Top 5 Issues for 2013 Expanded: Interstate Compacts

Interstate Compacts to Watch in 2013

Dating back to America’s colonial past, interstate compacts are among the few tools specifically granted to states by the U.S. Constitution. The modern compact provides states with a sophisticated administrative mechanism, allowing interstate collaboration to resolve complex policy challenges.

Compacts, which are governed by the tenets of contract law, give states an enforceable, sustainable and durable tool capable of ensuring permanent change without federal intervention. With more than 215 interstate compacts in existence today and each state belonging to an average of 25 compacts, the legal and historical precedence for the development and use of the tool is considerable.

CSG-facilitated Interstate Compacts Ready for Legislative Consideration

1.Interstate Compact for the Siting of Electricity Transmission Lines

The Energy Act of 2005 granted states advance congressional consent to create regional interstate compacts governing the siting of interstate transmission lines. At the request of its membership, CSG developed an electric transmission line siting compact to help move energy from where it is produced to where it is needed. Compact drafting is finalized and the language is now ready for legislative consideration.

Status Update:

  • The Advisory Team met twice beginning in 2010 to explore the use of an interstate compact to facilitate transmission line siting.
  • During the initial phases of the project the Advisory Team endorsed the creation of a transmission line siting compact.
  • A drafting team met five times total, both in person and electronically, beginning in late 2011.
  • The drafting team finished their work in October of 2012.
  • Model compact language is now ready for legislative consideration.
  • To learn more about the Electric Transmission Line Siting Compact please click here.

2.The Surplus Lines Insurance Multistate Compliance Compact

In the Nonadmitted and Reinsurance Reform Act of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Congress recommended states adopt uniform requirements, forms and procedures to facilitate reporting, payment, collection and allocation of premium taxes for the surplus lines insurance industry. The compact, which has been adopted by nine states and is endorsed by regulators and industry groups, brings states in compliance with the reform act.

Status Update

  • The Surplus Lines Insurance Multi-State Compliance Compact language is complete. 
  • Alabama, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Vermont have already adopted the compact.
  • Legislative consideration is ongoing in additional states. 
  • The Commission has begun operating on a limited basis to ensure a quick transition from the adoption phase to commission business once the 10 state threshold is met. 
  • Kentucky Insurance Commissioner Sharon P. Clark has been appointed interim Chair of the Commission. 
  • To learn more about SLIMPACT please visit CSG’s web site by clicking here or visit the National Conference of Insurance Legislators’ (NCOIL) web site by clicking here.
  • To download the compact language click here.

CSG-facilitated Compacts Under Development

3.State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement

Many of today’s colleges and universities employ online learning with various degrees of onsite support to offer study on a national, and even international, scale. State regulatory requirements and evaluative measures, however, vary considerably, making interstate reciprocity difficult. This inconsistency is costing states and institutions significant amounts of money. To that end, CSG has been working jointly with The Presidents’ Forum and the existing higher education regional compacts to develop a State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement, which is designed to improve access to quality higher education. Compact drafting has begun and language should be ready for consideration by the states beginning in 2014.

Status Update:

  • CSG and the Presidents’ Forum, in conjunction with a drafting team of subject matter experts, have nearly completed model language.
  • Model language has been shared with a variety of stakeholder groups for input and comment
  • CSG and the Presidents’ Forum are continuing to work with the existing regional higher education compacts to develop an implementation model that will be acceptable to all parties.
  • Plans to convene an education symposium detailing the scope of the arrangement are underway. 
  • Funding to develop an outreach and education campaign has already been received.
  • To read the white paper developed by The Presidents’ Forum detailing the scope of the problem and the need for reform please click here.
  • To learn more about the ongoing effort please click here.

4.EMS Licensing Compact

States have had the authority to license emergency medical services personnel since the 1970s. States have consistently issued licenses based on individual state practices and while there is overlap, there also is considerable variation among the states. Increasingly it is becoming more common for emergency services personnel to cross state lines to provide services in nondeclared states of emergency.  One possible way to solve this growing problem may be the formation of an interstate compact, which would allow member states to self-regulate the existing system for licensing emergency personnel. CSG’s National Center for Interstate Compacts, in conjunction with the National Association of State EMS Officials, has received funding to explore and develop an EMS Licensing Compact. The advisory phase is scheduled to begin in January 2013.

Status Update:

  • National Association of State EMS Officials and CSG have received funding from the Department of Homeland Security to begin developing an EMS Licensing Compact.
  • The Advisory Committee will meet for first time January 8-9, 2013 in Washington, DC.
  • A second Advisory Committee meeting is tentatively scheduled for March.
  • Should the Advisory Committee endorse the compact, a drafting team will be convened and begin working to develop model language shortly after the Advisory team concludes their work.

Other Compacts to Watch

While a number of additional interstate compact bills will likely be considered in 2013, one other compact is sure to garner significant attention. Seven states have adopted the Health Care Compact, which is designed to ensure health care regulation and reform occurs at the state level.

To track the progress of these and other compacts, please visit CSG’s National Center for Interstate Compacts—the only organization of its kind—at or contact Crady deGolian at