Capitol to Capitol | Oct. 29, 2018

  • NCSL Capitol Forum Policy Deadline is Nov.  7


Oct. 31 is commonly called All Hallows’ Eve, or Halloween and has a rich folkloric tradition, but DYK that the night before Halloween is a real holiday as well? In New Jersey, it’s known as ‘Mischief Night,’ in Detroit, it’s ‘Devil’s Night’ and in Cincinnati, it’s … ‘Cabbage Night.’

NCSL's Washington, D.C., staff advocate before Congress, the White House and federal agencies for the benefit of state legislatures in accord with the policy directives and resolutions recommended by the standing committees and adopted at an NCSL business meeting. Because of the policy decisions voted on by the standing committees, NCSL is nationally recognized as a formidable advocacy force in state-federal relations.

All new policy directives and resolutions, as well as amendments to existing directives and resolutions, must be submitted to the attention of the NCSL Washington office director Molly Ramsdell ( by the close of business on Nov. 7, to be considered at the NCSL Capitol Forum in Washington, D.C.

Upcoming Capitol Forum Dates:

  • Wednesday, Nov. 7: Deadline for legislators to submit any new policies or amendments to existing policies. NCSL Policy Directives and Resolutions
  • Wednesday, Nov. 14: Hotel reservations must be completed to take advantage of NCSL’s discount room rates ($181 plus tax).
  • Wednesday, Nov. 20: Final day to access the advanced registration rate of $400 for legislators and legislative staff.

NCSL’s 2018 Capitol Forum will take place Dec. 5–7 in Washington, D.C., at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill.

NCSL Contact:  Molly Ramsdell

Letter Sent to GAO Requesting Review of Intergovernmental Offices

Last week, a letter was sent by Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) on behalf of the Speaker’s Task Force on Intergovernmental Affairs to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) requesting it conduct a comparative review of intergovernmental offices within executive branch agencies. The task force was established to examine ways to improve collaboration between the federal government and state, tribal, and local governments. NCSL sits on the advisory council of the task force and helps to ensure state legislatures are engaged by federal agencies when formulating and implementing policies that have federalism implications.

The full letter sent to GAO can be found here.

NCSL Contact: Molly Ramsdell

Administration Releases State Relief and Empowerment Waivers


In 1918, the U.S. established daylight saving time in the midst of the nation’s involvement in World War I as a way to conserve fuel needed for war industry and was repealed after the war was over. Congress reimplemented it in 1942 for World War II and it has remained since. The European Union looks likely to end daylight saving time in 2019 and a number of states have also looked to end it.

Last week the administration released guidance regarding state authority under section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act. The new State Relief and Empowerment Waivers can be used by states to make changes to their state insurance markets, including the creation of reinsurance programs. Some of the more notable changes include how many people can be covered under the waivers and the ability to provide subsidies for short-term plans. Previous authority required that reinsurance waivers prove that no individuals would lose coverage under a 1332 waiver; this requirement will no longer apply. Regarding association health plans and short-term plans, states can now use marketplace subsidies to purchase these types of plans, but they must still meet health plan requirements set by the state.

States applying for these waivers must also: Promote sustainable spending and cost-effective health coverage, foster state innovation and promote consumer-driven health care. This guidance has gone into effect and will be applicable for 2020 health insurance enrollment.

HHS Newsletter Page

NCSL Contacts: Haley Nicholson, Abbie Gruwell

Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions Released

On Oct. 17, the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs released the Fall 2018 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. More commonly known as the Unified Agenda, the report is a semiannual update on the administration’s past, present and anticipated regulatory actions across the federal government.

The Unified Agenda is in line with the president’s executive order (EO) 13771 from Jan. 30, 2017, which directed that for every new significant federal regulation implemented, two must be rescinded, and for agencies to offset any new regulatory costs. For more detailed information, read the NRI Committee’s Information Alert.

NCSL Contacts: Ben Husch, Kristen Hildreth

Model Law Seeks to Regulate HAV and Drones

Last week, NCSL staff attended a meeting of the Uniform Law Commission’s Drafting Committees on Highly Automated Vehicles (HAV) and Drones. The HAV committee reviewed its current draft model state law that, if enacted by a state, provides for the basis for establishing a formal process to allow for the operation of HAVs based on current state authorities concerning motor vehicles.

The drone committee’s draft law discussion focused on whether a property owner or lessee has the per se right to exclude a drone from the airspace above the property or whether substantial interference must also be involved in a trespass for the owner to have a cause of action. The draft model bill also covers the legality of how certain “private facts” are obtained by a drone. Both bills are currently in the middle of Uniform Law Commission’s multiyear process of developing model state laws. 

NCSL Contact: Ben Husch

REAL ID Compliance Extensions Update

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that 37 states, territories, and the District of Columbia have been determined by DHS as compliant with the REAL ID federal requirements for state issued drivers licenses and identification card. The other 19 jurisdictions are noncompliant but have been granted a temporary extension from enforcement.  Extensions are granted at the discretion of Homeland Security Secretary Kristjen Nielsen and for this extension cycle, DHS has issued limited compliance extensions for only the amount of time that states or territories, according to DHS, need to both begin issuing REAL IDs and to complete the DHS compliance review. Read more information about DHS Real ID compliance.

NCSL Contacts: Ben Husch, Kristen Hildreth

NCSL in DC Committee Newsletters

Looking for more detailed information about federal issues that could affect states? NCSL’s committee newsletters released every month give you up-to-date insight on:

On This Day, Oct. 29, in…

  • 1929:  The New York Stock Exchange crashes in what will be called the Crash of ’29 or “Black Tuesday,” ending the Great Bull Market of the 1920s and beginning the Great Depression.
  • 1960:  Muhammad Ali, then known as Cassius Clay, won his first professional fight in a six-round unanimous decision. His opponent said, “Clay was as fast as lightning.”
  • 1969:  The U.S. Supreme Court ordered an immediate end to all school segregation.
  • 2008:  Delta Air Lines merged with Northwest Airlines, creating the world’s largest airline and reducing the number of U.S. legacy carriers to five.

Read the Oct. 22 Capitol-to-Capitol.

Capitol to Capitol will return on Nov. 13.

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NCSL's Advocacy in Washington

NCSL's Washington staff advocate Congress, the White House and federal agencies on behalf of state legislatures in accord with the policy directives and resolutions that are recommended by the NCSL Standing Committees and adopted by the full conference at the annual NCSL Legislative Summit Business Meeting. As a result of the advocacy that is guided by these policies positions, NCSL is recognized as a formidable lobbying force in state-federal relations.

NCSL Staff in Washington, D.C.

  • Molly Ramsdell | 202-624-3584 | Director
  • Jake Lestock | 202-624-8171 | Budgets and Revenue
  • Danielle Dean | 202-624-8698 | Communications, Financial Services
  • Susan Frederick | 202-624-3566 | Law, Criminal Justice, and Public Safety
  • Abbie Gruwell 202-624-3569 | Human Services
  • Ben Husch | 202-624-7779 | Natural Resources and Infrastructure 
  • Jon Jukuri  | 202-624-8663 | Labor, Economic Development and International Trade
  • Haley Nicholson | 202-624-8662 | Health
  • Molly Ramsdell | 202-624-3584 | Commerce and Financial Services
  • Joan Wodiska | 202-624-3558 | Education