The popular perception that interstate compacts provide a tool for states to work cooperatively to avoid a federally mandated solution is true, but the long held opinion oversimplifies the use of compacts....

Delaware Gov. Jack Markell and Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval signed the country’s first online gambling compact late Tuesday afternoon.  The bill allows poker players physically located in either Nevada or Delaware to compete online against one another.  Both Governors expressed hope that other states would also join the compact, but to date New Jersey is the only other state in the country to offer online gambling.

A report from the California Legislative Analyst’s Office endorsed the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) as a way for states and institutions to more effectively address the challenges of offering distance education programs across state borders.  The report, which is entitled Oversight of Private Colleges in California, concluded the following with respect to SARA:

The Uniform Law Commission is actively engaging with the federal government on behalf of the states to create and preserve an effective balance of federalism. It is also serving to increase the dialogue about the benefits of cooperative federalism and developing guiding principles on how responsibilities can be best allocated to preserve the balance of state and federal roles.

CSG, through The National Center for Interstate Compacts, is pleased to announce the publication of "The Evolution of Interstate Compacts." Interstate compacts are the only form of multi-state cooperation specifically referenced in the Constitution.  The brief looks outlines the history of interstate compacts and specifically addresses how modern compacts are being used to address cross border policy challenges.  To read the brief please click here...

The first Drafting Team meeting for the Multi-State Distance Education Reciprocity Compact began with introductions followed by a review of the compacts mechanism and the opportunities it presented.  The Drafting Team then launched into a discussion of the key priciples to guide the drafting of the compact.  After this discussion and lunch, the drafters reviewed their earlier work and refined the language of the outline developed during the morning meeting.  The drafters also reviewed comments from the Advisory Panel and made additions to the outline as needed.

On August 8 I posted a blog discussing North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple’s calls for an interstate compact to manage flooding along the Missouri River Basin.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is currently responsible for managing flooding along the river.  Frustrated by record spring floods, Gov. Dalrymple thought flood control management could be better handled by the impacted states though the adoption of an interstate compact. 

As expected, Gov. Dalrymple’s proposal was at the center of considerable discussion during a meeting last week between seven of the eight Governors from states bordering the Missouri River.  During the meeting, Governors heard from staff from the Corps about a variety of topics, including the feasibility of developing an interstate compact to manage the river basin.  While it is too early to determine how much support a potential compact has among the impacted states, it is clear that the Army Corps of Engineers does not think a compact is the best mechanism to manage flooding.  Speaking on behalf of the Army Corp of Engineers, Ted Streckfuss suggested any change should occur with input from the states through the “Master Manual” revision process and not through the creation of an interstate compact. 

The Lexington Herald Leader

"Lawmakers and others invested in southern Ohio's economy say the state should work with neighboring Kentucky and West Virginia to help the region realize the shipping potential of the Ohio River.

The tri-state area should develop a port authority that views the river as a global logistics center, Patrick Donovan, of the Rahall Appalachian Transportation Institute, told The Columbus Dispatch."

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On Thursday, Missouri became the latest state to join the Health Care Compact after the legislation became law without signature after Missouri Governor Jay Nixon allowed the bill to exceed the signing deadline.

This article reviews interstate relations developments since 2007 pertaining to uniform state laws, interstate compacts and administrative agreements, same-sex marriage, civil unions and other pertinent legal matters.