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SC Officers Manual

COMMITTEE OFFICERS' MANUAL

 

The Standing Committee Officers Manual is intended as a guide to the NCSL committee system and as a primer on the NCSL policy directive and resolution process.  The manual explains in detail the committee structure, the appointment process, the responsibilities of officers and members and the rules and procedures for conducting committee business and adopting policy directives and resolutions.  The manual also includes the NCSL bylaws and information on the committee jurisdictions.

Section 1 | Introduction

This manual is intended as a guide to the NCSL committee system and as a primer on the rules and procedures for conducting committee business and adopting policy directives and resolutions. It begins with an outline of the committee structure. The second half is a description of the NCSL policy directive and resolution process.

Section 2 | Committee Structure

What’s It Called?

The structure is known as the NCSL Standing Committees. The December and spring meetings are known as the Fall Forum and Spring Forum.

Structure

The standing committees integrate the organization’s consideration of federal and state issues. The committees are composed of legislators and legislative staff and have responsibility for exchanging information and ideas about state approaches to policy matters and for guiding NCSL’s lobbying work in Washington, D.C. The following are the eight committees that make up the committee system.

  • Budgets and Revenue
  • Communications, Financial Services and Interstate Commerce
  • Education
  • Health and Human Services
  • Labor and Economic Development
  • Law and Criminal Justice
  • Legislative Effectiveness
  • Natural Resources and Infrastructure

Officers

The structure has officers with responsibility for its overall operation and a set of officers for each committee. The overall officers:

  • Legislator co-chairs (one from each political party)
  • Staff co-chairs
  • Legislator vice chairs
  • Legislative staff vice chairs

The legislator co-chairs of the NCSL Standing Committees and the staff co-chairs of the NCSL Standing Committees serve as ex officio members of the NCSL Executive Committee.

The officer line-up for each standing committee:

  • Legislator Co-Chairs (one from each political party)
  • Staff Co-Chairs
  • Legislator Vice Chairs
  • Legislative Staff Vice chairs

Responsibilities of Overall Officers

The overall legislator co-chairs and overall legislative staff co-chairs share in providing direction to the Standing Committees. One of the legislator co-chairs presides at the Forum business meeting and at the policy directive and resolution adoption portion of the NCSL annual business meeting. The legislator co-chairs, staff co-chairs and vice chairs share in presiding over Steering Committee meetings, with the understanding that a legislator co-chair or vice chair presides over portions of the agenda regarding federal policy directives and resolutions. The legislator co-chairs, legislative staff co-chairs and vice chairs share other presiding responsibilities, including topic briefings and plenary programs. The legislator co-chairs and vice chairs, along with the NCSL legislator officers, oversees the organization’s lobbying effort.

The overall vice chairs substitute for the overall co-chairs when they are unable to preside or attend to other duties. The legislator vice chairs assist the co-chairs in guiding the organization’s lobbying activities, planning programs for the forum and summit, serving as liaisons to particular committees and developing and implementing strategies for improving attendance and participation in the Standing Committees. The legislative staff vice chairs are likely to divide their responsibilities between overseeing programming and outreach.

Responsibilities of Committee Officers

The legislator co-chairs and staff co-chairs of each committee share in guiding the committee’s activities and share in presiding over committee programs, with the understanding that a legislator officer presides over consideration of policy directives and resolutions. Both work closely with the NCSL staff assigned to the committee to plan programs and develop and implement outreach strategies. Although the legislator co-chairs have a preeminent role in guiding the committee’s lobbying activities, the staff co-chairs will participate in these discussions as appropriate.

NCSL staff identify opportunities for testimony at congressional hearings and ask legislator committee officers either to testify or to identify an appropriate member of the committee to testify. Legislator officers are asked to help lobby Congress and the administration and to approve letters, statements for the record and other communications.

The role of vice chairs varies by committee. Among the options available for using vice chairs:

  • Using the vice chairs (at least the legislators) as a kind of steering committee or sounding board regarding the committee’s lobbying work;
  • Assigning responsibilities for major issue areas within the committee’s jurisdiction;
  • Assigning one or more vice chairs to take the lead on outreach to committee members and potential members;
  • Taking the lead for certain work products, including policy statements, reports and option papers;
  • Presiding over various elements of the committee’s program;
  • Representing the committee with NCSL task forces working on issues within the committee’s jurisdiction;
  • Chairing committee work groups and subcommittees.

