Policy Area

A recently passed law will make Massachusetts the first state, as of July 2018, to prohibit employers from inquiring about prior employment compensation.

McCrory v. Harris is a typical redistricting case in at least two respects. First, it raises so many legal issues that it is impossible to know what the Supreme Court will focus on. Second, beyond all the technical legal arguments, plaintiffs’ fundamental objection to the redistricting plan is familiar:  they claim the legislature packed minority voters into safe minority districts under the guise of complying with the Voting Right Act (VRA) to reduce minority voters’ influence in other districts. North Carolina claims it is caught in a “Catch-22.”

As the nation’s electric grid ages and the ways in which consumers and utilities are interacting with the electric grid are changing, policymakers and regulators face the challenge of ensuring the continued efficiency, reliability, affordability and ease of operation upon which the grid was initially built. This FREE CSG eCademy webcast explores how new technologies can help meet energy reliability and affordability objectives and the role regulators and policymakers can play in formulating policies to help ensure the grid continues to meet consumer demands now and in the future.

Last week, the Department of Justice announced it would be seeking to reduce and eventually end the practice of using privately operated prisons.  In a memo to the Bureau of Federal Prisons, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates explains that about a decade ago, the Bureau began contracting with privately operated correctional institutions to handle a fast increasing federal prison population. Now, however, the prison population has started to decline.

To paraphrase former first lady and the first U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations, Eleanor Roosevelt, human rights begin in small places, close to home. In that spirit, the U.S. State Department would like to share important information about the Universal Periodic Review, or UPR, a major international human rights mechanism in which every U.N. member state participates, and invite state government officials to join public consultations that are part of this process.

Two weeks ago, Gov. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas unveiled a new performance-based funding model for higher education. The proposal will go before the Legislature in 2017. Most states have some element of performance incorporated in to funding formulas. If the proposal is passed, Arkansas would become the fifth state to have a funding formula based exclusively on outcomes. Universities and community colleges would receive their funding not based on enrollment, but rather on measures of their productivity, such as degree completion.

The Every Student Succeeds Act: A Profile on The Council of State Governments Eastern Region States

Signed in to law in 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) replaced the No Child Left Behind Act. The ESSA emphasizes college and career readiness, accountability, scaling back assessments, increasing access to preschool and the important role state and local communities play in making their schools successful. ESSA federal funding acts as an incentives package for innovation in America’s school systems.

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Approximately 25 legislators and regulators attended CSG’s Fourth Annual Natural Gas Policy Academy from August 1-3 in Bismarck, North Dakota. CSG policy academies are two and one-half day seminars featuring a variety of speakers that provide participants with in-depth information on a current and important policy issue. One of several policy academies CSG will put on in 2016, the Natural Gas Policy Academy included an introductory session on natural gas, as well as sessions on infrastructure modernization, workforce development,...

Elijah Manuel was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance even though a field test indicated his pills weren’t illegal drugs. About six weeks after his arrest he was released when a state crime laboratory test cleared him.  

If Manuel would have brought a timely false arrest claim it is almost certain he would have won. But such a claim would not have been timely because Manuel didn’t sue within two years of being arrested or charged.

Since April, environmental groups in Colorado have been working to gather signatures for two statewide initiatives that would amend the state constitution to increase regulatory control on energy industries. Coloradans Resisting Extreme Energy Development submitted two measures, Initiatives 75 and 78, that would grant local governments the authority to regulate energy industry development and establish that facilities be at least 2,500 feet from an occupied structure.

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