NCSL podcasts connect you with state legislatures, offering insights from legislative leaders and staff, astute political observers and public policy experts from across the nation. Download or stream our collection today.

17

Our American States

podcastThe death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May 2020 sparked a cascade of state legislation affecting policing policy. There were more than 3,000 bills that were considered in legislatures, and more than 400 were signed into law.

The legislation came from both sides of the aisle. For this podcast, we spoke with Rep. Leslie Herod, a Democract from Colorado, and Sen. Whitney Westerfield, a Republican from Kentucky.

Herod discusses legislation she sponsored shortly after Floyd’s death that was one of the first pieces of legislation enacted in the nation. She also talks about how the death of Elijah McClain in Colorado galvanized efforts to pass legislation.

Westerfield is a leader in criminal justice issues in Kentucky, where the death of Breonna Taylor helped spur action around no-knock warrants. He discusses how bringing all the parties together was critical to passing good legislation.

Also on this episode is Amber Widgery, who tracks a number of criminal justice issues for NCSL. Amber talks about the trends in legislation, the bipartisan nature of the efforts in many places and the surprising fact that legislatures are addressing policies that affect law enforcement at the local level. She’s also putting together a session on this topic for NCSL’s Legislative Summit Nov. 3-5 in Tampa, Fla.

Amber Widgery, NCSLRep Leslie Herod, ColoradoSen Whitney Westerfield, Kentucky

 

 

 

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10

Legislatures: The Inside Storey

podcastLeadership is a perennial topic of interest for those in the legislative world and few are better at digging into the topic that Nancy Koehn.

Koehn is a historian at the Harvard Business School where she holds the James E. Robinson chair of Business Administration. She is a prolific writer, the author of dozens of journal articles and several books. Her most recent book was “Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times.” It explores how five great leaders dealt with crisis. She is also frequently quoted in the press and shares what she’s learned studying leaders for more than two decades. 

She joins host Tim Storey, the executive director of NCSL, for this wide-ranging conversation about the qualities of great leaders, the nature of courage, whether a great leader needs a vision and much more. Koehn also shares her favorite books and movies, some of which might surprise you.

Nancy Koehn, Harvard

 

 

 

 

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26

Our American States

podcastNCSL’s Legislative Summit is back Nov. 3-5 in Tampa, Fla.

On this podcast, we talk with three of NCSL’s experts about some of the sessions coming up at the Summit.

Natalie Wood, director of NCSL’s Center for Legislative Strengthening, discusses a session on legislative oversight during an emergency, lessons learned by legislatures during the pandemic and why tension between the executive and legislative branches is actually a sign of a healthy state government.

The second guest is Erica MacKellar, a fiscal expert from NCSL, who previews a session on the state of state budgets and some of what attendees will hear from economist Dan White, a speaker at the Summit.

Kate Blackman, director of NCSL’s Health Program, rounds out the group. She highlights sessions planned for Summit that will look at the pandemic and its effect on the health care system, mental health and child care.

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19

Our American States

podcastRedistricting is finally upon us. The once-a-decade process uses data from the census to draw congressional and state legislative districts in the states. Legislatures are in charge of redistricting, though commissions also play a role in some states.

Delayed data from the U.S. Census Bureau has left states behind in the process compared to earlier cycles. On this podcast, Wendy Underhill, who oversees election and redistricting issues at NCSL, talks about how the delays have affected states, what they did to prepare, new tools citizens can use to make their voices heard, and some thoughts on what she’s learned during her immersion over the past few years in the world of redistricting.

Wendy Underhill, NCSL

 

 

 

 

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Category: Redistricting
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08

Legislatures: The Inside Storey

podcastWelcome to the inaugural episode of “Legislatures: The Inside Storey,” a new podcast from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

On this first episode, Tim Storey, the executive director of NCSL, sits down with John Medina, a molecular biologist best known for his book “Brain Rules,” which explains how what we know about the brain can affect how we teach our children, approach our jobs and even change our daily lives.

They discussed how we communicate, the perils of power and how Medina switched from being an animator to studying brain science.

John Medina

 

 

 

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01

Overview

podcastNCSL’s Our American States podcast presents a special six-part series, “Building Democracy: The Story of Legislatures.” This new mini-series covers the history, characters and stories of state legislatures in America, from the beginnings in Jamestown, to the present day and into the future.

