The conversation from The Council of State Governments’ Spring Conference in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, continues online. You can read about the sessions in the Daily Forum from the conference, and hear more from selected speakers.
Sujit CanagaRetna, senior fiscal analyst for the CSG Southern office, the Southern Legislative Conference, discusses the financial crisis. CanagaRetna said state and local governments have faced a variety of problems due to the financial crisis, particularly with bond issues and the credit freeze. While the market has thawed, CanagaRetna said the situation is not where it was before the recession began.
Idaho Treasurer Ron Crane discusses the need for financial literacy. In the current economic situation, Crane said, people are more aware of where they’re spending their money and the need for better management and budgeting of those dollars. Crane developed the Idaho Smart Women, Smart Money conference to teach women statewide financial responsibility for free.
William Cohan, bestselling author of House of Cards, discussed the importance of state officials understanding how the country has gotten into the current economic situation. Anything that affects the federal finances and capital market system, Cohan said, will trickle down and affect state and local governments.
Rand Young, a technical analyst for the Annie E. Casey Foundation, discusses the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative, an effort to make detention a last resort for juveniles. Young calls JDAI a system improvement built around reducing unnecessary and inappropriate detention of youth.
Renee Radcliff Sinclair of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce discusses the importance of infrastructure projects from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act for businesses across the country. While the short-term benefits are obvious—getting people back to work—Sinclair said they also offer long-term benefits, because the economy depends on the ability to move people and goods.
Sean Slone, CSG Transportation Policy analyst, discusses progress on transportation projects in the stimulus package across the country.
Harry Hatry from the Urban Institute reiterates the importance of performance evaluations and also performance management and a focus to results-oriented government.
Rakesh Mohan, director of the Idaho Office of Performance Evaluations, discusses the importance of performance management, particularly for the legislative branch.
Brian Russon, a strategist for the Health Solutions Group, Microsoft Corporation, discusses the importance of health information technology and ways the country can move to past the silos of health information for individual consumers so that information is readily available.
Indiana Rep. Mike Murphy discusses CSG’s technology working group, which has strived in the last few years to bring important technology issues—such as health IT—to the attention of state government officials.