SLC Publications

Prepared under the auspices of SLC’s six standing committees, SLC Regional Resources provide a regional analysis on the background and current status of the most prevalent and unique state government policy issues facing Southern states. Focusing on policy issues, trends and developments particular to the South, these reports provide a point of reference that allows SLC members to view their state’s governmental policies in relation to their closest neighbors.

SLC Special Series Reports provide an in-depth analysis of key policy issues facing Southern states. Addressing governmental issues with multiple layers and highly nuanced solutions, these reports provide an extensive analysis of national, economic and political trends, along with an additional focus on how these developments relate to the SLC member states and the region as a whole.

SLC Issue Alerts comprise concise reports on recent and quickly approaching state and federal developments of importance to the Southern region. These communications keep SLC members apprised of forthcoming opportunities, concerns and deadlines on policy issues with short timelines.

Comparative Data Reports (CDRs) are prepared annually by select SLC states’ fiscal research departments. These reports track a multitude of revenue sources and appropriations levels in Southern states and serve as a useful tool to legislators and legislative staff alike in determining their respective state spending.


Policy Analysis | August 27, 2018

Medical Marijuana Laws in Southern States

Anne Roberts Brody, Policy Analyst

Of the 15 states comprising the Southern Legislative Conference, five (Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Oklahoma and West Virginia) have laws establishing comprehensive medical marijuana programs.* Of those, only Florida’s medical marijuana program is fully operational. Programs in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and West Virginia are still in the developmental phases.

Within the public policy community, a consensus has emerged on what constitutes a comprehensive medical marijuana program. Such programs are characterized by four key criteria:

  1. Access to medical marijuana (often through a dispensary or home grow operation)
  2. Patient registry and/or other identification systems
  3. Protection from criminal prosecution
  4. Allow for a variety of medical marijuana forms (oils, tinctures, sprays, chewables, etc.)

Access to medical marijuana that meets established quality standards is an essential component of state medical marijuana laws. All five Southern states with comprehensive medical marijuana laws have established a framework for licensing dispensaries. While some states outside the region allow qualified patients and/or designated caregivers to grow limited amounts of marijuana, within the Southern region, only Oklahoma allows licensed patients to grow marijuana. Oklahoma State Question 788, approved by voters on June 26, 2018, authorizes licensed patients to legally possess six mature or seedling marijuana plants.

Continue Reading

Policy Analysis | August 20, 2018

Suicides Rates in the South

Roger Moore, Policy Analyst

In June 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report documenting the high – and growing – number of suicides across the United States. In 2016, the last year for which the CDC has comprehensive data, 45,000 people died by suicide, an increase of 25.4 percent over 1999 levels. Nevada, where deaths by suicide were down 1 percent between 1999-2016, was the only state that did not experience an increase during this period.

Seven of the 15 states in the South, including Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina and West Virginia, experienced increases in suicide rates between 1999-2016 that were higher than the national average of 25.4 percent. The remaining seven states in the region were below the average, from a high of 24.2 percent in Tennessee, to a low of 10.6 percent in Florida.

Among Southern states, Oklahoma had the highest number of deaths by suicide per capita in 2016, with 21 per 100,000, followed by West Virginia, Missouri and Arkansas, all of which were among the top 15 nationally in this category. Meanwhile, North Carolina, Mississippi and Texas had the fewest number of suicides per 100,000 in the South, with rates of 13.0, 12.7 and 12.6, respectively. The national average was 13.5 deaths by suicide per 100,000, a number surpassed by 10 states in the SLC region.

Continue Reading

Policy Analysis | August 1, 2018

Apprenticeships in the South

Roger Moore, Policy Analyst

Due to a lack of training and education among prospective employees, many businesses often have difficulty finding enough skilled workers to remain competitive in the global economy. This is particularly the case for positions that require moderate to high levels of technical knowledge, which are critical for sustained success in today’s job market.

Successful apprenticeship programs, which have proven valuable for both businesses and students, can help state and local leaders address the skills gap that exists in many industries. For businesses, apprenticeships can nurture student interest in careers related to their industry, potentially increasing the number of applicants in the future and improving employee retention and productivity. They also facilitate robust partnerships with schools, thereby ensuring that education standards include the skills and training necessary to succeed in growing industries. For students, apprenticeships offer the opportunity to apply content learned in the classroom to the workplace, allowing them to explore career options by gaining critical work experience. Apprentices also can interact with mentors who can assist them later when they are seeking career opportunities.

Continue Reading

Comparative Data Report | July 18, 2018

Adult Correctional Systems

Monique Appeaning, Fiscal Analyst/Special Projects Coordinator, Legislative Fiscal Office, Louisiana

Comparative Data Reports (CDRs) are prepared annually by select SLC states’ fiscal research departments. These reports track a multitude of revenue sources and appropriations levels in Southern states and serve as a useful tool to legislators and legislative staff alike in determining their respective state spending.

Download this report (PDF)


Comparative Data Report | July 17, 2018

Education

Hank Hager, Counsel, Senate Education Committee, West Virginia

Comparative Data Reports (CDRs) are prepared annually by select SLC states’ fiscal research departments. These reports track a multitude of revenue sources and appropriations levels in Southern states and serve as a useful tool to legislators and legislative staff alike in determining their respective state spending.

