Our American States

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Episode Date
Moon Landing at 50: STEM, States, Science | OAS Episode 64
<div class="article"> <p>On July 20, the United States will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing with traveling exhibits and special ceremonies at museums, the Johnson Space Center and the Kennedy Space Center.</p> <p>In honor of the historic feat, we wanted to explore technical innovations, STEM education and a launch project designed to include contributions from all 50 states at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala.</p> <p><strong>Jody Singer</strong> is the director of NASA&#39;s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, which is responsible for 6,000 civil service and contractor employers. She started her NASA career as an intern and spent 25 years with the Space Shuttle Program as an engineer and project manager. She says that while NASA is a federal program, her team is in constant communication with state legislatures and leaders across the country.</p> <p>Additional Resources</p> <ul> <li><a href="/Portals/1/Documents/Podcast/OAS_Episode_64_Transcription.pdf" target="_blank">Transcription of Episode 64</a></li> </ul> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/NCSL_OAS/~4/kekd6WeSyec" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
May 23, 2019
For Victims, Policies on Rape Kits Hard to Understand | OAS Episode 63
<div class="article"> <p>An estimated 25 million Americans are rape survivors. The Bureau of Justice Statistics three years ago estimated only 23 percent of rapes or sexual assaults are reported. For those that do report their assaults, they are confronted with medial and legal procedures that are challenging and sometimes not understandable. And there is an assumption that if a rape kit is produced, it will be stored as long as the victim needs. But the local and state laws across the country are not uniform and victims are sometimes surprised their kits have either not been tested or are no longer available. We have two guests who have been deeply involved in this field.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Amanda Nguyen</strong> is the founder of Rise, a nonprofit that fights for the civil rights of sexual violence survivors. As a student at Harvard on a promising astrophysics track, she was raped. Her experience led her to work with Congress and the administration to pass the Sexual Assault Survivor&rsquo;s Bill of Rights just two years later. Her work has resulted in changes in more than 20 states.</li> <li><strong>Kemp Hannon</strong>, as a New York state senator, successfully passed legislation that led to sweeping changes in how his state handles, processes and stores rape kits. He said many in law enforcement and even district attorneys believed rape kits were being tested and stored for future use. His research and work with advocate organizations found a different story and he was determined to change it.</li> </ul> <p>Additional Resources</p> <ul> <li><a href="/Portals/1/Documents/Podcast/OAS_Episode_63_Transcription.pdf" target="_blank">Transcription of Episode 63</a></li> </ul> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/NCSL_OAS/~4/f5T4yRoa4fs" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
May 16, 2019
Principles of Debate Thinking | OAS Episode 62
<div class="article"> <p>With May 6-10, 2019, being Legislative Staff Week, we focus this episode on a critical skill: debate thinking.</p> <p>In the heat of a disagreement, argument&nbsp;or debate, it can be difficult to plot a persuasive strategy that effectively articulates one&rsquo;s point of view while rebutting the position of the other party. We explore the foundations of&nbsp;debate thinking, a model of thought that will sharpen the ability to think quickly and to develop compelling offensive and defensive arguments in real time.</p> <p>Our guest is Curt Stedron, who is a trainer at the National Conference of State Legislatures. He explains lessons he&rsquo;s learned in his research and work as an award-winning debate coach.</p> <h3>Additional Resources</h3> <ul> <li><a href="/Portals/1/Documents/Podcast/OAS_Episode_62_Transcription.pdf">Transcription of Episode 62</a></li> </ul> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/NCSL_OAS/~4/KwRMAD0dygo" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
May 09, 2019
Celeb Chef Hugh Acheson on Hunger in America | OAS Episode 61
