Which SLC member states have implemented a State Energy Plan?
Typically, a governor or legislature initiates the state energy planning process through an executive order or enabling legislation that requires either a one-time planning event or a cyclical process that ensures revision, review, and evaluation of the plan at regular intervals. Executive orders and legislation generally offer a timeframe for a state energy plan’s development (e.g., three months to one year), as well as an outlook for the plan (e.g., 5, 10, or 20 years). In its 2011 analysis, the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) found that 23 of 39 plans were initiated through state legislation or executive order, which granted authority for the creation of the state energy plan and/or planning process.
The majority of state energy plans are required to be reviewed and updated every two years and are developed within three months to one year.
State energy plans that are required or integrated within state executive and/or legislative policy help give the plan “teeth”, or the appropriate authority and influence, thereby ensuring that the plan is the state's broadly accepted energy framework.
The state energy office typically determines the overarching scope and objectives for the plan. This sets the stage for the energy planning process and the overall purpose for the plan (e.g., diversify the state’s energy portfolio, create jobs, promote the use of in-state energy resources).
A majority ‐ 23 ‐ of the states with an energy plan as of late 2011 relied on the state energy office as the lead in outlining, drafting, and finalizing the plan, according to NASEO’s analysis. Of the 13 states with a team of selected stakeholders, six included the state energy office in that group among other key stakeholders. Five states had plans authored by the governor and two had plans developed by the public utility commission.
A governor may come into leadership with an energy strategy developed during his or her candidacy that could serve as the state energy office’s foundation for a state energy plan. On the other hand, the legislature may determine that an energy plan could help the state address energy prices, supplies, and other changing needs in the energy sector.
SLC States Dominate Site Selection Magazine's 2014 Top State Business Climate Rankings
The 2014 Site Selection magazine's top state business climate rankings were released recently and most impressively, 9 of the top 10 states belong to the Southern office of The Council of State Governments (CSG), the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC). Site Selection, a source of information for economic planning decision-makers both nationally and internationally, ranked Georgia the state with the top business climate in the country (a ranking the state secured in 2013 also) for a host of reasons, including the state's Quick Start workforce training program, logistics infrastructure and economic development leadership. Louisiana was another SLC state that performed admirably in 2014, vaulting from sixth place in 2013 to second this year in the magazine's overall rankings. In probing the most important factors that drive company location decisions, Site Selection highlighted several attributes that many SLC states have focused on expanding in recent years, including transportation infrastructure, ease of permitting and regulatory procedures and existing workforce skills.
For more details on the 2014 Site Selection rankings and review process, please visit http://www.siteselection.com/issues/2014/nov/cover.cfm.
At the 64th annual meeting of the SLC in Charleston, South Carolina, Mr. Adam Bruns, Managing Editor, Site Selection Magazine was a featured speaker at the SLC's Economic Development, Transportation and Cultural Affairs Committee. For a copy of his presentation, please visit Adam Bruns, Managing Editor - Site Selection Magazine, Georgia.
For information related to economic development trends in the SLC states, please contact Sujit M. CanagaRetna, Fiscal Policy Manager and Staff Liaison to the SLC's Economic Development, Transportation and Cultural Affairs Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What percentage of SLC member state employee health insurance premiums is contributed by the employer and employee?
The Pew Charitable Trust reports that between 1992 and 2012, the cost of insuring employees and their dependents doubled. To account for these rising costs, many states have had to reevaluate employee health benefits. The result has been a reduction in services provided, an increase in employee out-of-pocket expenses, or a combination of the two. The State Employee Health Plan Spending report, published by PEW in August 2014, represents one of the first times that state employee health plan data has been analyzed to offer some level of state-by-state comparison.
The following table shows how the SLC states compared on employee and employer contribution percentages in 2013. Each percentage represents the average contribution rate across all tiers of state health insurance plans. While most SLC states had a four-tier health plan structure in 2013, some state plans were divided into as few as two or as many as six tiers. The employer premium numbers represent the average percent of the total premium state employers contributed across all employee plans and all tiers in 2013.
(click on headers to sort by column)
|State/Region||Average Premium Contribution ‐ Employee Only||Average Premium Contribution ‐ Employee + Dependents||Average Employer Premium Contribution |
SLC State Actions on Suspect Guardrails
Over a dozen states, including five states (Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Texas and Virginia) belonging to the Southern Office of The Council of State Governments (CSG), the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC), have recently banned the use of the ET-Plus rail head, the flat piece of steel at the front of a guardrail that is meant to glide along the rail on impact and push the railing safely out of the way from a vehicle. Transportation experts have concluded that the rail heads could possibly contain a dangerous defect that could lead them to jam, causing guardrails to pierce vehicles.
