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The issues state leaders from across the political spectrum can agree on are rare, but the promotion and cultivation of homegrown entrepreneurs might just be one of them. State leaders know entrepreneurs not only create jobs, but also contribute to an increase in wages and standards of living.

One in four adults will suffer from a mental health illness in any given year, according to the National Council for Community Behavioral Health Care. The council’s Mental Health First Aid program is a nationally recognized eight-hour training to teach how to help people in an emergency situation stemming from mental illness or substance abuse. A few states have begun to adopt the program to help first responders and others handle mental health and substance abuse crises.

While the use of interstate compacts dates back to the founding of the nation, this tool has become increasingly popular for state policymakers seeking ways to address interstate policy challenges short of federal intervention. This webinar, the first in a series, focused on the background, history and modern use of interstate compacts, with insights shared by Rick Masters, legal adviser to three national interstate compact commissions affiliated with CSG.

As states and localities compete for industry investment and jobs in an uncertain global economy, they need greater access to experts to provide guidance on the expected benefits and costs of economic development projects to make sound decisions. Presented by CSG's State Pathways to Prosperity initiative, this webinar focused on a variety of advanced analytical tools to help academic executives, industry scientists and policymakers make better evidence-based decisions on key research strategies.

Among the world's 35 richest countries, the U.S. ranks second highest in the rate of childhood poverty. Achievement gaps between the poor and the non-poor are twice as large as the achievement gap between black and white students. And cognitive differences--which vary extensively by income and poverty status--likely contribute to a young adult's accessibility to and success in college, further limiting economic and social mobility and fueling the gap between rich and poor. This webinar, presented by CSG's State Pathways to Prosperity Initiative, showcased ways state policymakers can utilize their role to reduce the impact of child poverty on educational success.

The popularity of net metering has surged among residential customers due to significant incentives by more than 40 states allowing customers to sell excess renewable power to the utility. Accompanying that growth, however, is a burgeoning debate over the most appropriate way to continue incentivizing the use of distributed and renewable energy resources in the most equitable fashion.

Last year was a busy one for states pursuing additional funding for transportation, but many challenges remain as policymakers begin a new legislative session. In this webinar, statehouse and transportation beat reporters weigh in on which states seem poised to consider new revenues this year, the political dynamics in play, the overall state transportation needs versus current revenues and innovative revenue mechanisms under consideration.

Distracted driving is a national epidemic, claiming thousands of lives on American roads every year. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 3,331 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver in 2011. This complimentary webinar, presented by CSG South, featured panelists who addressed the latest research on the potential impact of using devices while driving, state legislative initiatives to hone distracted driving laws and updates on efforts at the federal level to reduce distracted driving accidents.

STEM—or science, technology, engineering and mathematics—occupations play a vital role in America’s global competitiveness. More than half of the projected jobs in STEM fields are in computing occupations, yet computer science education is frequently disregarded in K-12 educational systems. CSG is partnering with Code.org and other national organizations to get 10 million students of all ages to try computer science for one hour. This webinar explored ways legislators can promote the Hour of Code campaign to coincide with national Computer Science Education Week, Dec. 9-15, 2013.

Human trafficking, a form of modern-day slavery whereby children and adults are exploited through force or coercion for sex acts or manual labor, is purported to be a multi-billion-dollar worldwide industry and one of the fastest growing criminal enterprises. The U.S. Department of State estimates that there are approximately 40,000 men, women and children who become victims of human trafficking in the United States every year. States have taken action, setting up task forces to assess the extent of this insidious practice and experimenting with policies to encourage reporting, train law enforcement personnel and increase the criminal penalties for perpetrators. 

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