Ongoing Projects

With the vast majority of states back in session, several pieces of compact legislation were filed this week.  In Hawaii SB 2168 would allow the state to join the Surplus Lines Insurance Multistate Compliance Compact, developed jointly by CSG’s National Center for Interstate Compacts and the National Conference of Insurance Legislators.  Once adopted by one more state SLIMPACT will have reached the minimum threshold of states to trigger commission activity and allow for the formation of an online clearinghouse for the payment and allocation of surplus lines premium taxes.

Dating back to America’s colonial past, interstate compacts are one of the few tools specifically granted to states by the U.S. Constitution. The evolution of the modern compact has provided states and territories ("the states") a sophisticated administrative mechanism, allowing interstate collaboration to resolve complex policy challenges, while simultaneously avoiding federal intervention.  Policymakers should have several compacts on their radar in 2012.  Below is list of some important compacts and a status update for each. 

The Nebraska Department of Insurance has decided to withdraw from the Nonadmitted Insurance Multi-State Agreement over concerns about the proposed clearinghouse for the payment and allocation of surplus lines premium taxes.  Nebraska Insurance Director Bruce R. Ramge said the state will withdraw from NIMA effective March 5, 2012.  With the withdrawal of Nebraska, NIMA, developed by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, has been adopted by 10 states.

Staff from CSG’s National Center for Interstate Compacts, CSG’s Midwest Office, the Presidents’ Forum and the four regional higher education compacts met in Chicago this week to discuss CSG’s efforts to develop an interstate reciprocity compact to govern online learning in higher education.  The meeting allowed representatives from each of the regional compacts to learn about the interstate reciprocity compact, some of the specifics that may be included in the draft language, and the timeline for the project moving forward.  The meeting also provided an opportunity for all participants to consider how the regional compacts might work more closely with the national effort being led by CSG and The Presidents’ Forum. 

The Council of State Governments' National Center for Interstate Compacts has spent much of the past week convening state leaders from across the country to draft key sections of an interstate reciprocity compact.  The compact aims to help students get access to higher education online, allowing them to get the skills they need in a time when education is key to professional growth.

Staff from CSG’s National Center for Interstate Compacts convened the second Electric Transmission Line Siting Compact Drafting Team meeting last week in Washington, DC.  The meeting, which was hosted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), brought together the drafting team comprised of state legislators, federal officials, and interested stakeholders to continue efforts to develop an interstate compact designed to facilitate electric transmission line siting. 

As more and more postsecondary institutions begin to offer classes online, the need for a streamlined regulatory review of those programs grows.

CSG, in conjunction with The Presidents’ Forum, will continue efforts to develop an Interstate Reciprocity Compact in higher education by convening the second drafting team meeting next week in Lexington.  During the meeting the drafters are expected to discuss core content areas of the compact, including, but not limited to the following:

·         applicability;

·         reciprocal acceptability of state approvals to operate;...

In conjunction with CSG's ongoing efforts to create an electric transmission line siting compact, next week's National Conference and North American Summit will feature a session entitled "If You Build It, Will They Come." The session will focus on the increasing demand for energy, especially electricity generated from renewable resources.  It will also address growing demand and the importance of moving energy across state lines and international borders.  Panelists will discuss effective tools used in Mexico, Canada and the United States, as well as suggest ways for the three nations to work cooperatively to move power more efficiently and effectively from where it is generated to where it is needed.

The Electric Transmission Line Compact Drafting Team had its first meeting on Oct 6-7.  They began their work with introductions, a meeting overview, and a discussion of the team goals for the day.  Their goals included 1.) reviewing the advisory group recommendations and outline, 2.) defining the constituencies and scope of the compact affected, and 3.) drafting a comprehensive purpose statement.