Publications

Ask anyone what a contract is and they likely will tell you. But ask what an interstate compact is, and it may be a different story. But that’s starting to change, said compact experts and administrators who gathered at the National Center for Interstate Compacts’ Summit of the States on Interstate Collaboration in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia.

Idaho Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis and Connecticut Deputy Speaker Bob Godfrey have collected a few tips for legislating effectively over their combined 46 years of state legislative service. CSG’s Capitol Ideas magazine sat down with them during the 2016 CSG National Conference in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, to get their thoughts on what freshman legislators need to know as they start their terms.

Whether a first-time elected official or a veteran policymaker, all members of The Council of State Governments share in common a distinguishing characteristic. By their very nature, state elected and appointed officials have demonstrated leadership—in their professions, in their communities, in their aims to strengthen their states.

Congress approved legislation in 2012 known as Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century, or MAP-21, that not only provided two years of funding for transportation programs and a variety of policy changes after nearly three years of short-term extensions but also set in motion a process that continues today, even after minor tweaks were made in 2015’s five-year Fixing America’s Surface Transportation, or FAST, Act. States and planning organizations have been working with the Federal Highway Administration, or FHWA, to implement a performance-based approach to the federal highway program.

As the only organization representing all three branches of state government, CSG, in 2005, established an Interbranch Awareness Working Group, which later became the Interbranch Affairs Committee, that seeks to foster collaboration and understanding among and between the branches of state government. We asked the 2017 CSG Interbranch Affairs Committee co-chairs why interbranch cooperation is so important and how the states are helping to promote more multibranch approaches to public policy. Here’s what they had to say.

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