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59th Annual Meeting of the Southern Legislative Conference

Chair's Report


Mobile, Alabama

July 30 to August 3, 2005

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Chairman's Report of Activities of the Economic Development, Transportation and Cultural Affairs Committee

at the 59th Annual Meeting of the Southern Legislative Conference


Mobile, July 30-August 3, 2005

 

October 7, 2005

                The Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee convened on Monday, August 1 for its program session and twice on Tuesday, August 2, for a business session and a technical tour.  The following is a synopsis of the Committee’s activities and programs on both days.  An attendance list is attached.

            Program Session
               
Monday, August 1

                I.              New Federal Requirements for Driver's Licenses: Implications for States
                Brian Zimmer - Senior Investigator, Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
                J. Haran Lowe, Jr. - Assistant Attorney General, Department of Public  Safety, Alabama

                Background
                On May 11, 2005, President Bush signed into law the “REAL ID Act of 2005.”  The passage of this federal legislation has spurred a great deal of debate involving the logistical, administrative and fiscal implications at the state level. 

                Mr. Zimmer’s Presentation
                According to Mr. Zimmer, the Real ID legislation generated a great deal of controversy with over 340 groups expressing their opposition to its provisions, a record for federal legislation that eventually passed both chambers of Congress overwhelmingly.  He noted that fundamentally, it was a law enforcement bill that had been grossly misrepresented and poorly described in the media.  Mr. Zimmer indicated that it was a very lengthy bill and that his presentation would cover some of its major provisions.  He added that while the bill affects state costs and state law enforcement, it would also ease law enforcement’s workload, even allowing people “to move through airports much faster.”

                According to Mr. Zimmer, the Real ID bill includes parts of the intelligence reform legislation that did not make it through the U.S. Senate.  There were a whole variety of measures in the intelligence reform legislation that passed with a significant majority in the U.S. House that did not survive scrutiny in the U.S. Senate.  As a result, the chairman of U.S. House Judiciary Committee, Congressman Sensenbrenner, requested staff in his office to carefully review these provisions and attempt to match these provisions to the recommendations of the 9-11 Commission.  Chairman Sensenbrenner’s objective was to then introduce these provisions as a separate bill for consideration by the U.S. House and then by the U.S. Senate.

                While most people immediately associated the Real ID legislation with the increased security requirements of state-issued driver’s licenses, Mr. Zimmer noted that “it included many more provisions than that” and listed several features:

·                     Closing loopholes in the political asylum process; this was a major objective of the bill since this was one of the more crucial recommendations of the 9-11 Commission.  Every year, there were a few hundred thousand foreign nationals who applied for political asylum in the United States and about 70,000 of these individuals had their claims approved.  The provisions of the Real ID bill now allow the U.S. government to verify and corroborate an applicant’s background and history (particularly criminal) with their original country.

·                     Completing the fence that is being built between Tijuana and San Diego; this fence has been a project-in-progress for about nine years now and the Real ID bill allows the Secretary of Homeland Security to set aside laws and appeals that had delayed the completion of this project.

·                     Strengthening the nation’s deportation laws; heretofore, a combination of judicial decisions and antiquated laws limited the deportation of individuals from the United States to their home countries even though the U.S. government had concluded that they were terrorists.  The Real ID bill allows such individuals to be speedily deported back to their home countries.

                In describing the legislation’s provisions related to driver’s licenses, Mr. Zimmer stated that the U.S. House Judiciary Committee consulted with a number of outside agencies, including the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA), Federal Bureau of Investigation, Secret Service and the U.S. Marshall’s Service.  He also cited an excellent presentation done by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ Division of Driver Licenses before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee on counterfeit identity cards and driver’s licenses.  According to Mr. Zimmer, input from these different sources was melded into the various elements of the Real ID bill that involved issuing driver’s licenses.  However, there still was a great deal of work that had to be done even though the bill set up a good framework.

                According to Mr. Zimmer, the driver’s license provisions of the Real ID legislation included several important features.  Perhaps the most vital task it accomplished was clarifying federal laws as it related to driver’s licenses and as these driver’s licenses related to other federal laws.  At a certain point, non-compliant state driver’s licenses could not be used to board federally-regulated commercial aircraft, enter power plants and other strategic federal locations.  This was a major change in federal law, according to Mr. Zimmer.