Download this report (PDF)


Comparative Data Report | July 16, 2018

Medicaid

Fiscal Analyst Zach Rau and Section Director Shawn Hotstream, Louisiana Legislative Fiscal Office

Comparative Data Reports (CDRs) are prepared annually by select SLC states’ fiscal research departments. These reports track a multitude of revenue sources and appropriations levels in Southern states and serve as a useful tool to legislators and legislative staff alike in determining their respective state spending.

Download this report (PDF)


Comparative Data Report | July 15, 2018

Transportation

David Talley, Legislative Fiscal Analyst, Legislative Research Commission, Kentucky

Comparative Data Reports (CDRs) are prepared annually by select SLC states’ fiscal research departments. These reports track a multitude of revenue sources and appropriations levels in Southern states and serve as a useful tool to legislators and legislative staff alike in determining their respective state spending.

Download this report (PDF)


Policy Analysis | June 11, 2018

Distracted Driving Laws in SLC Member States

Roger Moore, Policy Analyst

In recent years, states across the South have enacted laws to mitigate distracted driving caused by the proliferation of cell phones and other portable electronic devices. The extent to which the laws impact drivers varies by state, though there are similarities across the region. Fourteen of 15 SLC member states, for example, prohibit all drivers from texting while driving and one, Missouri, prohibits texting by all drivers under the age of 21. Similarly, 10 of the 15 states prohibit all usage of wireless communication devices by novice drivers, generally defined as drivers under 18 years old who hold restricted licenses. Most states in the region have not implemented statewide bans on hand-held devices; however, several states have prohibited the use of hand-held devices in certain areas, such as designated school zones. Only Georgia and West Virginia have banned hand-held devices for all drivers.

Penalties vary widely across the region. Most states have implemented a tiered system whereby drivers face increasingly severe penalties for each subsequent offense. Eight states have fees that do not surpass $100 per violation, while another five states have fees that range between $100 and $300. Two states, Arkansas and Louisiana, permit fees up to $500 and $1,000, respectively, for repeat offenders.

Continue Reading

Policy Analysis | May 10, 2018

Agriculture Sector's Contribution to State GDP, 2016-2017

Anne Roberts Brody, Policy Analyst

The U.S. Department of Commerce reported that real gross domestic product (GDP) increased 2.3 percent nationally between 2016 and 2017. Economic growth was widespread, with 20 of 22 industry groups contributing to the increase. Despite this growth, the agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting sector decreased 9.4 percent nationally – the culmination of five consecutive quarterly declines. While still struggling, states in the Southern region fared better than their Midwestern neighbors, which experienced the sharpest declines. Although the agriculture sector declined in each of the Southern states, only Louisiana experienced an overall decline in real GDP. As Congress continues to draft the 2018 Farm Bill, states reliant on farm economies will be paying close attention to any changes that may revive this important sector.

Continue Reading

SLC Regional Resource | May 8, 2018

Opioids and Organ Donations: A Tale of Two Crises

Nick Bowman, Research and Publications Associate

Download the full report (PDF)

At least 42,249 Americans died from opioid overdoses in 2016, a 28 percent increase from 2015, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, a division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Opioids now kill more Americans each year than guns, breast cancer or automobile accidents and have contributed to the shortening of the average U.S. life expectancy for two consecutive years. The last recorded decrease in U.S. life expectancy was in 1993, due to the AIDS epidemic. The last time life expectancy decreased in two consecutive years was in 1962 and 1963 due to an influenza outbreak.

Continue Reading

Policy Analysis | April 25, 2018

Chamber Vote Adjustment in the South

Multiple Authors

Of the 30 legislative chambers in the South, 25 chambers allow members to adjust their vote after the initial vote has been taken, either by rule or custom. The reasons for permitting a vote adjustment vary among chambers, with several chambers allowing members to change their votes when the vote was recorded incorrectly or the member voted erroneously, while other chambers only will permit a vote change prior to the announcement of the vote. Furthermore, 26 chambers have rules addressing a member’s ability—or lack thereof—to change their vote, while four chambers operate based on custom. There is no rule regarding vote adjustment in either chamber of the Arkansas General Assembly. However, the rules for both Arkansas chambers state that Mason’s Manual of Legislative Procedure—followed by 70 of the 99 state legislatures in the United States—shall be followed for all matters not covered by chamber rules. Mason’s Manual permits a member to change their vote after the roll call is completed, but before the vote is announced. This brief report examines rules or customs regarding chamber vote adjustment. When available, the text of the rule excerpted from the state source and a link to chamber rules are provided.

Chamber Vote Adjustment in the South
Continue Reading

Policy Analysis | April 16, 2018

SLC - China Trade Data

Roger Moore, Policy Analyst

With the world’s two largest economies, the United States and China have much to lose in the event of prolonged trade disruptions between the two countries. In 2017, the total number of goods traded between the United States and China amounted to approximately $636 billion, a large majority of which consisted of Chinese goods entering the U.S. market.

