Investing in Georgia - Economic Development Newsletter - July 2012


In This Issue:

Recent Developments:

- Transparency in Government. Georgia's laws regarding the transparency of government meetings and records had become a jumble of statutes, court opinions and lore that were increasingly difficult to follow. Led by Attorney General Sam Olens, the General Assembly recently adopted comprehensive revisions to the state's Open Meeting and Open Records Acts, providing clarity on the responsibilities of state and local governments and assuring the fundamental rights of citizens to engage with their governmental representatives...

- Conference On The Renaissance Of American Manufacturing. A record crowd of over 320 people recently attended the Second Annual Conference on the Renaissance of American Manufacturing: Jobs, Trade and the Presidential Election. This one-day conference, moderated by King & Spalding, focused on solutions to the decline of manufacturing in America and highlighted manufacturing and trade as critical issues for the upcoming presidential and congressional elections....

In The News:

- TSPLOST: Do or Die Time? In just a few short weeks, voters across the State will have the opportunity to vote, region by region, on the important question of whether to approve a proposed one penny sales tax to fund much-needed transportation and transit improvements within their region. Transportation is a critical issue across our state, perhaps nowhere more than in the ten-county metro-Atlanta region (Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale)....

- EB-5: the Immigrant Investor Program. Over the past year, the development finance industry has been rapidly embracing the Immigrant Investor Program, more commonly referred to as "EB-5". This is not a new program -- it is actually a visa category created by Congress in 1990 primarily to encourage foreign investment in job-creating U.S. economic development projects or companies in return for a U.S. green card (which provides lawful permanent residence status in the U.S.). The projects (or companies) must create or save 10 full-time jobs and provide a minimum $1 million investment (reduced to $500,000 if made in a high unemployment or rural area)...

- New Federal Focus on School Anti-Bullying Policies. The quality of public education is a vital factor in selling any community to a prospective new business. In addition to the normal issues of teacher quality, educational philosophy and ever-present resource constraints, however, the issue of student behavior has been much in the news in recent months -- particularly the phenomenon of student bullying...

Looking Ahead:

- This must be an election year! Political advertising by corporations and unions, including the work of well-known "Super PACs", reached a zenith in the Republican primaries. Many will remember that this new expression of First Amendment free speech was upheld in the controversial 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission...

- What's Up with Basel? In addition to being the second largest city in Switzerland, Basel is identified with the ongoing effort to implement a global regulatory framework of capital requirements and risk measures for financial institutions...

Please see full newsletter below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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