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61st Annual Meeting of the Southern Legislative Conference

July 14-18, 2007 | Williamsburg, Virginia

Chair's Reports


TO:      Members of the Executive Committee

FR:      Senator Jack Hill , Georgia

Chair, SLC Fiscal Affairs & Government Operations (FAGO) Committee

RE:      Report of Activities of the FAGO Committee at the 61st Annual Meeting of the Southern Legislative Conference in Williamsburg , Virginia , July 14-18, 2007

            The Fiscal Affairs & Government Operations Committee convened on Sunday, July 15, and Monday, July 16.  The following is a synopsis of the presentations made to the Committee on both days.  An attendance list is attached.

Business Session, July 15, 2007

I.          Federal REAL ID Legislation: Financial Implications for States

Senator Larry Martin, South Carolina
Representative Jim Guest, Missouri


            The federal REAL ID Act of 2005 has created a furor in states across the country with reports that states face an estimated $14.6 billion in costs in order to satisfy the Act’s requirements.  Six states, including two SLC states ( Oklahoma and South Carolina ), already have enacted legislation rejecting participation in the requirement that U.S. citizens obtain a federally approved identification card.  The REAL ID Act of 2005 set federal standards for U.S. state driver’s licenses and identification cards, barring federal agencies from accepting state identification and licenses that do not comply with the Act.  It was introduced and passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2005 (during the 109th Congress), and later approved by the U.S. Senate as part of a larger appropriations bill.

Senator Martin’s Presentation

            Senator Martin began his presentation by noting that there are several occasions in American history when states opposed the actions of the federal government and even the king of England during the Revolutionary War.  He indicated that the current level of opposition to the federal Real ID Act is yet another such instance where, for a number of reasons, states have vociferouslydemonstrated their opposition to this federal legislation and, in the case of six states, enacted legislation rejecting the legislation.  As one of the sponsors of the legislation in South Carolina , Senator Martin noted that his state’s legislation was extremely brief but completely to the point.  South Carolina ’s legislation, which was approved on June 13, 2007, reads thus: “The State shall not participate in the implementation of the federal REAL ID Act."

            Following the provisions of this federal legislation, Senator Martin indicated, would entail a substantial increase in overall costs at the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).  Even at this juncture, Senator Martin noted, his state’s DMV is weighted down by surging costs and the need to trim agency expenditures; implementing the provisions of REAL ID without comprehensive financial assistance from the federal government would only further exacerbate an already tenuous situation.  South Carolina residents also would have to make multiple trips to their local DMV offices to meet the requirements of REAL ID, a trend that would only further aggravate DMV customers.  He indicated that preliminary estimates from the state DMV predict that traffic at the agency’s field offices across the state would increase by 75 percent if the state abided by the provisions of REAL ID.  Senator Martin also indicated that DMV costs would also increase as a result of trying to verify the applicant’s source documents.  In the current age of desktop publishing, it is possible, according to Senator Martin, for an applicant to submit very authentic-looking forged documents.  Establishing the authenticity of these documents would entail additional time and resources, he said.

            According to Senator Martin, implementation of the federal legislation would result in about $25 million to $29 million in additional costs to his state; South Carolina would also see an annual cost of $11 million for recurring maintenance work related to the federal legislation.  At a time when his state faces a series of looming expenditure categories, the additional costs of REAL ID would be a real burden to South Carolina .

            Senator Martin stressed that South Carolina ’s DMV already has very stringent requirements for granting driver’s licenses and has enforced a number of rigorous standards in issuing driver’s licenses.  For instance, South Carolina ’s DMV requires original or source documents in verifying the legal status of a non-citizen.  In the event that the applicant is unable to provide the DMV with authentic source documents from the appropriate authorities, the agency would not grant a driver’s license to the applicant.  A corollary of this measure, according to Senator Martin, is that without this form of identification, the applicant would be ineligible to receive federal assistance or legally drive a vehicle in the state of South Carolina .  In addition, Senator Martin stated that for non-U.S. citizens, his state’s DMV ensures that the driver’s licenses issued are tied to when the non-citizen’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) documents expired.  In other words, Senator Martin explained that South Carolina ’s DMV does not automatically issue a driver’s license to a non-citizen for the customary four years but ensures that the driver’s license expired on the same day as the non-citizen’s USCIS documents.