Southern states rely heavily on China as a major export market, as well as a critical source for many of the goods that are imported into the region. In 2017, nine of the 15 states in the South — including Texas, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Kentucky, Virginia, South Carolina and Missouri — were among the top 20 recipients, nationally, of Chinese goods imported into the United States. Similarly, nine states in the South — including Texas, Louisiana, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina and Florida — ranked in the top 20 in the number of goods exported to China.

Continue Reading

Policy Analysis | April 11, 2018

Efficacy and Adverse Effects of Medical Marijuana: An Overview

Anne Roberts Brody, Policy Analyst

State legislatures continue to grapple with the myriad issues surrounding the legalization of marijuana – both medical and recreational.  This brief summarizes the findings of several peer-reviewed studies focusing on the efficacy and outcomes of medical marijuana and CBD in the treatment of disease, the association between marijuana use and motor vehicle crashes, and the 2017 National Institute on Drug Abuse update on marijuana.  Hyperlinks have been provided to all studies referenced herein.

Cannabis and cannabidiol (CBD) are now widely used to treat or alleviate a variety of diseases and symptoms.  While often conflated, the ratio in botanical and pharmaceutical preparations determines therapeutic or psychoactive effects.  Tetrahydrocannabinoil (THC) is the cannabinoid in marijuana that produces psychoactive effects, whereas CBD is nonpsychoactive. 

Marijuana has been approved for recreational and medicinal use in a growing number of states. According to Governing, 30 states and the District of Columbia have laws broadly legalizing marijuana in some form as of January 2018.  Of those, eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana.  Twenty-two states allow for limited use of medical marijuana under certain circumstances.  Some medical marijuana laws are broader than others, with types of medical conditions that qualify for treatment varying from state to state. 

Continue Reading

Policy Analysis | April 3, 2018

Apiculture and Land Use Valuation

Anne Roberts Brody, Policy Analyst

Apiculture - the maintenance of honeybees and hives - provides farmers and hobbyists with a variety of enterprises including production of beeswax, honey and other edible bee products; crop pollination services and sale of bees to other beekeepers. Due to the extensive problems caused by various diseases and pests of the honeybee, many feral or wild honeybees have been eliminated, which has had a significant negative impact on the pollination of flowering plants.

The domestic honeybee plays a vital role in agriculture. Honeybees pollinate many of the plants which produce the food consumed by humankind. Examples of plants pollinated by honeybees include almonds, apples, blueberries, cucumbers, melons, and pumpkins. The rapid decline of feral honeybees has greatly increased the need for managed honeybees to serve this crucial role of plant pollination.

Because of the important linkages between apian populations and agricultural production, many states in the Southern region extend a “current use” exemption to bee keepers. Current use valuation allows the valuation of agricultural land to be based on the actual use of the property, rather than market value. Of the 15 states comprising the Southern Legislative Conference, six explicitly include apiaries or apian products in the statutory definition of agricultural purposes/land eligible for a current use valuation.

Information relative to the six Southern states that designate apiaries as agricultural land is outlined below.

Continue Reading

The State of Retail in Southern States
Issue Brief | January 29, 2018

The State of Retail in Southern States

Roger Moore, Policy Analyst

Download the full report (PDF)

The retail industry, historically one of the largest and most important drivers of economic growth in the United States, is being challenged by technological advances and shifting consumer habits that are undermining sustained growth across much of the industry. The popularity of online retail — most prominently exemplified by the rise and dominance of Amazon and similar online shopping platforms — coupled with growing preferences for discounted shopping and experiences instead of material purchases, have profound implications for an industry that employs millions of people across the nation. According to many financial experts, the industry is confronting a so-called “retail apocalypse,” characterized by depressed profits, store closures and, in several instances, bankruptcy among some of the nation’s largest, most recognizable retailers.

Continue Reading

SLC Special Series Report | January 8, 2018

Blown Away: Wind Energy in the Southern States (Part II)

Anne Roberts Brody, Policy Analyst

Download the full report (PDF)

Remarkably, without much fanfare, the nation’s wind energy sector continues to grow, a testimony to both advances in technology and deliberate measures by policymakers to create an environment to stimulate the development of this power source. At the close of 2016, installed wind capacity in the United States exceeded 82,000 megawatts (MW), surpassing hydropower for the first time in the nation’s history. In total, installed wind energy capacity grew by 8,203 MW over the previous year and now generates about 5.5 percent of the country’s electricity, enough to power 24 million homes.

Continue Reading

SLC Special Series Report | December 1, 2017

Long-Term Care in the South (Part II)

Roger Moore, Policy Analyst

Download the full report (PDF)

As the nation’s population continues to trend older, it increasingly is apparent that long-term care (LTC) — defined as a range of medical and social services required by individuals in need of extended support due to illness and frailty — is becoming a growing concern for state and federal policymakers. Across the country, the number of people aged 65 and over is growing rapidly, a shift that will continue for several decades. As noted in Part I of this SLC Special Series Report, there will be approximately 88 million people over age 65 by 2050, almost double the 47.8 million recorded in 2015, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. More importantly, the number of people aged 85 and older, the demographic most likely to require longterm care, also will grow dramatically, from 6.3 million in 2015, to an estimated 19.0 million in 2050.

