The Current State

In May, more than 50 state policymakers, federal experts and private-sector representatives convened for two-and-a-half days in Seattle for The Council of State Governments’ second annual Cybersecurity and Privacy Policy Academy.

Suicide rates are climbing in the United States—a recent study showed the age-adjusted rate increased 24 percent from 1999 to 2014—and suicide is among the leading causes of death for young people. Many state leaders are working to end the suicide trend by adopting training requirements for schoolteachers.

The U.S. Senate will begin full consideration this week on its version of the fiscal 2017 National Defense Authorization Act approved by the Senate Armed Services Committee, two weeks after the House passed its final version of the massive defense policy bill.

A debate over the use of bathrooms by transgender individuals, which began in the states, has resulted in new guidance from the federal government. But a lawsuit by several states challenging the guidance suggests the issue may not yet be resolved. 

When their son Michael passed away, Avi and Julie Israel of Buffalo, N.Y., were distraught. Michael had suffered from an addiction to painkillers and in the depths of misery, had taken his own life. Knowing they weren’t alone in grappling with this issue and compelled to respond, the Israels decided to act. They established an organization called Save the Michaels of the World to increase public awareness, especially among parents.

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