SLC Publications (2017-present)

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 | 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.

Contribution of Southern states' agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting sectors to percent change in real GDP, 2016-2017
State Percent change in real GDP Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
Alabama 1.2 -0.03
Arkansas 1.1 -0.16
Florida 2.2 -0.08
Georgia 2.7 -0.01
Kentucky 1.8 -0.08
Louisiana -0.2 -0.07
Mississippi 0.3 -0.12
Missouri 1.1 -0.21
North Carolina 2.3 -0.05
Oklahoma 0.5 -0.15
South Carolina 2.3 -0.02
Tennessee 2.5 -0.03
Texas 2.6 -0.04
Virginia 2.0 -0.01
West Virginia 2.6 -0.02

Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis


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.

As of early April 2018, approximately 115,000 Americans were listed on the national organ transplant registry waiting on a lifesaving organ transplant, with a new person added to the list every 10 minutes. Despite advancements in technology and surgical techniques, a large gap remains between the number of organs needed and the supply of donated organs. While 95 percent of U.S. adults support organ donation, only 54 percent have enrolled to be organ donors. Every day, an average of 95 organ transplants are performed in the United States, and an average of 20 Americans die daily waiting for a transplant. Contributing to this tragic scenario is the fact that only three in 1,000 deaths in the United States occur in a manner conducive to organ donation.

This SLC Regional Resource raises policy considerations and highlights the connections between the ongoing opioid crisis and the national shortage of organs for transplantation. Additionally, an examination of the history and process of organ donation and transplants is provided, as well as actions taken by the federal government and state governments to facilitate and promote organ donation. A discussion of how the national opioid crisis, critical to this discussion, is affecting organ transplant rates is included.


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
State/Chamber Are legislators permitted to adjust their vote? Rule or custom regarding chamber vote adjustment
Alabama
House
No. Custom: Members may file a statement indicating that they mistakenly selected the wrong choice. This statement is registered in the House Journal, but does not change the vote.
Alabama
Senate
Yes, until the Senate Journal is prepared for the day. Custom: Votes may be changed until the Senate Journal is prepared for the day.
Arkansas
House
Yes, prior to the announcement of the vote. Arkansas House Rule 31: In every case not provided for in the House rules, the speaker, the parliamentarian, and the members shall be guided by Mason’s Manual of Legislative Procedure. Each member of the Rules Committee may be furnished a copy of the current edition and of each new or revised edition of Mason’s Manual of Legislative Procedure and additional copies may be available to other members from the Parliamentarian, upon approval of the Rules Committee.

Mason's Manual of Legislative Procedure, Section 535(6): After the roll call has been completed, but before the vote is announced, a member may arise and address the presiding officer and, upon being recognized, may change his vote by saying, “aye to no” or the reverse. It is not out of order for a member to change his vote without waiting to be recognized by the presiding officer, but the best practice is to secure recognition before changing the vote. After the vote has been announced, it is too late to vote or to change a vote.
Arkansas
Senate
Yes, prior to the announcement of the vote. Arkansas Senate Rule 26.01: Rules of parliamentary practice comprised in Mason’s Manual of Legislative Procedure shall govern the Senate in all cases in which they are applicable, and in which they are not inconsistent with these rules and orders of the Senate and the joint rules and orders of the Senate and House of Representatives.

Mason's Manual of Legislative Procedure, Section 535(6): After the roll call has been completed, but before the vote is announced, a member may arise and address the presiding officer and, upon being recognized, may change his vote by saying, “aye to no” or the reverse. It is not out of order for a member to change his vote without waiting to be recognized by the presiding officer, but the best practice is to secure recognition before changing the vote. After the vote has been announced, it is too late to vote or to change a vote.
Florida
House
Yes, but only in an instance of machine error. Florida House Rule 9.4(b): In no instance, other than by reason of an electronic or mechanical malfunction, shall the result of a voting machine roll call on any question be changed.
Florida
Senate
Yes, with unanimous consent of those present. Florida Senate Rule 5.2 (1): After the result of the vote has been announced by the president, a senator with unanimous consent of those senators present may change his or her vote or cast a late vote on the matter.