            Alongside the financial concerns, Senator Martin also emphasized that there are security concerns related to REAL ID that would place additional burdens on the state.  For instance, issues such as security clearances for DMV employees; potential for erroneous data; increased physical security for storage of the information; document storage/verification infrastructure; a “Federated” database that will now be available to other institutions; and the fact that South Carolina will lose control of the privacy of its residents’ information all are factors that could result from the adoption of REAL ID.  In closing, Senator Martin stated that REAL ID was real expensive which is why the state of South Carolina opted to reject this federal law.

Representative Guest’s Presentation

            Representative Guest noted at the outset that he was the force behind the formation of L.A.R.I. or Legislators Against Real ID, which has grown to become an organization of lawmakers from 34 states across the country.  He was persuaded to lead this effort as a form of “reasonable rebellion against the federal government” in order to ensure the protection of critical states’ rights.

            The origin of REAL ID, Representative Guest indicated, was legislation added on as part of the emergency Iraq/Afghanistan supplemental appropriations bill in May 2005, designed to provide emergency funds for U.S. military operations in these countries and assist several Asian countries devastated by the December 2004 tsunami.  He noted that while one of the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission included strengthening the range of security details in issuing driver’s licenses by states, REAL ID has been cited by others as the first step toward a national identification card.   

            According to Representative Guest, there are several instances where a REAL ID would be required by federal officials.  For instance, federal officials maintain that a REAL ID would be required if an individual sought to board a federally regulated aircraft.  Similarly, if an individual sought to enter a federal building or a nuclear power plant, a REAL ID would be mandatory.  Potentially, in the future, Representative Guest predicted that a REAL ID would be required to open a bank account, participate in federal programs, secure housing and even to obtain employment.  Even more disturbing, according to Representative Guest, is the fact that the federal Department of Homeland Security (DHS) website notes that “DHS may consider expanding these official purposes through future rulemakings to maximize the security benefits of REAL ID.”  According to Representative Guest, this statement from DHS demonstrates that the federal government has the authority to change the rules regarding REAL ID without further legislation.

            While May 2008 is listed as the date by which all states have to comply with the requirements of the REAL ID legislation, Representative Guest indicated that states may request an extension even though they have to submit their requests no later than February 1, 2008.  Full compliance with REAL ID’s requirements has to take place no later than December 31, 2009.  According to Representative Guest, there were several documents that individuals would have to provide in order to secure a REAL ID, and these include a valid U.S. passport; a certified birth certificate; if a foreign passport is being submitted, all the necessary verifications; verification of the individual’s Social Security number; proof of principal residence in the United States; and finally, the necessary documents from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) establishing the individual’s lawful status in the United States, if appropriate.

            In further elaborating on the implications of a REAL ID, Representative Guest stated that at a minimum, the following pieces of information would have to be contained on a REAL ID: full legal name; date of birth; driver’s license number; high-resolution digital color photo and bio-metric identifier; principal residence; and signature.  The card, he noted, would contain common machine readable technology.  He also added that it would not provide for exclusion on religious grounds. 

            One of the more controversial aspects of contemporary identification cards, including REAL ID, Representative Guest indicated, is the common machine readable technology aspect of these cards.  He stated that there currently are five card types being considered by the federal DHS, including the 1D bar code; 2D bar code; optical stripe; contact integrated circuit chip; and contactless integrated circuit chip.  Yet, another disturbing feature of the REAL ID legislation, according to Representative Guest, is the use of document retention policies.  Specifically, he noted that states would be required to retain copies of an individual’s records for 10 years and share this information with other states, or maintain databases that other states could access through a computer network.  He also noted that DHS has proposed a global sharing of this information across different levels of government.  Another controversial aspect of this federal legislation is the fact that REAL ID will not thwart identity theft, one of the fastest growing criminal activities in contemporary American society.  In fact, he contended that REAL ID would actually result in an increase in identity theft with the propensity for an increase in the black-market for documentation. 

            In closing, Representative Guest stressed that REAL ID would only give Americans a false sense of security and that states should join him in seeking to “Stop REAL ID.”

Program Session, July 16, 2007

I.          Homeowners’ Insurance and Storm-Prone Coastal States

Senator Bill Posey, Florida
Dr. Steven Weisbart, Insurance Information Institute, New York


            The homeowners’ insurance environment in a number of SLC and non-SLC states continues to be in turmoil in the aftermath of recent hurricane seasons.  Several insurers have pulled out of areas in these coastal states, and state legislators continue to grapple with holding down premiums without driving away companies.

