2011 SLC News and Updates
January 7, 2011
Two former chairs of the SLC have accepted positions leading state agencies. Former Alabama Speaker of the House Seth Hammett (SLC Chair 2002-2003) was selected by Governor Robert Bentley to serve as director of the Alabama Development Office
. Former Speaker of the House and state Senator Shane Broadway, Arkansas (SLC Chair 2004-2005) was appointed deputy director of the Arkansas Department of Higher Education
January 20, 2011
The Institute for Trade and Transportation Studies (ITTS) Freight in the Southeast Conference will be held in Charlotte, North Carolina, on February 9-11. ITTS provides research data and expert opinions to public and private officials in the SLC region concerning the effects of commercial freight movements (domestic and international), infrastructure and transportation. For more information, visit the ITTS website
February 4, 2011
Registrations for the 65th Annual Meeting of the Southern Legislative Conference, taking place in Memphis, Tennessee, July 16-20, 2011, are now being accepted. Recognizing the difficult fiscal environment, the SLC has increased the early registration discount for primary registrants. Register before May 16 to take advantage of the reduced registration fees.
February 28, 2011
The CSG Innovations Awards Program, now in its 25th year, recognizes and shares big ideas and game-changing state programs. Submissions for this year's award are being accepted until March 28, 2011, offering an opportunity to shine a national spotlight on your agency’s successes. For more information, click here
March 22, 2011
Tax-preferred savings plans for college have come under multiple stresses in recent years, forcing changes to some and altering the impact of others. The newest SLC Regional Resource
, State Section 529 Plans
, examines these plans and offers an overview of recent activities in response to the changing economy.
April 6, 2011
The CSG Innovations Awards Program, now in its 25th year, recognizes and shares big ideas and game-changing state programs. Submissions for this year's award are being accepted until April 15, 2011, offering an opportunity to shine a national spotlight on your agency’s successes. For more information, click here
April 14, 2011
Earlier this week, the SLC released the latest Comparative Data Report (CDR) on Adult Correctional Systems, prepared by the Louisiana Legislative Fiscal Office. In the near future, the SLC will release the latest CDRs analyzing state tax structures and revenue forecasts (Arkansas Bureau of Legislative Research), K-12 educational systems (West Virginia Legislative Staff), state transportation programs (Kentucky Legislative Research Commission) and Medicaid spending (Louisiana Legislative Fiscal Office). Click here
to view the 2010 Corrections CDR.
May 1, 2011
The Southern Legislative Conference marks the passing of Bruce Jamerson, Clerk of the Virginia House of Delegates and Keeper of the Rolls of the Commonwealth. Bruce began work with the Virginia General Assembly in 1974 and became Clerk of the House of Delegates in 1991. Bruce’s immeasurable service to Virginia and its General Assembly is recognized by his friends and colleagues throughout the Commonwealth. He played a critical role in the extensive renovation of the State Capitol, served both Democratic and Republican majorities within the House, and was integral to the success of the SLC annual meetings held in Virginia in 1984, 1994 and 2007. As Speaker William Howell noted, "As Clerk of the House of Delegates for 20 years, Bruce embodied so much of what is good and noble about public service. He was a consummate professional who understood well that the first rule of success is hard work. That he always did without fail, with a warm and friendly demeanor and out of an abiding respect for every member, staff colleague or visitor to Mr. Jefferson’s Capitol."
May 2, 2011
As states struggle to deal with the sharp drop-off in revenues caused by the Great Recession, the panoply of issues related to collecting sales taxes on e-commerce transactions continues to roil state policymakers across the country. SLC’s most recent Fiscal Alert
, Amazon.com and the States: Untapped Revenue Streams
, examines how Southern lawmakers are addressing these challenges.
May 10, 2011
The Southern Legislative Conference marks the passing of Mississippi State Senator Jack Gordon, Jr., a member of the SLC Fiscal Affairs & Government Operations Committee. With nearly four decades in the state Legislature and 12 years as chair of the Mississippi Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Gordon was known as a master of the state budget process. Flags in Mississippi flew at half staff on May 9, 2011, in remembrance and respect for the late senator. For more information, please click here
May 17, 2011
Earlier this week, the SLC released the latest Comparative Data Report (CDR)
on Southern States Tax Structures and Revenue Forecasts, prepared by the Arkansas Bureau of Legislative Research. In the near future, the SLC will release the latest CDRs analyzing K-12 educational systems (West Virginia Legislative Staff) and state transportation programs (Kentucky Legislative Research Commission).
