On Friday, Lt. Governor Habib keynoted the Women in Government’s Legislative Summit in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Summit, an annual conference for female legislators from around the country, offers two days of programming and work sessions on a range of state-level issues and policy challenges that affect legislatures across the United States.
In his keynote, which focused on long-term solutions to balancing state budgets, Lt. Governor Habib stressed the importance of creating a healthy economy, a prerequisite to long-term financial health for states.
“State budgets must be inclusive,” said Lt. Governor Habib, going on to say that they must reflect investments in resources and programs that ensure every individual has the opportunity to live up to their potential, contributing to the economy rather than relying on subsistence services. A state that invests in its communities creates a healthy tax base, the Lt. Governor said, which in turn creates sustainable revenue sources that flow back to the state and create long-term financial health and balanced budgets.
“States must invest in outbound budget years,” he continued. “We need to be looking towards and investing in the future, and the most critical of those investments is higher education and workforce training. We have seen that having a post-secondary degree is the single best insurance against job loss at the hands of automation, injury, and international competition, and having a highly educated population promotes a sustainable and adaptable workforce critical to the health of an economy.
Creating a sustainable and healthy economy requires states to continually be looking towards the future, preparing their workforce for success in the future economy.”
“Finally,” Lt. Governor Habib concluded, “to encourage an environment that enables balanced budgets, long-term, legislatures should work to promote and strengthen collaboration and healthy competition among states.”