During its review of the committees in 2005-06, the NCSL Executive Committee was particularly interested in assigning vice chairs to each of the major issues within a committee’s jurisdiction and noted that this could be especially effective for committees that with especially broad jurisdictions, such as the Communications, Financial Services and Interstate Commerce Committee or the Natural Resources and Infrastructure Committee.

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee for the NCSL Standing Committees is composed of the following:

  • Legislator (overall) co-chairs
  • Legislative staff (overall) co-chairs
  • Legislator (overall) vice chairs
  • Legislative staff (overall) vice chairs
  • Legislator co-chairs of each committee (16 total)
  • Legislative staff co-chair of each committee (16 total).

The total number of members of the Steering Committee may vary a little from year to year (depending on the number of overall vice chairs).

Committee vice chairs are not members of the Steering Committee. They are encouraged to attend meetings of the Steering Committee. The co-chairs of a committee should designate a vice chair to represent the committee in their absence. Voting in the Steering Committee on matters of public policy is limited to the legislator officers.

There is more on the Steering Committee roles and responsibilities in the Steering Committee section of this manual.

How Officers are Appointed

The new NCSL President, President-elect and Staff Chair appoint the officers of the standing committees. The legislator choices must be approved by their presiding officers before the appointment is official. Legislative staff choices are also cleared with the appropriate authority before they can become officers. Legislator officers serve a term of 2 conference years; legislative staff officers serve a term of one conference year. A conference year runs from one Legislative Summit to the next Legislative Summit.

Almost all the co-chairs and most of the vice chairs are legislators and staff who have been active with the committee over the previous year or longer. The president, president-elect and staff chair weigh many factors when making their choices, including party affiliation, region, gender and race. Efforts are made to ensure that legislators from term-limited states are represented among committee officers. Some of the vice chair positions are used to encourage certain legislators, staff and legislatures to become more active in the organization.

How Members are Appointed

Legislator members of the committees are appointed for two-year terms following the fall elections. The presiding officer or other appointing authority of each legislative chamber receives a letter from the NCSL President and President-elect asking for new appointments. The letter contains a matrix with information about legislators currently appointed to the committees and a short description of the committee’s jurisdiction. In chambers in which the presiding officer remains the same after the elections, their appointments continue until the presiding officer replaces them. Presiding officers are encouraged to appoint more than one legislator to each standing committee. Presiding officers may make changes to their appointments anytime during a biennium.

Legislative staff members to the committees are appointed by their staff directors or other appointing authority. They typically serve until they are replaced or resign.

Role of Legislative Staff

The NCSL Executive Committee expects legislative staff to play a full role in governance, planning, programs and discussions in the committees. The only exception to this is that the NCSL by-laws prohibit staff from voting on matters of public policy. The Executive Committee wants legislative staff to participate in discussions about proposed policy directives and resolutions, to serve as resources and to offer their perspectives. Voting on policy directives and resolutions, though, remains a prerogative of the legislators.

Meeting Schedule

The Standing Committees meet three times each year—once in Washington, D.C., once in a location outside of Washington, D.C. and once with the NCSL annual meeting. For the coming conference year, the meeting schedule is as follows:

Fall Forum, Dec. 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C.
Legislative Summit, Aug.19-22, 2014, Minneapolis, MN

Task Forces, Subcommittees and Work Groups

NCSL uses task forces, work groups and advisory committees to deal with a variety of issues, including taxation of electronic commerce, military and veterans affairs, international issues and energy supply. The Executive Committee has expressed a preference for integrating the work of these task forces and working groups more closely with the standing committees. Among the options for consideration:

  • Placing one or more officers of standing committees on the task force;
  • Drawing from the membership of a standing committee to create a working group or advisory committee;
  • Encouraging or requiring these groups to meet in conjunction with the fall and spring forums;
  • Creating subcommittees of standing committees instead of task forces.

Balancing State and Federal Issues within the Committees

An important responsibility for committee officers is to ensure that there is an appropriate balance in a committee’s focus between state and federal issues.

Work Products

One of the primary responsibilities of the standing committees (except for Legislative Effectiveness) is development of the policy directives and resolutions that guide the organization’s state-federal work. The committees are also expected, when appropriate, to produce work products with a state focus—for example, issue options, training materials, surveys and issue briefs.

Issues & Resources

Find the NCSLstaff member who handles the issue in which you are interested.