<div class="article"> <p>At some point in 2016, 1 in 7 U.S. households was food insecure and more than 44 million people participated in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The nonprofit No Kid Hungry says more than 13 million U.S. children live in &quot;food insecure&quot; homes.</p> <p>The National Conference of State Legislatures created a Hunger Partnership to address food insecurity. With more than 20 legislators and three legislative staff, the partnership works to address hunger in America. Corporate and nonprofit partners, including the Congressional Hunger Center, support the partnership.</p> <p>We get unique perspectives on this issue from our two guests:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Hugh Acheson</strong>, who has won major awards including the James Beard Award for best chef and Food &amp; Wine&rsquo;s best new chef, has been featured on several TV cooking shows. He discusses his involvement in providing meals for school children.</li> <li><strong>Senator Renee Unterman</strong> (R-Ga.) is co-chair of NCSL&rsquo;s Hunger Partnership. She discusses the work of the partnership and how it works with the federal government to address food insecurity.</li> </ul> <h3>Additional Resources</h3> <ul> <li><a href="/Portals/1/Documents/Podcast/OAS_Episode_61_Transcription.pdf" target="_blank">Transcription of Episode 61</a></li> </ul> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/NCSL_OAS/~4/HE2KEdqLIE0" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 25, 2019
2020 Census: What’s at Stake for States | OAS Episode 60
<div class="article"> <p>In less than a year, the United States will embark on its decennial charge to count every person living in the nation. And, as our guest explains, an accurate count is needed for both economic and political reasons. About $800 billion in federal funding is at stake, as well as each state&rsquo;s apportionment in the House of Representatives.</p> <p>Our guest is <strong>Wendy Underhill</strong>, director of the NCSL Elections and Redistricting Program. She tells us about changes to this year&rsquo;s form and how technology is being used in the process.</p> <h3>Additional Resources</h3> <ul> <li><a href="/Portals/1/Documents/Podcast/OAS_Episode_60_Transcription.pdf" target="_blank">Transcription of Episode 60</a></li> </ul> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/NCSL_OAS/~4/o3hc-gn2ehw" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 11, 2019
In Search of Civil Discourse | OAS Episode 59
<div class="article"> <div class="article"> <p>What&rsquo;s your sense of the state of civil discourse in America today? The answer is likely as diverse as political viewpoints today. So we decided to talk with someone who studies civil discourse and is an active participant.</p> <p>Keith Allred is the executive director of the National Institute for Civil Discourse. He discusses the differences of civil discourse at the federal and state levels, and why his organization is promoting programs aimed at state legislatures, communities and the general public. He explains how the Institute came into being and why his board is filled with prominent Republican and Democratic leaders from across the country.</p> <h3>Additional Resources</h3> <ul> <li><a href="/Portals/1/Documents/Podcast/OAS_Episode_59_Transcription.pdf" target="_blank">Transcription of Episode 59</a></li> </ul> </div> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/NCSL_OAS/~4/00xknDiJfQM" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Mar 28, 2019
Top Energy Official Talks Technology, Security | OAS EPISODE 58
<div class="article"> <p>In this episode of &ldquo;Our American States,&rdquo; we talk with one of the federal government&rsquo;s top energy officials.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s easy to take energy for granted. From turning on the first light in the morning to fixing a meal, taking a hot shower and working on a computer&mdash;we generally accept that the energy we need is going to be there. And we become upset when it&rsquo;s not.</p> <p>For policymakers, though, the regulation and oversight of energy is a series of complex issues, and it&rsquo;s often difficult for states to make decisions on changes and consider new choices.</p> <p>Our guest is <strong><a href="https://www.ferc.gov/about/com-mem/chatterjee/chatterjee-bio.asp">Neil Chatterjee</a>,</strong> chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), an independent agency created by Congress in 1920, whose responsibilities include regulating retail electricity and approving all interstate transmission of natural gas, oil, electricity and pipeline projects.&nbsp;</p> <p>A common theme you will hear from him: the security of the nation&rsquo;s energy sources. He&rsquo;s a strong proponent of the rights of states in the federal system, but recognizes that with energy grids crossing state lines it&rsquo;s going to take some coordination and cooperation to keep our energy secure.</p> <p>We started by asking Chatterjee about the biggest opportunity in the energy field today&mdash;he says it&rsquo;s technology. But it might also be the nation&rsquo;s biggest challenge.</p> <h3>Additional Resources</h3> <ul> <li><a href="/Portals/1/Documents/Podcast/OAS_Episode_58_Transcription.pdf" target="_blank">Transcription of Episode 58</a></li> <li>Find NCSL resources for&nbsp;state legislatures on <a href="/default.aspx?tabid=297">energy policy</a>.</li> </ul> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/NCSL_OAS/~4/qiL1KjqjnFk" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Mar 14, 2019
