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Legislative leadership in North Carolina recently announced their replacement for Mr. George Hall, who retired from the post of legislative services officer in November of last year. Former Raleigh mayor and Wake County Commissioner Paul Coble will take over the post. In a joint statement, Speaker Tim Moore and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger said, "Mr. Coble is a proven leader and will bring a high level of professionalism to the General Assembly."
Mr. George Hall worked in the legislative services office in the North Carolina General Assembly for more than 50 years. In his time as legislative services officer, Mr. Hall was an active participant in many major activities of the Southern Legislative Conference. Given his expertise in legislative procedure and law, the Southern Office frequently sought his guidance on activities of the Conference and the Legislative Service Agency Directors Group.
The 69th Annual Meeting of the Southern Legislative Conference, held July 18-22, 2015, in Savannah, Georgia, has concluded. The SLC is sincerely grateful for all the legislators, legislative staff, governmental officials, presenters, coordinators, and the many invaluable volunteers that made the meeting such a success. Post-meeting materials, including speaker presentations, photos, attendance lists, and more, will be available soon. Thank you all for your continued support and participation.
In 2008 and 2009, the American auto industry was in dire shape and the Big Three U.S. automakers—General Motors, Chrysler and Ford—were forced to make wrenching cuts in terms of employees and production. General Motors and Chrysler had no recourse but to secure emergency bailout assistance from the federal government, and consumers and companies faced serious difficulties in securing loans as a result of a credit freeze that was sweeping across the U.S. economy, along with a multiplicity of other challenges. The negative consequences of the Great Recession caused havoc on myriad sectors, and the fabled American auto industry, along with many other components of the U.S. economy, faced a series of grim choices. While there has been a radical but positive transformation in the nation's economic fortunes in the more than six years since the onset of the Great Recession, there still are significant sectors within the U.S. economy that remain weak.
In this context, the fact that the industry has made significant progress since those glum days speaks volumes about the resiliency of the industry and its willingness to make radical changes on a range of issues. Not only are the three U.S. automakers thriving compared to their doleful position in 2008 and 2009, the dozen or so foreign automakers with manufacturing facilities in a number of mostly Southern states continue to perform admirably. Notably, even during the darkest days of the Great Recession, not one of these foreign automakers, operating largely in the South, was forced to dismiss a single employee; even more impressively, a number of these foreign automakers actually expanded their operations during the Great Recession, a development that has indisputably assisted in the nascent resurgence of the American manufacturing sector in recent years.
This SLC Regional Resource is divided into three sections. Section I provides details on broad, national trends on the influence wielded by the nation's automotive sector on gross domestic product, specifically the breakdown of gross output by industry; the contribution of new and used motor vehicles and auto parts to the U.S. economy; and the auto industry's contributions to the nation's employment rolls. Section II provides an array of details on how the industry continues to advance in the SLC states, including details on the many foreign automakers' impressive performance in recent years, even during the most desolate days of the Great Recession. Section III demonstrates the auto sector's sphere of influence around the SLC region reinforcing the mounting importance of the automobile sector and related manufacturing operations.
Throughout June 2015, the Southern Legislative Conference hosted three webinars addressing state energy, education, rural development, and budgeting policies. Specifically, spent fuel storage, education as a rural development mechanism, and performance-based budgeting were examined, on June 16, 18, and 25, respectively. Presentations materials and video recordings of the online programs are now available on the SLC website.
Online, fax, and mail pre-registration for the 69th SLC Annual Meeting is closed as of 6:00 p.m. EDT, June 30. All further registrations must be done on-site, opening at 7:30 a.m., Saturday, July 18, in the Lobby of the Hyatt Regency Savannah. For those already registered, please note that SLC Annual Meeting registration does not automatically register your spouse/guest or youth for the host state programs, or for host state transportation. Registration for these programs and services must be completed on the host state website, at www.slc2015.org.
The Southern Legislative Conference will host a series of three complimentary webinars in June 2015, addressing state energy, education, rural development, and budgeting policies. Specifically, spent fuel storage, education as a rural development mechanism, and performance-based budgeting will be examined, on June 16, 18, and 25, respectively. SLC members and all other interested government officials are welcome and encouraged to join. Further details and registrations also are available through the CSG Ecademies website.
A delegation of SLC member state legislators, comprising Senator Willie Simmons (Chair, Mississippi Senate Highways and Transportation Committee), Delegate Danny Hamrick (Vice Chair, West Virginia House Roads and Transportation Committee) and Representative Mathew Pitsch (Member, Arkansas House Public Transportation Committee), attended The Council of State Governments’ (CSG) 2015 Transportation Policy Academy in Washington, D.C., May 11- 13, 2015. This was CSG’s fifth Transportation Policy Academy that brought together transportation legislative leaders from all four CSG regions to the nation’s Capital for a series of high-level policy discussions and briefings, meetings with members of Congress and U.S. Department of Transportation officials, and a tour of one of the busiest metropolitan areas in the country (Northern Virginia) for innovative infrastructure projects.
On June 2, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the Clean Power Plan Proposed Rule under the authority of Section 111(d) of the federal Clean Air Act. This Proposed Rule would establish state-specific goals to limit greenhouse gas emissions by setting firm carbon reduction standards that each state would have to meet beginning in 2020 and accelerating through 2030. While it is unclear whether the EPA will revise its Final Rule, which is expected by July 2015, many states in the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) of The Council of State Governments already have enacted legislation addressing the Clean Power Plan Proposed Rule and its regulations.
This SLC Issue Alert provides an overview of some measures taken by state legislatures in the SLC region to address the Clean Power Plan Proposed Rule through the 2014 legislative session. This Issue Alert is not a legal analysis of Section 111(d), nor does it take a position on compliance pathways or the EPA's proposed state-specific carbon dioxide (CO2) goals.