NCSL provides access to current state and federal legislation and a comprehensive list of state documents, including state statutes, constitutions, legislative audits and research reports.

Section 3 | Policy Directive and Resolution Process

Most proposed policy directives and resolutions originate in one or more of the standing committees and must be approved at the Forum business meeting and the annual business meeting to become the official position of NCSL. The following primer is drawn from the NCSL Permanent Rules of Procedure. The primer also relies on customs and recommendations made by Executive Committees and the steering committees over the years.

A. Normal Method

The NCSL by-laws provide both normal and extraordinary methods for developing policy directives and resolutions. Under the normal method, policy directives and resolutions begin in a standing committee. Often, the policy directive or resolution is developed after the committee has conducted programs about the issues involved. On major initiatives, the committee may spend the entire year on programs and discussions, finally considering a policy directive or resolution at NCSL's Legislative Summit in the summer. Policy directives and resolutions may be introduced by any state legislator at any time during the conference year and are referred to the appropriate standing committee by the co-chairs of the Standing Committees.

Once approved by a standing committee, the policy directive or resolution is considered at Legislative Forum business meeting. All legislators who are registered for the forums vote at the business meeting. If the business meeting approves the policy directive or resolution, then NCSL is able to lobby that position with Congress and the administration on an interim basis. The policy directive or resolution becomes official NCSL policy when it is adopted at the Annual Business Meeting in July or August.

B. Emergency Method

Under emergency circumstances, policy directives or resolutions may be developed either by the legislator members of the NCSL Executive Committee or by conference telephone call involving the four legislator officers of NCSL, the legislator co-chairs of the Standing Committees and the co-chairs of the appropriate standing committees. These emergency methods have been used infrequently during NCSL's 37-year history.

Section 4 -- Committee Procedures

The way in which the standing committees operate is fundamental to the integrity of the policy process. Although each committee may have its own character and traditions, all committees are expected to follow the appropriate portions of the NCSL Permanent Rules of Procedure. The following summarizes the rules (and customs) regarding committee procedures.

A.  Introduction and Distribution of Proposed Policy Directives and Resolutions

Amendments adopted at the 2011 and 2012 Legislative Summit made changes in the deadlines for introduction and distribution of proposed policy directives and resolutions and amendments to existing policy directives and resolutions.

Proposed new policy directives and resolutions must be submitted to the NCSL Executive Director or designee (dc-directors@ncsl.org) at least 30 days before a Legislative Forum or annual meeting business meeting. The co-chairs of the Standing Committees refers resolutions to the appropriate committee or committees and may waive the 30 day deadline “under extraordinary circumstances.”
The 30 day deadline also applies to policy directives and resolutions that originate in the committees. They, too, get a formal referral from the co-chairs of the Standing Committees.

Proposed policy directives and resolutions must be distributed to committee members and others at least 20 days in advance of a Legislative Forum or annual meeting business meeting. This dissemination is accomplished by e-mail and posting to NCSL's Web page.

Amendments to existing policy directives and resolutions must be submitted to the NCSL Executive Director or designee dc-directors@ncsl.org) at least 30 days before a Legislative Forum or annual meeting business meeting.

Proposed amendments to policy directives and resolutions must be distributed to committee members and others at least 20 days in advance of a Legislative Forum or annual meeting business meeting. This dissemination is accomplished by e-mail and posting to NCSL's Web page.

B.  Referral of Policy Directives and Resolutions

The legislator co-chairs of the Standing Committees have the responsibility for referring policy directives and resolutions to committees. The Steering Committee has authority to make decisions regarding joint and re-referral of policy directives and resolutions.

C.  Who Participates in Committee Meetings?

All NCSL meetings are open. In the interest of providing as many perspectives on issues as possible, most co-chairs encourage both members and non-members of committees to participate in committee discussions. Only legislators and legislative staff should sit at the table during committee meetings; representatives of the private sector and other guests should sit along the perimeter of the room.

Only legislator members of committees, registered for a Forum or Legislative Summit are entitled to vote. NCSL committee staff bring a roster of the committee to all committee meetings to settle questions of eligibility. The roster shows all legislators who have been appointed to the committee by the appropriate appointing authority in each legislative body.

The Rules also provide that a presiding officer may designate in writing a "legislator substitute." If, indeed, the designation has been made in writing and signed by the presiding officer, then the substitute is allowed to vote in the same way as a member appointed through the normal process. Designations of substitutes must be submitted no later than the beginning of a committee's first scheduled meeting.

