Capitol Comments

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation on May 18 that will allow him to name two new justices to the Arizona Supreme Court, bringing the number of justices to seven from the current five-member court. But how does the number of justices on the Arizona Supreme Court compare to courts of last resort in other states? Here’s a state-by-state look at the number of judicial seats on state courts of last resort from The Book of the States 2015.

This year marks the National Park Service’s centennial. Protecting and preserving America’s historical places, cultural heritage sites and natural treasures for 100 years, the National Park Services helps to ensure that 400 sites across the country will be around for generations to come. And according to NPS, for every $1 invested in national parks, $10 is returned to the U.S. economy through tourism and recreational visitors. With national parks located throughout the 50 states and U.S. territories, it’s easy to #FindYourPark at www.nps.gov.

Here’s a look at the top 10 states and the District of Columbia for the number of recreational visitors to national parks in 2015.

Happy National Pi Day! Pi Day is celebrated each year on March 14, a date that coincides with the numerical value of π, used in mathematics to represent the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, which is approximately 3.14. In reality, π is an irrational and transcendental number, according to piday.org, which means it goes on infinitely beyond its decimal point. National Pi Day is most appropriately celebrated with a slice of pie, sweet or savory, that can range from fruit pie to deep dish pizza pie. The possibilities are nearly as endless as π itself, but 10 states across the country have made the selection a bit easier by naming certain varieties of pie among their official state foods.

For Idaho Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis, co-chair of the CSG International Committee, learning proper protocol when traveling abroad has been an exercise in trial and error.

“It has been the learning experience for me to do things wrong, so that I could learn to do them right,” he told participants in the Found in Translation: Global Protocol for Foreign Delegations session, sponsored by the CSG International Committee.

Struggling from years of insufficient contributions, combined with longer-living retiree populations, many states face mounting public pension liabilities without sufficient assets to cover them. But states aren’t sitting idly by. Public pension reform has been a major topic of conversation in statehouses across the country, and was the focus of the CSG Public Pensions and Retirement Security policy academy Dec. 10.

While some states have not yet resolved their public pension problems, Keith Brainard of the National Association of State Retirement Administrators said that the pension outlook for most states is improving—in part due to recent pension reforms.

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