The Marketplace Fairness Act, fiscal uncertainty faced by states, unfunded federal mandates and tax reform were among the issues up for discussion Wednesday as more than 200 state legislators from 41 states met with congressional leadership and 150 members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
The meetings were organized as part of NCSL’s Fall Forum, which runs through Friday.
“It’s exciting for state legislators from across the country and the aisle to come together for a common goal—states’ rights,” said South Dakota Senator Deb Peters (R).
NCSL President Senator Bruce Starr of Oregon (R), President-elect Debbie Smith of Nevada (D), Vice President Senator Curt Bramble (R) of Utah, NCSL past president and speaker of the New Hampshire House Terie Norelli (D) and Senator Wayne Harper of Utah (R), president of the Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board, were among the state lawmakers participating in the meetings.
The lawmakers emphasized that state legislatures face fiscal uncertainty as they start their sessions in January and that deficit reduction should be shared sacrifice. Lawmakers also reiterated their opposition to unfunded federal mandates and want Congress to conduct an analysis of any unfunded mandates’ impact on the states.
Federal lawmakers were apprised of the need to maintain the tax exempt status of state and local government bonds for infrastructure and capital projects.
It was the second visit by state lawmakers in two weeks, following a round of discussions among 25 Republican legislators from 18 states with 75 Republican members of Congress specifically to urge final passage of the Marketplace Fairness Act.
Oregon state Senator Bruce Staff (R), center, president of NCSL, and New Hampshire House Speaker Terie Norelli (D), NCSL’s immediate past president, meet with Neil Bradley deputy chief of staff for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia. They discussed the Marketplace Fairness Act, the farm bill and transportation funding, all critical issues to states.
Utah state Senators Wayne Harper (R), left, and Curt Bramble (R), South Dakota Senator Deb Peters (R), and Delegate Don Perdue (D) of West Virginia get ready to head to the Capitol to discuss the Marketplace Fairness Act with their congressional representatives.
Oregon state Senator Bruce Starr (R), NCSL’s president, meets with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D) of California.
Wisconsin state Senator Mark Miller (D), left, and South Dakota Senator Deb Peters (R) meet with U.S. Representative Paul Ryan (R) of Wisconsin, chair of the House Budget Committee.
U.S. Representative Keith Ellison (D) of Minnesota meets with Minnesota state Senator Scott Dibble (DFL).
Tennessee state Representative Brenda Gilmore (D), left, U.S. Representative Dianne Black (R) of Tennessee and Tennessee state Representative John DeBerry Jr. (D)
State lawmakers from South Dakota visit their representatives on Capitol Hill.
Wisconsin state Senator Mark Miller (D), left, U.S. Representative Ron Kind (D) of Wisconsin and Craig Johnson, executive director of Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board Inc. during a meeting on Capitol Hill.
U.S. Representative Kevin Cramer (R) of North Dakota, second from right, meets with an NCSL delegation on Capitol Hill.
Wyoming House Speaker Pro Tem Rosie Berger (R) presents the NCSL Restoring the Balance award to U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R) of Wyoming. Enzi was one of four U.S. senators to receive the award this week from NCSL for their work on the Marketplace Fairness Act.