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.

Entries for June 2021


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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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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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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