Nov/Dec 2009

State News: August 2009



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A message from David Adkins executive director/CEO
The Council of State Governments

The Council of State Governments was founded 75 years ago during the Great Depression by state leaders who knew the states are engines of innovation. Today, that same spirit drives our work at CSG.
With the passage of The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the federal government has made an unprecedented commitment to stimulate the economy. Since nearly all states and territories are required to maintain balanced budgets, the options available to states to address their budget shortfalls are relatively limited. They can cut spending, raise taxes or access rainy day funds to cover budget gaps. In many instances these options actually hamper economic recovery efforts. As a result, the investment by the federal government in state fiscal relief meets a pressing need and appropriately positions the states as catalysts for job creation and economic growth.
States can and will find the solutions to see us through this perilous time, and CSG is prepared to help states navigate the challenges ahead. At CSG we will track how states are responding to the stimulus and we will use our knowledge and expertise to help state leaders first understand the federal legislation and then determine how they can best position their states to take full advantage of the federal investment. We believe that leaders in one state can learn much by knowing how other states are responding and at CSG we are uniquely positioned to survey and report on this activity.
You can count on CSG to be a leader in keeping you up to date on how the states are helping rebuild our economy and what strategies they are pursuing to implement the broad directives contained in the stimulus legislation. In partnership with Latham & Watkins, CSG has created a new Web site,, as just one of the ways we will provide a conveniently accessible resource for state leaders and our partners to allow them access to leading information with daily updates on stimulus related developments.
And with the release of the CSG/Latham & Watkins report, “The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009: A Guide for State and Local Governments,” CSG became the first organization in the country to publish a comprehensive legal analysis of the stimulus bill designed to help policymakers make sense of its many provisions. A full copy of that report is available at
Our commitment in this arena is a reflection of the historic and transformative change the stimulus bill represents for our nation and for our states and territories. We will continue to work hard to provide state leaders with the tools they need to build a brighter and more prosperous future for the citizens they serve. We welcome your feedback on the contents of and hope that you will return here often to take full advantage of the updated resources available here.
David Adkins
Executive director/CEO
The Council of State Governments


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