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.

1. Our American States

09

Our American States

podcast As legislatures begin their sessions, this podcast takes the opportunity to talk with the CEO of NCSL for some perspective on the coming year.

Since this podcast started in 2016, we’ve featured interviews first with Bill Pound and now with Tim Storey, who has been at the helm of NCSL since mid-2019.

Storey talked about how the ongoing pandemic will affect both how legislatures meet and the topics they tackle. Those include education, taxes and oversight of the unprecedented federal money flowing to the states.

He also talked about this decade’s redistricting cycle and the 2022 election, and why there may not be as much change at the state level as some expect.

Tim Storey, NCSL

 

 

 

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19

Our American States

podcast

The U.S. population is aging. In a little more than a decade, people 65 and older will outnumber children. Those older adults face economic, social and other challenges including the need for an array of long-term services.

Policymakers in a number of states are considering comprehensive approaches to support older adults. A few states have created what are termed master plans for aging that outline how the state can take on challenges in housing, transportation, health care, and other sectors.

Th guests on this podcast are Holly Riley, the aging services coordination director for Texas Health and Human Services, and Jarett Hughes, a senior policy advisor on aging for the governor of Colorado.

My guests discuss how their states are planning for this aging population, how they’ve tried to get key groups to work together on the effort and some of the lessons learned over years of developing their state plans.

Holly Riley, TexasJarett Hughes, Colorado

 

 

 

 

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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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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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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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18

Teresa BejanCivility in politics seems to be a subject of almost constant discussion. Our guest today has written and spoken extensively on the topic. Teresa M. Bejan is an associate professor of political theory and fellow of Oriel College at the University of Oxford. She is the author of “Mere Civility: Disagreement and the Limits of Toleration,” published in 2017.

Bejan will be the keynote speaker at NCSL’s online Base Camp event on Aug. 4 at 11 a.m. ET.

In this podcast, she talks about how civility works in politics, the difference between civility and talking about civility, the polarized state of our politics and more.

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11

Steven Cliff, NHTSATraffic safety is an issue of critical concern to state leaders, especially after a year that saw a sharp increase in traffic deaths.

On this podcast to address the issue is Steven Cliff, the acting administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA.

Cliff spent several years in a variety of roles at the California Air Resources Board and previously worked as a research professor at the University of California at Davis. He holds a Ph.D. in chemistry.

Cliff discussed how NHTSA and the states can work together on traffic safety issues, the increase in traffic fatalities during the pandemic, ongoing efforts to combat impaired driving and much more.

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