For additional details on state actions related to these suspect guardrails, please see the following:
Federal Government Awards $450 Million in Workforce Development Grants to States
Public and private sector officials alike realize that comprehensively training America’s workers for available positions in a number of emerging fields remains a critical ingredient in advancing our economy at the state, regional and national levels. In an effort to recruit and train workers to staff the sophisticated 21st century manufacturing jobs in many parts of the country, states are actively providing workforce training programs to their residents. The economic development agencies in a number of states belonging to the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC), the Southern office of The Council of State Governments, place a great deal of emphasis on these training support programs and work closely with their community college system and their corporate partners to ensure that students receive the most up-to-date and wide-ranging training to staff these demanding positions. The SLC has been closely tracking the issue of state efforts to advance workforce development for several years in multiple ways: publications, Webinars and presentations.1
In a significant boost to these state efforts, in late September 2014, the federal government announced the awarding of $450 million in job-driven training grants that would be disbursed to nearly 270 community colleges across the country, a process that will be co-administered by the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Education.2 The grants are designed to provide community colleges and other eligible institutions of higher education with funds to partner with employers to expand and improve their ability to deliver education and career training programs that will help job seekers get the skills they need for in-demand jobs in industries like information technology, healthcare, energy, and advanced manufacturing.
Trends Related to Funding Transportation in the States
On September 10, 2014, Sujit CanagaRetna, Fiscal Policy Manager at the SLC was invited to testify before the Louisiana Transportation Task Force. After his testimony, members of the Task Force requested that he provide information to the following questions:
Question 1: Additional details on Louisiana’s Interstate and Highway Lane Miles as presented in the Louisiana page of the 2014 SLC Comparative Data Report on Transportation (Quick Facts ‐ Chapter 2).
Response: As mentioned during the testimony, the SLC’s Comparative Data Reports are prepared annually by legislative staff in four different SLC states. The Transportation report is prepared by staff with the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission. When contacted, the staffer that prepares the report and he indicated that the information on the lane miles was obtained from the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Highway Statistics Series, 2012, table HM 60:
The 129,759 in total highway lane miles listed for Louisiana in the SLC Comparative Data Report matches the number contained in the FHWA source document. The FHWA link to this report for all 50 states is included above. The Kentucky staffer added that since the information in this table covers lane miles, a 100 mile stretch of a four-lane highway would count as 400 miles.
Question 2: Additional details on a point made during the testimony that most states were highly dependent on the federal aid program for their highway and bridge construction projects. It was noted that the average state secures 52 percent of its highway and bridge capital outlays from the federal government. In addition, there are wide variations in this category with a state like Rhode Island relying on the federal government for more than 100 percent of its outlays and New Jersey relying on the federal government for a mere 35 percent of its outlays. Information where Louisiana and other SLC states stood with regard to this statistic is presented below.
What are the Pre-K quality standards of SLC member states?
As the evidence builds for the benefits of early childhood education, states are struggling to expand opportunities for 4-year-olds to participate in high quality programs. Program design, participation, and funding remain areas of consideration and concern for state policymakers. Further, the development of appropriate educational standards remains a top priority for Southern lawmakers.
(click on headers to sort by column)
|State and/or Program||Comprehensive early learning standards||Teacher has BA||Specialized training in pre-K||Assistant teacher has CDA or equivalent||At least 15 hrs/yr in-service||Class size 20 or lower||Staff- child ratio 1:10 or bett||Vision, hearing, health, and one support service||At least one meal||Site visits|
Feral Hog Containment
In a recent request, SLC was asked to identify some of the innovative tactics our member states are employing to combat the growing population of feral hogs.
In 2014, Louisiana passed legislation to allow for the use of aircraft in hunting feral hogs. Senate Bill 681 allows the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission to promulgate rules and regulations to allow for the use of aircraft in the taking of outlaw quadruped or outlaw birds that have become so destructive of property as to become a nuisance.
Mississippi State University (MSU) is undertaking an economic impact study of wild hog damage to agriculture in Mississippi. The intent of the study is to provide data that will help researchers and industry representatives lobby state and federal legislators for increased funding and enhanced enforcement of laws.