Each episode in the series will contain interviews with experts from inside and outside the legislative world to provide a comprehensive view of historical events and their legacy in today’s legislatures. Extras will include extended guest interview clips, articles in NCSL’s State Legislatures magazine, blogs and resources for those who want to dive deeper into topics covered in the podcast.

Episode 6

Our special podcast miniseries concludes by looking to the future of legislatures and how—in this centuries long relay of representative democracy—those currently serving will pass the baton to those who will lead these institutions into the future. With an exemplary lineup of guests, we examine possible challenges and future successes and explore how legislatures can honor long-held traditions and processes while building stronger, more effective and more representative 21st-century bodies.

Guests

  • Scott Bedke, speaker, Idaho House of Representatives
  • Nicole Cannizzaro, majority leader, Nevada State Senate
  • Jason Frierson, speaker, Nevada House of Representatives
  • Margaret O’Brien, secretary, Michigan Senate
  • Tim Storey, executive director, NCSL

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22

Our American States

podcastThe cost of higher education, the amount of student loan debt, the percentage of students who receive degrees and other related issues have been debated in legislatures and on the campaign trail. Proposals for a new federal state-partnership on higher education and for free community college are among the issues being debated.

On this podcast we hear from Kevin Carey and Jason Delisle, both experts on higher education policy. Carey is the vice president for education policy and knowledge management at New America, a policy research organization. Delisle is a senior policy fellow at the Urban Institute.

The two discussed the track record on affordability, access and outcomes in U.S public higher education and the different approaches states have taken. They also assessed proposals for state-federal partnerships and the likelihood that different states might have very different attitudes toward the type of partnerships being proposed.

While they differ on a number of points, both agreed the complexities of how a federal-state partnership would work are largely missing from the public debate.

This topic also will be on the agenda for NCSL’s Legislative Summit in Tampa, Fla., Nov. 3-5.

Kevin Carey, New AmericaJason Delisle, Urban Institute

 

 

 

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15

The crushing strain of caring for patients the last year and half of pandemic has taken a toll on health care workers. Legislatures play an important role in this area by creating laws for licensure and regulation.

On the podcast to discuss the workforce and how to help health care workers cope with the current challenges is Dr. Luis Padilla, the associate administrator for health workforce at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Padilla also serves as director of the National Health Service Corps.

Padilla discusses how HRSA supports states in strengthening the workforce. He also talked about the growing role of telehealth and the important role states have in regulating scope of practice rules.

The other guest is Sydne Enlund from NCSL. Enlund tracks of scope of practice laws across the country and maintains a website on the topic with interactive maps dealing with nurse practitioners, physician assistants, pharmacists and more. She discusses the role legislatures have played in modifying regulations for workers during the pandemic.

Dr Luis Padilla, HRSASydne Enlund, NCSL

 

 

 

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08

One of the most promising areas of cancer treatment involves identifying the cancer a person has and using therapies targeted at just that cancer. This field of precision medicine or targeted medicine is not well understood by most lawmakers or the general public.

On the podcast to discuss this emerging field is Dr. Carl Morrison, a molecular biologist and pathologist who is the senior vice president of Scientific Development and Integrative Medicine at the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, N.Y. He is one of the nation’s leading researchers in the field.

Our second guest is Karmen Hanson, a policy expert at NCSL. She explains why these new treatments are important for legislators to understand, both so they can aid their constituents and because of the costs to the health care system.

Dr. Carl MorrisonKarmen Hanson, NCSL

 

 

 

 

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25

This is the second of a two-part series on the Quad Caucus, a coalition of the four national caucuses of color representing Asian-Pacific American, Black, Native American and Hispanic legislators. Combined, the four groups represent more than 1,400 state lawmakers.

On the earlier podcast, we spoke with Washington Representative Sharon Tomiko Santos (D) and Kansas Representative Barbara Ballard (D) about their work with the Quad Caucus.

On this show, we talk with Senator Daniel Ivey-Soto (D), president of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators, and Senator Benny Shendo (D), chair of the National Caucus of Native American State Legislators. Both are from New Mexico.

They discussed the work of their caucuses, the census and redistricting, some of the challenges facing their communities and more.

Senator Daniel Ivey-Soto, New MexicoSenator Benny Shendo, New Mexico

 

 

 

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