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.

27

Our American States

podcastThe economy in the U.S. went on a wild ride during the pandemic. Many of the challenges in the workforce became headline news, from dropping labor force participation to the Great Resignation.

The guests on this podcast offer two key perspectives on how legislators and states generally can promote workforce development.

Sen. Becky Massey (R) is a state legislator from Tennessee who has worked extensively on workforce issues and just recently took on the role of co-chair of NCSL’s Labor and Economic Development Committee. She talks about what her state has done in this area and offers suggestions for legislators in other states who wat to tackle the issue.

Eric Seleznow is with the Center for Apprenticeship & Work-Based Learning at Jobs for the Future.  He previously served as deputy assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. He’s also had other roles in state and federal government focused on workforce development. He discussed how apprenticeships and other efforts can help states bolster their workforce.

Sen. Becky Massey, TennesseeEric Seleznow, JFF

 

 

 

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20

Legislatures: The Inside Storey

podcastStorytelling is the focus for this episode of the podcast. How you tell a story can be critical to leadership, and your success in getting your ideas across, especially to people who don’t already know you.

Our guide for this discussion is Donna Washington, a master storyteller, who has won multiple awards for her storytelling CDs and work at international festivals. She’s written several children’s books and has served on the North Carolina Storytelling Guild and on the board of the National Association of Black Storytellers.

She talks about how she became a storyteller and why crafting a “we” story instead if a “me” story can help us connect with people, no matter what their background.

Donna Washington

 

 

 

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07

Our American States

podcastData privacy is a topic that has captured the attention of many state legislators across the country. In 2021, data privacy legislation was introduced in 38 states and the most common type of legislation was comprehensive privacy legislation along the lines of legislation in California.

But enacting legislation has been far more difficult.

Episode guests Rep. Josh West, the Republican majority leader in the Oklahoma House, and Collin Walke, a Democratic member, teamed up to work on comprehensive legislation Their bill passed the House last year but not yet been heard in the Oklahoma Senate. They discussed how they first became interested in the topic of data privacy and how they ended up working together.

They also explained why they started a podcast, “Inside the Capitol.” The show has been a way to educate colleagues and constituents about data privacy, but episodes examined other policy topics, budgets, civility and more. And, they say, it’s a way to signal civility and bipartisanship.

Rep. Josh West, Oklahoma Rep. Collin Walke, Oklahoma

 

 

 

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27

Our American States

podcastThe $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, or IIJA, was signed by President Biden in November 2021. The lion’s share of that money will go to states, through a variety of programs, for roads, bridges, highways, broadband, water projects and more.

To help us understand this tsunami of spending, we spoke with Molly Ramsdell, director of NCSL’s state-federal relations division, and Marcia Howard, the executive director of Federal Funds Information for States.

Ramsdell and Howard discussed how the money is being distributed and the flexibility states have in deciding how to spend it. The bulk of the money will go to transportation projects, but some will be distributed by formula and other money will be given out through to competitive grants. They also discussed the money for broadband and explained that since Congress is still operating under a continuing resolution to fund the government, some of the money in the act will not be available for some time.

Marcia Howard, FFISMolly Ramsdell, NCSL

 

 

 

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20

Legislatures: The Inside Storey

podcastOn this episode of “Legislatures: The Inside Storey,” NCSL CEO Tim Storey, talks with David Toscano, a seven-term legislator in the Virginia House of Delegates. He held the seat once occupied by Thomas Jefferson in the Virginia House of Burgesses. First elected in 2005, he served as Democratic leader in the house from 2011 to 2018.

In 2021, Toscano published “Fighting Political Gridlock: How States Shape Our Nation and Our Lives.”

He talked with Tim about the critical role of states in affecting our daily lives, how states have led the way on a number of critical issues and, in contrast, how increasingly ineffective the legislatures is at the federal level. He also talked about the need to increase people’s understanding of the role of state government.

David Toscano

 

 

 

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13

Our American States

podcast Diabetes is a major health challenge in the U.S. About 30 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes, and the American Diabetes Association estimates several million more are undiagnosed. Millions of people with diabetes use insulin to control their condition, and the cost of insulin has been rising dramatically.

In response, 18 states have implemented laws limiting the amount a health plan can charge a patient for insulin. Other states have created patient assistance programs or ensured payments made on behalf of a patient are applied solely to the patient’s out-of-pocket costs.

The guests on this podcast—Delegate Matthew Rohrbach(R) of West Virginia and Rep. Michael Howard of Minnesota(DFL)—both carried legislation in their states to help patients afford their medication. They discussed the details of their legislation and the challenges in passing it. They also shared advice for other legislators who are working on the issue.

Delegate Matthew Rohrbach (R), West VirginiaRep. Michael Howard (DFL), Minnesota

 

 

 

 

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Category: Health
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23

Our American States

podcast Congress approved more than $5.2 trillion in relief and stimulus funding since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. States were given spending authority over a great deal of that money.

The three guests on this podcast, all NCSL experts, discuss the size and complexity of the different pieces of legislation, the push to give states flexibility in how they spend the money and why most of the federal education funding was given directly to school districts.  They also got into the nuts and bolts of how different states are using different approaches to dealing with the money.

The guests on the podcast include:

  • Erlinda Doherty, director of the budget and revenue committee at NCSL’s Washington, D.C., office.
  • Austin Reid, senior legislative director for education policy at NCSL in the D.C. office.
  • Emily Maher, a senior policy specialist in NCSL’s Fiscal Affairs Program in Denver.

Emily Maher, NCSLAustin Reid, NCSL

 

 

 

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Category: Fiscal
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16

Legislatures: The Inside Storey

podcastVernice “FlyGirl” Armour was the first Black female combat pilot in the U.S. military. She served two tours in Iraq with the U.S. Marine Corps, flying missions in the AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopter.

Armour is NCSL CEO Tim Storey’s guest on this episode of “Legislatures: The Inside Storey.”

They discussed how her military experience shaped her attitudes about teamwork and leadership and the critical importance of communications and listening.

Vernice "FlyGirl" Armour

 

 

 

 

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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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