The 63rd Annual Meeting of the Southern Legislative Conference

August 15-19, 2009

TO: Members of the Economic Development, Transportation and Cultural Affairs Committee
FR: Senator John R. Unger II, West Virginia
Chair, Economic Development, Transportation and Cultural Affairs Committee
RE: Report of Activities of the Economic Development, Transportation and Cultural Affairs Committee at the 63rd Annual Meeting of the Southern Legislative Conference in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, August 15-19, 2009

The SLC Economic Development, Transportation and Cultural Affairs Committee convened on Monday, August 17, for a program session, Tuesday, August 18, for a business session and on Tuesday, August 18, for a technical tour during the 63rd SLC Annual Meeting.  The following is a summary of the speaker presentations and Committee activities from each of these programs.  An attendance list is attached.

Program Session, August 17
I.          How Do We Move Towards High Speed Rail?
Pat Simmons, Director, Rail Division, Department of Transportation (NCDOT), North Carolina
Tony J. Morris, President and CEO, American Maglev, Georgia

This session focused on North Carolina’s efforts to capitalize on the movement toward a national network for fast train travel along with an update on the American Maglev project, including details on the technology, cost-benefit analysis comparing the different types of Maglev technologies and light rail, operating costs and procedures, maintenance requirements, energy requirements and financing.

Mr. Simmons’ Presentation

Mr. Simmons opened his presentation by citing statistics documenting that the U.S. population is projected to increase between 2000 and 2030 by 29.2 percent, with most of this growth occurring in the Southeast and the West.  North Carolina, specifically, was expected to see a population expansion of 52 percent, the seventh highest rate in the country.  In order to prepare for this population explosion, North Carolina instituted a number of measures.  HB 1005, which led to the Office of State Budget and Management developing a
statewide logistics plan addressing the state’s long-term economic, mobility and infrastructure needs, was instrumental in this endeavor.  According to Mr. Simmons, NCDOT and the state’s Department of Commerce were significant contributors in developing the plan along with other transportation and business stakeholders throughout the state.  There were three main components included in the plan:

A vital element in this entire effort was the expansion and development of the state’s rail infrastructure.  Among the many positive effects of pursuing the rail option were the following:

Even in terms of passenger rail the state had seen a marked increase from about 150,000 passengers annually in 1984, to about 650,000 passengers annually in 2008.  In light of the expected population expansions in North Carolina and certain other areas of the country, Mr. Simmons contended that his state would contain one of several “super cities” expected to emerge, a development that requires intense transportation planning that includes a thriving rail option.  He added that this general perspective was reinforced in the December 2007 National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission report which exhorted policymakers and citizens to “increase investment in infrastructure; speed project delivery; greater federal leadership and partnerships with different stakeholders; and focus on a select number of programs.”  The report emphasized such areas as “increasing throughput, expanding freight, greater metro mobility, enhancing transportation safety, connecting America through intercity and high speed rail, effecting better environmental stewardship, working towards more energy security and focusing on research and development.”

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) contained several incentives for rail funding, including $8 billion for intercity and high-speed rail development.  He noted that the $8 billion were all competitive, discretionary grants available to individual states, compacts between states and Amtrak that could be deployed toward improvements in equipment, track, engineering, crossing safety, signals along with property acquisition and he stressed that the ARRA’s rail initiatives were focused on facilitating high-priority rail corridor projects necessary to reduce congestion or facilitate ridership growth.

North Carolina’s focus on attracting a portion of these ARRA funds revolved around the proposed South East High Speed Rail Corridor (SEHSR).  The SEHSR envisages a high-speed rail connection between Charlotte and Washington, D.C. (a distance of about 500 miles), with trains traveling at speeds between 90 miles per hour (Charlotte to Raleigh and Richmond to Washington) and 110 miles per hour (Raleigh to Richmond).  While there would be an expected eight daily train ‘pairs’ (four between Charlotte and Raleigh and four between Charlotte and Washington), the North Carolina plan calls for brand new stations in both Charlotte and Raleigh.  Major positive outcomes as a result of the SEHSR’s implementation include:

North Carolina has entered into substantive discussions with both the South Carolina Department of Transportation and Georgia Department of Transportation to eventually establish high-speed rail links between Charlotte and Greenville-Spartanburg in South Carolina and then onto Atlanta and Macon, Georgia, at speeds of up to 110 miles per hour.

