Shawntaye Hopkins

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s final Clean Power Plant was released Aug. 3 and aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired power plants by 32 percent from the 2005 levels by 2030. The plan promotes emissions trading among states by giving states the opportunity to design plans that allow their power plants to use out-of-state emissions reductions to achieve compliance.

A first-of-its-kind report released today by The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center found that most incarcerated youth do not have access to the same educational services as their peers in the community, and little accountability exists to ensure educational standards are met in lock-up. The report, “Locked Out: Improving Educational and Vocational Outcomes for Incarcerated Youth,” reveals that despite spending between $100,000 to $300,000 per incarcerated child in secure facilities, only 13 states provide all incarcerated youth with access to the same types of educational services that students have in the community. Meanwhile, only nine states offer community-equivalent vocational services to all kids in lock-up.

During a recent CSG eCademy webcast, “Pricing Rooftop Solar: Sustainability, Fairness & Promoting Productivity,” two former regulatory commissioners discussed the process used to set utility rates and how to ensure cost fairness and affordability while enabling the growth of distributed generation.

Two former regulatory commissioners discuss how electric rates are determined, the impact of policies promoting distributed generation, and how to design public policies to enable the growth of distributed generation while ensuring electric rates are fair and affordable for all electric customers.

During a recent eCademy webcast, “Policy Recommendations to Improve Military and Overseas Voting,” members of The Council of State Governments’ Overseas Voting Initiative Policy Working Group discussed tools that improve the voting process for U.S. military members and civilians who are overseas.

On Aug. 31, The Council of State Governments rededicated its national headquarters in Lexington, Ky., after an extensive, $5.5 million renovation to the building where CSG got its start in the Bluegrass State. CSG’s history, however, and the council’s commitment to championing excellence in state governments, dates back even further.

At the George C. Marshall Foundation, we spend a lot of time thinking about Marshall. Our latest endeavor is the Marshall Legacy Series, which explores the distinct and discreet aspects of Marshall’s long career to reveal those salient characteristics that served him so well. Its tagline sums up his genius and his achievements: Visionary in War and in Peace. We define these characteristics in five words.

The Council of State Governments released a report last week that outlines recommendations for state-level policies that help ensure students are prepared for postsecondary education and the workforce. The report, "A Framework for State Policymakers: Developing Pathways to Ensure a Skilled Workforce for State Prosperity," is the brainchild of CSG's 2014 national leaders who sought to help states prepare today's students for the jobs of tomorrow. Tennessee Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, who served as CSG's 2014 national chair, led the State Pathways to Prosperity initiative, a multi-year effort to identify obstacles—and alternative pathways—to prosperity for many Americans.

Austin, Ind., a city of about 4,200 people in Scott County, Ind., off Interstate 65, has been the epicenter of an HIV outbreak, said Maureen Hayden, statehouse bureau chief for CNHI Indiana Newspapers. HIV has spread among intravenous drug users and more than 170 cases have now been reported. Hayden, a reporter who continues to cover the outbreak in southeast Indiana, was one of three presenters who discussed Indiana’s situation and substance abuse treatment options during a recent CSG eCademy webcast, “Harm Reduction: Needle-Borne Disease and Substance Abuse.”

Federal and state government relations are complicated, and tougher times may be ahead for state legislators as funding for services remains scarce. Three experts discussed the duties, powers and limitations of state governments during a recent CSG eCademy webcast, “How Does the Power Flow in Legislative Branch Federalism?” The webcast was the second in a series of three civics education webinars about the state of federalism.

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