The Council of State Governments
October 16, 2008
Jennifer Burnett
From the Expert:
How Much Can
Americans Cut Back?

By Jennifer Burnett, CSG Research Analyst

The financial crisis has experts declaring the end to the era of easy credit. But to many, this isn't entirely negative. For years, we have been warned that Americans are living beyond their means and engaging in irresponsible consumerism while saving and planning for the future less. It is certainly true: Americans are saving less and spending more than ever.

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In This Issue
How Much Can Americans Cut Back?
Ballot Issues Affecting Legislators
Border Legislators Encourage Cooperation

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Ballot Issues Affecting Legislators Go Before Voters Nov. 4

By Kelley Arnold and Heather Perkins, CSG Elections Center

When voters go to the polls Nov. 4, they will not only be selecting legislators to serve in the state houses, they will also vote on measures that will impact the jobs of those same legislators. Issues such as marriage, energy and gaming tend to take center stage in the discussion of this year's state ballot measures, but it is important to note that residents of many states will take to the polls to determine legislative pay, voter districts and session schedules. Read a few of the issues affecting elected officials that are up for consideration on 2008 state ballots.

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Border Legislators Encourage Continued Cooperation

By Edgar Ruiz, deputy director, CSG-WEST

Legislators attending the Border Legislative Conference in late September adopted a declaration that, among other things, encourages U.S. and Mexico federal and state authorities to cooperate on efforts to combat organized crime and enhance the security of the border region.

The declaration also:
  • Promotes the development of joint, binational commissions to address human trafficking;
  • Encourages private and public sector utilities to invest in energy conservation and efficiencies; and
  • Encourages long-term planning regarding water resources and policies as they are affected by climate change.
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