D.  Quorum

In order to adopt policy directives and resolutions, committees must have legislator members (or substitutes) from at least 10 member jurisdictions (state or territorial legislatures). It is not sufficient, therefore, simply to have 10 members of the committee. They must represent 10 different jurisdictions.

The Rules require that the presiding legislator committee co-chair establish the presence of a quorum prior to a committee vote on matters of public policy. If the committee is taking a series of votes in a business meeting, most chairs simply begin the meeting with a roll call for establishing a quorum. However, if votes are scattered throughout a committee's agenda for a meeting, then it is prudent to establish a quorum prior to each vote.

E.  Voting

Voting in committees is by voice, unless legislator members representing five states or territories request a roll call vote. The Chair also has the option of calling for a roll call vote.

Voting is by member jurisdiction, with each state having one undivided vote. If there is more than one member of the committee present from a state, a majority vote within the delegation prevails. If the state’s delegation is divided on the question, then the state must pass.

Legislative staff may not vote on matters of public policy.

F.  Disposition of Policies

Committees must act in some way on each policy directive or resolution brought before them. The NCSL Rules of Procedure allow committees five options in disposing of policy resolutions. They may:

  • Approve the policy directive or resolution;
  • Approve it with amendment;
  • Postpone final consideration;
  • Table it; or
  • Defeat the policy directive or resolution.

"Table" in #4 is meant in the sense that Mason's Manual defines it: "to enable the body to lay aside the pending question in such a way that its consideration may be resumed at the will of the body." A tabling motion is "frequently used to suppress a question for the session, which it does, provided a majority vote can never be obtained to take it from the table."

Motions do not require seconds.

To be approved, a policy directive or resolution must obtain an affirmative vote of three-fourths of the member jurisdictions responding to the most recent quorum call. For example, in a committee vote with 16 member jurisdictions present and voting, at least 12 would have to vote in favor of a motion to approve a policy directive or resolution in order to pass it.

To approve an amendment requires a simple majority of member jurisdictions responding to the most recent quorum call.

A motion to table or postpone requires a simple majority of member jurisdictions responding to the most recent quorum call.

G.  Meeting Summary

NCSL Rules require that committees produce a written summary of their meetings. Included in the summary should be a notation of the disposition of each policy directive or resolution brought before the committee--that is, did it pass or fail, was it amended, or was it deferred?

The Rules also require that the summary include a record of roll call votes by member jurisdiction.

Section 5 | Steering Committee

Once approved by a full committee, policy directives and resolutions are considered by the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee, is an integral part of the policy process.

The Co-Chairs of the Standing Committees often invites one of the overall vice chairs to preside at Steering Committee meetings. If a legislator committee co-chair is unable to attend, he or she designates one of the legislator committee vice chairs to represent the committee at the Steering Committee meeting.

A. Responsibilities

The NCSL Rules delineate the powers of the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee:

  • Reviews pending policy directives and resolutions for inconsistencies and omissions to Rule VII(D);
  • Establishes the order of business and calendars for business meetings;
  • Makes joint and re-referrals of policy directives and resolutions;
  • Identifies emerging state and federal issues;
  • Encourages the use of innovative technologies and communications devices for conducting meetings, increasing participation and informing legislators and staff about the work of the standing committees.

(1)  Reviewing Pending Policy Directives and Resolutions for Inconsistencies and Omissions

After the committees have met at the Forum and Legislative Summit, the Steering Committee meets to review each policy directive and resolution approved by the committees. The presiding Co-Chairs of the Standing Committees calls upon a co-chair form each committee to report on his or her committee's actions. Other Steering Committee members have the opportunity to question the committee chair about the policy directive or resolutions--especially inquiring about the need for the policy directive or resolution, how it relates to other current or proposed policy directives and resolutions, and whether it is consistent with NCSL rules concerning the purpose of policy directives and resolutions (see Section IX below).

(2)  Establishing the Order of Business

In reporting to the Steering Committee about disposition of policy directives and resolutions, committee chairs tell whether the committee recommends the policy directive or resolution be placed on the consent, debate or memorial calendar. The Rules require that policy directives and resolutions be placed on the debate calendar if they are not passed unanimously by the committee.

The Rules also state that policy directives and resolutions may be placed on the debate calendar by majority vote of the Steering Committee.

