Research by Sujit CanagaRetna

SLC Regional Resource | October 2016

Commuter Rail in the Southern Legislative Conference States: Recent Trends

Sujit CanagaRetna

Commuter trains, a fixture in many American cities since the late 19th century, started losing prominence in public transportation calculations in the 1940s with the ascent of the personal car, while vast improvements in public bus services also accelerated their decline. However, in the last 30 years or so, particularly in the early years of the 21st century, there has been renewed interest in this form of transportation across the country, including in the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) member states. This renewed interest has been propelled for a variety of reasons: commuters choosing rail over cars for convenience; easing traffic congestion; reducing air pollution; promoting economic development; and boosting property values. Consequently, multiple metropolitan regions in SLC member states continue to operate commuter rail systems and expand their operations, even initiating new networks. Given that these initiatives have emerged in transit-starved areas, this increased momentum to introduce or expand commuter rail systems is a direct response to the demands and expectations of businesses and the workforce. Information on recent efforts in the SLC states to enhance the light rail capacities in their transportation plans, an important cog in any multimodal strategy, is detailed in this SLC Regional Resource.

Webinar | June 2016

SLC States and REAL ID Requirements

Sujit CanagaRetna

The REAL ID Act of 2005 established minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards and prohibited federal agencies from accepting, for official purposes, licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet these standards. Starting Jan. 22, 2018, air travelers without a license from a compliant state or a state that has been granted an extension will be asked to provide alternate acceptable identification. Starting Oct. 1, 2020, every traveler will need to present a REAL ID-compliant license or another acceptable form of identification for domestic air travel. This FREE webinar presented by CSG South/SLC will provide an overview of the latest trends associated with the REAL ID requirements from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and a status report from two SLC states.


Bert Brantley, Commissioner, Georgia Department of Driver Services
Karen St. Germain, Commissioner, Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles
Nathaniel (Ted) Sobel, Deputy Assistant Secretary (A), Screening Coordination Office, DHS Office of Policy (PLCY/SCO), U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

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Policy Analysis | April 2016

Marijuana Use: Uncertainty on All Sides Continues

Sujit CanagaRetna

State legislatures continue to grapple with the myriad issues surrounding the legalization of medical marijuana as well as recreational marijuana. The following reflects a sampling of the research, articles and studies seeking to address questions related to whether marijuana and other substances are ‘gateway’ drugs. This information was compiled in response to an inquiry from a legislator in an SLC state.

A report from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Drug Abuse.  There are several references embedded in the report that provide scientific details on whether marijuana is a gateway drug.

A study, Probability and Predictors of the Cannabis Gateway Effect: A National Study, published in February 2015 in the International Journal of Drug Policy, maintains that the predictors of progression from cannabis to other illicit drugs remain largely unknown.

Another 2015 study in the International Journal of Drug Policy entitled, The Effect of Medical Cannabis Laws on Juvenile Cannabis Use, concludes that there is little empirical evidence to support the view that medical cannabis laws affect juveniles' use of illicit non-cannabis drugs.

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More Research by Sujit CanagaRetna

Policy Analysis | January 2016

Vehicle Sales Soar to Record Levels in 2015

SLC Regional Resource | January 2016

Inland Ports and Waterways in the SLC Member States

Webinar | December 2015

SLC State Pensions: Latest Developments

Policy Analysis | September 2015

Manufacturing Products Top SLC State Exports in 2014

Policy Analysis | July 2015

Public Pension Trends and Developments

Policy Analysis | June 2015

State Purchasing Regulations and Reform

Policy Analysis | February 2015

Regulation of Combat Sports

Policy Analysis | January 2015

State Occupational Boards and Commissions Fees

Policy Analysis | October 2014

SLC State Actions on Suspect Guardrails

Presentation | September 2014

Transportation Funding in the States

Policy Analysis | March 2014

Highway Trust Fund Balance

SLC Regional Resource | February 2014

Aeronautics in the SLC States: Cleared for Takeoff

Policy Analysis | January 2014

Growth of Aerospace Industry Exports

SLC Regional Resource | November 2013

Tire Manufacturing: Southern States Roll to the Top

Policy Analysis | November 2013

Wind Pool Insurance in the SLC States

Policy Analysis | November 2013

Southern States' Legislative Budget Formats

SLC Regional Resource | July 2013

Workforce Development in the SLC States

Policy Analysis | March 2013

State Personal Income Trends

Policy Analysis | February 2013

State Efforts to Fund Transportation

Policy Analysis | January 2013

Fiscal and Economic Trends in the South

Presentation | October 2012

Economic Development Trends from the States

Presentation | July 2012

State Retirement Systems: Recent Trends

SLC Fiscal Alert | July 2012

Public Pensions: Emerging Trends

Policy Analysis | March 2012

Latest State Unemployment Rates

Presentation | January 2012

State Retirement Systems: Recent Trends

SLC Regional Resource | January 2012

Municipal Bonds: Trends in 2011

Presentation | November 2011

State of State Budgets

Policy Analysis | November 2011

Federal Highway Trust Fund

Policy Analysis | October 2011

State Revenue Trends

Policy Analysis | June 2011

Manufacturing Jobs in the South

Policy Analysis | November 2010

Economic Impact of the Great Recession

Policy Analysis | October 2010

High Speed Rail: Update from the Southern States

Presentation | October 2010

State Fiscal Issues

Presentation | July 2010

State Fiscal and Economic Outlook

SLC Special Series Report | June 2010

The Expansion of the Panama Canal and SLC State Ports

Presentation | February 2010

State Unemployment Insurance: Recent Trends

Presentation | May 2009

State Fiscal and Economic Outlook

Presentation | May 2009

Fiscal Outlook for the States

Presentation | March 2009

State Retirement Systems: Recent Trends

Presentation | March 2009

Fiscal Outlook for the States

Presentation | February 2009

Economic Status of the States

Article | July 2008

Auto: The Resilient South

SLC Issue Alert | June 2008

Actuarial Estimates in Public Pensions

SLC Special Series Report | June 2008

Innovative Programs in Funding State Homeland Security Needs

Presentation | November 2006

State Retirement Systems: Recent Trends

SLC Special Series Report | October 2004

America's Public Retirement Systems: Stresses in the System

Presentation | April 2004

Ports in the South

SLC Special Series Report | November 2003

The Drive to Move South

Presentation | December 2002

The Fiscal Crunch Confronting the South

Presentation | September 2002

Delivering the Goods: Ports in the South

SLC Special Series Report | July 2002

Unemployment Insurance In a Diminishing Economy