Capitol Comments

The U.S. Department of Transportation defines distracted driving as “Any non-driving activity a person engages in that has the potential to distract him or her from the primary task of driving and increase the risk of crashing.”

With the holidays fast approaching, I thought it would be a good time to clear out the ol’ CSG Transportation inbox so that we can make a fresh start in the New Year. In doing so, I ran across a number of recent reports and news items that may be of interest and that may provide worthwhile reading should you have any downtime in between football bowl games in the weeks ahead. They address many of the themes we’ve examined here over the last year and look ahead to what might lay in store in 2011 on issues like federal transportation programs, the condition of America's infrastructure, gas taxes, highway finance alternatives, high-speed rail, freight transportation, transportation and the environment and intelligent transportation systems.

The 2011 Suggested State Legislation "Zombies and Botnets" adds a weapon to the fight against computer crime.

Staff from CSG's National Center for Interstate Compacts (NCIC) recently hosted a legislative briefing to discuss the Prescription Monitoring Program Compact in conjunction with CSG's Annual Meeting in Providence, RI.  During the half day briefing legislators, executive branch officials, and other interested stakeholders had an opportunity to learn about the specifics of the newly drafted compact. 

A U.S. Department of Health And Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Fact Sheet for Coaches states "A concussion is an injury that changes how the cells in the brain normally work. Even a ding, 'getting your bell rung,' or what seems to be a mild bump or blow to the head can be serious." Two draft bills in the 2011 Suggested State Legislation volume help coaches and schools deal with student athlete concussions.

CSG's National Center for Interstate Compacts has recently been in the news for several ongoing compact projects.  To learn more about each of the compacts, which CSG has been instrumental in developing, please click on the links below.

For additional information about any of these projects of compacts in general please contact Crady deGolian at or at 859-244-8068.

A 2011 Suggested State Legislation draft promotes wind power. 

The 2011 Suggested State Legislation "Small Wind Innovation Zones" directs the state utilities division to establish and administer a small wind innovation zone program to optimize local, regional, and state benefits from wind energy and to facilitate and expedite interconnection...

States address storing carbon dioxide.

The CSG Committee on Suggested State Legislation published a draft of Wyoming Chapter 30 of 2008 entitled "Carbon Sequestration" in the 2010 Suggested State Legislation Volume. That Wyoming bill creates a regulatory scheme for geologic CO2 storage. It directs the state department of environmental quality (DEQ) to develop standards for regulating long-term, geologic storage of carbon dioxide...

Colorado law seeks to improve teacher effectiveness.

Colorado HB 09-1065, a 2009 law, directs the state department of education to compile information via a pilot program about teachers‘ classroom performance over a 5 year timeframe. The department will collect the information through a system that assigns a unique...

Three federal district judges have ruled on the constitutionality of the federal health reform law’s requirement that individuals must purchase health insurance beginning in 2014 or face a tax penalty. The first two found the law constitutional, but on December 13, 2010, Judge Henry Hudson of federal District Court in Richmond found the “individual mandate” unconstitutional. He declined to grant an injunction – which was requested by the state of Virginia – to block the government’s implementation of the law.