Senator Posey’s Presentation

            Senator Posey began his remarks by noting that it will only be a matter of time before several states will face the same kind of issues that swept across Florida on the homeowners insurance front.  When Hurricane Andrew hit South Florida in 1993, insured losses amounted to some $16 billion, and the state of Florida was forced to create two entities.  The first, the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund (FHCF), or CAT Fund, in 1993 to protect and advance the state's interest in maintaining insurance capacity in Florida by providing reimbursements to insurers for a portion of their catastrophic hurricane losses.  Secondly, in 2002, the Citizens Property Insurance, the state's homeowners' insurance safety net “to offer property coverage to Floridians without private insurance options” was established by the state.

            While the ensuing dozen years or so after Hurricane Andrew were relatively quiet on the hurricane front, the entire scenario changed in 2004 and 2005, when Florida endured eight hurricanes—storms that affected every one of Florida’s 67 counties at least once—with insured losses totaling $36 billion.  Senator Posey added that forecasters called for a continuation of these trends and that at least into the next decade, the region would experience intense, severe hurricanes.  Given the tremendous insured losses experienced by the industry during this time period, by 2006, he noted, homeowners insurance premiums had skyrocketed to severe heights as the industry sought to recover from the losses in the prior two years.  As a result of this development, practically every legislator who ran for office in 2006 pledged to enact measures to bring about relief to homeowners across the state.  Consequently, a few days into 2007, the new governor convened a special session of the Florida Legislature to address this looming issue, Senator Posey stated.

            According to the Senator Posey, even though the Republican-controlled Legislature and Republican governor were committed to across-the-board rate reductions during this special session, the reality proved more cumbersome.  He also stated that the Florida Legislature is by-and-large a very free market oriented body that certainly had “no interest in getting into the insurance industry.”  However, given the dire situation associated with the huge premium increases in homeowners’ insurance rates, and the fact that many homeowners could not secure insurance coverage at any cost, the Legislature had to get involved in devising an appropriate response to this crisis, he noted.  Senator Posey indicated that the discussions on an appropriate solution to the issue, certainly the top issue facing Florida at that time, were conducted in a very bi-partisan fashion, and he commended the tremendous work done by his Democratic colleague (Senator Steve Gellar, the ranking minority member of the committee) on this topic.

            In seeking solutions to the crisis, Senator Posey indicated that legislators made a concerted effort to break down the cost structure of a homeowner’s premium.  While this was a very difficult task, in approximate terms, Senator Posey noted that 25 cents of every dollar involved sales and advertising costs; another 25 cents involved operational costs and profits; a further 25 cents involved the amount set aside for “normal” losses; and the final 25 cents involved re-insurer charges.  It was this final category that had seen the largest jump, stated Senator Posey, with charges leaping to as much as 75 cents from the former 25 cents.  As a result, the Legislature decided to work on lowering the cost of re-insurer charges by expanding the state’s CAT fund.  The higher premiums charged to the insurance companies contributing to the CAT fund amounted to up to a 10 percent increase, with the larger companies bearing a greater share of the burden.  He added that the goal was to increase the CAT fund from $12 billion to $34 billion.  Another important provision of the legislation passed in January 2007, he stated, was significantly enhancing the powers of the insurance advocate in the state.

            The legislation that eventually passed the Legislature with almost unanimous support 116 to 2 in the House of Representatives and 40 to 0 in the Senate was not perfect, he added, and also indicated that “we don’t claim that the work is done.”  For instance, South Floridians covered by the state-run insurer of last resort (because private companies refused to insure their homes) will see the smallest savings — as little as an 8 percent reduction.  Given that insurance costs in South Florida had tripled in many instances since 2004, many residents were considering leaving Florida .  Homeowners with private insurance would save more — up to 21.8 percent, on average — according to legislative analysts.  The legislation also permits private insurers to buy backup coverage from the state’s Hurricane Catastrophe Fund (FHCF) at below-market rates and, in exchange, requires them to reduce premiums.  On the flip side, Senator Posey noted, a major storm — or worse, a series of hurricanes — could not only decimate the fund financially but also result in residents paying exorbitant annual premium increases on their home, auto and other insurance policies to compensate for the fund being wiped out.