In addition, the MSU Extension Service and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System published A Landowner’s Guide for Wild Pig Management that offers details on several different methods for controlling wild pigs.
In 2012, Oklahoma passed Senate Bill 1751, which allows for the use of “Judas pig” tracking systems. The general idea of the Judas pig tactic is to catch and release a hog after outfitting it with some sort of tracking device. Hunters will then wait for the released hog to lead them to a larger group of feral hogs.
In early 2014, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources scheduled three, three-day hunting periods on North Island, during which hunters were allowed to hunt with dogs.
Since 2008, what legislation addressing climate change has been passed in SLC member states?
|Alabama||AL SJR 57||2014||Enacted||Reed||Climate Change, Climate Change - Emissions Reduction||Urges the Environmental Protection Agency to support the state regulation of carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants by recognizing state developed standards.|
|Alabama||AL SJR 91||2012||Enacted||Waggoner||Climate Change, Climate Change - Emissions Reduction||Urges the United States congress to adopt legislation prohibiting the environmental protection agency from regulating greenhouse gas emissions without congressional approval.|
|Alabama||AL HJR 197||2011||Enacted||DeMarco||Climate Change, Climate Change - Emissions Reduction||Urges the United States Congress to adopt legislation prohibiting the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas emissions without Congressional approval.|
|Alabama||AL HR 567||2009||Adopted||Scott||Climate Change||Expresses support for the need for the United States and the state of Alabama to address the problem of global climate change through the adoption of a fair and effective approach that safeguards American jobs, ensures affordable energy for citizens, and maintains America's global competitiveness.|
How has Medicaid spending changed in the SLC member states in the past three years?
Between FY 2010 and FY 2012, Medicaid expenditures outgrew other areas of state budgets by a large margin in most of the SLC states. In FY 2012, state general fund Medicaid expenditures were an average of 57.4 percent higher in the SLC states than in FY 2010. During this same period, non-Medicaid expenditures only increased by an average of 5.1 percent. Non-Medicaid expenditures include elementary and secondary education, higher education, public assistance, corrections, transportation, and all other non-capital expenditures.
It should be noted, however, that during these fiscal years many states exhausted the use of federal ARRA funds and returned to a lower federal matching rate for Medicaid. During the preceding budget years while states were experiencing reduced revenues, many states used ARRA funds to supplant state funds in order to maintain their level of service; upon exhaustion of the ARRA funds, state funds were necessary to refill these budget holes.
The data for these calculations comes from the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO) FY2010-2012 State Expenditure Report and FY 2011-2013 State Expenditure Report. Classification of funds is not uniform across the states; explanations of notable differences are available in the NASBO reports.
|General State Funds||Other State Funds||Federal Funds||Total Funds|
|State Expenditures ($ in millions)||FY 2010||FY 2012||% Change from FY10||FY 2010||FY 2012||% Change from FY10||FY 2010||FY 2012||% Change from FY10||FY 2010||FY 2012||% Change from FY10|
Which SLC states offer in-state tuition to veterans?
Blue - States that meet all the following criteria:
1. State law or state school system provides student veterans an exemption from in-state residency requirements for the purposes of tuition and fees;
2. The exemption applies to all state public schools (2-year and 4-year); and
3. The law can be referenced and read easily.
Tan - States that have introduced legislation in their current legislative session that addresses the "Blue State" criteria.
Grey - States where there is no state law that exempts the residency requirements for student veterans, however, a state school system or individual schools within the state have an established policy exempting student veterans. Or, there are further specific criteria that student veterans need to meet to receive the exemption.
Georgia - University System of Georgia has a policy allowing out-of-state tuition differential waivers and assess in-state tuition to any member of a uniformed military service of the United States who, within 12 months of separation from such service, enroll in an academic program and demonstrate an intent to become domiciled in Georgia. This waiver may also be granted to their spouses and dependent children.
Kentucky - The governing board of a Kentucky public university may adopt a tuition policy whereby any veteran of the Armed Forces of the United States or National Guard who is eligible for Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits who enrolls as a student in the university as a non-Kentucky resident is charged no more than the maximum tuition reimbursement provided under the Post-9/11 GI Bill to public universities for eligible Kentucky residents.
Mississippi - Institute of Higher Learning policy provides and exemption to veterans who meet the following criteria: (1) The nonresident student was born in the state of Mississippi but subsequently relocated and resided outside the state as a minor under the care of the minor’s father or mother, or both. (2) Veteran served in armed forces. (3) Student is domiciled in Mississippi no later than six months after the nonresident student’s separation from service.
