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From: The Council of State Governments
To: Rep. Perry, L.,
Subject: January/February 2014 Capitol Ideas--Hot Topic: 2014 Legislative Session Preview
Date: 2014-01-14T16:12:59Z

Hot Topic
Regional Roundup
10 Questions
By the Book


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2014 Preview--
Trickle Down Uncertainty  
By Jennifer Burnett, CSG Program Manager, Fiscal and Economic Policy
Even as states recover from the recession and the impact of the recent federal government shutdown, they face new challenges because of federal instability and pending cuts that come with sequestration.
By the Book-- 
Bracing for Federal Cuts 


When the federal government cuts its employment, it affects state budgets too, and not just through the federal funding that ceases to flow into the states. Losing federal jobs can end up affecting state economies.


» Read the full story here.

2014 Preview--Improving Education Will Require Flexibility 
By Pam Goins, CSG Director of Education Policy


States continue to struggle with radically transforming public education, which many believe will be necessary to make U.S. students more competitive in the global marketplace. Members of CSG's Deeper Learning Focus Group share their thoughts on where state leaders need to focus to ensure their students are ready for life after high school.


» Read the full story here.

2014 Preview--States Seek Transportation Funding Certainty   

By Sean Slone, CSG Program Manager
for Transportation Policy


MAP-21, the hard-won federal surface transportation authorization bill approved by Congress in 2012, will expire at the end of September. If Congress can't agree on a successor, the federal Highway Trust Fund will run out of money in 2015. That puts states in a bind as they try to decide how to pay for long-term transportation projects.


» Read the full story here.

2014 Preview--New Greenhouse Gas Emission Rules Create Uncertainty   

By Brydon Ross, CSG Director
of Energy & Environmental Policy


Many states--especially those that rely on coal-fired power plants--will be paying close attention to the anticipated Environmental Protection Agency rule on greenhouse gas emissions expected to be released in June. The rule, which will require states to set performance standards and develop implementation plans to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants, could set states scrambling to comply.


» Read the full story here.

2014 Preview--States Exploring
New Food Labeling Laws 
BJennifer GinnCSG Associate Editor 


Although most of the discussion in states about agriculture centered on the farm bill in 2013, food labeling laws are becoming one of the next hotly debated topics. State leaders are increasingly pushing for laws requiring products using genetically modified organisms to be labeled.


» Read the full story here.

2014 Preview--States Do About-Face on Immigration Legislation 
BJennifer GinnCSG Associate Editor 


What a difference two years and an election can make. More than 1,500 immigration bills and resolutions were introduced in statehouses in the first half of 2011, many of them based on Arizona's Senate Bill 1070. During the first half of 2013, more than 400 laws and resolutions were introduced, although many of those bills gave unauthorized immigrants new rights.


» Read the full story here.

2014 Preview--Expanding Medicaid
to Cover More ... Or Not 
BDebra MillerCSG Director of Health Policy 


Half of the country's states have opted not to expand Medicaid eligibility to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, as allowed by the Affordable Care Act. As health care providers are pressuring legislators and governors to accept Medicaid expansion and the new federal money that comes with it, many of those states likely will revisit that decision in 2014.


» Read the full story here.

State Success and Federal Missteps

By Mary Branham, CSG Managing Editor


Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear hasn't second-guessed his decision to run a state-based health insurance exchange as part of the Affordable Care Act. The Kentucky exchange--Kynect--has been lauded as a model even as the website for federal exchange, healthcare.gov, had a disastrous rollout. But while Kentucky and other states operating their own exchanges have marked many successes, the failure of healthcare.gov could impact the long-term sustainability of the marketplace.


The Crippling Effects
of the Dysfunction in D.C.

By Mary Branham, CSG Managing Editor


The national and regional chairs of The Council of State Government share insights on major challenges facing the nation. 


10 Questions--Dialogue is the Better Way to Solve Problems

By Mary Branham, CSG Managing Editor


Ohio Sen. Frank LaRose believes restoring civility in government will improve the success of the federal--and state--governments. 


CSG Fills the Legislative Toolbox


Just as a mechanic looks into a toolbox to find what he or she needs to get the job done, state policymakers need a toolbox to help them better serve their constituents. The Council of State Governments fills that need for state leaders through a number of valuable programs and publications.

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The Council of State Governments | 2760 Research Park Drive | Lexington | KY | 40511