Continue Reading

Issue Brief | October 30, 2017

NAFTA Trade Data – SLC States, Canada and Mexico

Roger Moore, Policy Analyst

The Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) has studied the centrality of the Southern region’s economic integration with Canada and Mexico since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) originally was implemented in 1994. After NAFTA’s implementation, the SLC published multiple analyses related to the trade agreement’s impact on the region, including The Influence of the North American Free Trade Agreement on Economic and Social Programs Supported by State Governments in the South; The North American Free Trade Agreement: Changing Economic and Social Programs of Southern States; and NAFTA ’95: A Report Card. The historical context provided by data in SLC’s various publications is essential to understanding the extent to which regional trade has been influenced by NAFTA, and the ways in which it could be impacted if the trade agreement is significantly modified in the months ahead.

As officials from Canada, Mexico and the United States attempt to renegotiate NAFTA’s stipulations, it is instructive for policymakers to understand the current position of SLC states with regard to the export and import of goods with Canada and Mexico, prior to any overhaul of the expansive agreement. Canada and Mexico are important trading partners for SLC member states, meaning any disruption to trade as a result of renegotiation could have significant ramifications across state economies, including in the agriculture, automotive and manufacturing industries.

Continue Reading

Policy Analysis | September 21, 2017

SLC Member State Revenue Increases

Nick Bowman

Despite its official end in 2010, the lingering effects of the Great Recession still are felt in states across the nation. Several SLC member states have been forced to make difficult decisions throughout a sluggish recovery. Alabama, Oklahoma and West Virginia, for example, have faced considerable budget shortfalls and had to cut services and/or raise taxes and fees to balance their budgets. This analysis focuses on statewide revenue enhancements passed by SLC member states in 2016 and 2017; county-level and municipality-level increases have been excluded. Statewide revenue increases adopted in 2015, but implemented in 2016 and 2017, also are included.

Read the full analysis (PDF)


Comparative Data Report | July 19, 2017

Adult Correctional Systems

Monique Appeaning, Louisiana Legislative Fiscal Office

Comparative Data Reports (CDRs) are prepared annually by select SLC states’ fiscal research departments. These reports track a multitude of revenue sources and appropriations levels in Southern states and serve as a useful tool to legislators and legislative staff alike in determining their respective state spending.

Download this report (PDF)


Comparative Data Report | July 19, 2017

Medicaid

Zach Rau and Shawn Hotstream, Louisiana Legislative Fiscal Office

Comparative Data Reports (CDRs) are prepared annually by select SLC states’ fiscal research departments. These reports track a multitude of revenue sources and appropriations levels in Southern states and serve as a useful tool to legislators and legislative staff alike in determining their respective state spending.

Download this report (PDF)


Comparative Data Report | July 19, 2017

Education

Hank Hager, Senate Education Committee, West Virginia

Comparative Data Reports (CDRs) are prepared annually by select SLC states’ fiscal research departments. These reports track a multitude of revenue sources and appropriations levels in Southern states and serve as a useful tool to legislators and legislative staff alike in determining their respective state spending.

Download this report (PDF)


Policy Analysis | June 22, 2017

Bail and Pretrial Reforms in Southern States

Mitchell Gray

Lawmakers in several SLC member states have enacted legislation aimed at reducing correctional populations and curtailing costs by addressing bail and pretrial options. According to the Vera Institute of Justice, 62 percent of people in jail are not serving sentences but, rather, waiting for their cases to be heard. While there are limited examples of extensive bail reform in SLC states, other pretrial options, such as court notification systems, supervision services, and other community-based programs, have been implemented. State lawmakers also have sought to increase felony theft thresholds: the monetary value that prosecutors use to categorize stolen money or property as a felony. Multiple SLC states have enacted legislation detailing methods for collecting fines and fees from indigent defendants, for example, through individualized payment plans, reduced and/or deferred fines, or community service in lieu of owed payments. The information below reflects the trends in policies relating to bail reform and pretrial processes in SLC states.

Jail population by conviction status
Continue Reading

SLC Regional Resource | June 21, 2017

STEM Teacher Preparation and Retention in the South

Roger Moore, Policy Analyst

As technological advancements continue driving innovation and automation across much of the global economy, STEM subjects — including coursework in science, technology, engineering and mathematics — have increasingly become an essential component of educational standards at all levels, from as early as pre-kindergarten up to secondary education and beyond. Local, state and federal policymakers all have emphasized the importance of STEM coursework to America's students, appropriating hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years to ensure the next generation of workers is equipped with the skills and knowledge to compete in the global workforce.

For the United States to remain competitive in the global economy, it will be important for states to address these shortages in the years ahead. Not to do so compounds the risks that students will fall behind in many critical skills that are essential to maintaining sustainable economic growth in today's globalized, automation-driven workforce. This SLC Regional Resource examines various initiatives in Southern states to increase the number of qualified primary and secondary teachers equipped with the skills and knowledge to successfully educate students in STEM subjects.


