Top 5 Issues in 2012: 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.
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.
The Surplus Lines Insurance Multistate Compliance Compact (SLIMPACT):
In the Nonadmitted and Reinsurance Reform Act of the 2010 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. SLIMPACT, which nine states have adopted and regulators and industry groups have endorsed, brings states in compliance with that act.
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.
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.