Regional Cooperation Key to Winning Stimulus Transportation Dollars
I caught an interesting story about the importance of regional cooperation that ran in last week's Riverside (CA) Press-Enterprise. The article highlights quotes from Joel Szabat, deputy assistant secretary for transportation policy at the U.S. Department of Transportation and keynote speaker at the annual Interstate 10 Corridor Conference.
Szabat's comments stressed the importance of rregional cooperation to winning federal funds:
"You need to speak with one voice," Szabat said. "Don't have three similar applications from cities in the same region. You'd be cannibalizing each other."
The Press-Enterprise summarized Szabat's remarks:
"The federal government has $48 billion in economic stimulus money for local transportation improvements, but the regions that get the biggest shares will be where neighbors play nice with each other"
Cooperation between cities and counties with different elected officials and tax structures doesn't typically happen naturally. Despite their interconnectedness, it takes strong civic leadership to pull together different political jurisdictions to address common challenges such as transportation or workforce. The ACCE-Ford Foundation Regional Sustainable Development Fellowship is designed to help chamber leaders become more effective regional leaders. Applications for the 3rd round of the Ford RSD Fellowship are due this Friday - June 12. If you are interested in developing your capacity for regional leadership, call the ACCE office and ask for more information.
Applications for Ford RSD Fellowship Due
If you’re considering putting in an application for the Ford Foundation funded Regional Sustainable Development Fellowship, June 12 is the deadline. All travel and lodging and nearly all food expenses are covered for this 9 month, executive education program. Accepted applicants have opportunities to interact with preeminent speakers about policy issues such as land use planning and K-12 education as well as topics related to regional cooperation and leadership. Accepted fellows go through the program with a cohort of peers, many of whom will be a professional resource even after the program ends.
The application is available online, call ACCE if you have any questions.
Tax Hike on the Horizon for IL?
Newly seated Illinois Governor Pat Quinn was out stumping this weekend to boost public support for his balanced budget plan. The Governor is calling for an income tax hike that he believes is necessary to maintain the services state residents rely on. Gov. Quinn said:
"If we don't get the budget that we need that's decent and fair and reflects the values of Illinois within a very short period of time -- I would say a week or so -- I'm going to lay out the consequences of the legislature's failure to provide revenue for our state and for our budget,"
State legislators have sent the Governor a spending plan for 2010, but have yet to sign on to his proposed tax increase to fund their spending. Illinois' budget year starts on July 1. Read more in this article from the Chicago Tribune.
Most states are facing similar difficult choices with respect to their budgets this year. What steps is your state taking close budget gaps? Cutting expenditure, raising taxes and fees, both? What makes since in the short term and will help promote long term economic growth? Leave a comment with your thoughts.
We'll dig deep into this issue at the 2009 ACCE Convention in Raleigh. Join us on on Friday, July 31 at 2:45 pm for State Budgets and Their Impact on Local Communities, an issue forum featuring guest speakers from the Council on State Taxation, The Rockefeller Institute and the Kentucky Chamber.
ACCE Convention Speaker Profile - Bob Ward, Rockefeller Institute
The ACCE Convention is drawing nearer, the deadline for early bird pricing is this Friday - June 12. As we prepare to meet in Raleigh to learn what's NEXT in all areas of chamber leadership, I'm blogging about some of the featured speakers and workshops from our Government Relations/Policy and Economic Development programming tracks. Last Thursday I profiled Joe Crosby from COST, today I'm featuring his co-panelist on the "State Budgets" Issue Forum - Bob Ward from the Rockefeller Institute of Government.
Robert B. Ward is the deputy director of the Rockefeller Institute and heads the Institute's State and Local Government Finance research. He has studied and written about New York State government for more than 20 years as a newspaper reporter and editor, as assistant to the chairman of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee, and as director of research for The Public Policy Institute of New York State, the research affiliate of The Business Council of New York State.
Having worked at the State Chamber in New York, Bob appreciates the important role that local chamber's must play in guiding public policy, and there is now no bigger policy issue for states than the insolvency of state budgets. Bob will join Joe Crosby on Friday, July 31 at 2:45 pm for State Budgets and Their Impact on Local Communities. His remarks will focus on the expenditure side of state budgets and how states can help close budget gaps through smart cuts.
Dave Adkisson, President of the Kentucky Chamber and ACCE chair-elect, will moderate this important session. We'll discuss the wide ranging issues that impact budgets from health care to taxes to public pension liability. You don't want to miss this one. If you have questions about this, or any other workshops at the ACCE Convention, please give me a call.
ACCE Convention Speaker Profile - Joe Crosby, COST
With the early bird registration deadline (June 12) for ACCE Convention approaching, I wanted to share information about some of the workshops and featured speakers you'll see in Raleigh this summer. Today I'd like to highlight... Joe Crosby.
Joseph R. Crosby is the COO & Senior Director of Policy for the Council on State Taxation (COST). He is responsible for all aspects of COST's advocacy, and regularly testifies before state legislatures and other state and national policymaking bodies. He's also a frequent speaker to trade and industry groups on tax policy matters.
Joe is one of two panelists speaking at the "State Budgets" Issue Forum at the ACCE Convention in Raleigh. The session is schedule for Friday, July 31 at 2:45 pm. During the session - State Budgets and Their Impact on Local Communities - Joe will address observed and potential tax implications on business as states try to close budget gaps.
If you have questions about this, or any other workshops at the ACCE Convention, please give me a call.
Kentucky Calls Special Session
Starting next week the Kentucky Legislature will be back in Frankfort. Gov. Beshear's primary focus for calling back law makers is to address a projected budget shortfall. Below is the Kentucky Chamber's release:
"This afternoon, Gov. Steve Beshear issued a proclamation calling the Kentucky General Assembly into Extraordinary Session on June 15, 2009, to deal with the projected shortfall in the state’s budget for the coming year. The Consensus Forecasting Group (CFG) issued an official budget estimate of $996 million for Fiscal Year 2010. Although that amount is in dispute because it doesn’t reflect budget adjustments already made this year, it still poses a significant challenge. The governor met earlier in the day with legislative leaders and presented them his proposal to close the budget gap.
Beshear’s plan would not raise taxes on businesses or individuals, but would instead rely on a series of budget cuts, a reduction of paid holidays for state employees and targeted use of federal stimulus dollars made available by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act."
The session may address other vital issues including economic development programs and infrastructure authority for major projects.
Budget shortfalls are a painful reality for most states right now. We're addressing this subject in an Issue Forum at the ACCE Convention in Raleigh on Friday, July 31. The Kentucky Chamber's Dave Adkisson will moderate as Joe Crosby from the Council on State Taxation and Bob Ward from the Rockefeller Institute of Government discuss the prospects for state budgets from the expense and revenue sides. Learn strategies for dealing with budget gaps in ways that don't slam your state's economic engines. More at www.acce.org/convention.
Regionalism Forum - Promotional Price
Registration fees for the ARS Regional Strategies Forum are now only $200 if you register for the Forum and the ACCE Convention together. The deadline for ACCE Convention early bird pricing is June 12 – go to www.acce.org/convention to register.
The 2009 ARS Regional Strategies Forum will address the realities of the changing economic landscape and offer insight as to how regions can restructure themselves for future growth. From adopting the right organizational model to leveraging assets to engaging civic leaders; our expert speakers and regional practitioners will tackle key challenges faced by every region. We'll also recognize some of the nation's best regional leaders and organizations during the ARS Awards luncheon.
For a detailed agenda and list of speakers for the 2009 ARS Forum, check out www.regionalstewardship.org/forum/2009