Ongoing Projects

Efforts being led by CSG to develop an electric transmission line siting compact will renew this week when the compact’s drafting team meets for the first time.  With the expected growth in electricity demand, coupled with the need to bring renewable energy to market and the necessity to enhance and secure the nation’s energy infrastructure, the need for added transmission capacity has never been more apparent.

With this blog post I wanted to take a little time to provide a general update about some of the Compact Center’s ongoing work.  While I have blogged previously about both the Interstate Reciprocity Compact and the Interstate Transmission Line Siting Compact, I thought this was an appropriate time to revisit each project.

The first Drafting Team meeting for the Multi-State Distance Education Reciprocity Compact began with introductions followed by a review of the compacts mechanism and the opportunities it presented.  The Drafting Team then launched into a discussion of the key priciples to guide the drafting of the compact.  After this discussion and lunch, the drafters reviewed their earlier work and refined the language of the outline developed during the morning meeting.  The drafters also reviewed comments from the Advisory Panel and made additions to the outline as needed.

Staff from CSG’s National Center for Interstate Compacts will convene the first drafting team meeting of the Interstate Reciprocity Compact September 15-16.  CSG, in conjunction with the President’s Forum and a team of subject matter experts, will begin drafting language for an interstate reciprocity compact with the goal of enhancing the current state regulatory environment and eliminating redundancies and inefficiencies for both institutions and the states where they reside. 

Kentucky Insurance Commissioner Sharon Clark was recently voted interim Chair of the new SLIMPACT Commission.  The election of Commissioner Clark represents another significant accomplishment for the new Surplus Lines Insurance Multi State Compliance Compact.  With nine state having already joined the compact during the 2011 legislative session and work beginning on the adoptions of rules, bylaws and an allocation formula it has been a busy eight months for the fledgling commission.

Rick Masters, representing CSG’s Compact Center, delivered a presentation about SLIMPACT at last week’s NCSL Legislative Summit.  The session provided state legislators and staff members an opportunity to learn about the Surplus Lines Insurance Multi-state Compliance Compact, along with the competing NIMA proposal offered up by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.  SLIMPACT enjoys the endorsement of multiple state legislative associations, including CSG, NSCL and the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL). 

CSG staff was present and gave multiple presentations last week at a meeting focusing on state authorization in higher education.  The meeting, which was co-hosted by The Lumina Foundation and the Bill and Malinda Gates Foundation, took place at the University of Maryland University College outside Washington, DC.  Amongst other issues discussed, were CSG’s efforts to develop a multi-state reciprocity compact for postsecondary education.  Attendees heard from CSG staff about the history and use of interstate compacts, the process traditionally followed by CSG when developing a compact, and potential content areas to be included in a multi-state reciprocity agreement. 

Last week the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Vermont law barring the sale of prescription drug data for marketing purposes.  A 6-3 ruling by the Court concluded the Vermont law violated the free speech rights of drug manufactures.  At issue was the ability of pharmacists to sell prescription drug data to drug companies, which was then being used for marketing purposes.  While the Vermont law made this practice illegal, it permitted similar data to be sold for other purposes, such as research. 

A recent opinion issued by the Legislative Counsel in Oregon reaffirms the role the state’s legislature must play in the interstate compact adoption process.  Specifically at issue is Section 4 of Oregon HB 2679, which allows the Director of the Department of Consumer Protection and Business Services to enter into an interstate agreement to allocate state surplus line premium taxes without first seeking legislative approval.  In the opinion, the Legislative Counsel argues that the legislation as drafted represents an unconstitutional delegation of legislative authority.  

In order to get the new SLIMPACT Commission up and running in July, The Council of State Governments (CSG), the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL), and the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) will be hosting a series of conference calls beginning Friday, June 24. The purpose of the Webinars is to review and tentatively approve draft SLIMPACT bylaws, and an initial draft rule to adopt, amend, and repeal Commission rules.   The draft bylaws and rule, which can be found by clicking here, are based on the Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Compact (IIPRC), much as SLIMPACT itself was based on the IIPRC structure.