In closing, Mr. Simmons stressed the three elements vital to have an undertaking of this magnitude succeed: “(1) plan; (2) people in the right places; and (3) a crisis.”  He also recommended that policymakers swiftly embark on expanding rail opportunities in their own states focusing on “safety, planning and leadership” with the understanding that “freight and passenger operations are compatible.”  He also cited the potential for expanded rail infrastructure to be a major economic booster citing IBM’s decision to establish their Global Rail Innovation Center in China given the $730 billion potential economic impact.

Mr. Morris’ Presentation

According to Mr. Morris, there currently are 40 mega-regions emerging worldwide, including eight in the United States that will “all face similar challenges related to unmitigated, unsustainable growth.”  Mr. Morris countered that maglev technology is a one-stop solutions provider for passenger services and goods movement within these mega-regions.  Among the many benefits associated with maglev technology is the fact that it “is zero-emitting and leaves no carbon footprint.”  In addition, it uses approximately 1.8 kwh/km compared to the 6 kwh/km used by conventional transportation modes, or 70 percent less energy.  This represents an “unparalleled energy savings due to reduction in car miles.”

He also contrasted the impressive benefits available by using the American maglev technology with the light-rail option and the foreign maglev option.  For instance, the American maglev option involves the following positive features: propulsion in vehicle; simple design; elevated guideway; lightweight equipment; acquisition rates at about $20 million per mile; low operations and maintenance costs.  Light rail involves the following features: propulsion in vehicle; complex moving parts; track based on grade of terrain; heavy equipment; acquisition rates at about $50 million per mile; high operations and maintenance costs.  Finally, foreign maglev technology involves the following features: propulsion in track; complex design; elevated guideway; heavy equipment; acquisition rates at about $80 million per mile; medium operations and maintenance costs.  He stressed that on balance the American maglev option was superior to the other options based on many factors, including cost ($20 million per mile as opposed to $50 million or $80 million per mile).
In terms of safety certifications, the American maglev technology met all federal (U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Transit Administration or USDOT/FTA) standards along with the standards established by all the major professional organizations.  Another major advantage of proceeding with the American maglev option is the fact that the system is the product of 118 companies operating in 26 states and 77 Congressional districts.  He stressed that the entire range of projects associated with every phase of the maglev process fosters economic development and new high-tech jobs in these 77 Congressional districts.  Mr. Morris indicated that the construction, implementation and maintenance of the maglev system entail “cost effective, local assembly” as additional advantages.  Specifically, “the diverse network of suppliers will be integrated at American maglev assembly plants in the customer’s market, allowing for the creation of construction jobs; encouraging a new U.S.-based green high-tech industry; increasing local economic activity; promoting continuous innovation; and controlling technology development.” 

He also cited the fairly rapid installation of all the equipment.  For instance, by using self-launching gantry cranes, track infrastructure could be installed as quickly as one mile a week.  Transporting freight is another distinct advantage under the maglev system given that the “chassis is designed and tested for hauling oceangoing containers” along with the fact that it is very competitive vis-à-vis truck transportation.  The guideway used in the maglev system could be the next generation utility microgrid by serving as a conduit for high voltage power; communications; high capacity fiber-optics; Wi-Fi/Wi-Max; water; natural gas; and advertising.

In closing, Mr. Morris stressed the ability for the maglev system to move both goods and passengers swiftly in “lightweight, aerospace-like vehicles” easing traffic congestion, reducing emissions, all very cost-effectively.  In addition, he stressed the economic impact with “every mile of the transit system adding millions of dollars in civil works and station construction payrolls” along with “every dollar of construction payroll generating $3 of economic activity in the community.”

II.        Federal Transportation Reauthorization and the Successor to SAFETEA-LU
Curtis Johnson, Associate Director for Government Affairs, U.S. Department of Transportation, Washington, D.C.


The upcoming federal transportation reauthorization remains of critical importance to all states. This presentation provided a status report on where the reauthorization process currently stands along with preliminary details on the trajectory of the legislation.