Child Support Program Changes Result in Stronger Families | OAS Episode 57
<div class="article"> <p>The nature and demographics of employment are changing, with fewer men entering the workforce and the gig economy chipping away at traditional job relationships and structures. And state programs that oversee child support programs are taking notice.</p> <p>We talk with officials in two states that are seeing success by working to address the issues and concerns of those who owe child support payments, and, as a result, are improving relationships between parents and their children.</p> <p>Our guests are:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Larry Desbien</strong>, director, Colorado Division of Child Support Services</li> <li><strong>Noelita Lugo</strong>, assistant deputy director of Field Initiatives, Texas Attorney General&rsquo;s Child Support Division</li> </ul> <h3>Additional Resources</h3> <ul> <li><a href="/Portals/1/Documents/Podcast/OAS_Episode_57_Transcription.pdf" target="_blank">Transcription of Episode 57</a></li> </ul> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/NCSL_OAS/~4/zbUHoovhO2A" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Feb 28, 2019
What I Wish I Knew: Veteran Legislators Reflect (Part 2) | OAS Episode 56
<div class="article"> <p>In this episode, we complete our two-part series aimed at the more than 20 percent of the nation&rsquo;s 7,383 state legislators who are new to the job in 2019. We talk with two current and two former state legislators&mdash;all who have held leadership positions&mdash;and ask them to give newly elected legislators advice or offer what they wish they knew when they walked into that legislative chamber for the first time. Our guests, in alphabetical order, include:</p> <ul> <li>Utah <b>Senator Curt Bramble</b> (R), former NCSL president</li> <li>Illinois <b>Senator Toi Hutchinson</b> (D), current NCSL president</li> <li><b>David Long</b> (R), former Indiana senator and Senate president pro tem</li> <li><b>Terie Norelli</b> (D), former New Hampshire House speaker and former NCSL president</li> </ul> <h3>Additional Resources</h3> <ul> <li><a href="/Portals/1/Documents/Podcast/OAS_Episode_56_Transcription.pdf" target="_blank">Transcription of Episode 56</a></li> </ul> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/NCSL_OAS/~4/vkds0nEAN0o" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Feb 14, 2019
What I Wish I Knew: Veteran Legislators Reflect (Part 1) | OAS Episode 55
<div class="article"> <p>If you could write a letter to your younger self before starting your career, what would you say? That&rsquo;s the premise of this special two-part presentation of &ldquo;Our American States.&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;What I Wish I Knew&rdquo; is aimed at the more than 20 percent of the nation&rsquo;s 7,383 state legislators who are new to the job. In these episodes, we talk with two current and two former state legislators&mdash;all who have held leadership positions&mdash;and ask them to give newly elected legislators advice or offer what they wish they knew when they walked into that legislative chamber for the first time. Our guests, in alphabetical order, include:</p> <ul> <li>Utah <b>Senator Curt Bramble</b> (R), former NCSL president</li> <li>Illinois <b>Senator Toi Hutchinson</b> (D), current NCSL president</li> <li><b>David Long</b> (R), former Indiana senator and Senate president pro tem</li> <li><b>Terie Norelli</b> (D), former New Hampshire House speaker and former NCSL president</li> </ul> <h3>Additional Resources</h3> <ul> <li><a href="/Portals/1/Documents/Podcast/OAS_Episode_55_Transcription.pdf" target="_blank">Transcription of Episode 55</a></li> </ul> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/NCSL_OAS/~4/PujBDJWhCmo" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jan 24, 2019
Insuring the Insurers: States Work to Lower Health Premiums | OAS Episode 54
<div class="article"> <p>State legislatures recently began noticing that, because of the high-risk cases insurance companies must cover, individual premiums were escalating. As a result, they began to look into ways to create a pool to limit those losses and reduce premium costs. This led to the creation of reinsurance programs, which appear to be having the intended effect of reducing premiums and protecting insurance companies from financial disaster. We&rsquo;ll discuss how two politically different states have addressed the issue and find out how it&rsquo;s playing out in other states.</p> <p>Our guests are:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Colleen Becker</strong>, policy specialist in the NCSL Health Program</li> <li>Maryland <strong>Senator Thomas Middleton</strong> (D), who sponsored legislation in his state to establish a reinsurance program</li> <li>Alaska <strong>Senator Cathy Giessel</strong> (R), who discusses actions her legislature took to become the first state to establish a reinsurance program</li> </ul> <p>Blue Cross Blue Shield financially supported this episode of &ldquo;Our American States.&rdquo;</p> <h3>Additional Resources</h3> <ul> <li><a href="/Portals/1/Documents/Podcast/OAS_Episode_54_Transcription.pdf" target="_blank">Transcription of Episode 54</a></li> </ul> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/NCSL_OAS/~4/0ZZcUbpQFK8" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jan 17, 2019
