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Statecast

Welcome to Statecast, NCSL's podcast. Statecast offers interviews with the leaders and experts shaping policy in our nation's statehouses. Statecast is recorded in NCSL's Washington, D.C. office and is hosted by NCSL's Jon Kuhl. Statecast is available here on our website and on iTunes, where listeners are able to subscribe to the podcast. Have an idea for a Statecast guest? Email us- we'd love to hear your suggestions!

Entries for 'Jon'

 
Every four years the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) releases a report card on the nation’s infrastructure. The final grade reflects 16 categories of grading criteria. In 2009, when the report card was last released, the organization gave the U.S. a fairly dismal grade – it was a D. This year the group has a new report card, and as ASCE Managing Director of Government Affairs Brian Pallasch tells NCSL’s Jon Kuhl, there has been some incremental improvement.
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In today’s StateCast we’re talking hunger. More specifically, we’ll be drilling down on the issue of food waste: why it matters and what state legislators can do about it.
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NCSL’s Jon Kuhl interviews former U.S. Senator Chris Dodd (D-Conn.).
Former Senator Christopher Dodd’s résumé is hard to match. He represented Connecticut for 36 years—six years in the House of Representatives and 30 years in the U.S. Senate. He was chairman of the Democratic Party and candidate for president. After choosing not to seek reelection in 2010, Dodd became chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, which advocates for the U.S. motion picture, home video and television industries around the world.
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On May 6, the U.S. Senate passed the Marketplace Fairness Act with a vote of 69 to 27. The vote is a big win for local retailers across the country and for states. With the passage in the Senate and the strong support from President Obama, the next and final step for the Marketplace Fairness Act is passage in the U.S. House of Representatives.

With wide support for the bill on both sides of the aisle, the opposition is scared, and they’re resorting to distortions and misleading statements. This behavior was on full display last week in an interview eBay CEO John Donahoe gave to NPR’s David Greene. To help set the record straight, we’ll be playing portions of the interview, then allowing NCSL State/Federal Relations Manager Max Behlke to respond. Max is a state and local tax expert and has been working on the issue for the past three years.
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We’re jumping across the pond for this week’s StateCast to Scotland, discussing the Scottish Parliament and the referendum for independence, which is set to take place in September of 2014. NCSL’s Jon Kuhl sat down with two members of the Scottish Parliament: The Honorable Bruce Crawford from the Scottish National Party, and The Honorable Duncan McNeil from the Labour Party.
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Did you know that along with all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands are also a member of NCSL? To hear about some of the unique challenges facing the U.S. Virgin Islands, NCSL’s Jon Kuhl sat down for an interview with Senate President Shawn-Michael Malone, head of the territory’s unicameral legislature.

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As cars become more fuel-efficient and fewer people drive, states are faced with a problem: How to continue funding crucial transportation and infrastructure projects with diminishing revenues from state gasoline taxes.
 
In February, the Virginia legislature met this challenge head on. Lawmakers there passed a transportation reform bill that The Washington Post called “historic.” To discuss the bipartisan legislation, NCSL’s Jon Kuhl interviewed Virginia House Speaker Bill Howell.

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NCSL's fiscal policy expert Todd Haggerty discusses what states have done to prepare for sequestration and other federal cuts.

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In this week's Statecast, we're focusing on sequestration and how it will affect states. In an interview with NCSL fiscal affairs expert Jeff Hurley, Jeff explains which programs will be affected and by how much.

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With more than 50 million Americans living in food insecure households, it's safe to say hunger is a big problem in America. In this edition of StateCast, NCSL's Sheri Steisel talks with Robert Egger, an innovator in the fight against hunger. Having successfully founded the DC Central Kitchen in Washington, Robert is now launching a similar non-profit in Los Angeles called the L.A. Kitchen.

