Policy Area

Although relatively few state constitutional amendments were considered in 2005, several developments attracted significant attention, including the defeat of electoral-reform initiatives in Ohio and California, the passage of same-sex marriage bans in Kansas and Texas, the nationwide movement to respond to the U.S. Supreme Court’s eminent domain ruling in Kelo v. City of New London by considering additional statutory and constitutional protections for property rights, and the decision by Colorado voters to suspend for five years a Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights (TABOR) provision that is the strictest tax and expenditure limitation in the country.

The use of 311 and similar mechanisms of non-emergency call management systems has emerged as a viable alternative for increasing citizen access to government, and improving government responses to the issues of greatest concern to citizens. This article describes the state of best practices for 311 systems and suggests ways to extend those successes throughout state and local government. Improving technology allows the exploration of widespread adoption and integration with other systems. Challenges and alternatives of designing and offering a 311 system are provided as recommendations to assist public managers in decision-making.

A vital tool for policymakers across the region, Comparative Data Reports (CDRs) offer a snapshot of conditions on a number of issues. Published annually, the CDRs track a multitude of revenue sources, appropriations levels, and performance measures in Southern states, and provide a useful tool to state government officials and staff. CDRs are available for adult correctional systems, comparative revenues and revenue forecasts, education, Medicaid, and transportation.

A vital tool for policymakers across the region, Comparative Data Reports (CDRs) offer a snapshot of conditions on a number of issues. Published annually, the CDRs track a multitude of revenue sources, appropriations levels, and performance measures in Southern states, and provide a useful tool to state government officials and staff. CDRs are available for adult correctional systems, comparative revenues and revenue forecasts, education, Medicaid, and transportation.

A vital tool for policymakers across the region, Comparative Data Reports (CDRs) offer a snapshot of conditions on a number of issues. Published annually, the CDRs track a multitude of revenue sources, appropriations levels, and performance measures in Southern states, and provide a useful tool to state government officials and staff. CDRs are available for adult correctional systems, comparative revenues and revenue forecasts, education, Medicaid, and transportation.

A vital tool for policymakers across the region, Comparative Data Reports (CDRs) offer a snapshot of conditions on a number of issues. Published annually, the CDRs track a multitude of revenue sources, appropriations levels, and performance measures in Southern states, and provide a useful tool to state government officials and staff. CDRs are available for adult correctional systems, comparative revenues and revenue forecasts, education, Medicaid, and transportation.

CSG South

If, as is often suggested, fresh food is a key component in improving school lunches, then connecting farms to schools represents a logical solution to the child nutrition problem. Farm to school programs promote the use of locally produced foods in school nutrition programs and often include educational activities about local food and farming issues. Farm to school programs also can increase fresh fruit and vegetable options available to students, and have been shown to increase consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables among participating students.

CSG South

The multilayered 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—advocates recently have demonstrated the crucial role played by the arts in generating a significant level of economic growth. In fact, highlighting the substantial private and public economic benefits 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 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 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

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.

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