NCSL's Women's Legislative Network News for January 2015


Women's Legislative Network


Hello, and Happy New Year!

Jane Powdrell-CulbertAs the president of the Women’s Legislative Network of NCSL, I wish you the best for 2015. I want to extend a special greeting to those of you beginning your first terms in the legislature. Congratulations! I hope you will turn to NCSL for information and guidance throughout your lawmaking career, and please contact me personally if I can be of any assistance.

This monthly newsletter is intended to keep you informed about women in state legislatures, NCSL meetings and resources, and noteworthy news. We will be focusing on a different topic each month; you’ll see information and resources about human trafficking in this issue. We welcome news from your state, so please submit any items that you’d like to share with women around the country. February’s topic will be women, small business and entrepreneurship.

The mission of the Women’s Legislative Network is to promote the participation, empowerment and leadership of women legislators. The Network is bipartisan and includes every female legislator in the states and territories. I hope you will join us at a future event or share your ideas about what you’d like us to work on.
I look forward to hearing from you.

Jane Powdrell-Culbert, State Representative, New Mexico
President, Women’s Legislative Network of NCSL
Email me

Women in State Legislatures 2015

2015 mapThere will be approximately 1,785 women serving in the 50 state legislatures this year. Review complete data here.



Wise Women: Sage Advice From Seasoned Lawmakers

WebinarThe recording of this webinar for newly-elected women legislators is now available online. Please share with your friends and colleagues.

NCSL gathered a veteran group of female legislators for this webinar. These experts provided new legislators with tips on how to master the rules, carry legislation, provide constituent service and earn the respect of fellow lawmakers. They shared advice about maximizing your strengths and building relationships with your colleagues, and about how to find a mentor and move in to leadership.


  • Patty Berg, former Assemblywoman, California


  • Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande, New Jersey
  • Representative Brenda Gilmore, Tennessee
  • Representative Jane Powdrell-Culbert, New Mexico

View the webinar here.

Human trafficking: NCSL resources and links

The Women’s Legislative Network board supports continued attention to the topic of human trafficking.

Human trafficking is the buying, selling and smuggling of people to profit from their forced labor or sexual servitude. Every state has passed legislation addressing some form of trafficking activity and lawmakers continue to explore new methods to combat traffickers and provide support for victims.

On the Blog: Sex Trafficking Law Has Major Implications for the States

The federal Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act has major implications for states and requires several policy changes in the areas of child welfare and support. The law, passed with bipartisan support, was signed by President Obama on Sept. 29, 2014.

Major provisions of the act include:

  • Requiring child welfare agencies to identify and report foster youth at risk of sex trafficking.
  • Requiring states to develop a reasonable and prudent parenting standard so that foster parents can make decisions for youth to help them participate in extracurricular, enrichment, cultural and social activities and increase the speed with which permanency for foster youth is achieved.

Read the full article here.

NCSL's Detailed Information about the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act

The act provides various changes to existing law regarding child welfare, including some required state action in areas of foster parenting, adoption incentive payments and others. In addition, the bill requires certain data collection and reporting by states regarding sex trafficking, including the identification of children who may be at high-risk of becoming sex trafficking victims, particularly current and former foster children. Complete information available here.

NCSL's Policy on Human Trafficking

The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) condemns the trafficking of persons. Combating human trafficking requires a strong partnership between the federal government and the states. Regardless of the form trafficking takes, it is the exploitation of innocent victims, both domestic and foreign born, who require protection and separation from their traffickers. Full policy here.

NCSL Summary on Trends in State Legislation Through 2014

Recent legislation has given significant attention to preventing victims from being treated as criminals and improving anti-trafficking efforts for minors. Two-page document here.

NCSL's Full Details about State Trafficking Legislation

In 2014, at least 31 states enacted new anti-trafficking laws. Full report here.

In Conversation: Senator Amy Klobuchar and Cindy McCain

Klobuchar and McCainU.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota, and humanitarian Cindy McCain joined NCSL’s 2014 Legislative Summit to discuss work in Congress, the states and through private initiatives to bring national focus on trafficking, ensure that victims are not treated as criminals and to develop policies to end it.
Watch the video here.