                While the law is binding on federal agencies, it deliberately omits the states.  The states are subject to this law only if they choose to comply, he indicated.  If a state chooses not to comply with these federal standards in issuing their driver’s licenses, they will not be accepted for federal purposes after a certain time period.  However, individuals from these states may still board aircraft using their passports and other federally-accepted identification documents.

                Another major task accomplished by the legislation according to Mr. Zimmer was specifying a minimum set of documents necessary to secure a driver’s license.  There were about 40 states that had fairly good minimum document requirements to confirm identity before issuing an individual a driver’s license or a state identification card.  States started enhancing their minimum document requirements even before the attacks of September 11, 2001, and several states in the South were doing a very good job in this respect.  The goal of the legislation was to convince all 50 states to operate off a common set of minimum standards.

                In closing, Mr. Zimmer noted that the current environment of heightened national security required re-orienting the mindsets of so many Americans to issues like enhancing the security requirements in issuing driver’s licenses and state identification cards.

                Mr. Lowe’s Presentation
                Mr. Lowe began his presentation by noting that secure driver’s licenses were not only important from a national security perspective but also vital to protecting merchants that issue credit.  Driver’s licenses were not based solely on reviewing secure documents but also their capacity to positively identify the individual alongside establishing that they have a legal reason for being in the United States.

                According to Mr. Lowe, in 2003, the Alabama Department of Public Safety, the state agency that has jurisdiction over issuing driver’s licenses, entered into a new contract to issue driver’s licenses.  Licenses produced under this new contract were issued beginning in June 2005.  These new licenses are very secure documents with both digital images and signatures and a vast number of additional security/protective features.  Since about the early 1990s, Alabama’s Driver’s License Division at the Department of Public Safety had about 36 sworn officers and about 127 civilian officers.  The Division also initiated a fraud prevention program related to driver’s licenses during that time period that continues to result in about 5,000 arrests annually at the various driver’s license issuing points across the state for a variety of offenses.

                Mr. Lowe noted that after the 2003 reforms, anyone seeking an Alabama driver’s license has to produce a valid Social Security card, a birth certificate and a third form of identification that met the state’s requirements.  Alabama is also only one of three states in the country that runs information on every applicant through the database of the National Criminal Information Center to ascertain whether the applicant has a criminal record and is a wanted person in another state.  This database search is carried out for both new and renewing license applicants.

                In 2003, Mr. Lowe indicated that Alabama realized that they had a major problem dealing with valid documents.  As a result, Governor Riley, U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions and Division officials traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet with officials with the then Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).  Alabama also had only three INS officials to tackle immigration issues across the entire state.  Consequently, Mr. Lowe stated, Alabama negotiated and entered into an agreement with the INS (and its successor) to train 21 Alabama state troopers in the intricacies of federal immigration law to allow them to detect fraudulent immigrant documents and then act as federal immigration officers.  These troopers graduated in October 2003 and based on their expertise, in the space of 14 months, Alabama arrested 129 individuals for fraudulent immigration papers.  (The U.S. Attorney’s Office has decided to prosecute 44 of these individuals, he noted).  Given the overwhelming success of this training effort, Alabama is now seeking the assistance of federal immigration authorities to train another 25 troopers.  As a result of this, Mr. Lowe indicated, every location in Alabama that issues drivers’ licenses will have at least one state trooper trained in federal immigration law that can detect forged or fraudulent documents.

                At this time, the Alabama Department of Public Safety is working with the governor’s office and a vendor to meet the requirements of the federal Real ID legislation.  Mr. Lowe acknowledged that these efforts will cost the state of Alabama but also noted that Alabama is probably ahead of many states in meeting these federal requirements since the state has been implementing many of them since 2003.

                II.            Economic Impact of the Automobile Industry in Alabama
                Austin Dare - Mercedes USA, Alabama
                Neal Wade - Executive Director, Development Office, Alabama

                Background
                For over a decade now, the drive to move South has been the hallmark of the automobile industry in the United States as an increasing number of automakers established manufacturing operations in the South.  Alabama has been in the forefront here with an impressive roster of automobile manufacturers (Mercedes, Honda, Toyota, Hyundai) locating to the state and flourishing in their operations.