May 31, 2011
The Southern Legislative Conference marks the passing of South Carolina State Representative C. David Umphlett, Jr., a member of the SLC Agriculture & Rural Development Committee. Serving the people of South Carolina since 2003, he was dedicated to lowering taxes, improving roads and highways, and preserving the environment of the The Palmetto State. Per Representative Mike Pitts, "David Umphlett represented not only his district but the state extremely well and the constituents in his district and their best interests were the most important issues at heart to him. He was the epitome of a fine Southern gentleman." For more information, please click here
June 10, 2011
The Southern Legislative Conference marks the passing of West Virginia Delegate Larry Willis Border. With 20 years of legislative service to the people of West Virginia, the late Delegate Border will be remembered as a gentleman and a statesman, someone who many in the Legislature looked to for advice on a wide range of subjects, state Senator David Nohe said. For more information, please click here
June 13, 2011
The Center for the Advancement of Leadership Skills (CALS), the premier state government leadership program of the Southern Legislative Conference, is accepting applications for the 2011 CALS Program. The program provides non-partisan forums for state officials who might rarely cross paths to share ideas and enhances participants’ leadership knowledge through sessions geared to improve competencies in communication, conflict resolution, consensus building and critical decision-making. For more information regarding the CALS program, click here
June 14, 2011
In the upcoming weeks, the SLC will issue a report entitled “Green Energy and the SLC States.” The report explores efforts initiated by Southern states in recent years to develop the renewable energy sector in the region and an assessment of the economic development, energy and environmental benefits expected to flow from these efforts. The report comprises three parts: Part 1 explores the economic development component of the renewable energy sector with details on how the renewable sector could rejuvenate the nation’s eroding manufacturing sector and job creation trends (direct, indirect and induced) at both the national and state levels related to the renewable energy sector. Part 2 focuses on the energy component and includes details on the status, nationally and regionally, of such renewable components as hydro, solar, wind, biomass and geothermal; renewable portfolio standards and the general move toward renewable sources as a domestic and local source of reliable and sustainable energy; composition of the contemporary energy market; national and regional trends; and, finally, an assessment of the environmental and public health benefits to developing renewable energy. Part 3 delves into the SLC state profiles and relies mostly on the responses provided by states to the SLC surveys with such details as financial incentives proffered for energy efficiency at both the residential and commercial levels; energy savings and environmental impacts; financial incentives for renewable energy provided to both attract and/or retain corporations to the different SLC states; and a sampling of the different renewable energy projects either active or pending in the states. Officials in the relevant SLC state economic development and energy offices were contacted for information along with additional research.
July 5, 2011
The Southern Legislative Conference recently researched and published an SLC issue alert regarding U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan's June 13 proposal to grant waivers from the requirements of the "No Child Left Behind" Act to those states that adopt a set of reforms. For more information on the topic, click here
July 7, 2011
The U.S. food safety system has developed over a lengthy period, often in response to health concerns or threats. Because of this, the system does not have a coherent, strategic focus, but is a patchwork of legal and regulatory activities that distributes the responsibility for, and information about, food safety across numerous federal, state and local entities. This SLC Regional Resource examines current practices in regards to food safety, as well as best practices to ensure that foodborne illnesses are reduced to a minimal level. Click here
to read the report.
July 26, 2011
August 5, 2011
In an unprecedented study of nearly 1 million Texas public secondary school students followed for more than six years, nearly 60 percent were suspended or expelled, according to a report released today by the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center in partnership with the Public Policy Research Institute of Texas A&M University.Breaking Schools’ Rules: A Statewide Study on How School Discipline Relates to Students’ Success and Juvenile Justice Involvement
is available through the CSG Justice Center Website.