Rent for Non-Legislative Organizations in State Capitols
In a recent information request, the SLC was tasked with identifying state policies on rent for non-legislative organizations inside state capitols. We partnered with the National Association of State Facilities Administrators (NASFA) to conduct a multi-state survey. The results of the survey, displayed below, revealed that these policies are as different as the states that craft them.
|Does your State and/or department charge rent to non-legislative organizations and authorities who occupy office space in State Capitols?|
|Arizona||Yes, the State of Arizona, through its Department of Administration, charges rent for the buildings under its jurisdiction to Arizona’s state agencies, boards, and commissions except the Legislative branch pursuant to statute.|
|Connecticut||The Department of Administrative Services does not have care and custody of the State Capitol Building; per the response, no non-legislative organization has space within the State Capitol.|
|Idaho||The Department of Administration charges rent to cover managing the Capitol. This includes Elected Officials, the Legislature, state agencies, and organizations.|
|Minnesota||Yes. Minnesota charges a lease rate to non-legislative entities that occupy the Capitol Building.|
|Nebraska||The State Capitol houses all three branches of government and none of the branches, agencies, or departments are charged rent. Operations are funded through an appropriation from the State’s General Fund.|
|New Hampshire||The cost for all the space in the State Capitol is included in the building operating budget 100% general funds. As such, no one is charged rent in the State Capitol, either legislative or executive.|
|Oklahoma||Only one. A barber shop has a $10 a month lease.|
The following entities are charged for rent in the State Capitol:
State Efforts to Reorganize and Reform Child Welfare/Social Services Agencies
(The information presented here is in response to a request for details on state efforts to restructure and reorganize the agencies responsible for child welfare services)
For ease of review, this research is presented in three main sections: Section (1) refers to information compiled by the federal government in relation to state efforts to restructure their child welfare services; section (2) deals with information related to the efforts initiated by several states (Alabama, Arizona, Kansas, Pennsylvania and Texas); and, finally section (3), provides details on an important trend that has emerged in the last decade: state efforts to privatize the provision of foster care services. It is also important to mention that our research reveals that over the past 15 years or so, there have been two waves of reform efforts: one that began in the early 2000s and one that is in progress currently.
Section (1) ‐ Federal Information
The trend of social service and foster care reform in our states tends to follow the enactment of federal legislation on the subject. In the early 2000s, many states began to reevaluate and reform their social service and foster care systems. Since that time, numerous studies and reports have been produced chronicling these reforms and their effectiveness. We have provided you with a sampling of assessments of these reform efforts.
Following the enactment of the federal Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act in 2011, the newest wave of social service and foster care reform began gathering momentum. While many states are currently seeking to make changes, whether it is to improve effectiveness or address a specific problem, there is little research on the outcomes to date.
The resources included here provide reports and evaluations that offer examples of what other states have done and are doing with state foster care services. Each resource will provide some information and guidance on the problems, solutions, and outcomes since the turn of the century, encompassing both waves of reforms mentioned at the outset.
Latest State Transportation Funding Proposals
(The information presented here is in response to a request for the latest state transportation funding proposals, i.e., proposals that were discussed and, in certain cases, enacted in 2013 and 2014)
There are significant challenges associated with the funding position of the federal Highway Trust Fund (HTF), one of the more important sources of funding for state transportation and infrastructure programs. As a result of inflation, more fuel-efficient vehicles and changing driving habits, the HTF is seriously underfunded.* In fact, the latest estimates indicate that spending from the HTF currently outpaces tax receipts by $1.25 billion per month. While the current iteration of the federal transportation reauthorization is scheduled to expire at the end of the federal fiscal year (September 30, 2014), there is a great degree of uncertainty as to the specific approach that Congress might take in devising the successor to this legislation.
In late April 2014, the Obama Administration forwarded a four-year, $302 billion transportation reauthorization plan to Congress with recommendations on repairing and replacing the nation’s aging transportation infrastructure, while allowing for the needs of an expanding population. Even though transportation experts had recommended a slightly longer time horizon (six years) and larger amount ($330 billion), the four-year plan is an improvement on the current 27-month authorization, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). It is left to be seen as to what Congress will agree on, both in terms of the length and financial size, of the new transportation reauthorization.