Human trafficking: News from the States

A few examples of anti-trafficking work from around the country. If we missed your state, please submit a news tip for future issues.

Alabama to Work on New Bills in 2015

Bills aimed at protecting teens exploited by sex traffickers and to shutter massage parlors involved in prostitution will be introduced in the Alabama Legislature this spring, the chairman of the state's legislative task force on human trafficking said this week. Read more here.

Ramsey County, Minnesota Safe Harbors Youth Intervention Project

The Safe Harbors Youth Intervention Project granted by the Minnesota Legislature developed a victim services model to address the needs of sexually exploited youth including: juvenile runaways; truants; victims of criminal sexual conduct; prostitution; labor trafficking; sex trafficking; and domestic abuse and assault. Read more here.

Montana Anti-Trafficking Project Holds First Run for Freedom

On December 7, state representative Kimberly Dudik’s organization, the Montana Anti-Trafficking Project, held its first Run for Freedom 5-kilometer race in Missoula as part of an effort to raise money for the group, which works to raise awareness and prevent human trafficking in Montana. Read more here.

Nebraska Capitol Goes Blue for Awareness

The Nebraska Capitol in Lincoln was illuminated in blue light on January 11 for a vigil in support of victims of human trafficking and awareness about the issue. Read more here.

Washington State Continued Work on Trafficking in 2014

Four bills and one Senate Joint Memorial were passed in 2014, covering a wide range of issues regarding human trafficking. Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Network past president, worked to get the bills passed. Read more here.

Friends of the network

Thank You to Our Newest Sponsor!

The Women’s Legislative Network welcomes the Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association as an Alliance sponsor.

Sharing Our Views: From Network Alliance Sponsors

NovartisThe complex nature of treating cancers is reflected in the extraordinary number of oncology patients suffering from a multitude of deadly strains, each with its specific pathway and potential treatment. According to the American Cancer Association, while death rates are decreasing, new incidences have showed no signs of slowing down. Last year, in the U.S. alone, 1.7 million new cancer cases were diagnosed from over 45 body sites. An estimated 580,000 patients died from cancer-related causes in 2013. Next to heart disease, cancer is the leading cause of death in the U.S.

A new, highly focused and scientifically proven model is evolving, championed by Novartis and other drug developers: Precision Oncology, the use of information that is related to the genomic makeup of a particular cancer to treat that cancer or to prognosticate for that cancer. The treatments that result, or “targeted therapies,” are drugs that are designed to block the growth and spread of cancer by interfering with specific molecules (molecular targets) that are involved in the growth progression and spread of cancer.

This contrasts sharply with traditional chemotherapy drugs that act against all actively dividing cells, healthy or not.  Targeted cancer therapies that have been approved for use against specific cancers include agents that prevent cell growth signaling, interfere with tumor development, stimulate the immune system to destroy cancer cells and deliver drugs directly to cancer cells at a vulnerable location or stage of growth.

Understanding the continued urgent need for many of these agents, Novartis Oncology has pioneered an innovative program called Signature in the U.S., which flips the traditional clinical research model by bringing the protocol to the patient.  The program rapidly matches patients to investigational drugs that target their tumor’s molecular abnormality. Instead of asking patients to travel great distances to access the trial at a limited number of participating sites, the program can be started at any research office in the country, and there is no limit on the number of participating physicians. Community oncologists can register patients in this program that rapidly matches them to Novartis investigational therapies that target their specific molecular abnormality, regardless of tumor type. This method not only speeds up the required patient enrollments for clinical trials, but also enables testing of a drug’s safety and effectiveness on a variety of cancers at one time. This also gives patients who meet eligibility criteria greater and more timely access–a win-win for everyone!

As Signature expands its footprint in the research and development landscape, Novartis will continue to reinforce its commitment to clinical trials and drug development as well as providing access to more underserved patients.