Hot Issues for State Legislatures in 2019 | OAS Episode 53
<div class="article"> <p>For our first podcast of 2019, we take a look at the key issues America&rsquo;s state legislatures will be considering this year. Our guest, <strong>William Pound</strong>, executive director of the National Conference of State Legislatures, breaks down those issues, offering his views on budgets, revenues, election reform, education, criminal justice and a host of other topics. He also walks us through the political landscape that was created after the 2018 elections.</p> <ul> <li><a href="/Portals/1/Documents/Podcast/OAS_Episode_53_Transcription.pdf" target="_blank">Transcription of Episode 53</a></li> </ul> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/NCSL_OAS/~4/b8dfDxe0OcM" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jan 10, 2019
Voters Decisions in 2018 May Affect Legislation in 2019 | OAS Episode 52
<div class="article"> <p>Voters across the nation were busy in 2018, electing their government officials at the federal, state and local levels. In addition, they considered 155 ballot issues throughout the year. Seventy-one of those were referred to voters by state legislatures. In this episode of &ldquo;Our American States,&rdquo; we delve into some of the key decisions they made and how their actions may affect the 2019 sessions of state legislatures.</p> <p>Our guest is Wendy Underhill, a program director for elections and redistricting at the National Conference of State Legislatures. She will guide us through decisions voters made on a wide variety of topics. She&rsquo;ll explain &ldquo;ballot harvesting&rdquo; and &ldquo;lock boxes,&rdquo; and give us insight on health, transportation, criminal justice, voting rights, energy, ethics for public officials and revenue issues that were on the ballot.</p> <h3>Additional Resources</h3> <ul> <li><a href="/Portals/1/Documents/Podcast/OAS_Episode_52_Transcription.pdf" target="_blank">Transcription of Episode 52</a></li> </ul> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/NCSL_OAS/~4/suriGJ8vRKI" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Dec 27, 2018
The Art of Persuasion | OAS Episode 51
<div class="article"> <p>We are celebrating Legislative Staff Week with a special podcast on &ldquo;The Art of Persuasion.&rdquo;&nbsp; Our expert will dive into the reasons why being able to persuade is important and how to use tactics to help others understand your point of view.</p> <p>Our guest is Curt Stedron, who is a legislative trainer with the National Conference of State Legislatures. He&rsquo;ll outline the importance of storytelling, describe how to reframe issues and examine how word choice is critical in communication.</p> <h3>Additional Resources</h3> <ul> <li><a href="/Portals/1/Documents/Podcast/OAS_Episode_51_Transcription.pdf" target="_blank">Transcription of Episode 51</a></li> </ul> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/NCSL_OAS/~4/wjcVcUfkg4I" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Dec 13, 2018
Brain Development and Childhood Adversity | OAS Episode 50
<div class="article"> <p>On this episode of &ldquo;Our American States,&rdquo; we explore two critical components of a child&rsquo;s development. First, we&rsquo;ll address adverse childhood experiences (often referred to as ACEs), which are stressful or traumatic events in childhood that have long-term impacts on health and well being. We talk to a national expert who will walk us through research on childhood trauma, and provide policymakers with ideas to address families facing stresses that cause ACEs.</p> <p>We also discuss the importance of positive brain development, discover why the first three years are so critical for the nurturing of children, go over key research and find out what the policy implications are regarding early brain development. Our guests are:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Dr. Nadine Burke-Harris</strong>, founder and chief executive officer for the Center of Youth Wellness</li> <li><strong>Dr. Ross Thompson</strong>, a distinguished professor in the department of psychology at the University of California</li> </ul> <h3>Additional Resources</h3> <ul> <li><a href="/Portals/1/Documents/Podcast/OAS_Episode_50_Transcription.pdf" target="_blank">Transcription of Episode 50</a></li> </ul> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/NCSL_OAS/~4/L_CM59H3KTA" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Dec 06, 2018