At the federal level, experts highlight the following avenues as ways to generate the extra revenue to bolster the HTF:
Remarks at Briefing before Representatives of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations
(Arranged by the Georgia Council for International Visitors (GCIV) and International Visitor Leadership Program, U.S. Department of State)
Welcome to Atlanta, Georgia. Thank you for the invitation to be here with you today. My colleague Mikko Lindberg and I are pleased to be here. My name is Sujit CanagaRetna and I am the Fiscal Policy Manager at The Council of State Governments’ (CSG) Southern Office, the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) here in Atlanta.
Founded in 1933, CSG is the only organization in the nation that serves all three branches of state government. CSG is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that promotes the exchange of insights, innovative ideas and the sharing of best practices to help state officials shape public policy. CSG’s major strength is its regional focus; consequently, the SLC located here in Georgia covers 15 Southern states and the regional offices in California, Illinois and New York cover states in those parts of the country. CSG is headquartered in Kentucky and also has an office in Washington, D.C. For those of you have spent any time reading and studying the United States, you know how different each region of the U.S. is. Hence, it is much likelier that a state policymaker in North Carolina will be interested in a piece of legislation from Tennessee than say a piece of legislation from New Jersey.
SLC State Unemployment Insurance Finances Improve
During the Great Recession, states faced enormous challenges related to funding a number of vital programs. One of those programs was adequately financing their unemployment insurance trust funds, a program that originated in the 1930s. Unemployment insurance programs in the states are a federal-state endeavor that provides unemployment benefits to eligible workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own and who meet other eligibility requirements specified by state law. This temporary financial assistance is administered by the individual states within broad guidelines established by federal law. The major objective of the program, as it was when first introduced, still revolves around functioning as an automatic economic stabilizer: providing the unemployed funds to take care of essential expenditures, thereby maintaining household purchasing power and ensuring economic activity during a downturn or recession.
Based on the compromise reached during the Roosevelt Administration when the program was first introduced, eligibility for unemployment insurance, benefit amounts, duration of time benefits are available, all are determined by the particular state's law. The main source of benefit funding in most of the states is a tax imposed on employers. Nationally, the average tax is about 0.89 percent of total wages, and the average weekly check is about $315 with significant variations from state to state. While the benefits are funded by the payroll tax, firms that dismiss a significant number of workers pay a higher tax. The federal government absorbs the administrative costs of the program and, in a steep recession like the Great Recession, also pays for the extension of benefits beyond the customary 26 weeks. In fact, in early April 2014, more than three months after emergency federal jobless benefits expired, the U.S. Senate approved a five-month extension of federal unemployment insurance, which would be retroactive to when benefits expired on December 28, 2013. While this bipartisan bill passed 59 to 38 with the support of six Republicans, news reports indicate that it faces stiff opposition in the U.S. House of Representatives.†
Highway Trust Fund Balance
The latest update (March 16, 2014) from the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) regarding the funding position of the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) contains the disturbing news that the HTF is under greater strain than previously indicated.1 The HTF, created by the 1956 Highway Revenue Act, is the source of funding (via the federal gasoline tax) for most of the federal government’s surface transportation programs implemented in states across the country. According to the U.S. DOT, the HTF’s balance could slump below $4 billion in late July 2014; just last month, in February 2014, US DOT had projected that the HTF would dwindle below $4 billion in early August 2014. (U.S. DOT attempts to maintain a minimum of $4 billion on hand to appropriately manage day-to-day financial transactions). The HTF is projected to run out of funds in early September, several weeks before last month’s slightly rosier estimates. Consequently, U.S. DOT officials have indicated that they are prepared initiate a number of cash management measures to prolong the solvency of the HTF, such as reimbursing states weekly instead of daily and only paying states a portion of their reimbursement requests, all strategies that will complicate the financial and strategic direction of state transportation departments.
The HTF comprises two funds: the highway account (funding highway projects) and the mass transit account (funding mass transit projects). On October 1, 2013, the first day of the current fiscal year (2014), the highway account had a balance of $1.6 billion in cash. Shortly thereafter, the account received a transfer of $9.7 billion from the General Fund. Given that disbursements out of this account have been occurring at a greater pace than inward receipts in the ensuing months, the account’s cash balance has declined by nearly $3.3 billion since the General Fund transfer in October 2013. As of the end of February, the highway account had less than $8.6 billion in cash. With regard to the mass transit account, while the account had a balance of $2.5 billion in cash at the start of the current fiscal year, the account received an infusion of $2 billion from the General Fund. While the latest US DOT report indicates that the account has a balance of $3.2 billion, the agency projects that the account will dwindle to about $1 billion by the end of the fiscal year.