NCSL Foundation Hunger Partnership

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Jon Kuhl talks with NCSL's Karl Kurtz about the upcoming election and the possibility that "solid South"—which used to refer to Democratic control—could be back, but this time in the form of full Republican control. Kurtz is a national legislative expert who holds a Ph.D. in political science from Washington University in St. Louis and has worked with state legislatures for the past 40 years.

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Jon Kuhl interviews Jennie Bowser, an NCSL senior fellow, and a nationally recognized voter ID expert. The discussion focuses on the fact that 33 states have passed voter ID laws, 30 of which will be in place on Election Day this November.Jennie has been quoted discussing the topic with numerous media outlets.

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We’re talking social media on Statecast this week with Andrew Krzmarzick, director of Community Engagement at GovLoop. Among the topics being discussed, whether state officials should get to keep their Facebook accounts when they leave office, and how GovLoop can help legislative staff when questions pop up at work.



 

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States received a bit of a Christmas surprise last December when the U.S. Justice Department issued an opinion reversing its policy on online gambling. Since then, several states have moved forward in creating online gambling operations. But with new federal legislation being discussed in Congress, states may soon lose their autonomy over online gambling. To discuss the issue, NCSL's Jon Kuhl interviewed Mark Hichar, a gaming law expert and a partner at the Hinckley, Allen and Snyder, LLP law firm.




 

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The U.S. Supreme Court went out with a roar last June, issuing a series of major decisions including one on the Affordable Care Act and Arizona’s SB 1070 immigration law. The court returned from their summer break on Monday, and as many court watchers are predicting, this may be another big year for the court. To discuss the upcoming cases that will impact states, NCSL’s Jon Kuhl sat down with the executive director of the State and Local Legal Center, Lisa Soronen.

Links we mention: State and Local Legal Center Supreme Court Preview Webinar, NCSL Fiscal Brief: Projected State Tax Growth in FY 2013


 

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Regardless of who wins and who loses this November, Congress and the president are going to have to move fast if they want to avoid sequestration. But just what is sequestration and how will it impact states? To answer that question, NCSL’s Jon Kuhl sat down with NCSL Senior Federal Affairs Counsel Michael Bird. Michael is a fiscal policy expert, and is the committee director of the NCSL Budgets and Revenue Committee.

Learn more about about NCSL’s America’s Legislators Back to School program and read an article about the program from The Huffington Post.
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Turn on any cable news channel and you’re likely to see pundits dissecting the latest from the Obama and Romney campaigns. But you’re unlikely to hear about the 6,052 state legislative seats also up for election this year. That’s 82 percent of our nation’s state legislators. To get an overview of this year’s statehouse elections, NCSL’s Jon Kuhl spoke with NCSL elections expert Tim Storey. Tim is a nationally recognized elections expert and is frequently quoted by local and national newspapers, including USA Today and the National Journal.

Current party control of state legislatures can be found on NCSL’s StateVote page. And for more pre-election coverage of state legislative races and ballot issues, look for the October/November issue of NCSL’s State Legislatures magazine.
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In August, NCSL’s Immigrant Policy Project released a report showing that in the first half of 2012, lawmakers in 41 states enacted 206 bills and resolutions dealing with immigration. That’s a 20 percent drop from the same period last year, but still very much a hot issue, and not one that’s going away anytime soon. Shortly after the report’s release, NCSL’s Jon Kuhl sat down with the co-chairs of the NCSL Immigration and the States Task Force: Virginia Senator John Watkins (R) and Washington Representative Sharon Tomiko Santos (D).
 

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This week’s Statecast focuses on the issue of hunger in America. NCSL’s Jon Kuhl sits down with the NCSL Foundation’s Hunger Partnership co-chairs, Georgia Senator Renee Unterman and Pennsylvania Representative Dwight Evans. The discussion on hunger continues with a look series of focus groups conducted to learn more about Americans’ attitudes toward hunger.

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NCSL’s Jon Kuhl recaps state news from across the country and sits down with NCSL’s new President, Terie Norelli to discuss her priorities for the year ahead, and how she got involved in politics.

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