Mr. Johnson’s Presentation

According to Mr. Johnson, the importance of the surface transportation system to the long-term health of the American economy has never been in dispute, citing the numerous studies conducted on the macroeconomic effects of transportation infrastructure investment.  Not only do transportation infrastructure investments generate major short-term advantages, i.e., positive effects on employment and the economy, but they also generate valuable long-term effects.  Specifically, these transportation infrastructure investments, when carefully planned, permanently expand the productive capital stock of the economy and increase output and income per worker for decades to come.  In addition, these investments “improve the quality of life of American citizens by reducing transportation costs, providing easier access to markets, reducing congestion, and improving safety.”

In order to create these important twin effects, Mr. Johnson indicated that a stable flow of federal funding is imperative to ensure that the states and other infrastructure owners can make those investments.  That the federal transportation authorization process is structured around a series of long-term authorizations for the highway and transit programs – typically, over the last couple of decades, six years for each authorization.  He countered that “these long-term authorizations allow states, metropolitan planning organizations, and transit authorities the time they need to plan and develop their transportation infrastructure with a clear commitment of funding from their federal partners.”

The genesis of this long-term authorization process may be traced to 1956 when the Interstate Highway System was authorized and, even though the rationale for these long-term authorizations remains just as valid today as it was in 1956, he posited that reauthorizing the current transportation legislation for the long term, i.e., six years, when it lapses on September 30, 2009, should be postponed.  At this time, the Obama Administration, Mr. Johnson noted, maintains that the best way to achieve the goal of more effectively addressing the needs of the nation’s surface transportation system “is through an 18-month reauthorization that lays the groundwork for accountability and performance standards in a six-year reauthorization.”

According to Mr. Johnson, “an 18-month reauthorization would allow the federal government to implement a few targeted reforms in preparation for a six-year reauthorization when the economy begins to recover.”  Moreover, it would allow Congress, the Executive Branch, the states, and other stakeholders adequate time to carefully consider and develop the complex policies that will be included in the full reauthorization.  In addition, this 18-month reauthorization period would allow the different entities to incorporate the valuable lessons from the innovations in transportation investment in the ARRA, such as the processes by which money is spent at the state and local levels, as well as the various geographic priorities for investment.

In concluding, Mr. Johnson stressed that the Obama Administration is very focused on working with Congress, states and local governments to create a strong reauthorization that will serve this nation for decades to come but maintained the importance of the right kind of long-term reauthorization.  Consequently, the administration supports the interim 18-month authorization this year followed by dialogue and discussions with all the parties involved, particularly at the state level, leading up to a longer-term authorization next year.

III.       Infrastructure Report Card: Trends from South Carolina, the SLC and the Nation
Matt Silveston, P.E., Section President, American Society of Civil Engineers, South Carolina


For some years now, experts, particularly those with the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), have been emphasizing that policymakers at all levels of government need to urgently devote resources and attention to upgrade the nation’s crumbling and aging infrastructure network.  This presentation provided an update from South Carolina, the region and the nation.

Mr. Silveston’s Presentation

Mr. Silveston indicated that his presentation would provide a review of the nation’s infrastructure, specifics on the Southeastern states along with the five key solutions forwarded by the ASCE.  According to Mr. Silveston, the 2009 ASCE Report Card for America’s Infrastructure grades 15 categories of infrastructure and, yet again, America’s infrastructure rates a cumulative grade of D.  He added that even though not all categories fare as badly or are plagued by the same problems, delayed maintenance and chronic underfunding are contributors to the low grades in nearly every category.

The following grades were provided to the different infrastructure elements: Drinking Water (D); Inland Waterways (D-); Levees (D-); Roads (D-); Wastewater (D-); Aviation (D); Dams (D); Hazardous Waste (D); Schools (D); Transit (D); Energy (D+); Public Parks and Recreation (C-); Rail (C-); Bridges (C); and, Solid Waste (C+).  Since the last ASCE Report Card in 2005, U.S. surface transportation and aviation systems have declined with aviation and transit dropping from a D+ to D, and roads dropping from a D to a nearly failing D-.  Furthermore, showing no significant improvement since the last report, the nation’s bridges, public parks and recreation, and rail remained at a grade of C, while dams, hazardous waste, and schools remained at a grade of D, and drinking water and wastewater remained at a grade of D-.  He indicated that levees, the newest category, debuted in the 2009 Report Card at a barely passing grade of D-.  Alarmingly, he concluded that just a single category—energy—had improved since 2005, raising its grade from D to D+.

