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State Economic Crisis Focus of Summit

By Kelley Arnold, CSG Associate Director of Membership Outreach
State leaders from across the country will have the opportunity to discuss the impact of the current financial crisis on states’ abilities to both balance their budgets and deliver services to residents during the Economic Summit of the States in New York City May 20–23.
The summit will feature addresses from national pollster Frank Luntz, crisis communications expert Vincent Covello, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and renowned economist Arthur Laffer. There will also be a special general session on health care reform from 10-11:30 a.m. May 20.
Frank Luntz, Ph.D.
Luntz, scheduled to speak 10 a.m. May 22, is one of the most honored communication professionals in America today. He’s been called the hottest pollster in America and was honored by Time magazine as one of “50 of America’s most promising leaders aged 40 and under.” BusinessWeek named Luntz one of the four “Top Research Minds” and The Washington Post has given him a “Crystal Ball” award for being the most accurate pundit. 
Luntz is the author of The New York Times bestseller “Words that Work: It’s Not What You Say it’s What People Hear.” Now out in paperback, the book explores the art and science of language creation. His latest book, “What Americans Really Want … Really” addresses the private hopes, dreams and fears of the American people. Drawing from his latest volume, Luntz will share his observations on the economic reforms that Americans want their leaders to provide.
Vincent Covello, Ph.D.
Covello, who will speak from 2:30–4 p.m. May 22, is the founder and director of the Center for Risk Communication. A leading expert in the field of crisis communications, Covello served as risk communication consultant for former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and helped craft some of the scripted remarks given by the mayor on Sept. 11, 2001. He also helped former British Prime Minister Tony Blair respond to the 2005 London bombings.
In his 25-year career, Covello has served both as a senior White House staffer and a faculty member at Columbia University. Covello will draw upon his years of experience in the field to share practical techniques for informing and reassuring constituents in the height of a crisis.    
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee
Huckabee, who will speak from 4–5:30 p.m. May 22, is the host of the top-rated weekend hit HUCKABEE on the Fox News Channel, and is heard three times daily across the nation on the Huckabee Report. He also served as the chairman of the National Governors Association and as the 2003 National President of The Council of State Governments.
Drawing on his experiences as governor and a 2008 presidential candidate, Huckabee will discuss the states’ proper role in federalism and give his unique perspective on how state and federal policymakers should work together to move the nation’s economy forward.
Arthur Laffer, Ph.D.
Renowned economist  Laffer will close the summit from 8–9:30 a.m. May 23 with his insights on where states are and where they can realistically expect to go as they take on the current budget crisis. His economic writings and work over the last four decades have helped shape how today’s policymakers look at taxation, revenue generation and spending options with the popularized “Laffer Curve”—a staple of modern public finance theory. Seeking long-term growth and sustainability while meeting the short-term expectations of citizens, Laffer will help offer his thoughts on the competing forces at work and how state leaders can craft balanced solutions to meet unprecedented problems.
CSG’s Economic Summit of the States is designed to provide state government leaders with vital information and strategies on how to lead their respective states through these turbulent economic times. In addition to the keynote addresses, the summit will also feature several panel discussions composed of state leaders in addition to 10 topical breakouts sessions. For more information, please visit the summit agenda.
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