The U.S. Export-Import Bank may receive a new breath of life after a small group of Republicans joined Democrats in filing a discharge petition Oct. 9 to force a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives that would renew the bank’s charter.

Research institutions are a key ingredient to innovation and long-term economic growth, and the United States has a long history of being a global leader.

CSG Midwest

In the final weeks of this year’s legislative session, Minnesota Rep. Bob Barrett worked successfully to secure $100,000 in state funds for a city in his home district. The money, which came from an existing economic development program, aims to help the city lower taxes and be more competitive within the state, as well as with neighboring Wisconsin. But as Barrett’s appropriations request made its way to final passage, he had to answer questions from colleagues. What will prevent you, the Minnesota Senate chair asked Barrett during conference committee, from coming back next year and requesting even more money? “If this money doesn’t do what it’s intended to do, then I won’t be coming back,” Barrett told fellow legislators. “But if it works, and we [create] new jobs, new businesses, new property taxes in my area, that would be telling you that it was money well spent, and I will be coming back and asking for more.”

CSG Midwest
Even without a new Trans-Pacific Partnership, U.S. agriculture producers have deep ties to the 11 other countries involved in the potentially historic new trade deal.
About 45 percent of the nation’s farm exports already have these nations as their destination, and as the U.S. Congress decides whether to approve the TPP, one of the deciding factors could be this: Will this deal open up key foreign markets even further, for the benefit of the nation’s farmers and ranchers?

In late October, outgoing Speaker of the House John Boehner of Ohio announced his intention to “clean the barn” as much as possible before his successor took the gavel. In keeping his promise, Boehner succeeded in brokering a bipartisan, two-year budget deal to avoid a government shutdown and prevent a government default on its debt. To offset the increased spending caps for defense and discretionary programs, the budget deal included cost-saving provisions for certain programs, some of which—including the following—will have an impact on state governments.

More than 40 states considered legislation in 2015 aimed at allowing or regulating rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft. While many of these bills served to enforce standards already in place at these companies, others add additional requirements. During this free eCademy webcast, Dr. Kim Staking of California State University reviews the 2015 legislative, regulatory and insurance landscape for rideshare companies and look at what may lie ahead in 2016. A follow-up to a June webinar, this webcast is part of a collaboration between CSG and the Griffith Insurance Education Foundation to inform state officials on these issues, while maintaining a commitment to an unbiased, nonpartisan and academic approach to programming.

State-supported export promotion and foreign direct investments are now a key ingredient to state economic development strategies as state leaders recognize the importance of global markets in the creation of domestic jobs. States support international trade and investment by maintaining or contracting for overseas international trade offices that promote the state’s trade interests and facilitate trade and investment with potential international partners.1 The number of state overseas trade offices has fluctuated over the years.

The U.S. recently concluded a free trade agreement with countries along the Pacific Rim. It’s the largest and most ambitious free trade agreement of its kind and is estimated to generate thousands of new jobs in America. State trade offices are taking the lead to ensure that small businesses know how to take advantage of the opportunities that this agreement brings.

Last week, after Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger announced that a cash flow problem caused by a deadlock in the state’s budget negotiations would force Illinois to delay its November pension payment, Fitch Ratings--one of the “Big Three” credit rating agencies--lowered the state’s bond rating. For many states, pension reform has been achieved only after long, and often contentious, battles across all three branches of government. To help state leaders better understand how their fellow policymakers are tackling pension concerns, CSG will host a public pension and retirement security policy academy on Thursday, Dec. 10, in conjunction with the CSG 2015 National Conference in Nashville, Tenn. The session will begin with Pensions 101, an overview of pension and retirement security issues facing states.

Higher education R&D spending is funded by a variety of sources, the largest of which is the federal government, which funded 59 percent of spending in 2013, followed by funding from the institutions themselves, which equaled 22 percent. State and local government spending made up 5.5 percent of total R&D spending. During The Triple Helix session at the CSG 2015 National Conference in Nashville, Tenn., experts from government, academia and the private sector will discuss how best to collaborate in developing a long-term strategy to grow the economy.