2012 Fiscal Leaders Seminar - Peaks, Valleys & Fiscal Cliffs: The New Era of State Budgeting

Tues., Dec. 4 | Wed., Dec. 5 |

December 4-5, 2012
Washington Hilton
Washington, D.C.

This meeting is made possible through the generous support of The Pew Charitable Trusts.
The Pew Charitable Trusts logo

Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012

 9:15 a.m.-10:30 a.m.

State Budget Update & Roundtable Discussion

The Great Recession ended almost three and a half years ago. How has economic recovery affected state finances and what’s the budget outlook as lawmakers prepare for their 2013 legislative sessions? This program will feature NCSL’s latest state budget and revenue report. It also will provide an opportunity for fiscal leaders to describe their respective state’s fiscal situations.and explore what the changing political landscape could mean for state budgets.

Moderator/Speaker: Arturo Pérez, Fiscal Affairs Program Director, NCSL


10:30 a.m. -
11:45 a.m.

Not Just a State Problem: The Impact of Pensions on Cities and School Districts

State and local governments are grappling with the challenges of mending their finances after the Great Recession while meeting increasingly expensive employee retirement and health plan promises. In many cases, these unfunded liabilities are continuing to grow. During this session experts will provide a review of unfunded pension liabilities at the local level, including municipalities and school districts, and attendees will discuss how states could help localities strengthen their pension plans.

Moderator: Senator Daniel DaPonte, Rhode Island
Speakers: Kasim Reed, Mayor, City of Atlanta & Former State Legislator
David Draine, Senior Researcher, The Pew Charitable Trusts


  • View David Draine's PowerPoint Presentation - COMING SOON!

11:45 a.m. -
1:15 p.m.

Luncheon Session – National Political Outlook

The November elections could bring major change to Washington. In this session, two seasoned veterans of the national political scene will deconstruct the results and explore what the changing political landscape could mean for state budgets.

Moderator: Tim Storey, Director, Leaders Services & Legislative Training, NCSL 
Speakers: Bill McInturff, Partner and Co-founder of Public Opinion Strategies
Mark Mellman, President & CEO of The Mellman Group

1:30 p.m. - 3 p.m.

The Future of States

The past holds valuable lessons for state lawmakers as they navigate near- and long-term challenges. What do trends from the past two decades bode for the coming one? What innovative and proven tactics are states pursuing to prepare for the work ahead? Attend this session to hear the insights and predictions of two uniquely qualified observers of the states.

Moderator: Peter Harkness, Founder & Publisher Emeritus, Governing
Speakers: Bill Pound, Executive Director, NCSL
Susan K. Urahn, Executive Vice President, The Pew Charitable Trusts

3:15 p.m. -
4:45 p.m. 

Stretching the School Dollar: Transforming Fiscal Challenges into Reform Opportunities

Largely necessitated by the deep impact of the Great Recession, education funding has seen significant reductions in recent years. The challenge for fiscal leaders is to transform these cuts into reform opportunities so that students and schools emerge stronger. This session will explore education funding developments and policy options in this environment of fiscal uncertainty.

Speakers: Professor Marguerite Roza, Center for Reinventing Public Education, University of Washington, Seattle 
Senator John Goedde, Idaho

Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012

 8 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.

The Looming Fiscal Cliff – Will Washington Act?

Economists warn that looming federal tax hikes, combined with $109 billion in automatic spending cuts scheduled to occur in January 2013, could derail the fragile economic recovery if Washington fails to act. Come hear details about this "fiscal cliff" and how it will affect the states. The session will provide key information for lawmakers to use in discussions with their congressional delegations and to consider when crafting their state’s fiscal year 2014 budgets.

Moderator: Michael Bird, Senior Federal Affairs Counsel, NCSL 
Speakers: Bill Frenzel, Co-Chair, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget & former U.S. Representative, Minnesota
Marcia Howard, Executive Director, Federal Funds Information for States (FFIS) 
Kasia O'Neill Murray, Manager, Fiscal Federalism Initiative, The Pew Charitable Trusts

9:15 a.m. -
10:30 a.m.

2013 U.S. Economic Outlook

While state finances appear to be recovering, the lingering effects of the Great Recession continue to hamper and challenge state lawmakers. During this session a nationally renowned economist will give his forecast for the U.S. economy and its implications for states.

Speaker: Jay Brinkmann, Chief Economist, Mortgage Bankers Association

10:30 a.m. -
11:45 a.m.

Preparing for Jobs of the Future
Job growth across industry sectors demands a highly skilled and better educated workforce. Although 63 percent of U.S. jobs will require a postsecondary degree by 2018, the nation is at risk of falling short—by at least three million degrees—in fulfilling this need. Researchers who specialize in education and workforce issues will discuss the types of jobs employers will need to fill in the coming decade and the education needed to fill them.

Moderator: Assemblywoman Lucy Flores, Nevada
Speaker: Anthony P. Carnevale, Director & Research Professor of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce