States must have the money to handle the issues facing local leaders and are looking to the new presidential administration to help meet those needs, Utah Senate President Arnold Christen-sen told President-elect George Bush.
In a round-table discussion Monday, Christensen, chairman of the Council of State Governments, and other association leaders discussed state and local government concerns with Bush.The critical issues Christensen raised include limited state resources, preemption of state financial resources by the federal government and constraints that impede the states' ability to serve as "laboratories of democracy."
Christensen, R-Sandy, presented Bush a report highlighting programs states have implemented to address problems in seven policy areas.
"In this report, you will see that many states have been successful in designing programs to deal with some of our larger problems," Christensen said. "But state officials recognize the challenges that remain.
"We are concerned about state revenues, and the impact of the federal deficit, as well as the prospect of more federal mandates with less money and more strings attached."
Education, economic development, environment, human services, health care, corrections and criminal justice are the pressing issues facing state and local leaders, said Christensen, who heads the nonprofit organization with representatives in all branches of state government.