standard by 2025. 

A revised ozone standard of 70 to 60 parts per billion was recommended by the Clean Air Science Advisory Committee, a scientific panel that advises EPA in setting the national ambient air quality standards...

In December 2013, The Federal Aviation Administration selected six public entities and set a course that will lead to the development of unmanned aircraft systems and the economic,environmental, safety and security benefits that will accompany this research. Congress mandated the test sites to conduct research into the certification and operational requirements required to safely integrate unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace over the next several years.

CSG Midwest logo
With its cluster of farming, industry leaders such as DuPont Pioneer and John Deere, and a large land-grant university, central Iowa is already a hub of economic activity centered on agriculture and bioscience. But state, local, business and university leaders believe the region still has much untapped potential.

Their response: Join together on a new Cultivation Corridor initiative, which creates new partnerships among regional leaders in economic development, education and bioscience and aims to market central Iowa as the home of“science that feeds the world.”

If successful, the initiative will also help grow the entire Iowa economy by drawing new investments to the state and attracting and retaining talent and business.

Last week, the White House launched the second round of the Promise Zone Competition – an initiative which invites high-poverty urban, rural and tribal communities to put forward a plan to partner with local business and community leaders to make evidence-based investments that create jobs, leverage private investment, increase economic activity, expand educational opportunities and reduce violent crime. During the first round, five communities were chosen and fifteen more will be designated by 2016.

According to the American-Statesmen, Tesla has picked Nevada as the site for its new $5 billion “gigafactory” battery plant, which will reportedly create 6,500 direct jobs. Tesla's siting search set off a bidding war among a number of states to offer the most enticing location package, including big bucks for tax and financial incentives. According to the Las Vegas Review JournalNevada will offer Tesla state and local tax breaks and credits worth around $1.3 billion. That includes an elimination of all state and local sales and use taxes until June 2034 and a 100 percent abatement of the real property tax, the personal property tax and the modified business tax until June 2024. Nevada does not have a corporate income tax.

Pages