Policy Area

A modernized Medicaid system will give states greater flexibility with reduced administrative burden. The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 gives states additional flexibility to provide health insurance coverage among low-income but healthy children and families that reflect the 21st century dynamics in health insurance and increased options for community alternatives rather than being stuck in the assumptions that are now 40 years behind the times.

If there is one thing the past year has taught us, it is to expect the unexpected. No one could have foreseen some of the events our nation has experienced during calendar year  2005—events that have had tremendous impact on citizens and, by default, also on governments. Uncertainty spawned by unpreventable natural occurrences, coupled with longstanding issues faced by state governments, has made this year an interesting one, to say the least. However, state governments continue working to learn from the past and make informed decisions for the future.

While the national economy began to ease its way out of the recession two years after economists declared an end to the debilitating condition, state economic development organizations continued their ardent efforts to further economic development in 2005 as though the recession was still nipping at the nation’s heels. States’ ardent drive for local economic advancement expanded in several areas, from increased efforts to lure filmmakers to developing comprehensive information Web site portals for businesses seeking to relocate.

Governors did seem to concentrate heavily on their education budgets this year, and then on the budgets of other activities that are primary to the mission of state government. Yet threaded through these addresses is a stronger consideration of a multi-pronged and multi-year view of government operations—understanding state education services on a continuum from pre-kindergarten to work force retraining, for instance. Governors are aware of the federal government’s slowing financial support as well as its poor reaction to Katrina and what this means for state coffers.

The clash over cash to corporate projects is headed to the country’s highest court, and is also the subject of a new bill in Congress. What emerges from those two branches of the federal  government may go a long way toward solving state and corporate uncertainty about incentive programs. Details of a case in North Carolina may offer some guidance as to what lies ahead.

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

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.

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