The 2009 ASCE report estimates that $2.2 trillion needs to be invested over five years to bring the condition of the nation’s infrastructure up to a good condition—an increase of more than half a trillion dollars since the 2005 Report Card’s estimate of $1.6 trillion.  This number, he indicated, adjusted for a 3 percent rate of inflation, represents capital spending at all levels of government and includes what is already being spent.  He emphasized that current spending amounts to only about half of the needed investment, which means the U.S. must invest an additional $1.1 trillion over the next five years.

In terms of solutions, Mr. Silveston stressed that the ASCE has developed five key solutions to begin raising the grades:

He also provided details on bridge and road conditions and dam safety in the SLC states and noted that 39 percent of the bridges in West Virginia were structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, the highest level in the region.  In contrast, Florida has only 18 percent of its bridges structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.  In terms of road conditions, 44 percent of the roads in Maryland and Louisiana were rated “poor” or “mediocre,” with Florida’s 13 percent occupying the other end of the spectrum.  Finally, in terms of dam safety, Mr. Silveston noted that North Carolina had 215 dams requiring rehabilitation (the highest number in the SLC) while South Carolina and Tennessee only had six dams requiring rehabilitation (the lowest).

In conclusion, Mr. Silveston stressed the importance for policymakers at every level of government and all stakeholders (citizens, corporations) to make the investment necessary to upgrade our infrastructure in order to achieve security and remain globally competitive on the economic front.

Business Session, August 18
I.          The Drive to Move South: How Do We Move It To A Higher-Tech Gear?
Simon Cobb, Chief Operating Officer, Center for Automotive Research (NCCAR), North Carolina


A number of Southern states have made impressive strides in the automobile assembly and manufacturing spheres for some decades now.  This presentation focused on how entities like NCCAR are rising to the challenge of the ever-evolving product research, testing and development demands of the automotive industry and advancing the industry in the South to the next level.

Mr. Cobb’s Presentation

Mr. Cobb opened his remarks by noting that even though the current American automotive industry faced tremendously disruptive times, they also presented enormous opportunities for the Southern states.  In the last few months, the American automotive industry was characterized by a number of features including “scarce customers, improving capital, ‘Cash for Clunkers’ stimulus, massive industry restructuring, suppliers being thrust into survival mode, federal loans, future investment challenges and hazy product definition.”  For more than a decade now, U.S. auto sales have been characterized by the increasing dominance of trucks/light trucks over cars, along with the loss of market share on the part of the Big Three (General Motors, Chrysler and Ford) to such foreign players as Toyota, Honda and Nissan.  Inevitably, these twin trends resulted in a number of strategic developments within the American auto industry including restructuring, survival, ‘Clunker’ volume issues, dealership closings, development stagnation and product consolidation.

Further complicating the matter was the stratospheric rise in the price of gasoline, particularly in the summer of 2008, a trend that has stabilized to an extent even though they have not declined to levels experienced before the recent price escalation.  Yet, petroleum-based liquids consumption is projected to be flat as biofuels use grow along with the increased fuel economy standards set to come into effect in the upcoming decades.  This development would result in mid-and full-sized hybrid vehicles dominating light-duty vehicle sales by 2030.

As a result of this forecast, Mr. Cobb noted that there continues to be a great deal of research to build the “ultimate eco-car.”  The issue, as he listed it, involved curtailing CO2 emission reductions, pursuing energy diversification while helping abate atmospheric pollution.  While there were numerous strategies that could be pursued in reaching these goals with the prevalent power train systems (alternative fuel engines, diesel engines, gasoline engines, electrical energy), Mr. Cobb noted that there were several technology improvements and modifications that could be installed to move each of these power train systems to create the “ultimate eco-car.”   Yet, the challenge was to devise the right vehicle at the right time and in the right place.  Given these multiple paths to evaluate and the level of market fragmentation, it is not practical, he stressed, for each manufacturer to pursue all the different options.  As a result, Mr. Cobb emphasized that the new products at the recent Geneva Auto Show featured a range of different categories from muscle cars to opulent cars to frugal cars to ecological cars.