Webinar | June 14, 2017

Recent Developments in Agriculture and Food Law: Impacts on the States

Anne Roberts Brody, Policy Analyst

Agriculture and food law at the local, state and national level is changing constantly, with impacts to farmers, foresters, food producers, and rural residents. Since January, significant legal developments impacting rural and agricultural policy have emerged, including: repeal of the Clean Water Rule, state “purple paint” legislation, property tax assessment for farmland, and organic practice rules. This webinar examined the implications of these and other recent legal developments in agriculture and food policy.

This webinar was presented by the National Agricultural Law Center and the regional offices of The Council of State Governments.

Presenter: Harrison Pittman, Director, National Agricultural Law Center, Arkansas
Presentation: Archived Webinar | PowerPoint Slides

SLC Special Series Report | May 1, 2017

Blown Away: Wind Energy in Southern States (Part 1)

Anne Roberts Brody

The nation's energy sector is undergoing substantial changes, as political and economic factors converge to encourage diversification in generation. Aided by state and federal tax credits, renewable energy generation technologies are experiencing unprecedented growth as production costs decline and implementation increases.

As the renewable energy sector continues to grow, concerns that such expansions could lead to widespread job losses in traditional energy sectors, such as coal, have proliferated. Southern states are rich in traditional energy resources; thus, many state economies have long depended on these resources. Because of the importance of these industries to the region, both in terms of economic development and employment opportunities, legislators often are faced with balancing business interests with the need for environmental protection and conservation.

This SLC Special Series Report, the first in a series exploring the myriad impacts of wind energy expansion on SLC states, examines the benefits of wind energy in the Southern region. Forthcoming reports present case studies from three SLC states, examine SLC states' capacity for wind energy generation and utilization, analyze state incentives, and explore the challenges of wind energy generation in the region.


Policy Analysis | April 28, 2017

Cross-State Health Insurance Policies

Roger Moore, Policy Analyst

The idea of selling health insurance “across state lines” has gained traction over the past several years and, per its proponents, has the potential to lower the costs of private health insurance for consumers. Those in support of cross-state sales assert they can lead to the proliferation of national and/or regional markets for insurance policies, thereby creating additional competition to drive costs down and offer more alternatives for consumers. Proponents contend cross-state policies, if applied correctly, allow health insurers to bypass burdensome state regulations and expensive benefit mandates that drive costs up and provide little meaningful value for many consumers, particularly younger and healthier people. 

Continue Reading

Policy Analysis | April 27, 2017

Bill Introduction Limits and Pre-Filing Requirements in SLC Member States

Nick Bowman

Introduction

In recent years, several states and legislative chambers have created a limit on the number of bills that may be introduced each legislative session. Proponents have argued that this will force legislators to only introduce legislation that is likely to pass and may decrease the need for longer sessions or special sessions. In some chambers, the limit only applies after the chamber’s pre-filing deadline. Table 1 displays the limits placed on legislation introduced each session in the 15 Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) member states. Six SLC member states apply a limit in at least one of their legislative chambers.

Continue Reading

Policy Analysis | April 25, 2017

Fixed-Rate Tuition Pricing

Roger Moore, Policy Analyst

Three Southern Legislatures — North Carolina, Oklahoma and Texas — have enacted statewide, fixed-rate tuition pricing for in-state undergraduate students attending public universities. Under fixed-rate tuition policies, incoming freshmen and qualifying transfer students are guaranteed a constant tuition rate until they graduate, under specified conditions. Only one other state in the nation, Illinois, has a similar statewide policy.

North Carolina General Statutes

In-state freshmen or transfer undergraduate students who have been admitted to any constituent institution of The University of North Carolina receive fixed-rate tuition for eight semesters of a four-year bachelor’s degree and 10 semesters of a five-year bachelor’s degree. A student must maintain continuous enrollment at their university of choice during the entire tuition period to continue receiving the fixed-rate tuition. At the end of the fixed-rate tuition period, the cost of tuition for all remaining semesters is charged at the current tuition rate of the institution.

§ 116-143.9
Effective 2016-2017 academic year

Oklahoma Statutes

Continue Reading

SLC Regional Resource | April 1, 2017

Body-Worn Cameras: Laws and Policies in the South

Nick Bowman

In recent years, several high-profile, law enforcement officer-involved shootings have thrust body-worn cameras (BWCs), or the lack thereof, into the spotlight. Proponents of BWCs maintain that they increase law enforcement transparency and improve relations between law enforcement and citizens. In contrast, BWC opponents argue that the cameras give an incomplete picture of incidents and add another cost to operating budgets which, in many law enforcement agencies (LEAs), already are stretched thin.

Due to the recent emergence of BWCs and their rapidly developing technology, LEAs and governments still are developing policies and statutes to regulate their use. This SLC Regional Resource examines the history of and predecessors to BWCs; policy issues associated with them, including considerations for implementation such as data storage, staffing and privacy; and existing laws and policies that regulate their use in the 15 SLC member states.