August 9, 2011
A recently released SLC Special Series Report
explores efforts initiated by Southern states in recent years to develop the renewable energy sector in the region and an assessment of the economic development, energy and environmental benefits expected to flow from these efforts. The report also highlights various energy projects the SLC member states. A short overview
of the report also is available.
September 1, 2011
The Southern Legislative Conference is accepting applications from qualified individuals for the position, Director of Operations and Programs, until September 30, 2011. For more information, please click here
September 17-24, 2011
Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee Delegation
In a visit designed to enhance economic cooperation and greater understanding between states belonging to the Southern Office of The Council of State Governments (CSG), the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) and China, a delegation of SLC state presiding officers, including Alabama Speaker Pro Tem Victor Gaston, Arkansas Speaker Robert S. Moore, Jr. and North Carolina Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, recently travelled to China. The visit was sponsored by the Hong Kong-based China-U.S. Exchange Foundation and the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) with the Atlanta-based SLC, coordinating and organizing the trip’s details. The 2011 delegation visit was the third consecutive year that the SLC had coordinated a visit to China by SLC presiding officers. Both in fall 2009 and 2010, two SLC presiding officer delegations from a total of eight Southern states had very successful visits to Beijing and Shanghai.
Agenda | Photos
October 3, 2011 | Atlanta, Georgia
Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee Workshop
The SLC, in collaboration with the Georgia Southern University, hosted a workshop on the creative economy for a select group of legislators from six Southern states earlier this week in Atlanta. The workshop, conducted at the Georgia Tech Conference Facility, was designed to bring together SLC state legislators and demonstrate how to think constructively and proactively about the creative economy. At a time when state arts agencies face unprecedented challenges in securing state and local government appropriations, along with funds from corporate and individual sources, the workshop focused on effective and optimal strategies available to state arts agencies and legislators to eventually generate broad-based, sustained economic growth. In a series of presentations and during the ensuing discussion, the workshop explored how states and localities might more effectively unleash the tremendous potential of creative and cultural forces to bring about impressive economic results.
Creative Economy in Denver, Colorado
Creative Economy as an Economic Driver
Senator John Unger II, West Virginia
Representative Lee Denney, Oklahoma
Senator Dan Newberry, Oklahoma
Representative Laura Hall, Alabama
Representative Mike Hagar, North Carolina
Representative Jared Brossett, Louisiana
Senator Jack Hill, Georgia
Dr. Brooks Keel, Georgia Southern University
Dr. Charles Patterson, Georgia Southern University
Russel Keen, Georgia Southern University
Lisa Bridges, Georgia Southern University
Ted Abernathy, Southern Growth Policies Board
Ginger White, City of Denver
Jeff Tobe, Speaker
Steven Weathers, Savannah Economic Development Authority
Jay Self, Savannah Film Commission
Karen Paty, Georgia Council for the Arts
Colleen Cousineau, Southern Legislative Conference
Sujit CanagaRetna, Southern Legislative Conference
Elizabeth Lewis, Southern Legislative Conference
October 4-6, 2011 | Washington, D.C.
Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee Delegation
Legislators from three SLC states participated in a Washington, D.C. transportation fly-in October 4-6, 2011, organized by The Council of State Governments. Senator Bill Sample – Arkansas (Member, Arkansas Senate Transportation Committee; Vice Chair, SLC Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee); Representative Hubert Collins – Kentucky (Chair, Kentucky House Transportation Committee; Former Chair, SLC Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee); and Senator Robert D. Beach – West Virginia (Chair, West Virginia Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Committee) represented the SLC at the fly-in. The legislators joined their colleagues from the other three CSG regions for a series of presentations and discussions on the re-authorization of federal transportation funding. The fly-in also included a series of visits to Capitol Hill where the SLC legislators met with their Congressional delegations to impress upon them the urgent need for federal transportation re-authorization legislation.
