2020
SLC Standing Committees' Annual Meeting Interim Virtual Programs


SLC Fiscal Affairs and Government Operations Committee Virtual Program
Webinar | August 2020

New and Expanded Revenue Streams

Cody Allen

SLC Fiscal Affairs & Government Operations Committee Virtual Program

Presiding Officer: Representative Penny Houston, Georgia; Chair, SLC Fiscal Affairs & Government Operations Committee

As advances in technology both create new and reshape existing markets, states are looking to regulate and tax these emerging business models. These include digital streaming services, electronic goods, ridesharing services and short-term rentals, among others. With consumers shifting to embrace this new economy, and the market for digital goods and services growing exponentially, these emerging markets are replacing prior, and broadening existing, sources of state revenue. This program highlights how states' efforts to tax these new revenue sources and the economic impact these emerging markets could have on the Southern region. With the COVID-19 pandemic contributing to a significant economic downturn, supplementing existing revenues will be a necessary tool for policymakers facing possible budget reductions in fiscal year 2021 and beyond.

Presentation:

Brian Sigritz, Director of State Fiscal Studies, National Association of State Budget Officers, Washington, D.C.


Leveraging Opportunity Zones for Economic Development
Webinar | August 2020

Leveraging Opportunity Zones for Economic Development

Roger Moore

SLC Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee Virtual Program

Presiding Officer: Representative Nathaniel Ledbetter, Alabama; Vice Chair, SLC Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee

The Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 included new incentives for stimulating private investment, economic development and job creation in underserved communities, designated as Opportunity Zones. According to the IRS, there are more than 8,700 Qualified Opportunity Zones nationally, including more than 3,000 in the SLC region. Under the program, individuals or entities that invest in economically distressed areas qualify for capital gains tax breaks. This program outlines the benefits and concerns surrounding Opportunity Zones and explores what actions states and localities can take to ensure that tax-advantaged funding is delivering sustainable investment in underserved communities.

Presentations:

Jorge González, Research Analyst, Urban Institute, Washington, D.C.
Brady Meixell, Research Analyst, Urban Institute, Washington, D.C.


Agriculture & Rural Development Committee Virtual Program
Webinar | July 2020

Implications of Recent Trade Agreements for the American Farm
Addressing Mental Health in Rural Communities

Nick Bowman

Agriculture & Rural Development Committee Virtual Program

Implications of Recent Trade Agreements for the American Farm

Many in the agriculture sector have heralded the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement and the Phase-One Agreement with China as unparalleled opportunities to provide their products to growing consumer bases and to promote free and fair trade. This program provides a briefing on these two important trade deals and explores how they could impact the U.S. agricultural sector, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Presentation:

Max Moncaster, Director of Public Policy, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, Virginia

Addressing Mental Health in Rural Communities

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicides among farmers are 1.5 times higher than the national average. Experts warn that rising farm debt, limited access to mental health resources, harvests impacted by extreme weather, and the lingering impacts of a long-running trade war with China—and now the COVID-19 pandemic—all are contributing to significant stress among those in the agriculture community. This program examines initiatives to increase awareness of rural stress issues and warning signs; identify ways to communicate and cope with stress; and access local resources and support.

Presentation:

Keith Mueller, Head of the Department of Health Management and Policy, University of Iowa


Webinar | July 2020

Improving Outcomes for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System

Roger Moore

SLC Human Services & Public Safety Committee Virtual Program

Presiding Officer: Senator Katrina Shealy, South Carolina; Chair, SLC Human Services & Public Safety Committee

More than 30,000 youth are incarcerated in the United States each year, while another 350,000 are placed on probation. As youth in the juvenile justice system age, it is important for policymakers to ensure this population has the skills and knowledge necessary for future success. Unfortunately, youth in the justice system are more likely to face an array of obstacles compared to their peers, including a lack of math and reading proficiency; more frequent suspensions and expulsions from school; special education needs; and fewer employability skills. This program provides an overview of the national landscape related to juvenile justice improvement during the past decade, focusing on the shift from incarceration to community-based supervision and services, and provides effective measures that improve outcomes while balancing public safety.

Presentation:

Josh Weber, Deputy Division Director, Corrections and Reentry, The Council of State Governments Justice Center, Washington, D.C.


Webinar | July 2020

Stranded Investments in the Energy Sector

Nick Bowman

SLC Energy & Environment Committee Virtual Program

Presiding Officer: Senator Ed Emery, Missouri; Chair, SLC Energy & Environment Committee

Stranded investments, sometimes called stranded costs or stranded assets, are the historic financial obligations incurred by utilities that, due to changes in market conditions, are rendered unrecoverable. As natural gas, renewable resources and battery storage increase their share of the energy generation market, a growing number of utilities are opting for the early retirement of existing coal-fired plants, resulting in millions of dollars in stranded investments. With energy use down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this program focuses on the implications of stranded investments and explores possible policy solutions.

Presentation:

Emily Sandford Fisher, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Edison Electric Institute, Washington, D.C.


Webinar | July 2020

School-Based Health Centers: Ensuring Student Access to Care – During the Pandemic and Beyond

Cody Allen

SLC Education Committee Virtual Program

Presiding Member: Senator Greg Hembree, South Carolina

Primary care clinics, operating on elementary and secondary school campuses, known as school-based health centers (SBHCs), provide students with access to vital preventative and early interventional health resources. In addition to primary care, the panoply of services a SBHC can provide includes dental care, behavioral and mental health counseling, and health and nutrition counseling. Typically funded by a combination of federal, state and local grants, Medicaid or private insurance, as well as private sector grants, SBHCs serve as cost-effective resources for schools and communities. By providing healthcare access to children in rural and low-income areas, SBHCs may reduce school absences, boost academic success, reduce healthcare costs for families, and improve student physical and mental health. This program demonstrates how SBHCs improve student outcomes and play an important role in both schools and communities. Discussions also will include how the ongoing pandemic likely will influence school-based care – such as the shift to telehealth – and what innovations will become integral to SBHCs beyond this crisis.

Presentations:

Suzanne Mackey, MPH, Policy Director, School-Based Health Alliance, Washington, D.C.
Katy Stinchfield, MS, LPC, Senior Program Manager, School-Based Health Alliance, Washington, D.C.