(3)  Joint and Re-referral of Resolutions

The Rules of Procedure allow the Steering Committee to make joint and re-referral of policy directives and resolutions that fall into the jurisdiction of more than one committee. At the first meeting of the Steering Committee at the Legislative Forum and the Legislative Summit, the Steering Committee hears reports from each committee about the policy directives and resolutions it expects the committee to take up. Other chairs have the opportunity to inquire about the policy directives and resolutions and whether they fall into another committee's jurisdiction. Policy directives and resolutions, then, are jointly referred either by consensus or majority vote. (This process works most smoothly when committee chairs consult with one another before the Steering Committee meeting.) The Steering Committee designates one committee as the lead committee on jointly-referred policy directives and resolutions. The lead committee's version of the policy directive or resolution is considered first on the floor of the business meetings. Other committees offer their versions as amendments from the floor. Although the rules do not preclude joint referrals to more than two committees, past Steering Committees have limited joint referrals to just two committees.

At the second Steering Committee meeting, which occurs immediately following the conclusion of the standing committee meetings, the Steering Committee hears reports from each chair on actions the committees have taken. During these reports, it is appropriate for other chairs to ask for re-referral of policy directives and resolutions adopted by another committee. A successful re-referral motion has the effect of delaying action on the policy directive or resolution until the next meeting of the standing committees.

(4)  Emerging Federal Priorities and Major State Issues

At the start of each biennium, the Executive Committee establishes the state federal priorities and major state issues with input from each of the standing committees. These state federal priorities and major state issues serve to guide the conferences' representation before the federal government, activities in standing committees, meeting programming and grant funded research.

Federal issues have some predictability for several reasons. Congress usually establishes an expiration date for most major laws; so an issue due for “reauthorization” often dominates an NCSL committee’s agenda in the year leading up to the law’s expiration. Plus, presidential and congressional leadership initiatives, which usually are known at the beginning of the calendar year, also help shape discussions within our committees.

(5)  Using Innovative Technologies

The Executive Committee has recommended that the Steering Committee explore innovative technologies and communications devices to ensure the greatest possible participation among committee members, including ones who are unable to attend meetings.

Section 6 -- Business Meeting Procedures

After a policy directive or resolution passes through the Steering Committee, it moves to the Forum or annual business meeting. At the Forum, the business meeting normally occurs in mid-morning on the final day of the meeting. At the Legislative Summit, there is no separate business meeting for considering policy directives and resolutions. Rather, all policy directives and resoltuions are considered during the Annual Business Meeting. Voting procedures are identical for the spring and fall business meetings and the Conference's Annual Business Meeting.

A.  Order of Business

(1)  Forum

The consent calendar is considered first. The presiding co-chair asks for a motion to approve the consent calendar. He or she asks whether anyone wishes to remove a policy directive or resolution from the consent calendar. Any policy directive or resolution may be removed from the consent calendar at the request of three member jurisdictions. Any policy directive or resolution removed in this way is placed at the end of the debate calendar.

The presiding co-chair calls for a vote on the consent calendar.

After adoption of the consent calendar, the chair moves to consideration of the debate calendar. Each policy directive or resolution on the debate calendar is taken up separately.

The NCSL Rules of Procedure also provide for a memorial calendar. Resolutions on this calendar are those that do not deal with state-federal issues (e.g., proclaiming support for German-American Day or National Physical Fitness Week). If there are resolutions on the memorial calendar, they are considered after the debate calendar.

(2)  Annual Business Meeting

During the policy consideration portion of the Annual Business Meeting, there are four calendars:

The policy directives and resolutions adopted at the Forum, treated as a consent calendar;
The consent calendar composed of policy directives and resolutions adopted unanimously by the standing committees during the Legislative Summit;
The debate calendar; and
The memorial calendar.

B.  Quorum

A quorum for transaction of business at a business meeting is representation of at least 20 member jurisdictions. The presiding co-chair begins the business meeting with a roll call for the purpose of establishing a quorum.

C.  Who Votes?

(1)  Forum

All legislators registered for the Forum are allowed to vote.  

(2)  Annual Business Meeting

All legislators registered for the Legislative Summit may vote on matters of public policy.

D.  Voting Procedures

Voting is by voice, unless a roll call is requested by the chair or by five member jurisdictions.

An affirmative vote of at least three-fourths of the member jurisdictions responding to the most recent quorum call is required to approve a resolution on a matter of public policy.