What special provisions do SLC member states have for elderly drivers?
|State||Length of regular renewal cycle||Older drivers - accelerated renewal||Older drivers - other provisions|
|Florida||8 years||6 years for people 80 and older||renewal applicants 80 and older must pass a vision test administered at any driver's license office or if applying by mail or electronically must pass a vision test administered by a licensed physician or optometrist. Florida allows only two successive renewals may be made electronically or by mail, regardless of age|
|Georgia||5 or 8 years||5 years for people 60 and older||vision test for people 64 and older|
|Louisiana||4 years||none||mail renewal not available to people 70 and older and to people whose prior renewal was by mail|
|Mississippi||4 or 8 years, at the option of the driver||none||none|
|Missouri||6 years||3 years for drivers 70 and older and 21 and younger||none|
|North Carolina||8 years||5 years for drivers 66 and older||people 60 and older are not required to parallel park in the road test|
|Oklahoma||4 years||none||license fee is reduced for drivers 62-64 and is waived for drivers 65 and older. Mail renewal is available only if the preceding issuance or renewal was done in person by the applicant, regardless of age|
|South Carolina||10 years, and vision test every 5 years||5 years for drivers 65 and older||vision test required for people 65 and older|
|Tennessee||5 years||none||fees are reduced for drivers 60 and older and licenses issued to people 65 and older do not expire|
U.S. Goods and Services Exports Soar to Unprecedented Heights in 2013; SLC States Shine
The U.S. Department of Commerce recently released goods and services export data for 2013 revealing very impressive trends: U.S. exports of goods and services soared to an unprecedented $2.3 trillion, an expansion of 2.8 percent compared to levels reached in 2012. Not only did the United States achieve striking gains on the export front, the nation’s imports declined by 0.1 percent in 2013 to $2.7 trillion, the first time imports had fallen since 2009 and the second consecutive annual drop in imports since 2001. The simultaneous growth in exports and contraction in imports facilitated an improvement in the nation’s trade deficit, a decline of 11.8 percent in 2013 when compared to the previous year. (The U.S. trade deficit in goods and services in 2013 amounted to $471.5 billion, an improvement from the $534.7 billion deficit in 2012). Notably, total exports as a share of U.S. GDP in 2013 held steady from the record 13.5 percent notched in 2011, an enhancement from the 12.5 percent clinched in 2008.
Focusing more specifically on U.S. goods exports in 2013 facilitates several prominent developments:
How many Black Belt counties are in SLC member states?
The Black Belt is a string of counties that stretches from east Texas, through the deep South, and up into eastern Virginia. It is the largest, poorest, most rural region in the country. While definitions vary, the region typically is considered to encompass upwards of 623 counties across 11 states, mostly rural, crossing several smaller regions, including parts of the Mississippi Delta, Coastal Plain, and the Piedmont. The Black Belt is not a contiguous region, with small breaks scattered intermittently. It is this geographic irregularity that has, in many ways, hindered the development of a comprehensive strategy to address the challenges in the region as well as the development of a regional identity, such as those that helped to steer resources to the Appalachians and the Mississippi Delta. For further information, see the 2009 SLC Regional Resource, Capital Access in the Black Belt.
(click on headers to sort by column)
|State||Black Belt Counties||Total Counties||Percent Black Belt|
How have aerospace industry exports grown in SLC member states in the last decade?
In the coming weeks, the Southern Legislative Conference will publish a report examining the increasing number of aeronautics companies that are locating, relocating or expanding their manufacturing operations in the South, a trend particularly discernible in the aftermath of the Great Recession. For policymakers in the South, the potential to capture a portion of the burgeoning aeronautics/aerospace sector is a huge opportunity given the enormous economic opportunities at stake. Consequently, Southern policymakers have moved with great alacrity to ensure that their particular state remains a frontrunner in securing the commitment of these aeronautics companies looking to relocate. The question of the month for January 2014 presents preliminary data from the forthcoming SLC Regional Resource, Aeronautics in the SLC States: Cleared for Take Off.
(click on headers to sort by column)
|State||2002||2007||Percent change, 2002-07||2012||Percent change, 2007-12||Percent change, 2002-12||YTD (Sep.) 2012||YTD (Sep.) 2013||Percent change, YTD 2012-13|
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