Interstate Compacts: Trends and Issues

Interstate compacts are a uniquely American invention, allowing multistate problem-solving in the face of complex public policy and federal intervention. This article provides a brief history of compacts, examines a 2004 survey of interstate compact administrators and briefly looks at new and emerging policy areas in which interstate compacts may play an important role. Finally, it describes The Council of State Governments’ new service developed as a result of this work—the National Center for Interstate Compacts.

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About the Authors
John Mountjoy is the director of CSG’s National Center for Interstate Compacts. He managed  CSG’s national effort on the Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision and currently oversees the revision of the Interstate Compact for Juveniles and the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children. He holds a Masters in Public Administration and a B.A. in Communications from Western Kentucky University.

Melissa Bell is the associate director of research for CSG. She is the author of several Trends Alerts on various topics, including immigration, fiscal affairs and medical malpractice. She has a Ph.D. in public policy from the University of Kentucky.