Florida Senate Rule 5.2 (4): No such change of vote or vote after the roll call request shall be accepted if such vote would alter the result of the vote on final passage of the matter until the matter shall first have been returned to the desk and reconsidered.
Georgia
House
Yes, only if the bill is reconsidered. Georgia House Rule 143 (1): Motions for reconsideration shall be in order immediately before the period for members to rise on notices of Morning Orders under Rule 40 and the third reading of bills and resolutions on the day succeeding the action sought to be reconsidered and such other days as provided in these rules. Before any action can be reconsidered, notice must have been given to the House of intention to so move during the legislative day during which the action sought to be reconsidered took place. The notice of a motion to reconsider shall not be withdrawn after the time has elapsed within which it might originally have been made. A motion for reconsideration takes a majority of those voting, providing the total vote constitutes a quorum.
Georgia
Senate
Yes, a voice vote may be changed if a senator voted erroneously. No changes are permitted when the electronic roll call system is used. Georgia Senate Rule 5-1.5 (b): The official roll call shall be printed by the electronic roll call system and shall never in any way be altered or the votes recorded thereon changed.

Georgia Senate Rule 5-1.7 (a): On the call of the “yeas” and “nays” by voice vote, the secretary of the Senate shall read the names of the senators after they have been called, and no senator shall be permitted to change his or her vote, unless he or she declares that he or she voted by mistake of the question. When the electronic roll call system is used, this Rule shall be inoperative.
Kentucky
House
Yes, upon suspension of the Rules. Custom: At the beginning of each daily session, after the motion to excuse members, a motion is introduced that “the rules be suspended for the purpose of allowing members who want to be co-sponsors of bills and resolutions or to submit vote modifications, if they have filed the proper papers with the clerk.”  This motion also allows legislators to file the paperwork with the clerk and not have to be recognized individually to move that their votes be recorded.
Kentucky
Senate
Yes, when absent for vote. Custom: Members can record or change votes after a roll call is taken. Recording or changing votes does not affect the outcome of the vote. However, this procedure allows their constituents to know how they would have voted had they been present in the chamber when the vote was taken.  Vote modifications are recorded in the Journal and posted to the Legislative Research Commission’s website daily.
Louisiana
House
Yes, prior to the announcement of the vote. Louisiana House Rule 12.7: On a roll call vote any member shall be privileged to vote or change his vote after the vote-recording equipment has started or the roll has been called, by rising in his seat and announcing his or her vote before the result of the vote is announced by the presiding officer.
Louisiana
Senate
Yes, prior to the announcement of the vote and, with consent, on the same day. Louisiana Senate Rule 10.8 (A): In the case of a roll call vote, any member shall be privileged to vote or change their vote, after the vote-recording equipment has started, or the roll has been called, by rising and announcing their vote before the result of the vote has been announced by the presiding officer.

Louisiana Senate Rule 10.8 (B): A member may seek consent to correct a vote record, but such consent shall only be requested and granted on the same legislative day on which the vote was taken. A motion to seek consent to correct a vote record shall be a debatable motion.
Mississippi
House
Yes, only before roll call is announced. Mississippi House Rule 97: After the voting machine has been locked, but prior to the display of the tabulated vote on the electric voting board of the result of a roll call, any member may request to (1) change his or her vote, or (2) vote.
After the vote has been tabulated and displayed on the electric voting board, a member with unanimous consent may change his or her vote on the measure, except that no such change of vote shall be permitted where such vote would alter the final vote on the measure.
Mississippi
Senate
Yes, only before roll call is announced. Mississippi Senate Rule 121: No senator shall have the Journal amended to have the record of a vote changed; however, senators may change their vote before the result of a roll call is announced.
Missouri
House
Yes, but only if the vote was incorrectly recorded. Missouri House Rule 89 (a): No member shall be recorded as voting when he/she was not present when the vote was taken. … In the event that a member's vote (or absence) is incorrectly recorded in the Journal, he/she shall file with the chief clerk an affidavit stating that he/she was in the chamber at the time the vote was taken, that he/she did in fact vote, that the vote (or absence) was incorrectly recorded and the correct vote that should have been recorded.
Missouri
Senate
No. Missouri Senate Rule 7: Upon the call of the Senate, or upon taking the “yeas” and “nays” on any question, the names of the senators shall be called alphabetically, and a senator within the chamber shall vote when his or her name is called. No senator shall be allowed to cast or change his or her vote after “yeas” and “nays” have been announced by the president.
North Carolina
House
Yes, when leave is permitted. North Carolina House Rule 24 (c): No member may change a vote without leave of the House, but such leave shall not be granted if it affects the result or if the session in which the vote was taken has been adjourned.
North Carolina
Senate
Yes, only on the same day as the vote. North Carolina Senate Rule 29 (h): A motion by any senator to change that senator’s vote must be made on the same legislative day as the vote is taken.  This subsection may not be suspended.
Oklahoma
House
Yes, only before roll call is announced. Oklahoma House Rule 9.6 (d): When sufficient time has elapsed for each member to vote, the presiding officer shall ask if any members present desire to vote or change their vote. Following such inquiry and before the electronic voting machine is locked, any member may be excused from voting.