                Mr. Dare’s Presentation
                Mr. Dare began his presentation by posing the question as to what the audience considered economic development to be.  The audience responded that economic development included jobs, highways, infrastructure and higher wages.  While agreeing with all those end results, Mr. Dare stressed that economic development was more than all that; it was convincing an industry to locate to your state and then sustaining that industry by adapting the needs of the industry and the government entity and other entities involved in a mutually beneficial relationship.

                Mr. Dare indicated that his presentation would cover two main areas: how Mercedes has grown and prospered in Alabama and what the future holds for Mercedes in Alabama.  When you look at the state of economic development in Alabama in the early 1990s, Mr. Dare noted, the state was struggling.  A number of major companies had left the state.  As a result, Alabama made a deliberate decision to enter the automotive manufacturing industry and effectively court a major manufacturer to locate in the state to eventually generate huge positive economic effects.  Around the same time, Mercedes’ parent company was looking to globalize its production capacity and enter new markets, including the burgeoning sports utility vehicle (SUV) market.

                This market-driven decision was further influenced by Mercedes’ intention to build an assembly plant in the United States, the market expected to be the largest in the world for the soon-to-be released Mercedes SUV, according to Mr. Dare.  Not only would this have been the first manufacturing facility outside Germany, the company also wanted to locate the facility closest to its largest market.  This American plant was not only the largest single investment made by Mercedes’ then parent company, Daimler-Benz, it continues to be the largest single investment made by the current parent company, DaimlerChrysler.  According to Mr. Dare, Mercedes’ search effort encompassed some 150 potential sites in 30 states, a number that was eventually whittled down to sites in three states (Alabama, North Carolina and South Carolina).

                Then, in 1993, Mr. Dare indicated, Mercedes announced that it had chosen Alabama to locate its first American manufacturing operation for the following reasons: strong workforce; good infrastructure; proximity to ports; a university presence nearby; proximity to suppliers; and, the most important factor, a strong commitment and partnership from the state and local governments.  In 1993, Mercedes’ current site in Vance was a natural tree farm.  By the end of its first decade, Mercedes operated on 300 of the 966-acre facility, building about 80,000 vehicles and employing about 1,900 employees or team members.  According to Mr. Dare, the original plant was designed for a single product line, the Mercedes M-class, and built to produce a maximum 65,000 vehicles a year.  The M-class was so successful that the facility had to be expanded to reach the 80,000 vehicles per year mark.  In fact, in 2002, the plant produced 88,000 vehicles, thanks to efficiencies and continuous production improvements by the superior workforce.  Between 1997 (when the plant began production) and 2004, the Alabama facility had produced 571,000 vehicles, some 150,000 vehicles more than originally planned, a testament to the high quality workforce employed at the facility.  While the vehicles produced in Alabama were sold in 135 countries, the original M-class won more than 40 awards.  Mr. Dare attributed all this success directly to the workforce and the people of Alabama.

                Mr. Dare then referred to several negative articles regarding the poor quality of the workforce in Alabama, and the South in general that had appeared in the national media recently.  According to Mr. Dare, the conclusions reached in these articles could not be further from the truth.  He noted that Mercedes was extremely pleased with the quality of workers emerging from the Alabama Industrial Training Corporation and stated that Mercedes’ Alabama workforce had recently won the top award in a competition that included the entire Mercedes global family.

                Given the success of the initial years of the operation, Mr. Dare noted, in 2000, Mercedes announced a $600 million expansion at its Alabama facility.  Once again, this was recognition that Alabama was a great place to do business.  After the expansion, the Mercedes plant included three million square feet under a single roof that stretches for an entire mile from one end to the other.  According to Mr. Dare, Mercedes has now invested more than $1 billion in its Alabama facility, a number that jumps to $3.5 billion when products and research and development are included.  The expansion effort also resulted in the number of robots at the plant increasing from 80 to 800 robots.

