News You Can Use to Address Fiscal Challenges

By David Adkins, CSG Executive Director
March Madness is the phrase used to highlight the basketball tournament that engages so many college hoops fans this time of year. But it could easily be used to describe the emotions state leaders are experiencing as they work hard to craft their state’s budgets for the current and next fiscal years. Governors and legislators have worked diligently over the last four years to close unprecedented budget gaps and the effects of the Great Recession are still being felt in the states.  
Revenues are down 12 percent from where they were before the recession and job growth is proving to be more elusive than in most recoveries. The Council of State Governments works hard to connect state leaders to each other, and to cutting edge information, innovations and insight—all designed to empower our members to achieve excellence in public policy.  
 We know from visiting with governors and legislators just how tough things are in the state capitols right now. The issues are complex, the politics are intense and the public’s level of trust is low. I am convinced that the creativity, energy and persistence of state leaders is up to the challenge and CSG is committed to doing all we can to help.
 This special edition of Capitol Ideas is just the start of a concentrated effort we will be making over the next four weeks to provide you with information you can use and share. The CSG Growth and Prosperity Virtual Summit of the States 2.0 is a part of our campaign to provide our members with what they have told us they need most.  Please take a look and let us know what you think.
 The first-ever virtual summit of state leaders will be hosted by CSG beginning on April 11 and continuing through April 14. Each day we will present two 90-minute webinars, giving our members the chance to interact with experts and other leaders on the most pressing issues facing the states. Registration for any or all of the eight webinars we are hosting during the summit is free and it is just a click away. You can check out the agenda at our summit website and sign up to participate. Please join us and invite others to as well.
This exclusive summit website is where all of the presentations and specially created content can be found. Check back often because we will continually be updating the resources to be found there.  
 At CSG we are committed to sharing capitol ideas. We hope you enjoy this special edition.