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1. Our American States

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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20

Paul MannaThe guest on this podcast is Paul Manna, a professor of government and public policy at William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va. Manna has written extensively about federal and state education policy.

A key focus of Manna’s research concerns the role of principals in K-12 education and ways to identify and groom candidates to become principals.

Manna talks about the critical role principals play, how a principal pipeline can work and why the investment in principal training is worthwhile. He also shared some thoughts for how legislators can approach the issue and policies that can help foster school leaders.

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13

States faced myriad challenges trying to acquire everything from personal protective equipment to hospital sinks during the pandemic. The guests on this podcast—George Schutter, chief procurement officer for the District of Columbia, and Lindle Hatton, the CEO of the National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO)—know those challenges all too well.

Our two guests discuss when the emergency first became clear, the rush to acquire goods, how emergency operations centers were activated during the crisis and the key lessons learned. They offer advice to legislators, suggest policy and process changes for the next emergency and reflect on what they learned.

George Schutter, DCLindle Hatton, NASPO

 

 

 

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07

There is an increasing focus at the state and federal level on policies to require greater cost transparency in health care. While there’s debate about how effective these policies are, the goal is to allow comparison shopping on the part of consumers and employers with the aim of controlling the increasing cost of health care.

The guest on the podcast is an expert in the area of health data and analytics. Niall Brennan is the president and CEO of the Health Care Cost Institute, a nonprofit that focuses on data to analyze key issues affecting the U.S. health care system. Brennan previously was chief data officer for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Brennan discusses the pros and cons of price transparency, examples of where it’s been effective and his skepticism about the individual consumer’s use of the information. He also shares some surprising examples of price variation for the same medical procedure in the same area—even in the same hospital group. 

Niall Brennan, Health Care Cost Institute

 

 

 

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24

The federal minimum wage has been a hot topic this year and was debated during discussion of the 2021 Raise the Wage Act before Congress. The wage has been $7.25 an hour since 2009, and proponents of an increase say it is not adequate given the rising cost of living. Opponents argue an increase will place an undue burden on businesses, especially small businesses just coming out of the pandemic.

Many businesses have set higher minimum wages and 29 states and Washington, D.C., also have rates above the federal minimum.

On the podcast to discuss the topic are Dave Cooper, a senior economic analyst at the Economic policy Institute and an expert on the minimum wage. Also on the show is Saige Draeger, an NCSL policy expert.

Cooper, whose organization did research that informed the legislation, discussed who earns both the federal and state minimum wage and how raising it might affect public benefits and small businesses. He also talked about pros and cons of state legislators setting the minimum wage for their states. Draeger explained how states have taken action regarding the minimum wage.

Dave Cooper, Economic Policy InstituteSaige Draeger, NCSL

 

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