In this push toward developing and advancing automotive technology in the state, Mr. Cobb stressed the role of the North Carolina Center for Automotive Research.  NCCAR is an independent, nonprofit center devised to meet the ever-evolving product research, testing and development demands of the automotive industry.  He maintained that NCCAR is a high-wage automotive jobs stimulator; an independent test and research facility; containing many market research-driven features; impressive research and development features in such areas as ‘enabling technologies,’ advanced vehicle controls, sustainable transportation and university and college collaboration, all on a 620-acre “Greenfield” site.

According to Mr. Cobb, state sponsorship and affiliation with North Carolina’s university and community college system offers exceptional opportunities for matching the innovative talents of the world’s automotive industry with the research capacity and business development resources of the state of North Carolina.  In addition, NCCAR will include the following:

In closing, Mr. Cobb indicated that NCCAR’s expertly-designed, private, highly-secure, well-equipped and strategically capable facilities that may be utilized on a daily, weekly or longer-term basis meet the demanding research and testing challenges of the automotive industry.  NCCAR, he concluded, seeks to establish new benchmarks for advanced automotive development and testing.

II.        Funding the Arts during Extreme Fiscal Stress
Milton Rhodes, President and CEO, The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, North Carolina


Arts agencies face tremendous challenges in continuing to secure state and local government appropriations along with funds from corporate and individual sources during an economic recession.  This presentation identified some of the strategies deployed by the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County to continue funding programs and projects.

Mr. Rhode’s Presentation

Mr. Rhodes opened his presentation by quoting the renowned North Carolina scientist, Dr. Tony Atala, the Director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, who recently stated the following: “Since the 1700s Winston-Salem has built a solid reputation as an innovative, entrepreneurial and inclusive community that’s best described as the ‘City of the Arts.’  As we recruit leading scientists and thinkers from around the world to this creative community, especially the Piedmont Triad Research Park, ‘The Arts’ are central to our success.  ‘The Arts’ are inclusive of all disciplines and peoples and do not compete with any industry segment.” 

Mr. Rhodes indicated that this sentiment encapsulated the importance of the arts to Winston-Salem and noted the history of the city going back to 1753, when the Moravians traveled down the wagon road to form the first of three new towns; 1772, when Salem College was established as the first college for women in America (in operation now for more than 237 years); 1949, when the nation’s first arts council was created in Winston-Salem with six cooperating arts agencies and, 2009, some 60 years later, when the Arts Council operates with 20 funded partners, over 80 grantees and more than 70 affiliated members.

Notwithstanding this impressive arts lineage, Mr. Rhodes elaborated on the current challenges facing the arts in Winston-Salem as extending to the downturn in the economy and the evaporating contributions from both corporate and individual contributors; the fact that Winston-Salem with its impressive roster of corporations (led by R.J. Reynolds), is perceived as a “rich community;” successfully managing the transition of the economy from a manufacturing to a knowledge-based community; and, finally, the transition from corporate to government funding.  These challenges continue to consume the time, effort and resources of the entire arts community in the area.

In further describing the nonprofits sector in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County, Mr. Rhodes indicated that it was a nearly $104 million annual industry supporting 3,772 jobs.  While it generated $10.42 million in revenue to state and local government, the sector had $55.7 million in annual spending.  Furthermore, the arts sector leveraged $48.13 million in additional spending in restaurants, hotels, retail stores and generated $70.28 million in household income among local residents every year.  These figures clearly demonstrated the impressive economic impact generated by the nonprofit arts sector in the area.  In addition, the number of arts-related events in the area has burgeoned in recent years.  For instance, in 2006, there were 670 total events and, by 2008, this number had expanded to 845 (both excluding festivals).

In an effort to sustain and expand this notable economic impact, Mr. Rhodes noted that the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Arts Council is in the middle of a $26 million fundraising goal with several specific objectives, including creating numerous “walkable” districts, a new $11 million downtown center for the arts, expanding the annual fund by $9 million, adding $5 million to the arts endowment fund and a $1 million program to market Winston-Salem as the ‘City of the Arts.’

