2010 Fiscal Leaders Seminar - Strategic Decision Making in Challenging Times 

 Wed., Dec. 8 | Thu., Dec. 9 |

Other Resources

December 7-9, 2010
Biltmore Hotel
Phoenix, Arizona

In partnership with the Pew Center on the States

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

 8:45 am - 10:15 am

The State of State Budgets

The state fiscal crisis has forced lawmakers to make some of the most difficult fiscal decisions of their careers. What’s in store for 2011 legislative sessions? This program will highlight NCSL’s hot-off-the-press state budget update report and the latest prognosis for state revenue performance. It also will provide an opportunity for fiscal leaders to describe their respective state’s fiscal situations and hear a brief summary of specific strategies lawmakers have pursued to close their budget gaps.

Speakers: Corina Eckl, Director, Fiscal Affairs Program, NCSL
Luke Martel, Policy Associate, Fiscal Affairs Program, NCSL


10:30 am - 11:45 am

2011 Economic Outlook

The Great Recession ended in June 2009, earlier than most economists originally thought. The road to recovery may be bumpy, however, as states struggle to get back on sound fiscal footing. Attend this session to hear a nationally renowned economist give his forecast for the U.S. economy and resulting implications for states.

Speaker: David Wyss, Chief Economist, Standard & Poor’s, New York


11:45 am - 1:15 pm

Luncheon Program – Public Attitudes about State Budgets

In several recent surveys of public opinion, respondents have displayed remarkable consistency in what they want from their state governments. But what they want does not always match what state government is able to provide during these challenging times. How can policy makers engage the public in decision making and lead to state fiscal health? Legislators from two states will discuss how public attitudes affect policy making.

Moderator: Lori Grange, Deputy Director, Pew Center on the States
Panelists: Representative John Kavanagh, Chair, House Appropriations Committee, Arizona
Senator Richard Devlin, Chair, Senate Ways & Means Committee, Oregon

1:30 pm - 3:00 pm 

Evidence-Based Budgeting to Improve Decision Making

In an era of constraint, it is more important than ever for policy makers to use good data and evidence of effectiveness when determining what to fund and where to cut. From corrections and pensions to children’s programs, evidence-based budgeting and cost-benefit analysis are emerging as key tools. This session will profile how these tools can be employed and the results some states have achieved using them. 

Moderator / Speaker: Senator Dan Liljenquist, Utah
Speakers: Sara Watson, Senior Officer, Pew Center on the States
Steve Aos, Director, Washington State Institute for Public Policy

3:15 pm - 4:45 pm 

Strategic Tax Policy: Reexamining Tax Credits & Exemptions

With the state revenue situation still tenuous, lawmakers have carefully examined every aspect of their budgets including lost revenues from tax credits and exemption. This session will look at recent state actions to modify and curtail tax expenditures.

Moderator / Speaker: Mandy Rafool, Program Principal, NCSL
Speakers: Senator Gary Stanislawski, Vice Chair, Senate Finance Committee, Oklahoma
Senator Robert Dvorsky, Iowa

Thursday, December 9, 2010

 8:30 am - 9:30 am

Strategizing for the End of ARRA Funding

With funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act soon to expire, state lawmakers are facing another round of tough budget choices. Mr. DeSeve will discuss the Administration’s perspective on the states’ current fiscal situation and where state policymakers go from here.

Moderator: Sue Urahn, Managing Director, Pew Center on the States
Speaker: Ed DeSeve, Special Advisor to the President on the Implementation of ARRA

9:30 am - 10:30 am

Can State Revenue Estimating Be Improved?

Estimating revenues has never been easy, but in an era of turbulent economic times, it has gotten even more difficult for states to get it right. With ARRA funding expiring and more fiscal challenges ahead, it’s more important than ever that state lawmakers get an accurate assessment of future revenue performance. This session will feature 50-state research from the Pew Center on the States on revenue estimating over the past two decades, the highlights of a new NCSL survey on recent changes in forecasting processes and a view from the front lines of forecasting.

Moderator: Kil Huh, Director, Research, Pew Center on the States
Speaker: Arturo Perez, Program Principal, Fiscal Affairs Program, NCSL
Jim Landers, Senior Fiscal Analyst, Office of Fiscal and Management Analysis, Indiana

10:45 am - 11:45 am

State Fiscal Implications of Federal Health Reform
Joint Session with the Women’s Legislative Network of NCSL

The federal health reform legislation imposes on states dozens of new requirements and presents states with a number of options. The net fiscal impact on states will vary depending on many factors including the number of newly eligible, the enrollment of those currently eligible though not enrolled, and the impact of the prescription drug rebates. A handful of states have begun to examine the expected state fiscal implications of the federal health reform legislation. During this session, the panel will discuss the areas where increased and decreased costs to the states are anticipated.

Moderator: Joy Johnson Wilson, Senior Counsel, NCSL
Speaker: Senator Jane Kitchel, Vice Chair, Senate Appropriations Committee and Co-Chair, Health Care Reform Commission, Vermont
Speaker: Michael Nolin, Deputy Director, The Hilltop Institute, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)

 Other Resources

NCSL's State Measures to Balance FY 2010 and FY 2011 Budgets

Links to Nevada's Audits on Contracts with Consultants

NCSL Tax Resources

Recent Reports from The Pew Center on the States