2011 Great Lakes Region Fiscal Leaders Meeting

The Budget Year Ahead:
Challenging Decisions and Legislative Opportunities

Fri., Feb. 11 | Sat., Feb. 12 |

Other Resources

February 11-12, 2011
Chicago, Illinois

In partnership with the Pew Center on the States

Friday, February 11, 2011

12:15 pm – 1:15 pm

2011 Economic Outlook: What’s Ahead for States?

The Great Recession ended in June 2009, earlier than most economists originally thought.  The road to recovery will continue to be bumpy, however, as states struggle to get back on sound fiscal footing.  This session will feature the latest forecast for the U.S. economy and the resulting implications for states.

Speaker: Rick Mattoon, Senior Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

1:15 pm – 2:15 pm

Are the States Facing a Debt Crisis?

Driven in part by the sovereign debt crisis in the European Union and a greater focus on U.S. federal government debt, the past year has seen an increase in speculation over the prospect of trouble in the $2.8 trillion municipal bond market.  Are these fears overblown?  Or should states be considering the prospect of a potentially sharp increase in borrowing costs in the future?  This session will explore these issues and field questions from legislators on the topic of debt in state government.

Facilitator: Michele Mariani Vaughn, Manager, Research, Pew Center on the States
Speaker: Jim Spiotto, Partner, Chapman & Cutler


2:15 pm – 3:30 pm

State Strategies to Manage Budget Shortfalls: Cuts & Efficiencies

Most states have at least three years of experience dealing with significant budget gaps. This session will focus on spending reductions, consolidations and other ways states have done more with less. During this program, legislative fiscal leaders will be asked to discuss some of their most significant gap closing successes.

Facilitator: Luke Martel, Policy Associate, NCSL

3:45 pm – 4:30 pm

State Strategies to Manage Budget Shortfalls: Revenue Actions

This session will focus on recent state actions to fortify revenue collections, such as changing taxes and fees and curtailing tax expenditures.

Facilitator: Corina Eckl, Fiscal Affairs Program Director, NCSL

Saturday, February 12, 2011

8:00 am – 9:15 am

Breakfast Session: Job Creation to Spur Economic Growth

Economists agree that job creation is the key component to a sustained economic recovery. Lawmakers are looking for more efficient ways to help create jobs and encourage business development by offering incentives, providing tax credits, and evaluating business regulations in their states. Lawmakers will hear about the new job creation strategies states are attempting in this session.

Facilitator: Jeff Chapman, Manager, Research, Pew Center on the States
Speaker: Ken Poole, Executive Director, The Council for Community & Economic Research

9:15 am – 10:30 am

State Approaches to Reduce Unfunded Public Sector Retirement Benefit Liabilities

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.

Speakers: Ron Snell, Senior Fellow, NCSL
David Draine, Senior Researcher, Pew Center on the States

10:30 am – 11:45 am

Workshop: A New Federal-State Fiscal Relationship

State lawmakers are concerned about the implications of federal budget and tax actions on the states. And the stakes may be even higher as Congress and the Administration have renewed their attention on addressing the federal deficit. The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform released its initial report on Dec. 1. What might the Commission’s recommendations—or the President’s February budget submission—mean for state budgets?  And, going forward, how can state lawmakers adjust to a new and changing relationship with the federal government?

Facilitator: Michael Bird, Senior Federal Affairs Counsel, NCSL

Other Resources

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

NCSL Tax Resources

Recent Reports from The Pew Center on the States