Policy Area

According to the Organization for International Investment (OFII), foreign direct investment in the United States totaled $2.9 trillion through 2014 on a historical-cost basis (cumulative investment). In 2008, investment reached a 10-year peak at $310 billion. In 2009, the global economic recession led to significant reductions in U.S. investment, falling by more than half the previous year’s levels. In 2014, foreign companies invested $112 billion in the U.S. – the weakest year in a decade. However, based on preliminary data for the first three quarters of 2015, OFII suggests that foreign direct investment in the U.S. may make a comeback, possibly breaking records by exceeding $300 billion. 

On May 5, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued final rules to regulate all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. Many of the rules will go into effect on August 8, 2015. Some will have a longer phase-in timeline. 

Vermont recently became the fourth state—following Oregon, California and West Virginia—to enact automatic voter registration. Starting July 1, 2017, eligible Vermont residents will be automatically registered to vote when they apply for a state driver’s license.

The state Department of Motor Vehicles will have a system that identifies the eligible voters and automatically sends their information to the appropriate town or city clerk for addition to voter checklists, unless the individual opts out.

“While states...

The Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Commission (IMLC Commission) has scheduled two public hearings on a proposed administrative rule to establish a process to write and adopt rules that will be needed to facilitate the interstate licensing process.

In March 2015 Justice Kennedy wrote a concurring opinion stating that the “legal system should find an appropriate case for this Court to reexamine Quill.” A new challenge coming out of South Dakota might be just the case Justice Kennedy had in mind. 

In Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, decided in 1992, the Supreme Court held that states cannot require retailers with no in-state physical presence to collect sales tax. Justice Kennedy criticized Quill in Direct Marketing Association v. Brohl for many of the same reasons the State and Local Legal Center stated in its amicus brief. Specifically, internet sales have risen astronomically since 1992 and states are unable to collect most taxes due on sales from out-of-state vendors.

May 1-7 is National Teacher Appreciation Week, a time to recognize the critical role that America's public school teachers play in educating and developing our children and youth. Here's a look at America's teaching workforce, by the numbers.

According to April 27, 2016 data from the CDC, all cases of Zika virus in the 50 states and the District of Columbia are related to travel to affected areas. The CDC reports 496 cases confirmed by laboratory testing in the U.S. In just six states no case of Zika has yet been reported.  

There is another story in the U.S. territories. Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa report 596 cases of locally acquired Zika virus. In February, the first U.S. death from Zika virus was recorded. A 70 year old man in...

During a recent CSG eCademy webcast, “The Every Student Succeeds Act: What Does it Mean for State Accountability and Data?” experts discussed the increased flexibility that the new law gives states and policymakers as well as opportunities to share better data with schools and communities. The Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA, is the new name of the reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act. ESSA replaces the No Child Left Behind Act and goes into effect at the beginning of the 2017-18 school year.

It was a different crowd at the Supreme Court on April 18. The number of children on the courthouse steps may have exceeded the number of adults, and the voices on the microphones were speaking English and Spanish. Inside the courtroom, many members of Congress, cabinet members and foreign dignitaries filled the seats. Among those present were U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and chief justice of Canada, Beverley McLachlin. United States v. Texas is about different things to different people. For some it is about keeping families together, for some others it is about executive overreach and for many it is about “standing” to sue the federal government.

President Barack Obama recently announced new actions his administration will take to address the prescription opioid and heroin epidemic in the nation. In visits across the nation, the president heard from people dealing head on with how difficult it is to get treatment for addiction. “It comes down to the fact that lawmakers have traditionally blamed those with substance use disorders for their disorders. . . (Lawmakers) want to fix it but do not want to pay for the treatment. That is the bottom line,” said Debbie Plotnick, vice president of mental health and systems advocacy at Mental Health America. But policy efforts to address the epidemic aren’t limited to the federal level. States are looking to expand treatment access and attract more mental health professionals into treatment facilities.

Pages