            Another important measure of the legislation was that the customers of Citizens Property Insurance, the state-run corporation, initiated a repeal of the average 21 percent rate increase that took effect in January 2007.  Citizens Property Insurance customers who faced an additional 56 percent increase in rates in March 2007 also were provided relief when this rate increase was repealed.  He noted that Citizens Property Insurance, which ran substantial deficits in 2004 and 2005, as did many insurance companies, has now become the state’s largest home insurer, covering 1.7 million households.  The new legislation repeals a requirement that Citizens Property Insurance assess higher rates than private companies and now allows it to offer more than just windstorm coverage to Florida residents.

            In closing, Senator Posey noted that there is light at the end of the tunnel, but that there will continue to be significant hurdles to overcome in the future.  He recommended that preventive measures be taken to minimize the impact of hurricanes and mitigate the related financial losses.  He noted that the building code enhancements implemented after Hurricane Andrew in 1993, and then again in 2000, were the reason why the hurricanes that hit Florida in 2004 and 2005 did not cost even more in insured losses.

Dr. Weisbart’s Presentation

            According to Dr. Weisbart, there are four main factors currently driving the coastal insurance affordability and availability scenario.  First, there is extensive coastal development and each unit is now a larger potential loss; second, the greater frequency and severity of major storms, which in turn results in higher “direct” insurance premiums, higher reinsurance premiums and higher repair costs given the scarcity of labor and materials; third, the fact that insurance carriers are re-evaluating their “appetite” for coastal property insurance risk; and, fourth, post-Katrina lawsuits have added to the uncertainty about future loss payments resulting in rising rates.

            Dr. Weisbart noted a review of the profit cycle in the insurance industry over the last three decades indicates that this is a widely fluctuating market.  For instance, there were several years of record profits (1977 at 19 percent; 1987 at 17.3 percent; 1997 at 11.6 percent; 2006 at 14 percent) while there also were lean years (1975 at 2.4 percent; 1984 at 1.8 percent; 1992 at 4.5 percent; 2001 at negative 1.2 percent).  More specifically, the underwriting gains/losses in Florida ’s homeowners’ insurance market have generally been positive in the last 15 or so years, except in 1992 ($10.6 billion loss), 1993 ($.21 billion loss), 2004 ($10.39 billion and 2005 (an estimated $3.73 billion loss).  In 2006, however, the industry in Florida enjoyed an estimated $2.75 billion gain.

            Dr. Weisbart noted that tropical systems accounted for nearly half of all insured catastrophic losses between 1986 and 2005, up from 27.1 percent between 1984 and 2003, and two of the 10 hurricanes that caused the greatest direct economic damage since 1900 occurred in 2004 and 2005.  The devastating hurricanes of 1926 that destroyed Florida were the worst on record in terms of economic impact.  He stressed that the severity of hurricanes had exploded in magnitude in recent years and while hurricane damage greater than $50 billion is described as a 1-in-100 year event, the last 15 years have seen three such storms.

            An important statistic cited by Dr. Weisbart is the documented steady rise in the percent of insured coastal properties as a percent of statewide insured exposure.  He indicated that there were six states that had a coastal exposure greater than 50 percent of their total statewide exposure, with Florida heading the list (79.3 percent).  Ominously, Dr. Weisbart stated that the United States is currently in a period of more intense hurricanes, a period that could last into the 2030s.  While there were an average of 5.9 hurricanes between 1950 and 2000, the number of hurricanes certainly increased in more recent years (nine hurricanes in 2004, 25 in 2005 and an expected nine in 2007).

            In listing what works and what does not with regard to hurricane risk, Dr. Weisbart stated that there are a number of successful tools for controlling hurricane exposure.  Specifically, he indicated that strengthening building codes; enforcing building codes stringently; fortifying home programs; basing insurance rates on sound actuarial principles (risk-based rates that are not government controlled); maintaining disciplined underwriting priorities; removing impediments to capital flows; and creating incentives to adopt mitigation techniques, are critical measures.

