Shawntaye Hopkins

Author Articles

What do natural disasters, the sharing economy and an aging population have in common? These are all policy topics where a basic knowledge of risk management and insurance can help state leaders make better policy decisions. In collaboration with The Griffith Insurance Education Foundation, The Council of State Governments will address these topics and more throughout a four-part webinar series designed to provide public policymakers with a greater understanding of risk management insurance through the lens of emerging issues. Participants in the series will walk away with a solid understanding of risk management and insurance fundamentals, property, casualty, life and health insurance, and insurance regulation and legislation.

Some states are implementing policies to increase the use of long-acting reversible contraception, known as LARCs, among Medicaid enrollees. LARCs--intrauterine devices, or IUDs, and subdermal contraceptive implants--are highly effective forms of birth control, with pregnancy rates of less than 1 percent within the first year. A five-year Colorado pilot program documented a 48 percent reduction in the state's teen birth and abortion rates.

Technological innovation enabling autonomous vehicles is advancing rapidly. These advancements are likely to disrupt traditional automobile insurance models in the very near future. This FREE non-partisan and non-advocative eCademy webcast examined how autonomous vehicle technology works; its likely evolution and impact on insurance models and products; and how policymakers can address the myriad questions and challenges the technology presents.

Human trafficking, a form of modern-day slavery, is a multibillion dollar, worldwide industry and one of the fastest growing criminal enterprises. The Polaris Project estimates that the number of adults and children being held and forced into labor in the United States numbers in the hundreds of thousands. States have taken action, however, setting up task forces to assess the extent of human trafficking and experimenting with policies to encourage reporting, train law enforcement personnel and increase the criminal penalties for perpetrators.

During a recent webcast presented by The Council of State Governments in collaboration with The Griffith Insurance Education Foundation, experts discussed vehicle telematics technology and its impact on the insurance industry.

In recent years, many jurisdictions have modernized and eased longstanding alcohol restrictions. In June, both Colorado and Pennsylvania enacted laws that were described as the biggest changes to the industry since Prohibition was repealed.

During a recent CSG eCademy webcast, “Improving Species Conservation in the West,” Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead said the Endangered Species Act needs revision because the finish line—recovering species and removing them from the endangered species list—is often unreachable for states.

Mead is leading an initiative, as chairman of the Western Governors’ Association, to improve the Endangered Species Act and species conservation efforts. He wants to send a message to Congress that the initiative is a bipartisan effort and species are not only important to the West but also to the country as a whole.

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.

On Sunday, June 12, Broadway stars will gather for theater’s biggest night, the Tony Awards. Aired live, viewers across the country will get their chance to see and hear the cast of the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton.” But ticket bots have made it difficult for Broadway fans, especially fans of the ultra popular show about one of the nation’s founding fathers, to see shows in person; and the same applies for concerts and sporting events. State leaders are trying to fix the problem while urging fans to be careful about purchasing from third-party sellers. At least a dozen states have laws that ban ticket bots, software that allows scalpers to quickly snag large quantities of tickets online. In addition, a bill that would prohibit the software was introduced in Congress last year.

Following the release of the final rule addressing greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants through Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, the U.S. Supreme Court stayed implementation of the Clean Power Plan pending judicial review. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit took another unexpected step by rescheduling oral arguments on challenges to the Clean Power Plan to September. During this eCademy session, presented by CSG and the Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies, attorneys discussed legal arguments for and against the Clean Power Plan, what state officials should watch for during oral arguments, and the impact of the rescheduled argument timeline.

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