According to Mr. Rhodes, in fiscal year 2009, Winston-Salem and Forsyth County Arts Council distributed $1.93 million in grants to 37 arts and cultural organizations and 16 individual arts in the form of organizational support, arts education, project assistance, artist assistance and advertising assistance.  Mr. Rhodes also highlighted the Arts Council’s efforts in the area of arts education and noted the partnership with the University of North Carolina’s School of the Arts.  The School of the Arts, the performing arts conservatory of the University of North Carolina, was founded in 1963, opened in 1965 and is the first and only publicly supported arts conservatory in the United States.  The mission of the School is to train students from middle school through graduate school for professional careers in the performing, visual, and film and television arts.  He also noted the arts council’s efforts on the Bridges Project, an effort to enhance the aesthetic appearance of the area’s bridges by incorporating the work of local artists and designers.

In closing, Mr. Rhodes indicated that he was excited about the challenges facing the Arts Council, as daunting as they are, because he has “buy-in” from every sector of the region on the importance of the arts and the role the arts has to play in the future of Winston-Salem.

III.       Policy Positions

There were two policy positions submitted for consideration by the full Committee.  The first, sponsored by Representative Rod Scott, Alabama, and Representative Nelson Cole, North Carolina, recommended that the SLC states work cooperatively where appropriate to enter into multistate agreements and interstate compacts to enhance the potential for federal high-speed rail funding.  The second policy position, sponsored by Senator Mark Norris, Tennessee, expressed support for multimodal transportation solutions, preserving the federal-state transportation partnership and increasing intergovernmental collaboration and recognized that transportation authorization funding must remain one of the nation’s top priorities and should not be relegated to second-tier status, notwithstanding the range of other priorities currently being debated and discussed in Congress and within the administration.  Both policy positions were adopted by the Committee without opposition and forwarded to the SLC Policy Positions Committee for consideration.

IV.       Election of Officers

The Nominating Committee, comprising Representative Brent Yonts, Kentucky, Representative Bill Sample, Arkansas, and Representative Bill Sandifer, South Carolina, presented its recommendations for Committee chair and vice chair for 2009-2010. Senator John R. Unger II, West Virginia, was nominated for chair of the Committee, and Representative Billy Broomfield, Mississippi, was nominated for vice chair of the Committee.  The nominations were moved and seconded, and Senator Unger II and Representative Broomfield were elected by acclamation.

V.        Southern Legislative Conference 64th Annual Meeting, Charleston, South Carolina

The SLC will meet for the 64th Annual Meeting in Charleston, South Carolina, July 31 - August 4, 2010.  In keeping with the wishes of the SLC presiding officers, please note that meeting notification does not authorize travel.

Technical Tour, August 18
I.          Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center and Arts Tour

Due to the joint interest in biotechnology and the economic impact it has in the state, the Human Services & Public Safety Committee joined members of the Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee for a combined tour.  The first portion of the tour included a visit to the Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center; the second portion of the tour included visits to several key arts locations in the city of Winston-Salem.

For several decades, policymakers in North Carolina have focused on actively promoting biotechnology in the state.  The Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine is an important element in the state’s biotech sector and is an international leader in translating scientific discovery into clinical therapies.  According to a recent industry survey, North Carolina ranked third in the nation in the number of biotechnology companies for the fourth consecutive year, with more than 450 bioscience companies headquartered or operating in the state and employing a total of 55,000 people.  After presentations on the genesis of the Institute by scientists and officials affiliated with the Institute and Wake Forest University, members visited the laboratory where scientists were the first in the world to successfully implant a laboratory-grown organ into a human.  Members also learned about the Institute’s efforts related to creating insulin-producing cells; engineering blood vessels for heart bypass surgery; growing more than 22 different organs and tissues in the laboratory; and repairing or replacing diseased tissues and organs of soldiers injured in combat.

During the arts portion of the tour, members visited several prominent Winston-Salem arts venues including the North Carolina School of the Arts Campus/School of Film and the Sisters House at historic Salem College and the Winkler Bakery.  Milton Rhodes, president and CEO, The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, North Carolina, accompanied members on this portion of the tour and provided a commentary on the economic impact of the arts in the area.