            Dr. Weisbart also highlighted several flaws in the FHCF format, including the fact that there is no true spreading of the risks involved given that Citizens Property Insurance’s—the entity established by the state as a homeowners' insurance safety net—market share is concentrated in the riskiest areas, and the fact that the FHCF remains Citizens Property Insurance’s sole re-insurer.  He also cited additional flaws in Florida’s approach with the FHCF including the fact that the rates charged to residents are below “actuarially sound” levels; Citizens Property Insurance and the FHCF are too thinly capitalized so losses are substantially funded via post-event assessment; likely to alienate the business community; the state’s approach with Citizens Property Insurance and the FHCF subsidizes homeowners insurance rates for wealthy people, who have no need for a subsidy; and, finally, because, in his perspective, it does little to address true risk of hurricane damages.

            Dr. Weisbart called on legislators to raise the level of public awareness regarding risk with mandatory risk disclosures in all residential real estate transactions, require signed waivers if the homeowner declines flood coverage (which will also waive rights to any and all disaster aid) and if possible, mandate flood coverage.  He also urged legislators to strengthen and enforce sound building codes and to allow markets to determine all property insurance rates.

            In closing, Dr. Weisbart listed several additional points including that it is unwise to blame the insurance industry for rising rates since they reflect the risk of loss.  In order to reduce rates, Dr. Weisbart exhorted the legislators to reduce the risk of loss by retrofitting buildings and enacting tougher building codes.  Finally, he noted that while everyone wants help, not everyone needs help and that legislators should seek to subsidize incomes for poor people, not premiums for everyone.

II.        State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) Financing Update

Linda Nablo, Director, Department of Medical Assistance Services, Virginia
Dennis Smith, Director, Center for Medicaid and State Operations (CMS), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Washington , D.C.


            Financing the SCHIP program remains of huge concern to a number of SLC states, and details on SCHIP financing in the short and long terms, national trends, the future direction of the program at the federal level, innovative programs from states and cost-sharing practices, all are critical issues that need to be addressed.

Ms. Nablo’s Presentation

            According to Ms. Nablo, the SCHIP program, which was introduced in 1997, now is available in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and several U.S. territories.  In terms of the 50 states: 11 opted to expand their Medicaid programs to include SCHIP, 18 established separate programs, and 21 operate a combination of these two approaches.  Currently, Ms. Nablo noted, SCHIP covers over 6 million children and is credited with reducing the number of uninsured children in the country and lowering the level of racial disparity in healthcare for children.  Given that most states conducted outreach and simplified programs to enroll an increasing number of children, the federal government provided states with flexibility and waivers to cover eligible segments of the populations.  She indicated that in 2006, 26 states set their eligibility thresholds at 200 percent of the federal poverty level, 15 states had thresholds above 200 percent of the poverty level, and nine had thresholds below.  [The federal poverty level for a family of three in 2007 is $17,170, according to the Congressional Budget Office.]

            In Virginia , Ms. Nablo stated, SCHIP was first implemented in October 1998 (after Congress authorized the program in August 1997), initially as part of the state’s Medicaid program but then, in August 2001, as a separate program.  In subsequent years, the program in Virginia was expanded with assistance now being provided to eligible pregnant women (the Family Access to Medical Insurance Security or FAMIS program).  Ms. Nablo noted that enrollment was low in the early years, which resulted in the state being a “donor” state to the federal government in this category.  With strong bi-partisan support in the General Assembly and a gubernatorial mandate to increase enrollment in 2002, she indicated that measures were enacted to simplify enrollment, improve coordination with Medicaid and conduct aggressive outreach.  She also commented that the state portion of the porgram was protected from the budget cuts that had to be introduced to deal with the fiscal downturn in the early years of this decade.

            According to Ms. Nablo, the program improvements introduced in 2002 included a single application for both the Medicaid and SCHIP programs; a reduction in the waiting period to receive assistance; implemented aggressive outreach for Medicaid and FAMIS based on market research; elimination of monthly premiums (though co-payments continue); provisions for continuous coverage in FAMIS for a period of 12 months; and implementation of an electronic application system.  These improvements, she indicated, resulted in a significant increase in the average monthly increase of enrolled children:  419 children in SCHIP on average per month before the program improvements to 1,107 children per month after the improvements.  She also noted that SCHIP in Virginia covers children in households up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level and a small number of pregnant women.

            In terms of lessons learned by Virginia in implementing SCHIP, Ms. Nablo stressed that while money is essential, leadership is key and that any action taken by a state on SCHIP will have an impact on Medicaid.  She emphasized that family-friendly procedures are the best enrollment strategy for a state and that families need to hear the SCHIP message often.  Her experience is that outreach is never finished and that the state needs to work on enrolling new families all the time.  Ms. Nablo also commented that in the long run, it is better for children and families as well as for the state to keep eligible children on SCHIP and reduce the churn level.