Oklahoma House Rule 9.6 (e): The presiding officer shall then lock the machine and instruct the clerk to record the vote. The clerk shall immediately activate the recording equipment and, when the vote is completely recorded, shall advise the presiding officer of the result, and the presiding officer shall announce the result to the House. No vote may be changed after it has been recorded.
Oklahoma
Senate
No. Oklahoma Senate Rule 8-31 (D): No senator shall be permitted to vote or change a vote after the result has been announced by the presiding officer.
South Carolina
House
No. South Carolina House Rule 7.3 (c): After the voting machine is locked, no member may change his or her vote and the votes of tardy members shall not be counted.
South Carolina Senate No. South Carolina Senate Rule 16: Except as otherwise provided, the decision of the Senate on any question other than unanimous consent shall be taken by all members voting ‘viva voce’ or electronically when a roll call is required, if an electronic voting system is available.

South Carolina Senate Rule 16 (6): Upon a call of the Senate and unless a division is ordered, the senators present shall vote alphabetically, unless voting electronically, when a roll call is required and every senator present must give his or her vote as aye, no, or abstain unless excused by the Senate. No senator who is absent when the vote is taken and the result announced by the president shall be allowed to vote without leave of the Senate. A senator who is absent from a vote may not be recorded as voting on that matter.
Tennessee
House
Yes, only before roll call is announced. Tennessee House Rule 31: Any member’s vote on a roll call vote may be changed if such member requests such change before the result of the roll call is announced by the speaker. After the result of the roll call is announced by the speaker, no member may change such vote and the Journal entry shall not be altered. However, any member not voting at the time the roll call was taken, or any member voting on the original question but wishing to express a desire to change such member’s original stand, may have entered on the Journal a typewritten statement of support of or opposition to the question upon which the vote was taken.
Tennessee
Senate
Yes, only before roll call is announced. Tennessee Senate Rule 60: Any member may change his vote on a roll call prior to the result being announced by the speaker or by the clerk of the Senate.
Texas
House
Yes, before the roll call is announced, and, after, if the vote was erroneous. Texas House Rule 5, Section 53: Before the result of a vote has been finally and conclusively pronounced by the chair [speaker of the House] but not thereafter, a member may change his or her vote; however, if a member’s vote is erroneous, the member shall be allowed to change that vote at a later time provided that:
(1) the result of the record vote is not changed thereby;
(2) the request is made known to the House by the chair and permission for the change is granted by unanimous consent; and
(3) a notation is made in the Journal that the member’s vote was changed.
Texas
Senate
Yes, only if the member was temporarily absent during the vote and the member’s vote would not alter the outcome. Texas Senate Rule 6.15 (d): A member must be on the floor of the Senate or in an adjacent room or hallway on the same level as the Senate floor or gallery in order to vote; but a member who is out of the Senate when a record vote is taken and who wishes to be recorded shall be permitted to do so provided:
(1) the member was out of the Senate temporarily, having been recorded earlier as present;
(2) the vote is submitted to the Secretary of the Senate prior to adjournment or recess to another calendar day; and
(3) the recording of the member's vote does not change the result as announced by the chair [lieutenant governor or president pro tempore].
Virginia
House
Yes, only if the bill is reconsidered. Virginia House Rule 70: When a question has been decided, it may be reconsidered on the motion of any member who voted with the prevailing side, provided it be made on the same day or within the next two days of actual session, as long as such action has not been communicated to the Senate or the governor. The motion may be entered as a matter of privilege and shall take precedence of everything except special orders and other questions of privilege and be disposed of in the morning hour or with the calendar, as the case may be. All motions to reconsider shall be decided by a majority of the votes of the members present.
Virginia
Senate
Yes, if the vote was incorrectly recorded or the bill is reconsidered. Virginia Senate Rule 38 (a): A senator may submit a vote statement if he or she was not recorded as voting or if his or her recorded vote does not reflect his intention. The statement shall be limited to the fact the vote was not recorded or did not reflect his or her intention, and must be submitted to the clerk of the Senate by the adjournment of the daily session.

