September 30, 2014
A delegation of state transportation leaders from seven SLC member states, including Senator Bill Hightower, Alabama; Representative George Moraitis, Florida; Senator Steve Gooch, Georgia; Representative Walt Leger, Louisiana; Senator Gary Stanislawski, Oklahoma; Representative Larry Phillips, Texas; and Senator David Marsden, Virginia, recently traveled to Panama for high level briefings on the Panama Canal expansion project. The delegation agenda was designed to reinforce the need for Southern ports to continue essential infrastructure enhancements to accommodate the significantly larger vessels and expanded cargo volumes expected to arrive after the completion of the Panama Canal expansion. This was the third consecutive year that an SLC legislative delegation had travelled to Panama for briefings on the Canal expansion project.
September 25, 2014
A free webinar, held at 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. EDT, Friday, October 3, and arranged by the Regional Offices of the Council of State Governments and the State Ag and Rural Leaders, will follow-up on previous FSMA webinars by examining the FDA’s most recent actions implementing the law, focusing on the supplemental rule proposals and their implications for those in the food and feed supply chain. Specific questions can be submitted ahead of time as well as during the webinar. Special thanks to the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture for their collaboration.
September 17, 2014
The Council of State Governments’ 2014 Transportation Academy for transportation leaders from state legislatures across the country was held in Washington, D.C., on September 15-17, 2014. The Academy included a series of high-level policy discussions, briefings from a range of nationally-recognized transportation experts, meetings with members of Congress and U.S. Department of Transportation officials, and a tour and presentations on Northern Virginia’s latest transportation strategies. Among those attending the CSG Transportation Academy were three legislators from the SLC: Representative Jay Roberts, chair, House Transportation Committee, Georgia; Senator Ernie Harris, chair, Senate Transportation Committee, Kentucky; and Representative William “Bill” Brawley, chair, House Transportation Committee, North Carolina.
Topics of discussion included the Condition of the Nation’s Infrastructure & Resources for Policymakers; States and the Future of Transportation Funding; The Business Community & Infrastructure Investment; Perspectives on the Federal Role in Transportation; Future of the Federal-State-Local Partnerships on Transportation; and Public-Private Partnerships: The Virginia & Maryland Experiences. In addition, legislators attending the Transportation Academy toured several Northern Virginia transportation megaprojects - hosted by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) – that included briefings on Virginia’s approach to public-private partnerships.
September 12, 2014
SLC Fiscal Policy Manager Sujit CanagaRetna testified on September 10, 2014, before Louisiana's Transportation Funding Task Force. Mr. CanagaRetna's presentation and remarks examined state funding mechanisms for transportation, especially those employed by SLC member states, and provided details on the nation’s transportation and infrastructure network, reasons for current funding and maintenance challenges, common revenue sources and financing tools deployed by states to fund transportation, and recent actions in the states, both proposed and enacted, related to funding transportation. The Task Force, comprising House and Senate members, DOTD Secretary Sherri H. LeBas, and construction and engineering industry representatives, convened in the Louisiana House of Representatives for a public and recorded session, documented here. The presentation also was covered by The Times-Picayune of New Orleans and The Republic of Columbus, Indiana. Please visit the SLC Presentations page for further links and materials.
September 12, 2014
On Thursday, September 18, from 1:00-2:00 p.m. (EDT), the State and Local Legal Center (SLLC) – a partner of SLC – will host a complimentary webinar that will examine EPA’s recently proposed rule to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants under section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act. The webinar, which is open to all SLC members, will provide a focused look at legal issues raised within the proposed rule and its implementation for states and local governments on which they may want to address in their written comments.
EPA has invited comment on a number of issues that may have legal implications for states. Given the compliance obligations this rule will create for states, the National Governors Association has worked with the SLLC to develop a presentation that will provide states with an opportunity to explore topics that will most directly affect them. Some of these topics will be addressed in the webinar and include:
September 10, 2014
The 68th Annual Meeting of the Southern Legislative Conference featured policy experts across a vast array of disciplines. Presentations made before SLC's six standing committee are now available for further review. Please contact the appropriate committee liaison to inquire about a specific presentation or request additional information about a particular topic.
September 10, 2014
For 2014, legislative staff from four SLC member states prepared and presented data examining state spending on education, medicaid, revenue, transportation, and adult correctional systems. Comparative Data Reports (CDRs) are prepared annually by select SLC states’ fiscal research departments. Because CDRs track a multitude of revenue sources and appropriations levels in Southern states, they provide a useful tool to legislators and legislative staff alike as they determine their own state spending level priorities. Comparative Data Reports are prepared under the auspices of the Conference’s Fiscal Affairs & Government Operations Committee.