Top 5 Issues for 2012 Expanded: Interstate Compacts

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. 

With more than 30 state adoptions during the last legislative cycle in diverse public policy areas ranging from insurance reform to educating military children, 2011 was a busy year for interstate compacts. This compares to the 2010 legislative session, in which just17 interstate compacts were adopted across the states.

Policymakers should have several compacts on their radar in 2012.  Below is list of some important compacts and a status update for each. 

CSG-facilitated interstate compacts available for legislative consideration in 2012:

1. The Prescription Monitoring Program Compact

The Prescription Monitoring Program Compact allows states to securely share prescription drug data on an interstate basis while protecting patient privacy. An interoperable system of information sharing among the various state monitoring programs may provide a reliable and effective means of properly distributing these medicines and reducing prescription drug abuse.

Status Update:

  • The compact draft is now complete and a half-day briefing on the new compact was recently held.  
  • Legislation is currently being considered.
  • To learn more about the Prescription Monitoring Compact please click here
  • To download the compact language click here.

2. The Surplus Lines Insurance Multistate Compliance Compact (SLIMPACT)

In the Nonadmitted and Reinsurance Reform Act of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Congress recommended that states adopt uniform requirements, forms and procedures to facilitate reporting, payment, collection and allocation of premium taxes for the surplus lines insurance industry. The compact, which nine states have adopted and regulators and industry groups have endorsed, brings states in compliance with that act.

Status Update:

  • The Surplus Lines Insurance Multi-State Compliance Compact language is complete. 
  • Alabama, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Vermont have already adopted the compact.
  • Legislative consideration is ongoing in additional states. 
  • The Commission has begun operating on a limited basis to ensure a quick transition from the adoption phase to commission business once the 10 state threshold is met. 
  • Kentucky Insurance Commissioner Sharon P. Clark has been appointed interim Chair of the Commission.
  • Staff from CSG’s National Center for Interstate Compacts is assisting the new Commission on an interim basis.
  • New SLIMPACT Web site under development. 
  • To learn more about SLIMPACT please visit CSG’s web site by clicking here or visit the National Conference of Insurance Legislators’ (NCOIL) web site by clicking here.
  • To download the compact language click here.

CSG-facilitated interstate compacts under development in 2012:

1.  Interstate Compact for the Siting of Electricity Transmission Lines

The Energy Act of 2005 granted states advance congressional consent to create regional interstate compacts governing the siting of interstate transmission lines. As a result and at the request of its membership, CSG is developing an electric transmission line siting compact to help move energy from where it is produced to where it is needed. Compact drafting is under way and should be completed well in advance of the 2013 state legislative sessions.

Status Update:

  • The Advisory Team met twice beginning in 2010 to explore the use of an interstate compact to facilitate transmission line siting.
  • During the initial phases of the project the Advisory Team endorsed the creation of a transmission line siting compact.
  • A drafting team has been assembled and met in both October and December of 2011.
  • The drafting team is aiming to have compact language ready for review by the summer of 2012 and ready for legislative consideration in 2013.
  • Additionally a white paper detailing the scope of the problem was developed by CSG staff and can be viewed by clicking here.
  • To learn more about the Electric Transmission Line Siting Compact please click here

2.   The Interstate Reciprocity Compact

Many of today’s colleges and universities employ online learning and varied degrees of onsite support to offer study on a national, and even international, scale. Regulatory requirements and evaluative measures, however, vary considerably from state to state, making interstate reciprocity difficult to achieve, which in turn is costing states and institutions significant amounts of money. To that end, CSG has been working jointly with The Presidents’ Forum to develop an Interstate Reciprocity Compact designed to improve access to quality higher education. Compact drafting has begun and language should be ready for consideration by the states beginning in 2013.

Project Status:

  • CSG staff participated in first two advisory group meeting convened by The Presidents’ Forum to lay the foundation for a new interstate agreement.
  • The Drafting Team has been assembled and has now met twice.
  • The third drafting team meeting is tentatively planned for Feb 2012.
  • CSG staff has also convened an advisory council consisting of interested stakeholders and is providing that group regular project update.
  • The advisory council will also meet at least once in person to ensure transparency and stakeholder input.
  • The drafting team is aiming to have compact language ready for review by the summer of 2012 and ready for legislative consideration in 2013.
  • To read the white paper developed by The Presidents’ Forum detailing the scope of the problem and the need for reform please click here.
  • To learn more about the ongoing effort please click here.

Additional Interstate Compacts to Watch in 2012

While states are likely to consider other interstate compact bills in 2012, two compacts are sure to garner significant attention. Four states have adopted the Health Care Compact, which is designed to ensure health care regulation and reform occurs at the state level. They include Georgia, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Nine states have adopted the National Popular Vote Compact, which is designed to guarantee the presidency to the winner of the national popular vote.  They include California, The District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Vermont, and Washington.

To track the progress of each of the compacts listed above please visit CSG’s Interstate Compacts Database. The database 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.  The database can be viewed at http://apps.csg.org/ncic/.

Contact Crady deGolian / 859.244.8068 / cdegolian@csg.org or visit www.csg.org/ncic

 

See the rest of CSG's Top 5 Issues for 2012: www.csg.org/top5in2012

 

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