October 28-30, 2011 | Atlanta, Georgia
The Legislative Service Agency (LSA) Directors Group, comprising legislative service directors from the 15 SLC member states, recently convened in Atlanta, Georgia, for their pre-legislative workshop, October 28-30, 2011. The directors discussed a variety of topics pertaining to the enhancement and improvement of services in their respective legislatures and hosted a debate on immigration reform in Southern states, with presentations from Tamar Jacoby, president and CEO of ImmigrationWorks USA, as well as Julie Kirchner, executive director of the Federation for American Immigration Reform. Also during the program, Chris Whatley, director of The Council of State Governments' Washington, D.C. office, provided an update on the activities of the Congressional “super committee.” During the workshop, members shared information with one another pertaining to past and upcoming legislative sessions, with a focus on becoming more effective at providing services to lawmakers. The LSA Group was lead by Jerry Bassett, director of Legislative Reference Service in the Alabama Legislature.
November 3, 2011
The Council of State Governments concluded the 2011 National Confernce and North American Summit on October 23. Highlights from the Summit, including speaker biographies and select speaker presentations are available here
November 7, 2011
Under the leadership of 2011 CSG Chair Rep. Bob Godfrey of Connecticut, a national governance working group has been created to examine key ways CSG can advance its mission through enhancements to its governance structure. The National Governance Working Group is composed of members from across the broader CSG organization, including state officials from each of CSG’s regions as well as representatives from CSG’s Affiliate and Associate communities. The working group has considered and endorsed several enhancements to CSG’s governance model. More information on the National Governance Working Group is available here
November 14-15, 2011 | Washington, D.C.
Human Services & Public Safety Committee Delegation
Legislators from four SLC states participated in a Washington, D.C., healthcare reform fly-in November 14-15, 2011, organized by The Council of State Governments and the Southern Legislative Conference. Representative Sharon Cooper – Georgia (Chair, Georgia House Health and Human Services Committee; Chair, SLC Human Services and Public Safety Committee); Senator Julie Denton – Kentucky (Chair, Kentucky Senate Health and Welfare Committee; Member, SLC Human Services and Public Safety Committee); Senator Emmett Hanger – Virginia (Vice Chair, SLC Human Services and Public Safety Committee); and Representative Greg Leding – Arkansas (Member, Arkansas House Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee) represented the SLC at the fly-in. The legislators met for a series of discussions on the implications for instituting state-run healthcare exchanges, as well as other aspects of the federal Affordable Care Act, which included presentations by representatives from several national think tanks and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The fly-in also included a series of visits to Capitol Hill where the SLC legislators met with their Congressional delegations.
November 15, 2011
Sujit CanagaRetna, SLC Senior Fiscal Analyst, traveled to Orlando, Florida, to present on the state of state budgets at the American Chemist 2011 State Affairs and Political Mobilization Annual Planning Meeting. Click here
to view the presentation and here
for a copy of the remarks.
November 16, 2011
More than 20 state legislators from across the South convened in Atlanta November 15 and 16 for a Policy Academy for Newly Elected Legislators (PANEL) hosted by the SLC and The Council of State Governments to discuss Common Core Standards for K-12 Education. The Academy featured presentations on the standards from national education experts, including former Colorado Governor and Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Roy Romer, discussions among members as well as a visit to a groundbreaking local school to see high standards put into practice. For more on the Standards, click here
November 19, 2011
The XXIV Border Legislative Conference (BLC) convened in Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico, on November 17-19. The BLC is a program administered by CSG-West and its regional partner in the South, the SLC, that serves as a mechanism for on-going dialogue and collaboration among state legislators of the United States and Mexico. Attending from the Southern region were Texas Senator Jose Rodriquez, SLC Policy Analyst Jeremy Williams and SLC Research Associate Mikko Lindberg. Governor Jorge Juan Torres Lopez of Coahuila presented opening remarks at the Conference. Photo Gallery
| BLC Website
December 8, 2011
Last week, Jeremy Williams, the SLC’s energy analyst, joined a group of policy research staff from across the United States for a visit to the northern Albertan oil sands, a technical tour and briefing hosted by the Consulate General of Canada in coordination with the provincial government of Alberta. The technical tour and briefing involved presentations and discussions on Canada-U.S. energy relations (since 1999, Canada has been the largest supplier of crude and refined oil imports to the United States), responsible energy development, environmental advances in oil sands production processes, and economic development opportunities related to energy production. The trip also included tours of both mining and in situ oil sands refineries near Fort McMurray, Alberta.