Women Elected to State Legislatures in Historic Numbers | OAS Episode 49
<div class="article"> <p>Following the 2018 midterm elections, more women will serve in state legislatures than ever before. Starting with the 2019 sessions, it appears that about 28 percent of the nation&rsquo;s 7,383 state legislators will be women&mdash;a significant jump from a touch under 25 percent after the 2017 elections. In this episode, we dive into the historic numbers and discuss why they increased this year.</p> <p>Our guest, <strong>Katie Ziegler</strong>, is the program manager for NCSL&rsquo;s Women&rsquo;s Legislative Network, the professional development organization that includes every female state legislator in the 50&nbsp;states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.&nbsp;The Women&#39;s Legislative Network&rsquo;s mission: to promote the participation, empowerment and leadership of women legislators.</p> <h3>Additional Resources</h3> <ul> <li><a href="/Portals/1/Documents/Podcast/OAS_Episode_49_Transcription.pdf" target="_blank">Transcription of Episode 49</a></li> </ul> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/NCSL_OAS/~4/SYSSDfi3Huk" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Nov 29, 2018
Eviction Database Shows America’s Housing Crisis | OAS Episode 48
<div class="article"> <p><strong>Matthew Desmond</strong> went to Milwaukee to live with families being evicted from their homes. The personal stories he obtained there set the course for his book &ldquo;<a href="http://evictedbook.com/">Evicted</a>,&rdquo; which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2017. He then created a team at Princeton University to create a national database containing 80 million records on evictions since the year 2000. Data collected by this project shows that 2.3 million Americans in 2016 lived in a home that received an eviction notice.</p> <p>Desmond is the principal investigator at the <a href="https://evictionlab.org/">Eviction Lab</a>, where the database is available to policymakers and the public and researchers can find valuable information on what is going on in their communities and states. But he says more work needs to be done to fully understand the issue. Join us for an insightful conversation on the causes and effects of evictions and how policymakers can use the collected information to make informed decisions on this public policy issue.</p> <h3>Additional Resources</h3> <ul> <li><a href="/Portals/1/Documents/Podcast/OAS_Episode_48_Transcription.pdf" target="_blank">Transcription of Episode 48</a></li> </ul> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/NCSL_OAS/~4/VGvf-FiJCgk" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Nov 08, 2018
Law Enforcement: Reform, Accountability and Communication | OAS Episode 47
<div class="article"> <p>Sates work to improve community safety in several&nbsp;ways, including the reduction of serious crime, ensuring fair enforcement of the laws and increasing police effectiveness. On this episode of &ldquo;Our American States,&rdquo; we examine the issues of policing, policy, costs, communication between communities and law enforcement agencies, and the need for criminal justice reform, including alternatives to incarceration of people needing mental health treatment. Our program gets insightful perspectives from those who deeply involved in these issues. Our guests are:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Barry Friedman</strong>, director of The Policing Project at the New York University School of Law, a nonprofit that works to ensure the community&rsquo;s voice and sound decision-making techniques are part of the policing. He is the author of &ldquo;Unwarranted: Policing Without Permission.&rdquo;</li> <li><strong>Ron Serpas</strong> is a former police superintendent of New Orleans and the executive director of Law Enforcement Leaders, an organization of more than 200 current and former police chiefs, sheriffs, federal and state prosecutors and attorneys general from all 50 states working for a reduction in both crime and incarceration.</li> </ul> <h3>Additional Resources</h3> <ul> <li><a href="/Portals/1/Documents/Podcast/OAS_Episode_47_Transcription.pdf" target="_blank">Transcription of Episode 47</a></li> </ul> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/NCSL_OAS/~4/2n8ltChgxS8" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Oct 25, 2018
State Capitol Symbols, Traditions and Styles | OAS Episode 46