Policy Analysis | March 30, 2017

Human Trafficking

Roger Moore, Policy Analyst

The Southern Legislative Conference has previously focused on the issue of human trafficking. For further reference, see the 2009 SLC Regional Resource, Human Trafficking: Preventing, Prosecuting and Protecting, and 2013 SLC Webinar, Human Trafficking: State Responses to Modern-Day Slavery.

In the past several years, many states have introduced laws aimed at curbing human trafficking of both minors and adults. States have especially focused on increasing penalties for those convicted of trafficking, with more severe punishments when the victim involved is a minor. Punishments include decades of imprisonment and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma and West Virginia all have passed such measures in the past three to four years.

All states in the Southern region have passed anti-trafficking legislation to some degree. Provisions found in prior pieces of legislation include:

Continue Reading

SLC Publications (continued)


SLC Special Series Report | January 17, 2017

Long-Term Care in the South (Part 1)

SLC Regional Resource | December 7, 2016

The Case for Cuba

Policy Analysis | November 14, 2016

Outside Legal Counsel in SLC Member States

Policy Analysis | September 26, 2016

Autonomous Vehicle Legislation and Trends

Comparative Data Report | August 19, 2016

Adult Correctional Systems

Comparative Data Report | July 31, 2016

Transportation

Comparative Data Report | June 27, 2016

Medicaid

Comparative Data Report | June 15, 2016

Education

Policy Analysis | June 14, 2016

Pardons in SLC Member States

Policy Analysis | June 14, 2016

Scope of Practice – Physician Assistants (PAs)

Webinar | June 2, 2016

SLC States and REAL ID Requirements

SLC Regional Resource | May 9, 2016

Spread of Zika: Impact on Southern States

Policy Analysis | April 20, 2016

Marijuana Use: Uncertainty on All Sides Continues

SLC Regional Resource | March 21, 2016

Heroin Epidemic in SLC Member States: Finding Solutions

SLC Regional Resource | February 3, 2016

Special Education School Vouchers: A Look at Southern States

Policy Analysis | January 29, 2016

Vehicle Sales Soar to Record Levels in 2015

SLC Regional Resource | January 12, 2016

Inland Ports and Waterways in the SLC Member States

Presentation | December 7, 2015

Waste Tire Disposal Laws in the Southern States

Webinar | December 3, 2015

SLC State Pensions: Latest Developments

SLC Regional Resource | November 11, 2015

Student Assessments in Southern States: Recent Developments

Policy Analysis | October 23, 2015

2015 Update on Common Core in SLC Member States

Policy Analysis | September 10, 2015

Manufacturing Products Top SLC State Exports in 2014

Comparative Data Report | August 30, 2015

Adult Correctional Systems

Comparative Data Report | August 26, 2015

Education

Comparative Data Report | July 15, 2015

Transportation

Policy Analysis | July 15, 2015

Public Pension Trends & Developments

Policy Analysis | June 19, 2015

State Purchasing Regulations and Reform

Webinar | June 18, 2015

Rural Development through Education

Comparative Data Report | June 12, 2015

Revenue

Policy Analysis | May 13, 2015

The Status of Medicaid Expansion in SLC States

SLC Regional Resource | April 24, 2015

Vapor Rising: E-Cigarettes in the SLC States

Policy Analysis | March 9, 2015

Proposed Ridesharing Laws in the States

Policy Analysis | February 27, 2015

How Do States Regulate Combat Sports?

SLC Regional Resource | February 4, 2015

SLC State Efforts to Rebuild the Coastline

SLC Regional Resource | February 2, 2015

Common Core in the South: Where the States Stand Now

Policy Analysis | January 26, 2015

State Occupational Boards and Commissions Fees

SLC Regional Resource | December 17, 2014

Charging Forward: Net Metering Policies in SLC States

Webinar | December 2, 2014

Non-Ratepayer Energy Efficiency Options

Policy Analysis | October 29, 2014

SLC State Actions on Suspect Guardrails

Webinar | October 3, 2014

Food Safety Modernization Act

Comparative Data Report | October 1, 2014

Revenue

Policy Analysis | September 17, 2014

Feral Hog Containment

Presentation | September 10, 2014

Transportation Funding in the States

Comparative Data Report | August 6, 2014

Medicaid

Comparative Data Report | July 22, 2014

Corrections

Comparative Data Report | July 18, 2014

Education

Comparative Data Report | July 18, 2014

Transportation

Issue Alert | June 25, 2014

U.S. Agriculture Exports: Latest Trends

Policy Analysis | May 14, 2014

Latest State Transportation Funding Proposals

Policy Analysis | April 16, 2014

SLC State Unemployment Insurance Finances Improve

Policy Analysis | March 27, 2014

Highway Trust Fund Balance

SLC Regional Resource | March 25, 2014

A Special Condition: Medical Marijuana in SLC States

SLC Regional Resource | February 27, 2014

Aeronautics in the SLC States: Cleared for Takeoff

Policy Analysis | February 10, 2014

How many Black Belt counties are in SLC member states?

