Compacts in the News

Attendees at the Federation of Associations of Regulatory Boards (FARB) Leadership Conference spent several hours Saturday morning discussing interstate licensing compacts.  During the discussion, attendees heard from the following presenters:

The need to more efficiently site transmission lines has consistently been identified in western states as one of the most pressing policy challenges facing the region.  One possible solution state legislators are just beginning to consider is a transmission line siting compact.  The compact, which was developed by a drafting team of subject matter experts, with input and guidance from CSG’s National Center for Interstate Compacts will be featured during the Energy and Public Lands Committee session at this year’s CSG-WEST Annual Conference in Las Vegas. 

In a recent article published in MedEd Update the American Medical Association (AMA) expressed support for a medical licensing compact.  In the article the AMA notes a “longstanding policy in support of increased efficiency and standardization in state licensing regulations.”

In a recently released report by the Western Governors Association entitled Ten Year Energy Vision: Goals and Objectives, interstate compacts were mentioned as a way to promote a more robust energy infrastructure.  WGA went on to mention compacts as a viable way to promote interstate cooperation and more effectively lead to the siting of interstate projects. 

Several states are considering the possibility of an interstate online poker compact intended to merge player pools and increase liquidity.  States such as California, Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada have already begun the process of regulating online poker on an intrastate basis.  Going one step further, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, recently announced that he has begun preliminary talks about forming an interstate online poker compact.  While speaking on the subject to a group of reporters Gov. Sandoval said “I’ve talked with a...

Earlier this week the Electricity Advisory Committee (EAC) encouraged the US Department of Energy (DOE) to more actively engage in efforts to support the Electrical Transmission Line Siting Compact.  The compact, which was developed by CSG’s National Center for Interstate Compacts, is intended to improve efficiencies and create standardization during the siting process by establishing common applications, joint hearings, predetermined timelines, uniform public comment periods, and a common record for judicial review.

Interstate licensing compacts are not new.  Compacts such as the Driver’s License Compact, the Nurse Licensure Compact, and the Interstate Compact on Licensure of Participants in Horse Racing with Pari-Mutual Wagering have each been in existence for over 10 years.  In the last year though there has been a renewed emphasis on the development of licensing compacts. 

Late last month the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of the Tarrant Regional Water District v. Herrmann.  At issue in the case is whether the Tarrant Regional Water District in Texas has the right to access water from the Red River in Oklahoma under the terms of the Red River Compact.  The case has received considerable attention for its potential impact on rapidly growing metropolitan areas facing water shortages and its potential impact on resource management compacts.

On Monday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit issued a decision in United States v. Pleau, siding with the federal government. Considering the case’s broad implications on the federal-state relationship, The Council of State Governments had partnered with the National Governors Association in signing onto an amicus curiae brief opposing the federal government’s position.

The issue in the case is whether the federal government can compel state compliance when requesting a prisoner custody...

With oral arguments about the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act now concluded, state and feredal policy makers now must wait for the high court to issue their opinion about the bill.  Despite that Indiana and Utah recently became the latest two states to join the Health Care Compact.  With the additions of two new states, six states have now joined the effort, which seeks to ensure states have primiary responsibity for the regulation of health care.  While the compact has...