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State Roads to Economic Recovery: Policies, Pavements, and Partnerships

As the U.S. economy begins a slow climb to recovery, state and local governments are still reeling from the impact of the Great Recession. Revenues have plunged while the demand for key state and local services has soared. Meanwhile, unemployment remains stubbornly high.

On Friday, February 25, The Hamilton Project and the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings hosted a forum on state strategies that can help close budget deficits while also growing state economies and creating much-needed jobs. Brookings Vice President Bruce Katz moderated a panel of policy experts and state leaders, including former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, now a dinstinguished fellow at Brookings, and Michael Finney, CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. The panel discussed a range of fiscally responsible policy ideas to build the foundation for the next economy.

A second panel of economic experts, moderated by Hamilton Project Director Michael Greenstone, discussed three new policy proposals to help state and local governments invest more efficiently in infrastructure to promote their long-term economic competitiveness. These papers provide a new approach to arranging public private partnerships to create greater public value and reduce risks; a reorganization of our national highway infrastructure priorities; and the establishment of a not-for-profit, independent advisory firm that would help reduce borrowing costs for municipalities and increase returns for investors. Former Under Secretary for the U.S. Department of Transportation Tyler Duvall served as a discussant for the proposals.

Following each panel, the participants took questions from the audience.








Robert E. Rubin

Former U.S. Treasury Secretary

Co-Chair Emeritus - Council on Foreign Relations

Panel Discussion: Building the Next Economy in Today’s Fiscal Climate

Panel Discussion: Tools for Efficient State Investment

Matthew E. Kahn

Provost Professor of Economics and Spatial Sciences - University of Southern California

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