Voting is by member jurisdiction. Each member jurisdiction casts one undivided vote. Each member jurisdiction selects a spokesperson who announces the vote.

On roll call votes, the NCSL Executive Director calls the roll. The spokesperson for each member jurisdiction replies "yea" or "nay," or passes. After the first call of the roll, the Executive Director calls once more for the states that have passed or not responded. He or she then consults with the Chair, who announces the results. Any member jurisdiction may change its vote until the time the vote is announced.

E.  Amendments

Amendments to policy resolutions may be offered from the floor. They must be submitted to the presiding co-chair in writing prior to a vote by the members. Amendments require a simple majority for adoption. NCSL staff display amendments on a screen in front of the room in which the business meeting is held.

F.  Discharging Policy Directives and Resolutions from Committee

Policy Directives and resolutions that have been tabled or postponed by a committee may be brought up for consideration following disposition of the debate calendar by a two-thirds vote of the member jurisdictions responding to the most recent quorum call. If discharged, the policy directive or resolution is voted on under the rules governing consideration of resolutions.

G.  Access to the Floor

Only legislators and legislative staff are allowed on the floor of the business meeting.

Section 7 | Policy Directives and Resolutions

A. Purpose

The Rules of Procedure limit policy directives and resolutions to federal matters that affect the states. They do not instruct state legislatures to take certain actions. Rule VII (D):

"Policies developed by the Standing Committees shall be directed at Congress, the Administration, or the federal courts and shall be related to issues that affect the states consistent with support for state sovereignty and state flexibility and protection from unfunded federal mandates and unwarranted federal preemption."

All policy directives of the Conference shall not expire but must be reviewed by the standing committee with jurisdiction at least once every four years and can be updated and amended at any time. Resolutions adopted at the General Business meeting of the Legislative Summit expire in one year, at the next Legislative Summit.

Section 8 -- Parliamentary Manual

NCSL rules specify Mason’s Manual of Legislative Procedure as the back-up on matters of parliamentary procedure. Why do the NCSL rules specify Mason’s Manual?

Mason’s Manual is designed specifically for state legislatures--unlike many other parliamentary manuals, which are written for civic groups and private organizations. As a result, most legislative chambers have adopted Mason’s as the back-up to their own rules, and their members are familiar with the book.

Paul Mason was the original author of Mason’s Manual of Legislative Procedure. He published seven editions before transferring the book’s copyright to NCSL. To honor Mr. Mason’s request that the book continue to be updated, NCSL—with the assistance of the American Society of Legislative Clerks and Secretaries through the Mason’s Manual Commission—revised the manual in 1989 and 2000, and currently is working on the next edition. Mason’s Manual is distributed through the NCSL Bookstore.

Section 9 | Committee Jurisdictions

The NCSL Standing Committees are composed of legislators and legislative staff who are appointed by the leadership of the legislatures. The committees are the main organizational mechanism for serving NCSL members. There are eight committees that deal with both state and state-federal issues. The jurisdictions of the standing committees are similar to those of committees in the state legislatures.  Those standing committees are:

  • Budgets and Revenue
  • Communications, Financial Services and Interstate Commerce
  • Education
  • Health and Human Services and Welfare        
  • Labor and Economic Development
  • Law and Criminal Justice
  • Legislative Effectiveness
  • Natural Resources and Infrastructure

 