SLC Regional Resource | November 19, 2013

Tire Manufacturing: Southern States Roll to the Top

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2013

Revenue

Comparative Data Report | July 26, 2013

Medicaid

Comparative Data Report | July 19, 2013

Corrections

Comparative Data Report | July 16, 2013

Education

SLC Regional Resource | July 11, 2013

Workforce Development in the SLC States

Comparative Data Report | July 11, 2013

Transportation

Policy Analysis | May 10, 2013

The Higher Education Disconnect

Policy Analysis | March 29, 2013

State Personal Income Trends

Policy Analysis | February 4, 2013

State Efforts to Fund Transportation

Policy Analysis | January 25, 2013

Fiscal and Economic Trends in the South

Policy Analysis | November 28, 2012

Higher Education Finance Reform

Webinar | October 23, 2012

Higher Education Finance Reform

Comparative Data Report | October 16, 2012

Revenue

Presentation | October 5, 2012

Economic Development Trends from the States

Presentation | July 28, 2012

State Retirement Systems: Recent Trends

Comparative Data Report | July 25, 2012

Medicaid

Policy Analysis | July 19, 2012

Public Pensions: Emerging Trends

Fiscal Alert | July 2, 2012

Public Pensions: Emerging Trends

Comparative Data Report | July 1, 2012

Transportation

Policy Analysis | June 28, 2012

The Stafford Loan Crisis in Perspective

Policy Analysis | April 27, 2012

Tuition Deregulation in Higher Education

Policy Analysis | March 16, 2012

Latest State Unemployment Rates

Policy Analysis | March 13, 2012

National Ag Day--March 8th

Policy Analysis | February 10, 2012

NCLB Waivers, Part Three

Presentation | January 21, 2012

State Retirement Systems: Recent Trends

SLC Regional Resource | January 2, 2012

Municipal Bonds: Trends in 2011

Presentation | November 15, 2011

State of State Budgets

Policy Analysis | October 31, 2011

Student Loan Debt: The Rising Risk to the Recovery

Policy Analysis | October 10, 2011

State Revenue Trends

Policy Analysis | October 7, 2011

NCLB Waivers, Part Two

Comparative Data Report | October 1, 2011

Revenue

Policy Analysis | September 19, 2011

Prospective Changes in Long-Term Care Policies

Policy Analysis | September 9, 2011

Higher Education Performance and Accountability

Policy Analysis | August 11, 2011

Summer Heat and Fall Sports

SLC Regional Resource | July 2, 2011

Food Safety: Building an Integrated System

Comparative Data Report | July 1, 2011

Corrections

Comparative Data Report | July 1, 2011

Education

Comparative Data Report | July 1, 2011

Transportation

Policy Analysis | June 10, 2011

Race to the Top Round 3

Policy Analysis | June 8, 2011

Manufacturing Jobs in the South

Issue Alert | June 2, 2011

NCLB Update: The Waiver Option

Policy Analysis | May 20, 2011

Post-secondary Access and Affordability

Policy Analysis | May 9, 2011

A Prescription Drug Epidemic

Policy Analysis | May 9, 2011

Natural Gas Recovery and "Hydrofracking

Policy Analysis | May 9, 2011

Schools and Natural Disasters

Policy Analysis | April 25, 2011

Changes in Teaching as a Profession

Policy Analysis | April 25, 2011

Nuclear Safety in a Post-Fukushima World

Policy Analysis | April 25, 2011

State Corrections Reforms

Policy Analysis | April 4, 2011

School Choice and Charter Schools

Comparative Data Report | March 15, 2011

Medicaid

Policy Analysis | March 15, 2011

School Budgets Feeling the Pinch

Policy Analysis | March 8, 2011

Changes to HOPE Scholarships

SLC Regional Resource | March 1, 2011

State Section 529 Plans

Policy Analysis | December 22, 2010

Census Results and State Implications

Policy Analysis | November 9, 2010

Economic Impact of the Great Recession

Policy Analysis | October 29, 2010

High Speed Rail: Update from the Southern States

Policy Analysis | October 25, 2010

Agricultural Land Assessments

Policy Analysis | October 25, 2010

Permanent Property Rights Task Forces

Policy Analysis | October 25, 2010

State Authorized Gaming

Presentation | October 7, 2010

State Fiscal Issues

Presentation | July 26, 2010

State Fiscal and Economic Outlook

Comparative Data Report | July 1, 2010

Corrections

Comparative Data Report | July 1, 2010

Education

SLC Regional Resource | July 1, 2010

Meth: Resurgence in the South

Comparative Data Report | July 1, 2010

Revenue

Comparative Data Report | July 1, 2010

Transportation

Policy Analysis | July 1, 2010

What are the firearms laws in the SLC states?

SLC Regional Resource | June 1, 2010

Creating Value: Recycling in the Southern States

SLC Special Series Report | June 1, 2010

The Expansion of the Panama Canal and SLC State Ports

Presentation | February 3, 2010

State Unemployment Insurance: Recent Trends

SLC Regional Resource | January 1, 2010

Autism and Schools

Policy Analysis | January 1, 2010

Which SLC states have drug recycling programs?