SLC Staff Contact

If you have any questions regarding this report or the 2009 SLC Annual Meeting, please contact Mr. Sujit CanagaRetna in the Atlanta office at (404) 633-1866 or


Attendance List
Southern Legislative Conference 63rd Annual Meeting
Economic Development, Transportation and Cultural Affairs Committee
August 15-19, 2009
Winston-Salem, North Carolina

(List reflects those attendees whose names appeared on the sign-in sheet)


Representative Howard Sanderford
Representative Rod Scott

Senator Bill Pritchard
Representative Bill Abernathy
Representative Stephanie Flowers-Kirk
Representative Barry Hyde
Representative Keith M. Ingram
Representative Bill Sample
Kevin Anderson, Bureau of Legislative Research
Buddy Johnson, House of Representatives
Estella Smith, Bureau of Legislative Research

Representative Charles S. Chestnut IV

Representative Ellie Dobbs
Representative Harry Geisinger
Sujit CanagaRetna, Southern Legislative Conference
Gerri Combs, Southern Arts Federation
Judith Costello, Canadian Consulate General’s Office
Ken Fern, Southern Legislative Conference
Mikko Lindberg, Southern Legislative Conference
Tony J. Morris, American Maglev

Senator Perry Clark
Senator Jerry P. Rhoads
Speaker Pro Tem Larry Clark
Representative Eddie Ballard
Representative Mike Cherry
Representative Robert C. Damron
Representative Jody Richards
Representative Tom Riner
Representative Winston Stone
Representative Brent Yonts
Mikel Chavers, The Council of State Governments
Jonathan Grate, Legislative Research Commission
Carol Juett, The Council of State Governments
Mike Robinson, The Council of State Governments

Representative Jim Fannin
Kitty Fannin
Representative Johnny Guinn

Speaker Billy McCoy
Senator Merle Flowers
Senator Hillman Frazier
Representative Billy Broomfield
Representative David Gibbs
Representative Sara Thomas
Chuck Adams, House of Representatives
Don Richardson, Office of the Clerk of the House

North Carolina
Speaker Joe Hackney
Representative Kelly Alexander
Representative George Cleveland
Representative Nelson Cole
Representative Pryor Gibson
Representative Phillip Haire
Representative Bill McGee
Representative Efton Sager
Representative Fred Steen II
Tom Carroll, Vulcan Materials Company
Simon Cobb, Center for Automotive Research
Jennifer Gardner, Food Lion
Denise Hallett, Vulcan Materials Company
Katie Hallaway, Lowe’s
Danny Hines, Vulcan Materials Company
Durwood Laughinghouse, Norfolk Southern
Scott Mason, Lowe’s
Margaret Merit
Joe Moore, Office of the City Manager, Cary, North Carolina
Edward T. Parker, NC General Assembly
Milton Rhodes, Winston-Salem Council of the Arts
Pat Simmons, Department of Transportation
Bo Sumers, Duke Energy
Mary Craig Tennille, NC Arts Council
Michael A. Thompson, Dominion Power
Cody Thomas
Chris Valauri, Nationwide Insurance
Fran Valluzzo, Dell Corporation
Teross Young, Food Lion

Representative John Auffet

Jerry Spegman, Robert Woods Johnson Foundation

South Carolina
Representative Carl Anderson
Representative Gilda Cobb-Hunter
Representative Joe Daning
Representative Mike Forrester
Representative Nelson Hardwick
Casey Martin, University of South Carolina
Matt Silveston, American Society of Civil Engineers

Senator Tim Barnes
Senator Mark Norris

Senator Jeff Wentworth
Joe Morris, Office of Senator Wentworth
Cindy Ellison, Legislative Council

Senate President Pro Tem Charles Colgan
Senator Mark Herring
Senator Fred Quayle
Laura Fornash, Virginia Tech
Linda S. Haskins, Dominion Power

West Virginia 
Senator Richard Browning
Senator Joseph Minnard
Senator John R. Unger II
Delegate Mike Ferro
Delegate Richard J. Iaquinta
Delegate Danny Wells

Washington, D.C.
Curtis Johnson, U.S. Department of Transportation
Scott Muir, Norfolk Southern
Dave Press, Shell Oil
Roy Norton, Canadian Embassy
Mike Smith, The Council of State Governments
Chris Whatley, The Council of State Governments

Senator Wilfred P. Moore, Nova Scotia
Member of Parliament Wayne Easter, Malpeque
Member of Parliament Brad Trost, Saskatchewan
June Dewetering, Canada-U.S. Interparliamentary Group, Ottawa