                According to Mr. Dare, the Alabama facility will build the new M-class and two additional models: the new R-class Grand Sports Tourer by fall 2005 and a larger SUV that will be available in early 2006.  While the plant currently employs about 4,000 team members (an additional 2,000 hired after the expansion), it also has some 300 Germans for support on site.  Furthermore, 35 Tier I and II auto suppliers relocated to Alabama as a result of the Mercedes plant, generating an additional 6,000 jobs directly in the automotive industry.  In total, Mercedes is responsible for 10,000 direct jobs and an annual economic impact of $1.5 billion.  It is the state’s largest exporter with more than $1 billion goods per year and more than $1 billion in Alabama purchases annually.

                In closing, Mr. Dare listed what he considers important factors in sustaining an operation like Mercedes, a phase of industrial development he termed, after the initial courtship years.
                1.             Continuing government support at both the state and local levels;
                2.             Improving training and workforce development;
                3.             Extending support to the families of plant employees;
                4.             Supporting the parts suppliers, given that 60 percent to 70 percent of supplies were produced locally;
                5.             Maintaining strong links to the local community, business and chambers of commerce, universities and technical colleges; and
                6.             Embracing and welcoming the new industry to your state.

                Mr. Wade’s Presentation
                Mr. Wade began by noting that his observations would cover not only economic development efforts in Alabama but also have relevance for other Southeastern states.  According to Mr. Wade, prior to his current position, he headed a private sector outfit in the late 1980s and early 1990s that sought to identify potential industries and companies that might consider relocating to the state of Alabama.  During this stint, he noted, his outfit carried out a nationwide survey of corporate decision makers to determine where Alabama ranked and how Alabama was viewed among 10 Southeastern states in terms of economic development.  Based on the responses to this study, Mr. Wade indicated, Alabama did not rank very high; neither was the state viewed very favorably.

                Then, in 1993, Mr. Wade stated, Alabama had the opportunity to aggressively pursue Mercedes in their efforts to set up a manufacturing facility in the United States.  Not only was Alabama successful in this effort, this decision has proven to be the tipping point for economic development for the entire state.  Alabama has leveraged this decision to not only nurture the relationship with Mercedes but to recruit other significant manufacturing facilities, including leading automobile manufacturers such as Honda, Toyota and, most recently, Hyundai.  Mr. Wade elaborated that since Mercedes initially announced its Alabama plant in 1993, the company has doubled in size; similarly, both Honda and Toyota announced their Alabama facilities in 1999 and 2001, and they have both doubled in size, too.  Hyundai, the latest manufacturer in Alabama, announced in 2002, has now begun production at full shift capacity.

                Mr. Wade then cited several statistics which provided a powerful and compelling argument about the positive benefits flowing from the automobile industry in Alabama.  For instance, in 1995, Alabama did not produce a single vehicle; by 2006, the state will have produced 760,000 vehicles at these four plants.  Not only are more than 50,000 Alabamians employed in the automobile industry throughout the state, 131 auto suppliers also have begun operating in the state. Tax revenues at every level of government and of every variety have skyrocketed across the state as an increasing number of high wage, high-tech jobs have flowed to even the more rural parts of the state.

                In closing, Mr. Wade enumerated several lessons learned by the state of Alabama on the economic development front in recent years and commented that other Southeastern states could apply these lessons to their own settings.

                1.             A suitable economic investment by the state and by a corporation could reap tremendous benefits to the state.  When the Alabama Development Office reviews a project for potential incentives, the office carries out a detailed cost-benefit analysis, regardless of whether the project promises to bring in 50, 100 or 2,000 jobs.  The essential question is what is the economic impact of this project?  The response then determines the level of incentives that might be provided by the state.  The project has to be a good deal for both the company and the taxpayers of the state.

                2.             Incentives provided should be a balance between state, local and corporate dollars.  In Alabama, a tremendous effort is made to ensure that all projects have this balance.

                3.             The state’s legislature has to be a major player and partner in these negotiations and remains integral for the project’s success.  This involvement is crucial not only for the incentive package but also for fostering relationships with the company.

                4.             A statewide, strategic plan for economic development must be formatted and followed.  An effort has to be made to determine where the state wants to be in five, 10 and 15 years and work toward those goals.

