Capitol Comments

By a margin of just 4,341 votes, Arizona voters approved a measure that will legalize medical marijuana use for people with certain chronic or debilitating conditions.  The measure started out losing by about 7,200 votes on Election Day, but the gap gradually narrowed in the following 10 days, as provisional and mail-in ballots were counted.

Under Proposition 203, licensed physicians could recommend medical marijuana to patients with debilitating medical conditions, including cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C and...

Crady deGolian, Senior Policy Analyst with CSG's National Center for Interstate Compacts (NCIC), spent time yesterday discussing the details of the newly drafted Prescription Monitoring Program Compact with the Executive Board of the Alliance of States with Prescription Monitoring Programs.  During the call board members asked questions about compacts in general and the specifics of the Prescription Monitoring Program Compact.

The Texas Tribune and the NY Times have reported that Representative Warren Chisum, a candidate for Texas House Speaker, said of Medicaid this week, “This system is bankrupting our state. We need to get out of it. And with the budget shortfall we’re anticipating, we may have to act this year.” And in Arizona, the newly elected president of the state senate, Russell Pearce, is pushing to reject federal funding for that state’s Medicaid program.

State policymakers confront many challenges associated with the adoption and implementation of the Common Core State Standards Initiative. In an effort to engage state leaders, CSG is conducting a special policy workshop on Monday, Dec. 6, 2-5 p.m., concerning the academic and fiscal implications of adoption and implementation of the common state standards.

Last week I blogged about how the outcome of last Tuesday’s election is likely to impact plans for high-speed rail in some parts of the country and about the future of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in light of Rep. James Oberstar’s pending departure as chairman. Now a week later, we already know a bit more about how both issues could play out.

2004 Toll Fellow Trey Grayson shared the following thoughts regarding last week's elections. Grayson is currently serving as Kentucky's secretary of state.

More than 40 states currently have prescription monitoring programs aimed at reducing the growing epidemic of prescription drug abuse. While these programs are a significant accomplishment in the fight against prescription drug abuse, states still are largely unable to share information about prescription drug data on an interstate level. 

On November 4th, the Council of State Governments Justice Center held a congressional staff briefing to highlight the work being done nationwide to reduce recidivism. Experts from the CSG Justice Center, the Urban Institute, and the U.S. Department of Justice discussed the growing body of research identifying practices effective in reducing recidivism.

Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, Toll Class of 2009, reflects on the impacts Tuesday’s elections will have on his state.

"The results of the November election are going to have people rapt with attention for a long time. In Maine, all speculation about the staying power of the Tea Party movement is done--with sweeping victories in both the House and Senate as well as the office of Governor, Republicans will have full control over all elected bodies of state government for the first time since 1964.

Maine...

Nearly lost among races for governor, Congress and key statewide races, voters in several states decided the fate of numerous measures affecting public education – in many cases, whether to increase or limit school funding. The voter sentiment was a mixed bag for school funding.

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