Page 36

csg serves the states

CSG EAST/EASTERN REGIONAL CONFERENCE New York State Sen. James Seward and Assemblyman Mike Benedetto, ERC 2018 Co-Chairs

2018 EVENTS Agritourism and Right to Farm: Challenges and Solutions April 20–21, 2018 l Providence, Rhode Island The ERC Agricultural and Rural Development Committee will sponsor a Policy Forum in the spring in Providence, Rhode Island, on two contentious regional issues, the “right to farm” and “agritourism.” This policy forum will investigate the different approaches states have taken to these issues and share with participants what has and has not worked.

Northeastern Sustainability Summit



ew York state Sen. James Seward and Assemblyman Michael Benedetto will serve as the 2018 CSG Eastern Regional Conference co-chairs. Together, they bring many years of public service and extensive policy knowledge to CSG East.


Seward was elected to the New York state Senate in 1986 and has focused on policy issues including job creation, education, technology and health insurance. He authored New York State’s Power for Jobs program, since renamed ReCharge NY, to help businesses save on the high cost of energy. According to Seward, in 2018, he will be focused on two key fundamental priorities—creating new job opportunities and emphasizing affordability for families and businesses.



information as we work collaboratively to address this scourge that is affecting all of our states and communities.” Both Benedetto and Seward agree that addressing fiscal issues will be important for New York and other states in 2018. “New York is faced with some tough fiscal challenges, and in my estimation the best way to clear the financial hurdles is through economic growth,” Seward said. “Controlling state spending, derailing new taxes, ending costly and unnecessary state regulations, and partnering with our business leaders to boost our economy are high on my agenda.”

Seminar on Teacher Licensing Reciprocity: An Interstate Compact Approach Spring 2018 A seminar, sponsored by the ERC Education Committee, will be held to examine the regional problem of teacher shortages and teacher certification reciprocity. ERC will be working with the CSG National Center for Interstate Compacts in the coming months on an interstate compact approach to interstate licensing challenges in the Eastern Region.

According to Benedetto, federal tax reform and federal funding uncertainty will also have a major impact on states in the coming year.

Benedetto, a 2006 graduate of ERC’s Eastern Leadership Academy, spent 35 years teaching “The loss of the state and local tax deduction alone will have huge implications for New York elementary and secondary school and was and many states in our region. The ERC Execuelected to the State Assembly in 2004. Bene­ tive Committee has already sent a resolution detto has focused on education and child protection issues and has been an ardent sup- opposing the elimination of the state and local porter of union rights. According to Benedetto, tax deduction, or SALT, to Congressional leadership and the House and Senate conferees on one of the toughest issues facing New York and states across the ERC region is the opioid crisis. the tax bill.” “States are at the forefront in addressing the opioid crisis working with health professionals, law enforcement and health care providers,” Benedetto said. “CSG can assist states in sharing

May 10–11, 2018 l Princeton University, New Jersey The Northeast is heavily dependent on fossil fuels for its energy supply, but most of the ERC member jurisdictions have set aggressive goals to increase generation from renewable energy sources and reduce carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050. This seminar will look at key issues and policy choices facing ERC member states and the Eastern Canadian Provinces in order to achieve those targets. Participants will also examine strategies for accelerating greenhouse gas reduction efforts and making the transition to a zero-emission future.

Seward and Benedetto believe CSG’s ability to convene leaders to share insights and ideas will help states solve tough policy issues such as these and more.

58th Annual Meeting & Regional Policy Forum of the Eastern Regional Conference Aug. 5–8, 2018 l Rye Brook, New York The ERC’s 58th Annual Meeting & Regional Policy Forum will be held at the Westchester Hilton Hotel on Aug. 5–8, 2018, in Rye Brook, New York. The ERC 2018 Annual Meeting is being co-chaired by New York state Sen. James Seward and Assemblyman Mike Benedetto.

Capitol Ideas | January, February, 2018  
Capitol Ideas | January, February, 2018  

CSG Serves the States