2011 New England Fiscal Leaders Meeting

Fri., Mar. 4 | Sat., Mar. 5 |

Other Resources

March 4-5, 2011
Rhode Island State House
Providence, Rhode Island

In partnership with the Pew Center on the States

Friday, March 4, 2011

12:15 pm – 1:15 pm

 Are the States Facing a Debt Crisis?

State borrowing, state bond ratings, state debt levels and state bankruptcy (!). There’s a lot of talk about these issues within states and nationally. This session will provide participants the opportunity for an intimate conversation with a principal from Standard & Poor’s.


Facilitator: Michele Mariani Vaughn, Project Manager, Pew Center on the States

Speaker: John Sugden, Credit Analyst, Standard & Poor’s

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1:15 pm – 2:45 pm

State and Local Tax Issues:  Trends and Reform

What is the status of state tax structure reviews?  As the state-local partnership evolves, what’s occurring with local taxes, especially the property tax. This session will explore a wide variety of state tax issues, featuring presentations from Rhode Island and Vermont.  A property tax expert will discuss recent national and regional reforms.


Speaker:  Don Boyd, Senior Fellow, The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government

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3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

 State Strategies to Manage Budget Shortfalls:  New England Case Studies

Most states have at least three years of experience dealing with significant budget gaps. During this session, legislative fiscal leaders will be asked to spend 15-20 minutes per state describing the key actions they have taken thus far and actions under consideration for FY 2012. 


Facilitators: Corina Eckl, Director of State Services, NCSL

Luke Martel, Policy Associate, NCSL

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Saturday, March 5, 2011

8:00 am – 9:15 am

Breakfast Workshop: Looking Forward – Regional Collaboration Opportunities for New England States (small group discussions)

Current fiscal challenges may offer an opportunity for lawmakers to look beyond their borders for partnerships with other states.  At the 2010 New England Fiscal Chairs Meeting, a list of areas for collaboration was formulated. This session will take the next step and attendees will discuss potential projects within three of the areas identified at last year’s meeting. During this session, attendees with break into small groups to discuss potential collaborations in three areas: shared correctional facilities, coordination of state tax credits to avoid the “race to the bottom,” and regional transportation planning.

9:15 am – 10:30 am

State Pension and OPEB Reforms:  Presentation and Roundtable Discussion

The costs states face for current employees pales in comparison to the liabilities states face for pension obligations, retiree health care and other post-employment benefits.  A 2010 report by the Pew Center on the States conservatively placed the unfunded tab at $1 trillion. This session will feature a report on the latest state actions to control and contain unfunded pension and retiree health care liabilities.


Speakers: Ron Snell, Senior Fellow, NCSL

David Draine, Senior Associate, Pew Center on the States

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10:30 am – 11:45 am

 Federal Health Care Reform & Implications for the States

State lawmakers continue to work through the implications of federal health reform. This session will present the latest information on federal rules and regulations, and will explore what states are doing to prepare.


Facilitator: Joy Johnson Wilson, Senior Federal Affairs Counsel, NCSL

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Other Resources

NCSL's State Measures to Balance Budgets

NCSL Tax Resources

Recent Reports from The Pew Center on the States

Additional Materials