Compacts: State-Driven Solutions to Today’s Problems

E-newsletter Issue #77 | September 1, 2011

Health care reform. The Electoral College. Insurance regulation. Educating military children. 

All have brought renewed interest in interstate compacts. This tried and true policy mechanism enables states to work cooperatively without federal intervention to address multi-state policy challenges.  

In an effort to make compacts easier to understand and to help state legislators and policymakers more effectively use interstate compacts to address multi-state policy challenges, The Council of State Governments’ National Center for Interstate Compacts has relaunched its website and one-of-a-kind compacts database. Both tools are available at

The website, designed with state policymakers in mind, allows users to easily learn about ongoing CSG compact projects, monitor state adoptions, track compact trends and access valuable educational resources about interstate compacts. The updated database of interstate compacts provides information on state membership, key contact information for states and regional/national commissions that administer certain agreements, statutory information and year of joinder for interstate compact agreements.

Kentucky Rep. Bob Damron said the new website and database are excellent resources for state leaders who want to learn about this important policy tool

“CSG’s National Center for Interstate Compacts has been helping states work together to solve complex problems for nearly 10 years,” Damron said. “The center has proved invaluable to me and my colleagues across the country as we have worked collaboratively as state leaders to address interstate challenges, ranging from juvenile justice, to education, to insurance reform.”

In conjunction with the relaunch of the website and compacts database, CSG is also planning a series of compact webinars to assist state leaders in better understanding and utilizing interstate compacts. To kick off the series, the center will host Compacts 101: Understanding Interstate Compacts at 2 p.m. EDT Sept. 21.

Interstate compacts are the most powerful, durable and adaptive tools for ensuring cooperative action among the states. Their use predates the founding of the nation. Unlike federally imposed mandates that often dictate unfunded and rigid requirements, interstate compacts provide a state-developed structure for collaborative and dynamic action, while building consensus among the states.

CSG’s National Center for Interstate Compacts—the only organization of its kind—serves as an information clearinghouse, a provider of training and technical assistance, and a primary facilitator in assisting states in the review, revision and creation of new interstate compacts. The National Center for Interstate Compacts combines policy research with best practices, serving the needs of compact administrators, compact commissions and state agencies.

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