Posted on November 4, 2014 in Economic Development
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 email@example.com.
Posted on November 3, 2014 in Government Operations
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 |
* Please see footnotes to Table C-2 on page 40 of the State Employee Health Plan Spending report for an explanation of Oklahoma's employer premium contribution.
Source: PEW Charitable Trust, “State Employee Health Plan Spending,” August 2014