About the Committee Report

The Committee Report is a periodic publication of NCSL's Standing Committee on Labor and Economic Development. 

2010-2011 Committee Officers (as of Sept. 27, 2010)

Rep. Lana Gordon, Kansas
Rep. Brent Yonts, Kentucky

Rep. Angel Cruz, Pennsylvania
Rep. Herbert Dixon, Louisiana
Rep. Anna Fairclough, Alaska
Rep. Julie Fisher, Utah
Sen. Gary LeBeau, Connecticut
Sen. Brandt Hershman, Indiana
Rep. Patrick Long, New Hampshire

Immediate Past Chair
Rep. Juan Zapata, Florida

Legislative Staff Chair:
Gwennetta Tatum, Mississippi

Staff Vice-Chairs:
Linda Bussell, Kentucky
LeNee Carroll, Indiana
Jeff Houch, Illinois
Gilbert Loredo, Texas

Immediate Past Staff Chair:
Andrea Wilko, Utah

Committee Staff

Labor and Economic Development Committee Report

Sept. 27, 2010
Vol. III, No. 7

PDF Version

Sections: Committee Update
                Upcoming Meetings
                In the News
                New Reports



New Committee Vice-Chairs Named

NCSL President Senator Richard Moore has named Representative Lana Gordon, R-Kansas, and Representative Brent Yonts, D-Kentucky, as the 2010-2011 Co-Chairs of the Labor and Economic Development Committee. Gwennetta Tatum, staff attorney with the Mississippi Legislature, is the Legislative Staff Chair for 2010-2011. Senator Moore has also finalized the selection of Vice-Chairs for the Committee. Please see below for a complete list of Committee officers. Some additional officers may be appointed in the coming weeks.

Labor and Economic Development Committee Officers, 2010-2011 (as of September 27, 2010)

        Rep. Lana Gordon, Kansas
        Rep. Brent Yonts, Kentucky

        Rep. Angel Cruz, Pennsylvania
        Rep. Herbert Dixon, Louisiana
        Rep. Anna Fairclough, Alaska
        Rep. Julie Fisher, Utah
        Sen. Gary LeBeau, Connecticut
        Sen. Brandt Hershman, Indiana
        Rep. Patrick Long, New Hampshire

      Immediate Past Chair
        Rep. Juan Zapata, Florida 

Legislative Staff Chair:
  Gwennetta Tatum, Mississippi

Staff Vice-Chairs:
  Linda Bussell, Kentucky
  LeNee Carroll, Indiana
  Jeff Houch, Illinois
  Gilbert Loredo, Texas 



Immediate Past Staff Chair:
  Andrea Wilko, Utah 

Committee Jurisdiction – We Have Issues!

The Labor and Economic Development Committee has one of the broadest jurisdictions of any of NCSL’s 12 standing committees. Below are the subjects that fall within the Committee’s purview:

     ♦ Arts and Culture

     ♦ Adult Education

     ♦ Community Revitalization

     ♦ Consumer Affairs

     ♦ Davis Bacon Act

     ♦ Economic Development

     ♦ Employment

     ♦ Employment Training

     ♦ Family Medical Leave Act

     ♦ Growth Management

     ♦ Historic Preservation

     ♦ Housing

     ♦ International Trade

     ♦ Labor

     ♦ Libraries

     ♦ Life-long Learning 

     ♦ Minimum Wage

     ♦ Pensions

     ♦ Public Employees Retirement

     ♦ Right-to-Work Laws

     ♦ School-to-Work Transition

     ♦ Social Security

     ♦ State Minimum Wage

     ♦ Travel and Tourism

     ♦ Unemployment

     ♦ Unemployment Compensation 

     ♦ Unions

     ♦ Urban Renewal

     ♦ Violence-Workplace

     ♦ Workers Compensation

     ♦ Workforce Development    

     ♦ Workplace Discrimination



Fall Forum logoFall Forum, Dec. 8-111, 2010, Phoenix, Arizona

Labor and Economic Development Committee officers met on September 17th via conference call to begin planning Committee programs for the Fall Forum. Topics may include unemployment, arts and economic development, employee misclassification, workplace drug issues, and international trade. More information about the Committee’s agenda will be sent out to Committee members in the next few weeks.

Each of the Standing Committees will present up to four sessions during the Fall Forum. In addition, there will be six concurrent Issue Briefings, on the most challenging issues facing the states, along with plenary programs and pre-conference seminars.

Full meeting information, including registration and hotel information, is available on the Fall Forum page. Check back often for program and speaker updates. Below is the general schedule for the meeting:

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

   8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Pre-Conference Workshops and Seminars

Thursday, December 9, 2010

   8:00 am - 12:45 pm

Pre-Conference workshops/ Seminars Task Forces/ Working Groups

   10:30 am - 12:00 pm

Standing Committee Officers Orientation/Steering Committee Meeting

   12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Standing Committee Staff Officers Luncheon

   1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Opening Plenary

   2:45 pm - 5:30 pm

Standing Committee Sessions

   6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Reception at Hotel

Friday, December 10, 2010

   8:30 am - 11:30 am

Standing Committee Sessions

   11:45 am - 1:15 pm

Plenary Luncheon Program

   1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Issue Briefings

   3:15 pm - 4:45 pm

Issue Briefings

   6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Reception at Hotel



U.S. Dept. of Labor Issues Final Rule for Unemployment Compensation Program Interest-Free UI Loans
September 17, 2010: The U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration announced a final rule regarding the Unemployment Compensation Program. This rule implements federal legislation requiring the department to establish criteria for states to qualify for interest-free federal loans for the payment of unemployment compensation. The purpose of the legislation spurring today's final rule was to encourage states to adequately forward fund their unemployment compensation systems to minimize the need for advances. The final rule conditions a state's receipt of interest-free advances upon the state meeting new funding goals as well as existing requirements. 