            In terms of the future of SCHIP, Ms. Nablo indicated that funding for the program will cease on September 30, 2007, without re-authorization.  She noted that Congressional hearings already had begun with the U.S. Senate Finance Committee and the U.S. House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means Committees taking the lead role in these hearings.  She added that governors and various advocacy groups have taken positions and the debate is becoming increasingly partisan.  If Congress funds SCHIP at its current level, this would entail program cutbacks for most Southern states.

Mr. Smith’s Presentation:

            According to Mr. Smith, he has been involved with SCHIP from its inception in 1997 when he was on the staff of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee and when he worked for the Virginia department that oversaw the introduction and implementation of SCHIP for several years.  In his current capacity at CMS, he is responsible for overseeing SCHIP for the federal government.

            Mr. Smith stated that 10 years ago, before the introduction of SCHIP, there were 10 million uninsured children, the driving force for SCHIP.  Now, he noted, some 10 years later, certain reports indicate that there are 9 million children still uninsured.  Since some 16 million children were added to SCHIP in the last 10 years, Mr. Smith raised the question as to how this was possible.  He disputed the notion that there were actually 9 million SCHIP-eligible children still uninsured and agreed with a recent Urban Institute report indicating that there were fewer than a million children that were SCHIP-eligible that were uninsured.

            The $35 billion price tag for the newly re-authorized SCHIP pays for more than the SCHIP-eligible children under the current rules, stated Mr. Smith.  He added that this price tag includes children that are Medicaid eligible.  According to Mr. Smith, SCHIP was never intended to cover all children in the United States , and this appears to be the direction of the current discussion in Congress.  SCHIP was intended for children who were above Medicaid eligibility levels but without health coverage, according to Mr. Smith.  The current discussion has revolved around placing children of families who receive up to 300 percent of the federal poverty level, which is the median family income of 21 states, in SCHIP, he noted.

            Mr. Smith stated that on October 1, 2007, unless there is re-authorization from Congress, SCHIP will cease to exist.  “What does this mean for the states?” he posited.  For instance, Georgia and Mississippi will start the new federal fiscal year (2008) with zero dollars in their SCHIP budget, and over the course of this fiscal year, 35 states will completely exhaust their SCHIP budgets.  Only four states will have sufficient funds in their SCHIP budgets to progress through federal fiscal year 2008.

            In terms of what is being done to prevent this situation, Mr. Smith indicated that the administration is very interested in reauthorizing SCHIP, and there is bi-partisan support in Congress to do the same.  This also was the case when the program was initially introduced in 1997.  Mr. Smith asserts that both the states and the federal government have learned a great deal from what works and what does not in terms of SCHIP, and a re-authorized program would be even more effective given all this experience.  The stumbling block to this re-authorization, according to Mr. Smith, is that there is an effort in Washington to create a new program that is beyond the mandate of the original SCHIP.  For instance, he noted, there is a proposal in the U.S. House that extends SCHIP to a child who is 25 years old and earns up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level.  He stressed that the program was not intended for these individuals.  According to Mr. Smith, given that insurance is “all about risk pools,” when you expand coverage to those in higher income categories, you are only substituting one insurance format for another.  There is no decrease in the number of uninsured children despite the increase in public dollars because you are now covering children who already had insurance under another insurance policy.

            In closing, Mr. Smith reiterated that the administration strongly supports the reauthorization of SCHIP in the manner in which it was originally devised, and he encouraged the states to support this move.

III.       Nominating Committee Report

            The Nominating Committee, comprising Senator Douglas Henry, Tennessee; Representative Julia C. Howard, North Carolina; and Delegate Sheila E. Hixson , Maryland, chaired by Senator Henry, presented its recommendations for Committee chair and vice chair for 2007/2008.  Senator Henry announced that there was a single name submitted for chair and a single name submitted for vice chair.  Consequently, Representative John Knight, Jr., Alabama , was elected chair, and Representative Daniel Cooper, South Carolina , was elected vice chair for the upcoming year.

