Why Should a Corporation Care About State Worker Collective Bargaining

The recent high profile fight over collective bargaining rights, pay and benefits for public employees in Wisconsin is interesting to those who follow politics and government funding issues, but why should corporate executives be concerned about that fight?  The obvious answer is that if public employee

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IGNORE LOCAL GOVERNMENT: ACTIVISTS ARE COUNTING ON IT

Santa Clara County, California and the City of San Francisco last year enacted restrictions on the inclusion of toys, prizes and incentives in certain children’s meals.   In response, state legislatures in Arizona and Florida are considering legislation prohibiting local governments in their states from following suit.

In

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EPA AND THE STATES: Can’t We All Just get along?

When “Getting Along with your EPA Regional Official” is a session topic for new state environmental commissioners, you know there is a problem.  On March 28, state environmental commissioners will convene in Alexandria, Virginia for the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) Spring Meeting.   The meeting, which

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State Budgets Create Virtual Groups

The Council of State Governments announced Monday that it was shifting its annual Spring Meeting (this year’s Growth & Prosperity Summit of the States) from the usual large, in-person conference to an online format.  While a dramatic move and, I am sure, disappointing to the senior staff

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Health Care In A State of Flex

In recent statements to the National Governors Association, President Obama indicated that he believes there is an opportunity for flexibility in how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is implemented.  For many of the assembled Governors, the offer of flexibility he made was not what

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WEDNESDAY MORNING

In a recent interview, I was asked about dealing with all the “non traditional” lawmakers who are likely to be elected next Tuesday.   The journalist’s question concerned the “tea partiers” and “throw the bums out” iconoclasts who will go to Washington, DC and state capitols with a

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Will A Republican Wave Wash Over State Legislatures and Your State Government Relations Program?

In states where one party has been in control for years, have you cultivated or ignored relationships with the minority party? If they take control, will fence-mending be necessary? You may want to request an increase in your travel budget now for next year so you can make some additional visits to your key states and attend more Groups meetings to quickly develop those relationships for 2011.

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What I Did At The Summer Groups Meetings (And What I Need To Do Now…)

The passing of Labor Day signals the unofficial end to summer and a recommitment to the work we neglected over the last three months while vacationing and shuttling kids to baseball and summer camps.  For state government affairs professionals, summer also meant spending a great deal of

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ARE GOVERNORS’ SEATS FOR SALE?

The conventional wisdom is that money can influence elections, but do those who self-fund with large amounts of money always win their races? At least for gubernatorial races, the answer is clearly no.

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CONSEQUENCES OF ENDING CALIFORNIA’S PARTY PRIMARY ELECTIONS

Proposition 14 may force a change to some coporate and trade association political giving strategies.

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Are Local Governments Trendsetters?

Plastic bag bans, fast-food menu labeling requirements, and taxing of bottled water are all issues being considered in some state legislatures, and even in Congress.  But what do these issues have in common?  They all originated at the local government level.

San Francisco was the first local

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Anti-Establishment Mood Hits Down Ballot Race in California

The race to replace Poizner was one of the more interesting of the night on the Republican side, and a good example of the anti-establishment sentiment.

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PUSH TO CLOSE

An appreciation that corporate government relations and public sector sales professionals are teammates, not competitors. Each teammate has its defined role, but together, they comprise a force that helps the company grow.

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Is 2010 a Year for Independents?

His (Crist’s) move to capture the political center is not the only high profile race in which this is happening. At the state level, both Massachusetts and Rhode Island are seeing strong gubernatorial bids by independent candidates. In both of these cases, the independent candidates are portraying themselves as the candidate who best represents the political middle.

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Maximizing the Impact of Testimony

In his own voice, he made the testimony more personal and that is what legislators on the committee responded to.

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State Reaction to Health Care Reform

As the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is implemented, the states are coming to grips with its realities and expressing their concerns.  Last month I mentioned that 22 states had proposed constitutional amendments or other legislation that would prohibit an individual mandate to purchase

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Oh Lobbyist, Where Art Thou?

Hiring a lobbyist is one of the most important decisions anyone in our profession makes. It does not take weeks and it does not require in-person interviews. And, there’s no secret handshake. Yes, it does require research, interviews, checking references (including ones not provided to you) and common sense.

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A Big Day in State Politics

Yesterday, March 2, saw several politically significant events occur in state politics across the country. In Texas, Rick Perry proved that the anti-spending mood epitomized by the Tea Party movement is strong, but incumbents can survive in 2010. In New York, the political saga continues. In Florida, unemployment insurance fixed on Day 1.

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Heath Care Debate Returns to States

The pendulum of health care reform has swung back towards state governments.  In the February 2, 2010, issue of the Wall Street Journal, Anna Wilde Mathews notes in her article “States Restart Health Care Push” (may require subscription) that the uncertainty of federal health care legislation

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Your “Groups” Participation Resolutions for the New Year…

We are already two weeks into the New Year and many of you – having returned to your offices from a long holiday break – are just now beginning to reflect on those resolutions you made in late December for 2010. 

Putting aside those commitments you made

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Hotel Taxes and Online Travel Companies

Local governments, facing revenue shortfalls and budget cuts, are looking for any and all sources of revenue to help fill their coffers.  One prospective revenue source is now in the crosshairs – hotel occupancy taxes from online travel companies, such as Orbitz, Expedia, Priceline and Hotels.com.  While

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WHEN BUDGETS SLIDE, LEADERS CLIMB

Regardless of the importance of the SGR mission, budgets are going to influence how much you can accomplish. Consider this advice as you prioritize for 2010.

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Virginia’s Gubernatorial Transition

Virginia Governor-elect Bob McDonnell is moving fast to fill his Cabinet and many advisory committee positions as he prepares to take office next month.

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It’s Always Election Season

Elections in 2009 don’t end until December 12, while 2010 elections start February 2.

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Demystifying CSG’s Suggested State Legislation Process

Few other state officials meetings or forums capture the attention – and stimulate the heart rates – of government affairs professionals as does the Council of State Governments’ Committee on Suggested State Legislation.  We pour through the Committee Dockets the minute they are released searching for those

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