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2009

Corrections

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2009

Education

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2009

Revenue

Presentation | May 18, 2009

State Fiscal and Economic Outlook

Presentation | May 9, 2009

Fiscal Outlook for the States

Presentation | March 26, 2009

State Retirement Systems: Recent Trends

Presentation | March 5, 2009

Fiscal Outlook for the States

Presentation | February 21, 2009

Economic Status of the States

Issue Alert | January 1, 2009

An HIV Epidemic?

Presentation | January 1, 2009

Capital Access in the Black Belt

Comparative Data Report | December 1, 2008

Medicaid

Issue Alert | December 1, 2008

Mid-Year Education Budget Reductions

Comparative Data Report | December 1, 2008

Transportation

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2008

Adult Correctional Systems

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2008

Education

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2008

Revenue

Article | July 1, 2008

Auto: The Resilient South

Issue Alert | June 1, 2008

Actuarial Estimates in Public Pensions

SLC Special Series Report | June 1, 2008

Innovative Programs in Funding State Homeland Security Needs

SLC Regional Resource | January 1, 2008

Landfill Gas to Fuel

SLC Regional Resource | January 1, 2008

Reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2007

Adult Correctional Systems

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2007

Education

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2007

Medicaid

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2007

Revenue

Presentation | August 4, 2007

Taxes and Budgets: Key Trends from the States

SLC Regional Resource | December 1, 2006

The Aging Inmate Population: Southern States Outlook

Presentation | November 12, 2006

State Retirement Systems: Recent Trends

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2006

Adult Correctional Systems

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2006

Education

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2006

Medicaid

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2006

Revenue

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2006

Transportation

SLC Regional Resource | June 1, 2006

2007 Farm Bill in Context (Summer 2006 Update)

SLC Regional Resource | April 1, 2006

Farm to School

SLC Regional Resource | January 1, 2006

State Rural Initiatives: Where the Money Comes From

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2005

Adult Correctional Systems

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2005

Education

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2005

Medicaid

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2005

Revenue

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2005

Transportation

SLC Regional Resource | July 1, 2005

Rural Centers in the South

SLC Regional Resource | July 1, 2005

2007 Farm Bill in Context

SLC Regional Resource | January 1, 2005

The Tobacco Buyout

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2004

Adult Correctional Systems

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2004

Education

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2004

Medicaid

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2004

Revenue

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2004

Transportation

SLC Special Series Report | October 18, 2004

America's Public Retirement Systems: Stresses in the System

SLC Special Series Report | October 1, 2004

Doing the Math: Southern State School Finance Systems

Presentation | April 30, 2004

Ports in the South

SLC Regional Resource | February 1, 2004

Judicial Selection Methods in the Southern States

SLC Regional Resource | December 1, 2003

A Rural Policy for the 21st Century

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2003

Corrections

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2003

Education

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2003

Medicaid

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2003

Revenue

SLC Special Series Report | November 1, 2003

The Drive to Move South

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2003

Transportation

SLC Special Series Report | April 1, 2003

Filling In the Gaps: Solving Teacher Shortages

SLC Regional Resource | February 1, 2003

Update on Competition in the Telecommunications Industry

Presentation | January 14, 2003

The Fiscal Crunch Confronting the South - Update

Presentation | December 3, 2002

The Fiscal Crunch Confronting the South

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2002

Corrections

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2002

Education

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2002

Gaming

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2002

Medicaid

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2002

Revenue

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2002

Transportation

Presentation | September 23, 2002

Delivering the Goods: Ports in the South

SLC Regional Resource | September 1, 2002

Finally, the Farm Bill

SLC Special Series Report | July 1, 2002

Unemployment Insurance In a Diminishing Economy

SLC Regional Resource | June 1, 2002

A Review of Southern States' No-Call Registries

SLC Regional Resource | June 1, 2002

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001

SLC Special Series Report | February 1, 2002

Election Policies and Reform in Southern States 2001

SLC Special Series Report | February 1, 2002

Tobacco in Transition

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2001

Corrections

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2001

Education

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2001

Gaming

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2001

Medicaid

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2001

Revenue

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2001

Transportation

SLC Regional Resource | July 1, 2001

Contracting in Tobacco

SLC Regional Resource | May 1, 2001

Correctional Good-Time Credits in Southern States

SLC Regional Resource | April 1, 2001

Methamphetamine Production and Abuse in Southern States

SLC Regional Resource | February 1, 2001

Telecommunications Competition in Southern States

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2000

Corrections

Comparative Data Report | November 1, 2000

Medicaid

SLC Regional Resource | October 1, 2000

The War over Water

SLC Special Series Report | August 1, 2000

Drawing the Map: Redistricting in the South

SLC Special Series Report | August 1, 2000

Female Offenders: Special Needs and Southern State Challenges

SLC Regional Resource | August 1, 2000

International Trade and Agriculture

SLC Regional Resource | March 1, 2000

Agriculture and Biotechnology

SLC Regional Resource | February 1, 2000

The Proposed Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision

SLC Special Series Report | January 1, 1999

Language Diversity in Southern Schools: The Growing Challenge

SLC Special Series Report | June 1, 1998

The Aging Inmate Population