Jan | Feb 2014


What New Year’s Resolution Would You Recommend
for State Policymakers?

 

WORK TOGETHER

SEN. BILL SAMPLE
Arkansas | 2013 CSG Toll Fellow
“The New Year’s resolution I would make for state policymakers would be to focus on working together in order to do what is best for the people of their state. The political party of a legislator shouldn’t be a factor in determining if his or her ideas are good ones. A plan of action that benefits our state should be supported by all of us, regardless of its origin. We are elected to represent the people and we cannot do that if we are so blinded by party affiliation that we fail to embrace what’s best for those we serve. Together we can provide an example of how government should work.”
 

KEEP EVERYONE IN MIND

MEAGHAN BRENNAN
Director of Budget Development, Planning and Administration, Delaware
2013 CSG Toll Fellow
“For 2014, I charge state policymakers to keep all groups of society in mind when making public policy decisions. While it can be easy to remember the majority, those whose voices cannot be heard deserve representation in state government—specifically, cost-effective, relevant services and opportunities that permit full participation in society. These fellow citizens, from children to the elderly to persons with disabilities, often have concrete needs not satisfied by the marketplace or charity organizations. Smart state policies can benefit not just those whom they directly serve, but also offer a high return on investment for the states.”
 

WORK WITH OTHER SIDE

REP. KAREN CAMPER
Tennessee | 2013 CSG Toll Fellow
“A good New Year’s resolution for policymakers could be, ‘Work with the other side more than you criticize it.’ Taxpaying citizens have gotten to a place where they care less about whether you are Republican, Democrat or Tea Party, black or white, young or old; they want results! … If we spend most of our time criticizing and not addressing issues and the concerns of the people, we’re wasting a lot of precious time. We need to be bold enough to reach out to those who might see things … differently than we do in order to find solutions and solve problems for everyone.”
 

FOCUS ON CONSTITUENTS

REP. GEORGENE LOUIS
New Mexico | 2013 CSG Toll Fellow
“State policymakers should resolve to work together to achieve core goals that will improve our states. There are times when state policymakers get caught up in party politics and/or personal ambitions, which often distract from creating good policy. We must focus on our constituents’ concerns and remember the task at hand. … A piece of advice that I received as a new attorney was, ‘Many people learn from their mistakes, but smart people learn from other people’s mistakes.’ Instead of government shutdowns, we should strive to shut down poverty, discrimination and other issues that our constituents struggle with on a daily basis.”
 

SET AN EXAMPLE

JIM HOLDEN
Chief Deputy Treasurer & General Counsel, Office of the
Indiana State Treasurer | 2013 CSG Toll Fellow
“Those of us in state government should resolve to set an example for our elected leaders in Washington, D.C., by balancing our budgets and making government more efficient. As the laboratories of democracy, we must remember that every dollar we save through innovation, public-private partnership or by cutting the size of government is one less dollar that the taxpayers of our states will have to give up in taxes. As the federal government grows ever larger in size, scope and cost, the states should resolve to reassert their roles in our system of federalism as intended by our founders.”