Twenty-Two States Share $8 Million in Grants for Unemployment System Improvements
September 8, 2010: The U.S. Department of Labor announced more than $8 million in grants to 22 states to make automation and technology upgrades within their unemployment insurance systems. The states are Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Washington. The funding will be used by states to make a variety of automation upgrades to unemployment insurance systems, including enhanced call centers, interactive voice response system technologies, acquisition of document management technologies, imaging systems and optical character recognition applications, and automated systems to improve linkages of claimants to re-employment services.

Updated NCSL 2010 Bill Tracking Summaries Now Available
Updated legislative bill tracking summaries for are now available on a wide range of issues, including equal pay, minimum wage, family leave, sick leave, telecommuting/flexible schedules, pensions, jobs creation, EITC, and unemployment. 

State Unemployment Rates For August 2010
State unemployment rates were little changed in August, according to figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Sept. 21, 2010. Twenty-seven states saw their unemployment rates increase, while unemployment dropped in 13 states and Puerto Rico, and remained unchanged in 10 states and the District of Columbia. 

U.S. Dept. of Labor – The State of the American Worker
In honor of Labor Day, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor Hilda Solis makes a presentation on the state of the American worker.


Congressional Budget Office Reports

ARRA Impact
Estimated Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on Employment and Economic Output From April 2010 Through June 2010. August 2010

CBO Presentation
Fiscal Policy Choices in Uncertain Times: CBO Director Doug Elmendorf's presentation to Macroeconomic Advisers, September 2010. 

Bureau of Labor Statistics Reports

Monthly Labor Review Online – August, 2010
Issue Highlights:Feature articles include: The expanding role of temporary help services from 1990 to 2008; Time-use surveys: issues in data collection on multitasking; and Revising the Standard Occupational Classification system for 2010.  

Real Earnings Update
Real average hourly earnings for all employees was unchanged from July to August, seasonally adjusted. This result stems from a 0.3 percent increase in average hourly earnings, which was offset by a 0.3 percent increase in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U). Real average weekly earnings was unchanged over the month. Sept. 17, 2010

Consumer Price Index Update
On a seasonally adjusted basis, the CPI-U increased 0.3 percent in August, the same increase as in July. The index for all items less food and energy was unchanged in August after rising 0.1 percent in July. Sept. 17, 2010.   

GAO Reports

State and Local Government Pension Plans
Governance Practices and Long-term Investment Strategies Have Evolved Gradually as Plans Take On Increased Investment Risk. GAO-10-754, August 24, 2010.

Defined Benefit Pension Plans
Plans Face Valuation and Other Challenges When Investing in Hedge Funds and Private Equity. GAO-10-915T, July 20, 2010.  

Private Pensions
Long-standing Challenges Remain for Multiemployer Pension Plans.  GAO-10-708T, May 27, 2010.  

Sudan Divestment
U.S. Investors Sold Assets but Could Benefit from Increased Disclosure Regarding Companies' Ties to Sudan. GAO-10-742, June 22, 2010. 

Community Development Block Grants
Entitlement Communities’ and States’ Methods of Distributing Funds Reflect Program Flexibility. GAO-10-874, August, 2010. 

Export Promotion
Increases in Commercial Service Workforce Should Be Better Planned. GAO-10-874, August 31, 2010. 

Export Promotion - ExIm Bank
The Export-Import Bank's Financing of Dual-Use Exports. GAO-10-1052R, September 15, 2010. 

Whistleblower Protection
Sustained Management Attention Needed to Address Long-Standing Program Weaknesses. GAO-10-722, August 17, 2010. 

Recovery Act
Opportunities to Improve Management and Strengthen Accountability over States' and Localities' Uses of Funds. GAO-10-999, September 20, 2010. 

Tax Administration
Usage and Selected Analyses of the First-Time Homebuyer Credit. GAO-10-1025R, September 2, 2010. 

National Academy of Social Insurance

Workers' Compensation: Benefits, Coverage, and Costs, 2008
Published in September 2010, Workers' Compensation: Benefits, Coverage, and Costs, 2008, is the thirteenth in a series begun by the National Academy of Social Insurance to provide comprehensive national data on this largely state-run program. The study provides estimates of workers' compensation payments—cash and medical—for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and federal program providing workers' compensation. According to the study, workers’ compensation payments for medical care and cash benefits for U.S. workers injured on the job increased 4.4 percent to $57.6 billion in 2008.  For the first time, medical benefits accounted for over half (50.4 percent) of all benefits paid. An 8.8 percent increase in payments for medical care drove medical spending to $29.1 billion in 2008 (the most recent year with complete data), while wage replacement benefits paid directly to injured workers rose by 0.3 percent to $28.6 billion. For long-term trends, it is useful to consider workers’ compensation benefits per $100 of payroll covered by the program. By this measure, cash benefits were $0.48 per $100 of payroll in 2008, the lowest level since 1980 (the earliest date with comparable data).



For more information, contact Jeanne Mejeur, at 303-856-1467, or James Ward, at 202-624-8683.