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CSG South

The South continues to be a hotbed for the auto industry. It might have something to do with the ability for the industry to build lean manufacturing facilities from the ground up, accessibility to a regional cluster and compelling incentive packages to support investments.

CSG South

In recent years rural issues and concerns have achieved renewed significance in the minds of state policy makers. Evidence continues to mount that policymakers see the need for programs to benefit rural communities and citizens, but in times of tight state budgets and calls for fiscal restraint, policymakers wonder if they can afford new programs, projects or initiatives. This paper represents a preliminary report on research in progress. It is intended to show how states are financing rural programs, projects and initiatives.

CSG South

This presentation was given by Sujit CanagaRetna, Senior Fiscal Analyst at the Southern Legislative Conference of The Council of State Governments, at the 2005 Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors annual meeting, on August 21, 2005 in Seattle, Washington.

CSG South

These remarks were given by Jonathan R. Watts Hull, Senior Policy Analyst at the Southern Legislative Conference, to the Oklahoma Rural Task Force to Access Capital and Financing for Business Development on August 16, 2005. They accompanied a presentation entitled Accessing Capital for Rural Economic Development.

CSG South

The multi-layered contributions of the arts and arts-related activities rank among the lesser known and unheralded aspects of contemporary American society. Beyond the intrinsic benefits of the arts—i.e. benefits that serve to enrich an individual’s life experiences, standard of living and learning—recently, advocates have demonstrated the crucial role played by the arts in generating a significant level of economic growth too. In fact, highlighting the substantial private and public economic benefits flowing from a thriving arts environment continues to be a theme often stressed by arts advocates of every stripe across the country. Consequently, the objective of this summary report is to capture elements of this theme by focusing on the 16 states that belong to The Council of State Governments’ Southern office, the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC). This is not the first time that the SLC has featured this topic among its publications, with the most recent effort being in November 2000, and the SLC’s ongoing review of this topic is a reflection of the recognition of its importance to SLC economies and public officials in the South.

CSG South

This list of Notable Rural Development Programs was compiled by Jonathan Watts Hull, Senior Policy Analyst at the Southern Legislative Conference of The Council of State Governments, in August 2005.

CSG South

This presentation was given by Sujit M. CanagaRetna, Senior Fiscal Analyst at The Council of State Governments' Southern Office, the Southern Legislative Conference, as testimony before the Alaska House of Representatives Ways & Means Committee (via Conference Call), July 14, 2005.

CSG South

The severe economic distress of the 1980s produced an interest in state action to help rural citizens and communities. One result of that interest has been the creation of statewide offices and agencies whose primary mission is to study rural concerns and develop policy options to address rural needs.

We are again in an era when interest in such offices is at a peak level. Four state “rural centers” were created in 2004. Another has been created this year in Indiana, and a serious effort in Alabama fell just short of success. The current level of interest led SLC to form a Rural Development Task Force, and the Task Force encourages states to consider establishing such centers. As an aid to such efforts, the Task Force offers these profiles of four rural centers in the South: North Carolina, Louisiana, Maryland and Texas.

CSG South

The current farm bill reauthorization takes place in an environment more heated than any in recent times. Trade and budget concerns combined with growing domestic fiscal policy demands will make the 2007 Farm Bill a very difficult piece of legislation to craft. Public and political engagement in agriculture has declined as the number of Americans living on farms has steadily dropped over the past several decades. This translates into a considerably weaker political position for agriculture as farm policy competes at the table with numerous other sectors of the economy. To make sense of some of the complexities associated with the crafting of the 2007 Farm Bill, this document will explore a few of the major forces shaping the Farm Bill debate.

Systems are battling back utilizing new plan structures, alternative investments, and corporate activism to improve their fiscal positions. The recent recession and current demographic trends have had a serious impact on state-administered public employee retirement systems. This article will present information about the current condition of state-administered public employee retirement systems, the problems they face, and the solutions they are employing.

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