Virginia Senate Rule 48 (a): A question arising on a Senate bill, Senate resolution or Senate joint resolution being once determined must stand as the judgment of the Senate and cannot, during the course of that session of the General Assembly, be drawn again into debate, unless a motion to reconsider a question which has been decided has been made by a senator voting with the prevailing side on the same day on which the vote was taken.
West Virginia
House
Yes, when a roll call vote is conducted by voice vote and the vote was incorrectly recorded. West Virginia House Rule 42: On all roll calls, when the voting machine is not used, before the result is announced, the clerk shall read to the House the names of those who voted in the affirmative or in the negative, whichever is the smaller number, and announce the names of those absent and not voting, at which time any member may correct a mistake committed in taking down their vote. The result shall then be announced, but if the House so orders, the announcement of the result may be postponed to the succeeding day, with liberty to absent members at any time before the result is announced by the speaker to appear and vote "aye" or "no," in the presence of the House; and any member may, in the presence of the House, change their vote before the result is announced.
West Virginia
Senate
Yes, when a roll call vote is conducted by voice vote and the vote was incorrectly recorded. West Virginia Senate Rule 45: On all roll calls of the “yeas” and “nays” when the voting machine is not used, and before the result is announced, the clerk shall at the request of any member read either the names of those who voted “yea” or of those who voted “nay,” whichever is the smaller number, and the names of those absent and not voting, if any, and shall announce that all others voted either “yea” or “nay,” whichever is the larger number. In the event of a tie vote, the clerk shall upon such request read the names of those who voted “yea” and the names of those absent and not voting, if any, and shall announce that all others voted “nay.” At that time, any member shall have the right to correct any mistake committed in enrolling his or her name. The vote then shall be announced and the count recorded in the Journal. 

Sources: House Rules, Senate Rules and email communication with legislative service agency directors.


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.

In the Southern region, exports to China comprised approximately 8.8 percent of the total, with relatively large variations existing among the states. In Alabama and South Carolina, for example, exports to China were 16.7 percent and 19.3 percent, respectively, of all goods exported from those states in 2017. On the other hand, exports to China from Florida and Oklahoma amounted to 3.4 percent and 4.1 percent, respectively, of their total. China was the largest export market for two states in the South, Louisiana and South Carolina, and among the top five markets for 11 other states in the region.

Reflecting national trends, states in the South imported from China significantly more than they exported, with Chinese goods accounting for approximately 20.6 percent of all imports in the Southern region. Arkansas had the largest share of imports originating from China in 2017, with 41.3 percent of goods coming from the country, followed by Tennessee at 30 percent. Louisiana, however, received 3.5 percent of its goods from China in 2017. Three states in the region — Alabama, Louisiana and West Virginia — were unique in that they had surpluses with China rather than deficits in 2017. China was the largest source of imported goods for nine of the 15 Southern states, and the second largest in four others.  

SLC Trade Data with China (2014 – 2017)

Percent of overall exports/imports noted in parenthesis

Alabama

Exports to China - 2nd largest export market
2017 – $3.6 billion (16.7%)
2016 – $3.3 billion (16.0%)
2015 – $3.1 billion (16.1%)
2014 – $3.1 billion (16.1%)

Imports from China - 5th largest source of imports
2017 – $2.2 billion (9.5%)
2016 – $1.9 billion (8.5%)
2015 – $2.2 billion (10.0%)
2014 – $2.0 billion (9.2%)

Arkansas

Exports to China - 4th largest export market
2017 – $363 million (5.7%)
2016 – $275 million (4.8%)
2015 – $203 million (3.5%)
2014 – $437 million (6.4%)

Imports from China - Largest source of imports
2017 – $3.8 billion (41.3%)
2016 – $3.1 billion (39.1%)
2015 – $2.6 billion (32.6%)
2014 – $2.5 billion (33.3%)

