Capitol Comments

State legislators and government agencies from Hawaii hosted an "Empowering All Abilities" Job Fair for persons with developmental disabilities on Oct. 30 at the Hawaii Capitol. During the fair, each job seeker had a table set up with a presentation board that showcased their interests, strengths and abilities. Prospective employers visited each job seeker's booth. The idea came from Hawaii state Reps. John Mizuno and Lynn DeCoite, who wanted to create an environment where employers had the...

Speakers at the 2018 National Conference in Northern Kentucky told CSG members that finding and paying for child care is creating a crisis for American families. Parents are struggling to find child care and this can prevent them from participating in the workforce. 

Wisconsin Rep. Joan Ballweg talked about how her state was addressing the challenges that familes face and improving their access to high-quality, affordable child care. Charlotte Manno and Jennifer Grisham-Brown, researchers from the University of Kentucky,...

CSG members had the privilege of hearing from U.S. Ambassador to Canada Kelly Craft during the 2018 National Conference in Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati on Dec. 6. 

Ambassador Craft and other speakers looked at the current relations between the U.S.A. and Canada, including the negotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, and subnational relations involving American states and Canadian provinces. 

At the December 2018 National Conference, CSG members heard from two D.C.-based experts who offered their predictions of what to expect in the coming year. With the mid-term elections over, state leaders are keeping a close eye on the priorities of the new Congress, the Trump Administration, and the Supreme Court. If the last two years is an indicator, there could be a variety of policies enacted in Washington that will have a major impact of state and local governments. 

While a federal district court struck down the Affordable Care Act as unconstitutional on December 14, the Act and the litigation will continue. The judge didn’t issue a nationwide injunction which would have had the effect of immediately ceasing all aspects of law.

Unsurprisingly, the states defending the law have stated they will appeal this ruling to the Eleventh Circuit. Particularly if the Eleventh Circuit agrees with the lower court the Supreme Court is likely to hear this case though not until its next term beginning October 2019.

The Affordable Care Act individual mandate required uninsured who didn’t purchase health insurance to pay a so-called shared-responsibility payment. In 2012 the Supreme Court held the individual mandate is a constitutional “exercise of Congress’s Tax Power because it triggered a tax.” The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 reduced the tax to $0 as of January 1, 2019.

At this session, two interstate compact experts discussed important legal events in 2018 and their impacts on developing interstate compacts. 

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the number of licensed occupations has risen from 5 percent of the U.S. workforce in the 1950s to about a quarter of the workforce today. Navigating the various state licensing processes can pose a significant challenge for workers due to different rules, regulations, fee structures and continuing education requirements. This panel looked at the rising use of occupational licensure compacts, particularly in the health care sector, to achieve professional licensure portability and...

States are continually looking for ways to ease the burdens of military spouses deploying to new states and military service members transitioning to the civilian workforce. This panel explored the policies that states are using to help military members and their families meet these challenges and how these initiatives may inform a broader approach to workforce mobility and state occupational licensure.
• Moderator: Marcus Beauregard, Department of Defense, Civilian Liasion Office
• Senator Carol Blood, Nebraska...

This panel examined how four professions have addressed interstate licensure reciprocity and portability. Panelists explained the mechanism for interstate licensure mobility in their profession, why they believe interstate licensure mobility is important for their members, and the benefits of licensure and licensure portability for both professionals and the public.

• Moderator: Nahale Kalfas, Attorney, The North Carolina Board of Examiners for Speech and Language Pathologists
• Michael Armstrong, National Council of...

This panel examined the evolution and current use of interstate compacts, discuss the history of interstate compacts and examine the scope of interstate problems states now tackle through compacts, with a focus on occupational licensure compacts. Additionally, the panel explored other forms of multistate cooperation and discussed why compacts are viewed as a superior solution to foster interstate cooperation, protect consumers and guard state sovereignty. As policymakers confront issues from health care delivery to infrastructure...

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