<div class="article"> <p>Every state capitol is unique&mdash;but with some interesting similarities. We&rsquo;ll dive into traditions, symbols and decorative features you can find in these impressive structures across our country. Our two guests have extensive experience and will share their knowledge with us on this episode of &ldquo;Our American States.&rdquo;</p> <p>First, we talk with <strong>G. Paul Nardo</strong>, clerk of the House for the Virginia House of Delegates and the Keeper of the Rolls of the Commonwealth of Virginia. He&rsquo;ll discuss traditions there, including the mace used in ceremonial procedures.&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <p>Then, we will hear from <strong>Karl Kurtz</strong>, former director of the Trust for Representative Democracy, and now principle with LegisMatters. Kurtz has seen every U.S. capitol, including those in the territories and commonwealths. We&rsquo;ll get his perspective on domes, artwork and legislative traditions.</p> <h3>Additional Resources</h3> <ul> <li><a href="/Portals/1/Documents/Podcast/OAS_Episode_46_Transcription.pdf" target="_blank">Transcription of Episode 46</a></li> </ul> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/NCSL_OAS/~4/zY6iUrlobDc" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Oct 18, 2018
School Leadership: Study Looks at Stemming Principal Turnover Rates | OAS Episode 45
<div class="article"> <p>Our nation&rsquo;s education system is constantly being evaluated and analyzed&mdash;including the area of school leadership and how it impacts teachers and the quality of learning students receive. The focus of&nbsp;this edition of &ldquo;Our American States&rdquo; is on principal supervisors.</p> <p>The Principal Supervisor Initiative, a recently released national study, specifies five components for consideration that urge school districts to help stem the tide of principal turnover by ensuring supervisors provide leadership, rather than just focusing on compliance, legalities and evaluations.</p> <p>Helping us to learn more about school leadership, principal supervisors and the study, is <strong>Dr. Mollie Rubin</strong>, a research assistant professor in the department of Leadership, Policy and Organizations at Vanderbilt University.</p> <h3>Additional Resources</h3> <ul> <li><a href="/Portals/1/Documents/Podcast/OAS_Episode_45_Transcrpition.pdf" target="_blank">Transcription of Episode 45</a></li> </ul> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/NCSL_OAS/~4/Ygv3BgjTJ_A" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Oct 11, 2018
2018 State Legislative Elections: Will History Prevail? | OAS Episode 44
<div class="article"> <p>More than 80 percent of all state legislative seats are up for election on Nov. 6, and, after the primaries, 21 percent of those seats have already turned over. That&rsquo;s 2 to 3 percent higher than analysts normally see in a full election cycle, which means this could be one of the highest turnover rates in history.</p> <p>And there&rsquo;s more data that makes this an interesting election to watch. More women are running for office. The number of unopposed candidates has dropped dramatically. And Republicans, who control a solid majority of all state legislators and state legislative chambers, know that in a mid-term election the party of the president typically loses more than 400 seats. Democrats see an opportunity, but Republicans are working hard to hold off a blue wave.</p> <p>Going over the data and explaining why the 2018 state legislative elections are critically important is our guest <strong>Tim Storey</strong>, director of State Services for the National Conference of State Legislatures. Storey, who has been analyzing elections for more than two decades, shares his expertise on what to look for and notes where the battleground states are in this election cycle.</p> <h3>Additional Resources</h3> <ul> <li><a href="/Portals/1/Documents/Podcast/OAS_Episode_44_Transcription.pdf" target="_blank">Transcription of Episode 44</a></li> </ul> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/NCSL_OAS/~4/d7cF-0e6RiQ" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Sep 27, 2018
From Taxes to Marijuana: November Voters to Decide 160-Plus Policy Issues | OAS Episode 43
<div class="article"> <p>All voters will have the opportunity to elect federal, state and local government officials this November, but in more than 30 states more than 160 ballot issues on a wide variety of issues will also be on the ballot. NCSL maintains an <a href="/default.aspx?tabid=16580">election ballot issues database</a> on all of the issues.</p> <p>We asked <strong>Patrick Potyondy</strong>, a legislative policy specialist and ACLS-Mellon public fellow in NCSL&rsquo;s Elections and Redistricting program, to walk us through some of the key measures. He discusses proposals on taxes, elections, redistricting, voting rights, energy, environment, transportation, criminal justice, marijuana and several other issues to give us a flavor of what voters will be looking at across the country.</p> <h3>Additional Resources</h3> <ul> <li><a href="/Portals/1/Documents/Podcast/OAS_Episode_43_Transcription.pdf" target="_blank">Transcription of Episode 43</a></li> </ul> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/NCSL_OAS/~4/fedpeMqbLLw" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Sep 13, 2018
