Monday, October 12, 2015

The Current State. The Council of State Governments. Are States the New Welfare Recipients?

Important items below: 
         STEM, Grants awarded to States, Risk Management Insurance.

        Question(s) to consider:  
           Have states become the new welfare recipients of the federal government?
                  -Grants for state run programs?
                  -Disaster (full spectrum:  planning, response, recovery, etc.)
                         declaration funding?
                  -Certain states declare an emergency as part of disaster declaration
                         process before an event occurs to ensure federal disaster funding?
                         (Example:  Snow storms, and hurricanes)
                  -Are state federal funded program funds really reaching the 'grass roots' 
                         community, and individuals before, during, and after a disaster?


Issue: 35                                                                                            October 12, 2015


With the 2016 primary election approaching, voting procedures are taking center stage again. CSG's Overseas Voting Initiative recently had its fifth working group meeting in Newport Beach, Calif., and finalized policy recommendations intended to improve voting processes for U.S. military and civilians overseas. Policy group members will present the recommendations at the 2015 CSG National Conference, Dec. 10-13, in Nashville.

STEM programs at every education level can require significant investments from the government and private sectors. That's because cost drivers--like teacher training and retention and purchasing equipment for high-tech classrooms and laboratories--can make STEM education a pricey investment.

The U.S. Supreme Court's October 2015 term is one to watch not only because the court has accepted numerous cases on controversial topics but also because many of the Supreme Court's decisions this term, including a number of cases affecting the states, are likely to be discussed by the 2016 presidential candidates as the election heats up.  

During a recent CSG eCademy webcast, "Pricing Rooftop Solar: Sustainability, Fairness & Promoting Productivity," two former regulatory commissioners discussed the process used to set utility rates and how to ensure cost fairness and affordability while enabling the growth of distributed generation.

The U.S. Department of Labor recently awarded more than $39.3 million in grants to enhance unemployment insurance programs in 43 states. The grants were awarded to help state unemployment insurance programs prevent and detect improper benefit payments, improve program performance, address outdated information technology systems and combat employee misclassification that underpays and denies benefits to workers. Grants range from $269,215 in Massachusetts to $2,612,092 in Connecticut, with a median grant of $740,935.

While the definition of giftedness varies from state to state, federal legislation is clear about the definition of a gifted student. However, there are no federal mandates that provide funding and services for gifted education to states. Because of this lack of federal standards and the resulting variation in gifted education programming among the states, many states have large discrepancies in terms of available funds and types of services offered to gifted students.

Arizona has asked the federal government to allow it to add work requirements and lifetime eligibility limits for some adults enrolled in Medicaid, according to Stateline. The request, which is in the form of a Section 1115 waiver request, is required under laws passed by the 2015 Arizona State Legislature. Senate Bill 1475 and Senate Bill 1092 require the governor to submit the waiver but do not link continuation of the current Medicaid expansion to the waiver's approval. Former Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed nearly identical legislation the year before, the Arizona Daily Star reported in March 2015.

The deadline for submitting national policy resolutions for the 2015 CSG National Conference in Nashville is Nov. 19. Committees will be notified about submitted resolutions by Nov. 25, two weeks before the conference kicks off on Dec. 10. More information and guidelines for submitting CSG national policy resolutions are available on CSG's website. For more information about current CSG national policy resolutions, visit the CSG Knowledge Center.

Oct. 15, 22 and 29, 2 p.m. EDT
Free CSG eCademy Series in Partnership with the Griffith Foundation

Founded in 1933, The Council of State Governments is our nation's only organization serving all three branches of state government. CSG is a region-based forum that fosters the exchange of insights and ideas to help state officials shape public policy. This offers unparalleled regional, national and international opportunities to network, develop leaders, collaborate and create problem-solving partnerships.  

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