Top Five Issues in 2011: Interstate Compacts

  Download the PDF Version of this Issue Brief

Dating back to America’s colonial past, interstate compacts are one of the few tools specifically granted to states by the U.S. Constitution. While it is unlikely our Founding Fathers anticipated the scope and breadth of today’s state government policy challenges, their inclusion of compacts in the Constitution provided state policymakers with a powerful, durable, and adaptive tool for ensuring cooperative action among the states. The growth of the modern compact has further provided states a sophisticated administrative mechanism, allowing interstate collaboration to resolve complex policy challenges, while simultaneously avoiding federal intervention. 

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 combines policy research with best practices, serving the needs of compact administrators, compact commissions and state agencies. 
CSG-facilitated Interstate Compacts now available for legislative consideration in 2011:
  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 is the most reliable and effective means of properly distributing these medicines and reducing prescription drug abuse.
  2. National Thoroughbred Racing Compact
    This compact enables states to act more uniformly, effectively and efficiently regarding practices, programs, rules and regulations related to thoroughbred horse racing. The agreement aims to facilitate the growth of the industry by simplifying the process for participation in thoroughbred horse racing.
  3. The Surplus Lines Insurance Multistate Compliance Compact
    In the Nonadmitted and Reinsurance Reform Act (NRRA) 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—endorsed by regulators, industry groups and state legislators—would bring states in compliance with NRRA.
  4. The Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children
    This compact, which was developed jointly by CSG and the Department of Defense, replaces the widely varying policies affecting transitioning military students by addressing key educational issues encountered by military families. The compact has been adopted by 35 states: the goal is for all states and territories to adopt it.
  5. The Interstate Compact for Juveniles
    Developed by CSG and the Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency and Prevention, this compact aims to enhance public safety by improving interstate supervision of juvenile offenders and delinquents. It has been adopted by 45 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands: the goal is for all states and territories to adopt it.