Southern Legislative Conference Fall Conference

San Antonio Texas , October 26-29, 2007

            The SLC will meet for its 2007 Fall Conference October 26-29 at the Westin Riverwalk, San Antonio , Texas , for discussions on how states are focusing their policies to encourage the development of existing businesses and foster the growth of new industries.  Members will share their experiences and hear from leading experts on how communities and regions succeed or fail, and learn about innovative ways to achieve collaborative success for economic development.  In keeping with the wishes of the SLC presiding officers, please note that meeting notification does not authorize travel.

SLC Staff Contact:   If you have any questions regarding this report or the 2007 SLC Fall Conference, please contact Sujit CanagaRetna in our Atlanta office at (404) 633-1866 or .


Attendance List
Southern Legislative Conference 61st Annual Meeting
Fiscal Affairs & Government Operations Committee
July 14 – 18, 2007
Williamsburg , Virginia

Senator Ted Little
Representative James Buskey
Representative Bill Dukes     
Representative Joe Faust
Representative John Knight
Representative Frank McDaniel
Representative Arthur Payne 
Representative Howard Sanderford  
Representative William Thigpen        
Jerry L. Bassett, Legislative Reference Service
Jason Isbell, Legislative Reference Service
Barry Pennington
Paul Pinyan , Alabama Farmers Federation

Senator Shane Broadway
Senator Irma Hunter Brown  
Representative Sharon Dobbins
Kim Arnall , Bureau of Legislative Research

Senator Bill Posey
Representative Mitch Needelman      
Francesca Plendl, AstraZeneca

Senator Don Balfour
Senator Jack Hill
Representative Ben Harbin    
Representative Mickey Channell       
Representative Carl Rogers   
Representative Don Parsons
Sujit CanagaRetna , Southern Legislative Conference
Clint Mueller, Association of County Commissioners of Georgia
Michelle NeSmith, Association of County Commissioners of Georgia

Senate President David L. Williams
Speaker Jody Richards
Senator Ernie Harris   
Senator Dick Roeding           
Representative C.B. Embry, Jr.
Representative Harry Moberly, Jr.     
Dennis Boyd, University Health Care, Inc.
Keon Chi , The Council of State Governments
Mary Duesenberry, The Council of State Governments
Nancy Hublar, Beverly Enterprises, Inc.
Donna Little, Legislative Research Commission
DeeAnn Mansfield, Legislative Research Commission
David Thomas, Legislative Research Commission
Mark Treesh, Insurance Institute of Kentucky

Elizabeth Borne, Louisiana House
Sherry Phillips-Hymel, Senate Finance Committee

Senator Nathaniel Exum
Delegate Sheila Hixson
Delegate Roger Manno

Senator Videt Carmichael
Senator Hillman Frazier

Representative Jim Guest
North Carolina
Representative Harold Brubaker
Representative Beverly Earle
Representative Julia C. Howard
Representative William McGee
Karen Cook, Lorillard

Senator David Myers
Representative Dennis Johnson
Representative Randy McDaniel

South Carolina
Senator Larry Martin
Representative Daniel T. Cooper
Representative Rex Rice

Senator Douglas Henry
Senator Mark Norris
Walt Gose, Sanofi-Aventis, U.S.
Cathy Higgins, Office of Legislative Budget Analysis
John Morgan, Office of the Comptroller
Marlene L. Sanders, Eli Lilly & Company
Gary Selvey, National Federation of Independent Businesses

Frank Jackson, Bristol Myers Squibb
Richard Ponder, Johnson & Johnson

Senator Charles Colgan
Senator John Edwards
Senator Yvonne Miller
Senator John Watkins
Julia Hammond, National Federation of Independent Businesses
Dick Hickman, Senate Finance Committee
Michael Jay, House Appropriations Committee
Gary Riddle, Schering-Plough Company
John Stone, Bon Secours Health System

West Virginia
Senator Joseph Minard
Senator John R. Unger II
Jerry Bird, Public Service Commission

District of Columbia
Jim Brown, The Council of State Governments
Jean Cantrell, EDS Corporation
Kristi Guillory , The Council of State Governments
Amanda Klump, Altria Corporate Services
Dennis Smith, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Michael Smith , The Council of State Governments

Jeff Drozda, Golden Rule Insurance

New York
Steven Weisbart, Insurance Information Institute

North Dakota
Representative Kim Koppelman

Alan Smith, Ohio Casualty

Christopher Drumm, AmeriHealth Mercy Plan

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