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July 28, 2010

Neufeld Will Help Lead National Legislative Organization

Kansas representative previously held VP position, now will become president-elect.

LOUISVILLE, KY. – Kansas Representative Melvin Neufeld ascended to president-elect of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), a bipartisan organization that serves the nation’s 7,382 state lawmakers. He took office during NCSL's Legislative Summit in Louisville, Ky., on Wed., July 28.

Representative Neufeld will serve one year in the position and become president during the 2011-2012 conference year. Neufeld has been actively involved in NCSL for more than two decades.

As the voice of state legislatures within our nation’s federal system of government, NCSL is poised to tackle many challenges in the next few years.

“The relationship between the states and the federal government is at a critical juncture,” said Representative Neufeld. “Congress’ inability to address the nation’s most pressing problems leaves it up to state legislators. I’m excited to work with my colleagues around the country to stand up for state’s role and initiatives and to facilitate the exchange of ideas to address these issues."

Recently, NCSL worked hard with members of Congress to introduce The Main Street Fairness Act, H.R. 5660, which gives states that sign the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement the authority to collect sales taxes from all remote sellers not qualifying for the small business exception. This action will equalize the market for all sellers, regardless if they are a brick-and-mortar retailer on Main Street or an online seller in another state. To date, 24 states have enacted legislation to comply with the agreement.

NCSL also continues to push Congress to provide states an additional six months of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s enhanced match for Medicaid (FMAP). The extension would cover the period between Jan. 1 and June 30, 2011, which represents the second half of fiscal year (FY) 2011 for nearly all states. Thirty states have either proposed or already enacted budgets for FY 2011 on the assumption that Congress would approve the six-month extension.

The bipartisan organization’s lobbying priorities are determined through the work of NCSL's 12 standing committees. Neufeld will play a key role in advocating the organization's state/federal priorities for the coming year, including:

  • Passing federal comprehensive immigration reform.
  • Assisting legislatures in dealing with the new federal health care reform laws.  
  • Opposing all unfunded mandates.
  • Reducing the federal deficit, while preserving the intergovernmental relationship.

Representative Neufeld, a Republican from Ingalls, Kan., is the chair of the Kansas Federal and State Affairs Committee and former speaker of the House. In addition to serving on NCSL’s 60-member Executive Committee, Neufeld is the chair of NCSL’s programs and strategic planning subcommittee.

Representative Neufeld was elected to represent the 115th district in 1985-1988 and re-elected in 1990. He is a life-long Ingalls resident, a graduate of Ingalls High School, and a third generation Gray County farmer. Rep. Neufeld belongs to the Kansas Farm Bureau, Kansas Livestock Association, Santa Fe Railroad Modeling Society, Shepard of the Plains Foundation; the Nazarene Church; and is past president of the Gray County Extension Council and a member of the Kansas State Extension Council.

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.