Conference Call: Corporate Transparency in the State Budget

12/04/2009 - 1:00pm

Progressive States Network hosted a national conference call on Friday, December 4th at 1:00pm EST with experts and legislative leaders to discuss Corporate Transparency in the State Budget, one of the policies included in PSN's 2010 Shared Multi-State Agenda. Speakers discussed the need for transparency and disclosure, policy details, and best practices for building campaigns and moving corporate transparency initiatives in the states. 

Speakers on the call included:

  • Rep. Garnet Coleman, Texas House of Representatives
    Garnet F. Coleman has served the people of District 147 in the Texas House of Representatives continuously since 1991. Throughout his years of service, Representative Coleman has earned a reputation as a diligent leader in the areas of health care, economic development and education.  He is currently the Senior ranking member of the Public Health Committee as well as the Chairman of the County Affairs Committee. Representative Coleman also serves as a member of the Select Committee on Federal Economic Stabilization Funding, which is charged with ensuring that the state maximize its share of funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

  • Greg LeRoy, Executive Director, Good Jobs First
    Dubbed "the leading national watchdog of state and local economic development subsidies" and "God's witness to corporate welfare," Greg founded Good Jobs First in 1998.  He has been writing, training, and consulting on development issues for state and local governments, labor-management committees, unions, community groups, tax and budget watchdogs, environmentalists, smart growth advocates, and associations of public officials for more than 25 years.  A nationally prominent speaker and frequently quoted news media source, he is the author of The Great American Jobs Scam: Corporate Tax Dodging and the Myth of Job Creation (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2005) and No More Candy Store: State and Cities Making Job Subsidies Accountable.

  • Phineas Baxandall, Senior Analyst for Tax and Budget Policy, U.S. PIRG
    Mr. Baxandall oversees policy and strategy development for state PIRGs’ tax and budget campaigns throughout the U.S., including campaigns for public transit.  His expertise spans tax policy, public budgeting, heatlh care, privatization, municipal policy, intergovernmental finance, federalism, and public-private partnerships.Baxandall has authored or co-authored several reports, academic journal articles, and magazine features on transportation issues including, A Better Way to Go: Meeting America's 21st Century Transportation Challenges with Modern Public Transit, Road Privatization: Explaining the Trend, Assessing the Facts, and Protecting the PublicSquandering the Stimulus: An Analysis of Household Gas Spending, Economic Stimulus Checks, and the Need for Better Transportation Options, and Finding Solutions to Fund Transit: Combining Accountability And New Resources For World Class Public Transportation.

  • Michael Mazerov, Senior Fellow, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
    Mazerov joined the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in January 1998. He is a Senior Fellow with the Center's State Fiscal Project. His work focuses on state and local taxation of business under corporate income and sales taxes, including taxation of Internet commerce. He has written reports on strategies for closing state corporate income tax loopholes and broadening state sales taxation of services. He also analyzes federal legislation affecting state taxing powers, such as the Internet Tax Freedom Act and the proposed “Business Activity Tax Simplification Act.” He has appeared on Fox’s Hannity and Colmes and CNBC’s Closing Bell and is frequently quoted in national and state print media, including the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal.

  • Melissa Unger, Organizer, SEIU Local 503
    Melissa Unger works for SEIU, Local 503 in Oregon.  For the past two and a half years, she has been researching different states contracting accountability laws.  In 2009, she helped form a coalition to look at Oregon’s laws regarding contracting transparency and accountability.  The coalition successfully passed a bill that strengthens the accountability process before state agencies and local governments proceed to contract.