Florida

Exports to China - 7th largest export market
2017 – $1.9 billion (3.4%)
2016 – $1.2 billion (2.3%)
2015 – $1.1 billion (2.1%)
2014 – $1.2 billion (2.0%)

Imports from China - Largest source of imports
2017 – $12.6 billion (16.7%)
2016 – $11.9 billion (16.2%)
2015 – $11.8 billion (16.1%)
2014 – $12.3 billion (17.1%)

Georgia

Exports to China - 3rd largest export market
2017 – $2.8 billion (7.6%)
2016 – $2.6 billion (7.2%)
2015 – $2.7 billion (6.9%)
2014 – $3.1 billion (7.8%)

Imports from China - Largest source of imports
2017 – $22.2 billion (24.3%)
2016 – $18.5 billion (21.5%)
2015 – $19.8 billion (22.3%)
2014 – $18.7 billion (22.3%)

Kentucky

Exports to China - 4th largest export market
2017 – $2.8 billion (9.1%)
2016 – $1.8 billion (6.0%)
2015 – $1.9 billion (7.0%)
2014 – $1.7 billion (6.0%)

Imports from China - Largest source of imports
2017 – $8.1 billion (17.2%)
2016 – $5.9 billion (14.7%)
2015 – $6.1 billion (15.7%)
2014 – $6.9 billion (17.5%)

Louisiana

Exports to China - Largest export market
2017 – $8.0 billion (14.1%)
2016 – $8.0 billion (16.5%)
2015 – $6.6 billion (13.5%)
2014 – $8.4 billion (13.0%)

Imports from China - 7th largest source of imports
2017 – $1.3 billion (3.5%)
2016 – $1.2 billion (3.6%)
2015 – $1.3 billion (3.7%)
2014 – $1.3 billion (2.3%)

Mississippi

Exports to China - 4th largest export market
2017 – $783 million (7.0%)
2016 – $564 million (5.4%)
2015 – $520 million (4.8%)
2014 – $644 million (5.6%)

Imports from China - Largest source of imports
2017 – $3.9 billion (25.9%)
2016 – $4.3 billion (30.5%)
2015 – $3.9 billion (27.8%)
2014 – $3.2 billion (18.7%)

Missouri

Exports to China - 3rd largest export market
2017 – $926 million (6.5%)
2016 – $864 million (6.2%)
2015 – $876 million (6.4%)
2014 – $877 million (6.2%)

Imports from China - Largest source of imports
2017 – $4.7 billion (25.1%)
2016 – $4.4 billion (25.3%)
2015 – $4.8 billion (26.1%)
2014 – $4.6 billion (24.9%)

North Carolina

Exports to China - 3rd largest export market
2017 – $2.4 billion (7.2%)
2016 – $2.2 billion (7.2%)
2015 – $2.2 billion (7.2%)
2014 – $2.7 billion (8.6%)

Imports from China - Largest source of imports
2017 – $10.2 billion (21.6%)
2016 – $10.2 billion (21.6%)
2015 – $11.1 billion (21.6%)
2014 – $12.5 billion (23.6%)

Oklahoma

Exports to China - 7th largest export market
2017 – 223 million (4.1%)
2016 – 218 million (4.3%)
2015 – 166 million (3.2%)
2014 – 274 million (4.3%)

Imports from China - 2nd largest source of imports
2017 – $2.5 billion (26.1%)
2016 – $2.0 billion (23.7%)
2015 – $2.5 billion (22.6%)
2014 – $2.7 billion (19.5%)

South Carolina

Exports to China - Largest export market
2017 – $6.2 billion (19.3%)
2016 – $6.4 billion (20.5%)
2015 – $4.4 billion (14.3%)
2014 – $4.2 billion (14.2%)

Imports from China - 2nd largest source of imports
2017 – $6.6 billion (17.7%)
2016 – $5.9 billion (16.4%)
2015 – $5.9 billion (15.1%)
2014 – $5.6 billion (14.7%)

Tennessee

Exports to China - 3rd largest export market
2017 – $2.5 billion (7.5%)
2016 – $2.2 billion (7.0%)
2015 – $2.2 billion (6.8%)
2014 – $2.3 billion (7.0%)

Imports from China - Largest source of imports
2017 – $23.7 billion (30.0%)
2016 – $23.7 billion (31.4%)
2015 – $27.2 billion (35.3%)
2014 – $25.4 billion (36.4%)