                5.             The state should ensure that its current roster of corporations and plants continued to expand and grow.  At this point, Alabama is not as interested in persuading another automobile manufacturer to locate to the state as it is in ensuring that Mercedes, Honda, Toyota and Hyundai have the key ingredients necessary to continue flourishing in their operations.

                6.             States should consider forming multi-state alliances to promote economic development across state borders; Alabama has a very active program with Mississippi on this front.  In this regard, setting up joint trade offices in international settings, (China immediately comes to mind), is important here.

                7.             Extending the partnerships with your current corporate clients to ensure that they market the state of Alabama in their promotional and advertising efforts is very important.  Currently, Hyundai has a national marketing campaign that includes references to its facility in Alabama.  Similarly, Mercedes, Honda and Toyota have included references to the state of Alabama in their promotional and outreach efforts.

                8.             Diversifying the state economy beyond a single industry is crucial.  While the automotive industry is hugely important to the success of the Alabama economy, the state also is active in promoting the defense and aerospace industries in Huntsville, the biotechnology industry in Birmingham, and the transportation industry in Mobile.  In all these instances, the input of the local government and officials is crucial to ensure that economic development is occurring alongside local considerations.

            Business Session
               
Monday, August 1

                I.              Traffic Safety: Recent Trends from the South
                Steve Blackistone - State and Local Government Affairs Liaison, National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB), Washington,
D.C.

                Background
                Traffic safety is an issue of huge importance in states across the country but is of particular importance in the Southern states given their higher rates of traffic accidents and fatalities.  The NTSB has several recommendations that states can initiate to lower traffic accidents and has offered to work with states to enact these measures so as to improve transportation safety for residents.

                Presentation
                Mr. Blackistone opened his presentation by conveying National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) chairman Ellen Engelman Conner’s sincere regrets for canceling her presentation at the last minute because of a medical emergency.  Mr. Blackistone indicated that Chairman Conner looks forward to interacting with state policymakers and she knows that the SLC annual meeting is an excellent forum to strengthen the partnership between the NTSB and Southern states.  According to Mr. Blackistone, the NTSB is well aware of the need for this partnership to flourish so that the message of highway safety can be carried throughout the country to help lower the more than 40,000 fatalities that occur every year on our highways.  He noted that while this number had not changed drastically in the last five or six years, policymakers at every level of government have to work proactively to reduce it even further.

                In describing the structure of the NTSB, Mr. Blackistone indicated that his agency was a relatively small federal agency with about 420 on staff, primarily accident investigators.  While most of these investigators review aviation accidents, the agency also reviews railroad, highway and marine accidents.  As he described it, for most of these investigators, working at the Safety Board is more than a job; it was a mission to improve transportation safety.

                Mr. Blackistone stated that highway fatality rates in the South were higher than in other parts of the country mainly because of the rural nature of the Southern region.  He elaborated that rural roads tend to be more dangerous, hence, the higher fatality levels.  Because of this, the NTSB encourages state legislators in the region to elevate highway safety to the highest priority level in an effort to lower the number of accidents and fatalities in the region.  While he acknowledged that there were many competing issues with significant fiscal costs, it is imperative that highway safety assume a position of great importance too.  In this regard, he stressed that legislators should focus on specific programs and actions that were truly effective.  This requires that action at the state level in enhancing highway safety focus on facts, data and science and avoid popular perceptions, suppositions and people’s desires.

                While acknowledging that there are a number of measures that states could initiate to enhance highway safety and reduce the number of accidents, Mr. Blackistone indicated that there were four items that surfaced to the top of the NTSB list.  These included:

                1.             Increasing safety belt use; Mr. Blackistone contended that this was the single most important safety feature that states could promote to reduce injuries and fatalities.  Nationally, about 80 percent of those in the front seat wore seat belts, a percentage that is higher than the prevailing usage rates from 10 or 15 years ago.  Yet, he noted, this was not good enough.  Those individuals who chose not to use a safety belt were generally those who also took on other risks while being on the highways, he added, and more likely to be involved in accidents.  Among the SLC states, he noted, there were seven of the 16 that ranked higher than the national average in terms of safety belt usage and five of those seven had primary enforcement of safety belt laws.  Four SLC states were below 70 percent and these states did not have primary enforcement laws, he noted.  Mr. Blackistone added that he was pleased to report that South Carolina soon will begin requiring the primary enforcement of safety belt laws.  He also highly recommended programs like Click It or Ticket, prevalent across the country, which are highly effective and originated in North Carolina.

