Aug. 18, 2011
Legislators Vote on Policies to Guide NCSL in Year Ahead
SAN ANTONIO – State legislators from across the country voted on policies to guide advocacy efforts with the federal government by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Lawmakers addressed a broad range of issues, bound by a shared belief that the state-federal partnership operates best when states are not hindered by preemptive restrictions and unfunded mandates.
“These policy statements, agreed upon by vote of the state legislators who make up the membership of NCSL,” said NCSL’s new president, Senator Stephen Morris of Kansas, “will guide us in the year ahead as we pursue the states’ agenda in Washington, D.C.”
Positions voted on at the business meeting call on the federal government to:
Unfunded Mandates: Reassess the Unfunded Mandate Reform Act and broaden its scope to increase its effectiveness. The growth of unfunded federal mandates imposed on states and localities is one of the most serious fiscal issues confronting state and local government officials.
Banking Regulation: Preserve our nation’s dual banking system and enhance state authority to protect consumers of financial services.
21st Century Communications: Ensure all Americans have access to broadband networks and the most advanced technologies through a state-federal partnership and protect consumers of wireless services through a national framework.
Intellectual Property: Protect intellectual property to improve our nation’s long-term competitiveness in the global marketplace.
Main Street Fairness Act: Support the Main Street Fairness Act authorizing states to collect sales and use taxes from remote sellers.
Education: Be a supportive partner rather than the intrusive, top-down authoritarian of recent years by encouraging innovation at the state and local levels, where it is easier to change policies quickly and be more sensitive to public needs.
Medicaid: Support relief from the maintenance of effort requirement, and the inclusion of countercyclical assistance. Several other policies pertaining to Medicaid were also voted on.
To view the policy statements in their entirety, please click here.
Voting took place during the annual business meeting at NCSL’s Legislative Summit on Thursday, Aug. 11. NCSL’s rules and bylaws were also amended to enhance the bipartisan development of the states’ agenda.
NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.