Texas

Exports to China - 3rd largest export market
2017 – $16.3 billion (6.2%)
2016 – $10.8 billion (4.7%)
2015 – $11.5 billion (4.6%)
2014 – $10.9 billion (3.8%)

Imports from China - 2nd largest source of imports
2017 – $42.7 billion (16.2%)
2016 – $36.6 billion (16.0%)
2015 – $41.0 billion (16.3%)
2014 – $45.5 billion (15.0%)

Virginia

Exports to China - 2nd largest export market
2017 – $1.7 billion (10.4%)
2016 – $1.6 billion (10.0%)
2015 – $1.6 billion (8.8%)
2014 – $2.0 billion (10.1%)

Imports from China - Largest source of imports
2017 – $7.7 billion (26.3%)
2016 – $7.1 billion (27.3%)
2015 – $6.9 billion (27.6%)
2014 – $5.9 billion (24.1%)

West Virginia

Exports to China - 3rd largest export market
2017 – $532 million (7.5%)
2016 – $465 million (9.2%)
2015 – $456 million (7.8%)
2014 – $556 million (7.3%)

Imports from China - 3rd largest source of imports
2017 – $248 million (7.3%)
2016 – $177 million (5.3%)
2015 – $259 million (6.8%)
2014 – $279 million (7.3%)

SLC State Imports from China (2017)
National Ranking State Amount Percent of Total State Imports
2 Texas $42.7 billion 16.2
4 Tennessee $23.7 billion 30.0
5 Georgia $22.2 billion 24.3
11 Florida $12.6 billion 16.7
13 North Carolina $10.2 billion 21.6
16 Kentucky $8.1 billion 17.2
17 Virginia $7.7 billion 26.3
19 South Carolina $6.6 billion 17.7
20 Missouri $4.7 billion 25.1
23 Mississippi $3.9 billion 25.9
24 Arkansas $3.8 billion 41.3
28 Oklahoma $2.5 billion 26.1
32 Alabama $2.2 billion 9.5
36 Louisiana $1.3 billion 3.5
46 West Virginia $248 million 7.3
SLC State Exports to China (2017)
National Ranking State Amount Percent of Total State Exports
3 Texas $16.3 billion 6.2
4 Louisiana $8.0 billion 14.1
5 South Carolina $6.2 billion 19.3
10 Alabama $3.6 billion 16.7
12 Georgia $2.8 billion 7.6
13 Kentucky $2.8 billion 9.1
15 Tennessee $2.5 billion 7.5
16 North Carolina $2.4 billion 7.2
20 Florida $1.9 billion 3.4
22 Virginia $1.7 billion 10.4
27 Missouri $926 million 6.5
30 Mississippi $783 million 7.0
36 West Virginia $532 million 7.5
39 Arkansas $363 million 5.7
43 Oklahoma $223 million 4.1

Source: United States Census Bureau, State and Metropolitan Area Trade Data, 2017.


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. 

Although marijuana use – both medical and recreational – is increasingly accepted in states, it remains a Schedule I narcotic.  Because of this classification, efficacy studies have been limited and largely are focused on negative impacts of marijuana and “medical marijuana.” Cannabis for research purposes is available only through the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Drug Supply Program.  The mission of NIDA is to “advance science on the causes and consequences of drug use and addiction and to apply that knowledge to improve individual and public health,” rather than to pursue or support research into the potential therapeutic uses of cannabis or other drugs.  As a result of this emphasis, less than one-fifth of cannabinoid research funded by NIDA in fiscal year 2015 concerns the therapeutic properties of cannabinoids.  Because NIDA funded the majority of all the National Institutes of Health-sponsored cannabinoid research in fiscal year 2015, its focus on the consequences of drug use and addiction constitutes an impediment to research on the potential beneficial uses of cannabis and cannabinoids.  All of the cannabis that NIDA provides to investigators is sourced from the University of Mississippi, which currently is the sole cultivator of the plant material and has been since 1968.

While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved medical marijuana, there is mounting anecdotal evidence for the efficacy of marijuana-derived compounds. Whether marijuana consumption has therapeutic benefits that outweigh its health risks still is an open question that science has not yet resolved due to the dearth of longitudinal studies.  Nonetheless, safe medicines based on cannabinoid chemicals derived from the marijuana plant have been available for decades.