                2.             Preventing hard core drunk drivers from the highways.  Mr. Blackistone stated that due to the activism of groups like Mother Against Drunk Drivers (MADD), accidents and fatality rates associated with hard core drunk drivers had diminished in recent years though there is still much to be accomplished on this front.  According to Mr. Blackistone, social drinkers were not the problem here but hard core drunk drivers, a trend that cannot be addressed by a fine or a token sentence.  He called for more severe punishments and sanctions for those hard core drunk drivers.  Drunk drivers kill more than 17,000 individuals every year, with 8,200 of these individuals from the SLC states, a number higher than the national average, he added.  Minimizing accidents and fatalities on account of drunk drivers requires the cooperation of the executive and legislative branches of state government and multiple other interest and advocacy groups, Mr. Blackistone noted.  In this regard, he commended the Commonwealth of Virginia for the bipartisan package of two dozen bills that were enacted into law after the 2005 session to reduce the incidence of drunk drivers.  He also indicated that the NTSB had a very effective 11-point program that states might consider incorporating in seeking to lower drunk drivers in their jurisdictions.

                3.             Reducing the accidents associated with teen drivers; according to Mr. Blackistone, there were too many accidents associated with teen drivers and traffic accidents were the leading cause of death among teens.  In 2003, more than 4,000 people died in accidents involving teen drivers.  The NTSB recommended that states adopt a three-phase, graduated driver’s license system for teen drivers to curb the number of accidents.  This includes a six-month learner’s permit requirement, an intermediate phase when teen drivers are only permitted to drive under the safest conditions (during the day, no teen passengers allowed in car unless there is adult supervision, no distractions such as cell phones), and the final phase, which is the full license at a specific age.  This year, four states adopted graduated driver’s licensing of teens, including one SLC state (Oklahoma) and three Western states.  According to Mr. Blackistone, every one of the 50 states had at least one element of the three phases mentioned but he encouraged more states to require all three elements as an effective way to lower the number of teen driving accidents.

                4.             Promoting child passenger safety; while all states require child safety seats for children through age four, Mr. Blackistone noted, for children between the ages of four and eight, the same requirements do not apply.  He indicated that children in the four-through-eight age cohort were not adequately protected by safety belts, and the NTSB recommends that they be required to ride in booster seats.  In fact, Mr. Blackistone noted, research establishes that safety belts for the four through eight year cohort could be as dangerous as if they were not wearing it.  Hence, the NTSB recommends that children through age eight ride in the back seat of vehicles in a booster seat.

                In closing, Mr. Blackistone stated that the NTSB wanted to be a partner with state legislators in enhancing traffic and highway safety and called on the SLC legislators present to call on him and his office to assist them in this objective.

                II.            Nominating Committee Report
                The Nominating Committee, comprising Senator Jimmy Jeffress, Arkansas, Chair, Representative Vance Smith, Georgia and Delegate Ruth Kirk, Maryland, presented its recommendations for Committee Chairman and Vice Chairman for 2005/2006.  Senator Jeffress announced that there was a single name submitted for Chairman and a single name submitted for Vice Chairman.  Consequently, Representative Johnnie Bolin, Arkansas, was elected Chairman, and Senator Mark Norris, Tennessee, was elected Vice Chairman for the upcoming year.

                Technical Tour
               
Tuesday, August 2

                I.              Port of Mobile
                Over two-thirds of U.S. exports and imports transit through a Southern port and the Port of Mobile has recently surfaced as an important player.  The Committee’s technical tour included a presentation by Port officials and then a two- hour water tour of the Port of Mobile aboard the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ research vessel, the USS Irvington.  During the duration of the tour, Port officials provided details on the economic impact of the Port, plans initiated to enhance the Port’s infrastructure and multimodal capabilities, the role of the Alabama Legislature in these efforts, the selection of the Port as the newest homeport for the Carnival Cruise line, and the Port’s efforts to ensure efficient delivery schedules in an era of heightened security.