Committee Areas of Jurisdiction

Budgets and Revenue
  • Budgets-Federal
  • Budgets-State
  • Federal Funding
  • Federal Mandates
  • Federal Revenues and Taxes
  • Fiscal and Tax Issues
  • Income Taxes
  • Legislative Budget Process
  • Oversight
  • Pensions Program Evaluation
  • Property Taxes
  • Public Finance Issues
  • Regionalism
  • Sales Tax
  • State and Local Revenue System
  • State Revenues and Taxes
  • State-Local Relations
  • Taxes
  • Unfunded Mandates
Communications, Financial Services and Interstate Commerce
  • Banks and Banking
  • Broadband Technologies
  • Business Activity Taxes
  • Cable TV Regulation
  • Community Reinvestment Act
  • Computer and Information Systems
  • Consumer Affairs
  • Content Regulation
  • Credit Cards and Bureaus
  • Credit Unions
  • Dual Banking System
  • Dual Chartering of Insurance
  • Electronic Commerce
  • Electronic Commerce Sales Tax
  • Electronic Government
  • Electronic Records and Information
  • Financial Institutions
  • Financial Privacy
  • Information Technology and Policy
  • Insurance Insurance Fraud
  • Insurance Redlining
  • Insurance Solvency/State Guaranty Funds
  • Internet and Electronic Privacy
  • Internet Regulation
  • Internet Tax
  • Interstate Commerce
  • Natural Disaster Insurance
  • Securities Spectrum Allocation
  • State Internet Networks
  • State Telecommunications Networks
  • Telecommunications
  • Telecommunications Taxes
  • Wireless Communications
Education
  • Early Childhood
  • Education
  • Education Act
  • Education Finance
  • Education Reform
  • Elementary and Secondary
  • Higher Education
  • School Adequacy
  • School Finance
  • Schools-Choice/Charter
  • Schools-Violence
  • Special Education
  • Teachers
Health and Human Services
  • Abortion
  • Adoption
  • Aging
  • AIDS/HIV
  • Alcohol Abuse
  • Bioterrorism
  • Cancer Prevention and Control
  • Children’s Health Insurance
  • Child Welfare
  • Chronic Diseases
  • Commodity Distribution
  • Diseases
  • Domestic Violence
  • Early Childhoold
  • Elderly
  • Fatherhood
  • Food and Nutrition
  • Food Stamps
  • Foster Care
  • Genetic Testing
  • Health Care
  • Health Care Reform
  • Health Insurance
  • Health Professions
  • Homeless
  • Immigration
  • Income Security
  • LIHEAP
  • Long-Term Care
  • Managed Care
  • Marriage/Divorce
  • Maternal and Child Health
  • Medicaid
  • Medicare
  • Medical Records/Privacy
  • Mental Health
  • Nursing Homes
  • Pharmaceutical Drugs
  • Preventive Medicine
  • Public Health
  • Refugee Assistance
  • Social Security
  • Social Services Block Grant
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases
  • Substance Abuse
  • Tobacco
  • Welfare Reform/TANF
  • Welfare to Work
Labor and Economic Development
  • Adult Education
  • Arts and Culture
  • Community Revitalization
  • Consumer Affairs
  • Davis Bacon Act
  • Economic Development
  • Employment
  • Employment Training
  • Family Medical Leave Act
  • Growth Management
  • Historic Preservation
  • Housing International
  • Trade
  • Labor
  • Libraries
  • Life-Long Learning
  • Minimum Wage
  • Public Employees
  • Retirement
  • Right-to-Work Laws
  • School-to-Work Transition
  • Social Security
  • State Minimum Wage
  • Travel and Tourism
  • Unemployment
  • Unemployment Compensation
  • Unions
  • Urban Renewal
  • Violence-Workplace
  • Workers Compensation
  • Workplace Discrimination
  • Workforce Development
Law and Criminal Justice
  • Campaign Finance
  • Capital Punishment
  • Civil Rights
  • Constitution and Constitutional Law
  • Corrections
  • Crime Victims
  • Criminal Justice
  • Domestic Violence
  • Drug Crime
  • Elections and Election Reform
  • Executive Order on Federalism
  • Federal Courts
  • Federalism
  • Gambling
  • Gangs
  • Gay Rights
  • Gun Control
  • Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness
  • Immigration
  • nitiative and Referendum
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Law Enforcement
  • Liability
  • Native American Affairs
  • Preemption
  • Prisons and Jails
  • Probation and Parole
  • Product Liability
  • Public Safety
  • Sentencing
  • State Courts
  • State-Tribal
  • Takings
  • Voting Rights Act
Legislative Effectiveness
  • Civic Education
  • Congressional Procedures and Reform
  • Executive Branch
  • Legislative Committees
  • Legislative Computer Systems
  • Legislative Ethics
  • Legislative Expenditures
  • Legislative Leadership
  • Legislative Operations
  • Legislative Orientation/Training
  • Legislative Program Evaluation
  • Legislative Rules and Procedures
  • Legislative Staff
  • Legislative Structure
  • Legislator and Staff Training
  • Legislators
  • Media Relations
  • Open Meetings
  • Public Information
  • Public Records
  • Separation of Powers
  • State Privacy Policies
  • Term Limits
Natural Resources and Infrastructure
  • Agriculture
  • Alternative Energy
  • Amtrak
  • Aviation
  • Brownfields
  • Biotechnology
  • Cell Phones
  • Clean Air
  • Driver Licensing
  • Drunk Driving
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