Bipartisan Efforts to Improve Economic Opportunities for Families | OAS Episode 42
<div class="article"> <p>The success and self-sustainability of families is critical to the overall well-being of our nation&rsquo;s states. State legislators seeking to bolster economic opportunities for families in their districts have many challenging factors to consider and a wide field of policy options to choose from. To navigate this complex policy area, some of the best available tools for lawmakers are the wealth of knowledge developed by their colleagues and the work and guidance of national experts.</p> <p>The National Conference of State Legislatures&rsquo; annual Economic Opportunities for Families meeting, now in its 16th year, is a rare opportunity when those resources converge. Since 2003, 40 states have participated in this gathering, developing multi-faceted policy plans to build their workforce, provide asset development options for families and give additional support to workers to keep them on track. Hundreds of new enactments have been developed here, and each year builds upon the lessons learned from the year before.</p> <p>At the 2018 meeting, which took place in Denver, we interviewed three people to give their perspective on the value of the meeting and to share their thoughts on these critical issues. They include:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Illinois State Senator and NCSL President Toi Hutchinson (D)</strong></li> <li><strong>Georgia State Representative Katie Dempsey (R)</strong></li> <li><strong>Patrick McCarthy</strong>, president and CEO of the Annie E. Casey Foundation</li> </ul> <h3>Additional Resources</h3> <ul> <li><a href="/Portals/1/Documents/Podcast/OAS_Episode_42_Transcription.pdf" target="_blank">Transcription of Episode 42</a></li> </ul> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/NCSL_OAS/~4/xrPtjcH5sf8" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Aug 30, 2018
States Fighting Urge to Text and Drive | OAS Episode 41
<div class="article"> <p>Since the relative recent invention of texting, drivers have been tempted to check their phones. And pretty much at the same time, states have been looking at ways to temper that urge.</p> <p>There are a number of challenges to effectively enforce distracted driving laws. Drivers find loopholes that give motorists a number of plausible excuses for holding or manipulating a mobile device. And no state or locality can afford a patrol to watch every driver on every road.</p> <p>Still, an estimated 40,000 people die each year in traffic crashes. Our guests will provide the statistics and tell us what states are doing to drive that number down. And we&rsquo;ll look at a program in Tennessee that literally has drivers and the media talking. Our guests are:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Liza Lemaster-Sandback,</strong> highway safety specialist, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration</li> <li><strong>Lieutenant Bill Miller,</strong> public Information officer, Tennessee Highway Patrol</li> </ul> <h3>Additional Resources</h3> <ul> <li><a href="/Portals/1/Documents/Podcast/OAS_Episode_41_Transcription.pdf" target="_blank">Transcription of Episode 41</a></li> </ul> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/NCSL_OAS/~4/-HZab2YSYM4" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Aug 16, 2018
Opioid Crisis Generates Bipartisan Solutions | OAS Episode 40
<div class="article"> <p>The U.S. Department of Health and Human services says 116 people die each day in the United States from an overdose of opioids. This includes prescription pain relievers, heroin and synthetic opioids. It says more than 2.1 million people had an opioid use disorder in 2016.</p> <p>This year, the National Conference of State Legislatures created an Opioid Policy Fellows Program, open to chairs of health-related legislative committees. Through face-to-face meetings, the program is focused on health policies and programs related to the opioid crisis.</p> <p>We held a conversation with three attendees of a recent Opioid Policy Fellows meeting in Denver, who explain how their state is addressing the crisis and why bipartisanship is critical in approaching legislation. Our guests are:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Maryland House Delegate Eric Bromwell (D)</strong></li> <li><strong>Vermont Representative Ann Pugh (D)</strong></li> <li><strong>Alaska Senator David Wilson (R)</strong></li> </ul> <h3>Additional&nbsp;Resources</h3> <ul> <li><a href="/Portals/1/Documents/Podcast/OAS_Episode_40_Transcription.pdf" target="_blank">Transcription of Episode 40</a></li> </ul> </div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/NCSL_OAS/~4/Pm2q0x7nik4" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Aug 09, 2018