                SLC Staff Contact:              Sujit CanagaRetna, phone: (404) 633-1866;

                                e-mail: scanagaretna@csg.org


Attendance List
Southern Legislative Conference 59th Annual Meeting
Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee
July 30 – August 3, 2005
Mobile, Alabama               

Alabama
               
Speaker Seth Hammett
                Senator Ted Little
                Senator Rodger Smitherman
                Representative Randy Davis
                Representative Bill Dukes
                Representative Lynn Greer
                Representative John Letson
                Representative Charles Newton
                Representative Howard Sanderford
                Sharon Bivens, Legislative Fiscal Office
                Austin Dare, Mercedes USA
                Horace Horn, Alabama Electric Cooperative
                Mark Morrison, Honda of Alabama
                Allen Owen, MeadWestvaco Corp.
                Waymon Pace, Tennessee Valley Authority
                Arthur Payne, Alabama Power Co.
                Ray Perez, Honda of Alabama
                Amy Sieckmann, Anniston Star
                Neal Wade, Alabama Development Office
                Dave White, The Birmingham News

Arkansas
               
Representative Johnnie Bolin
                Senator Shane Broadway, SLC Chairman
                Representative Leroy Dangeau
                Senator Jimmy Jeffress
                Representative Wilhelmina Lewellen
                Representative George Overbey
                Senator Shawn Womack
                Assistant President Pro Tem Jim Luker
                Janelle Evyan, Bureau of Legislative Research
                Kerrie Lauck, Bureau of Legislative Research
                Estella Smith, Bureau of Legislative Research

District of Columbia
                Steve Blackistone, National Transportation and Safety Board
                Pat Rita, American Forest and Paper Association
                Brian Zimmer, Senior Attorney, U.S. House of Representatives

Georgia
               
Senator Don Balfour
                Representative David Casas
                Senator Ronnie Chance
                Representative Allen Freeman
                Representative Bob Hanner
                Representative John Heard
                Representative Howard Maxwell
                Senator Nancy Shaefer
                Representative Vance Smith
                David Batley, Southern Arts Federation
                Robert A. Cucchi, Ford Motor Co.
                Allen McGlynn, State Farm Insurance Companies
                Jeff Walker, Senate Research Office

Kentucky
                Representative Eddie Ballard
                Senator Walter Blevins
                Representative Tom Burch
                Representative Hubert Collins
                Representative C.B. Embry
                Representative Jim DeCesare
                Senator Derrick Graham

                Senator Ray Jones
                Representative Dennis Keene
                Representative Charles Meade
                Representative Russ Mobley
                Representative Lonnie Napier
                Representative Darryl Owens
                Senator Jerry Rhoads
                Senate President Pro Tem Katie Stine
                Senator Gary Tapp
                Representative Mike Weaver
                Senator Kenneth Winters
                Keon Chi, The Council of State Governments
                Stephanie Kirtley, Senate Chief of Staff
                Steve Lynn, Department of Criminal Justice Training
                Kevin Mason, Legislative Research Commission
                Mark Mitchell, Legislative Research Commission
                Lyla Pryor, Heritage Council
                Kenneth Schwendeman, Justice and Public Safety Cabinet
                Carl Sumner, Insurance Institute of Kentucky

Louisiana
                Representative Jim Fannin

Maryland
                Delegate Mary Conroy
                Delegate Ruth Kirk
                Delegate Pauline Menes
               
Mississippi

                Representative David Gibbs
                Representative Bill Miles
                Representative Sara Thomas
                Representative Charles Young

North Carolina
                Representative Bill Daughtridge
                Representative Phillip Haire

South Carolina
                Representative John L. Scott

Tennessee
                Senator Mark Norris
                Joe Christian, Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway
                Karen Garrett, Nissan North America, Inc.
                Jimmie McCurdy, Office of Legislative Budget Analysis
                John Morgan, Comptroller of the Treasury
                David Thurman, State Budget Office

Texas
                Crayton Webb, Mary Kay, Inc.

Utah
                Jennifer Seelig, 1-800-CONTACTS

Virginia
                Delegate Harry Parrish

West Virginia
                Senator Shirley Love
                Aaron Allred, Legislative Services
                Jerry Bird, Public Service Commission

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