Although the FDA has not approved medical marijuana, it has approved THC-based medications, including dronabinol and nabilone.  Both medications received FDA approval in 1985.  These medications are prescribed in pill form for the treatment of nausea in patients undergoing chemotherapy and to stimulate appetite in patients with AIDS.  Additionally, CBD-based liquid medication, called Epidiolex, currently is being tested in the United States for the treatment of two forms of severe childhood epilepsy.  Several other marijuana-based medications have been approved or are undergoing clinical trials in the United Kingdom, Canada and several European countries. 

National Institute on Drug Abuse: Marijuana

The National Institute on Drug Abuse is a federal scientific research institute under the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  This report reviews current scientific research on marijuana and its effects.

There is emerging evidence that medical marijuana, when paired with access to marijuana dispensaries, may result in decreased opioid dependence as well as Medicare savings.  A detailed analysis by the RAND Corporation, funded by NIDA and cited in the report, found that legal access to medical marijuana dispensaries is associated with lower levels of opioid prescribing, lower self-reporting of nonmedical prescription opioid use, lower treatment admissions for prescription opioid use disorders, and reduction in prescription opioid overdose deaths.  Notably, the reduction in deaths was present only in states with dispensaries (and not just medical marijuana laws).  Another recent study conducted by RAND, and cited in the report, analyzed Medicare prescription drug coverage data and found that availability of medical marijuana significantly reduced prescribing of medications used for conditions that medical marijuana can treat, including opioids for pain.  In 2013, overall savings for all prescription drugs were estimated to exceed $165 million.

Whether smoking marijuana causes lung cancer, as cigarette smoking does, has not been determined.  While a few small, uncontrolled studies have suggested that habitual marijuana smoking could increase the risk of respiratory cancers, NIDA asserts that well-designed population studies have not identified an association between marijuana use and an increased risk of lung cancer.

While marijuana often is considered a gateway drug, NIDA found that the majority of people who use marijuana do not go on to use other, “harder” substances.  Thus, an alternative to the gateway-drug hypothesis is that individuals who are more vulnerable to drug use are more likely to start with readily available substances such as marijuana, tobacco, or alcohol.

Several studies referenced in the report have linked marijuana use to increased risk for psychiatric disorders, including some discussed in this brief.  However, research using longitudinal data from the National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions examined associations between marijuana use, mood and anxiety disorders, and substance use disorders.  After adjusting for various confounding factors, no association between marijuana use and mood and anxiety disorders was found; however, recent research has found that individuals who carry a specific gene variant may be at increased risk of developing psychosis if they use marijuana.  One study reviewed by NIDA found that the risk among individuals with this variant was seven times higher for those who used marijuana daily compared with those who used it infrequently or not at all.

Cannabinoids for Medical Use: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

In 2015, a systematic review of the benefits and adverse events of cannabinoids published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found moderate-quality evidence to support the use of cannabinoids for the treatment of chronic neuropathic or cancer pain and spasticity due to multiple sclerosis, and low-quality evidence suggesting that cannabinoids were associated with improvements in nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy, weight gain in patients with HIV, sleep disorders, and Tourette syndrome. According to the authors, although most studies suggested that cannabinoids were associated with improvements in symptoms, the associations were not statistically significant.   The study also found an increased risk of short-term adverse effects with cannabinoid use.  Common adverse effects included extreme weakness, balance problems, confusion, dizziness, disorientation, diarrhea, euphoria, drowsiness, dry mouth, fatigue, hallucination, somnolence, and vomiting.

Cannabis for Therapeutic Purposes: Patient Characteristics, Access, and Reasons for Use

Published in the International Journal of Drug Policy, this 2013 article reports findings from a large cross-sectional study on cannabis for therapeutic purposes in Canada and compares use across medical conditions, as well as across authorized and unauthorized users.  Participants were queried regarding a single primary condition and asked to check all applicable symptoms treated with cannabis.    The authors found that across medical conditions, respondents reported using cannabis to effectively address diverse symptoms.  Pain, anxiety and sleep problems were the most frequently treated symptoms. This suggests a disconnect between the use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes and research on the risks and benefits of such use.  Extrapolation of the sample to the Canadian population using cannabis for therapeutic purposes indicates levels of use for anxiety and for sedative purposes that may be comparable to the number of Canadians who currently use benzodiazepine and other sedatives, suggesting a need for further research into the effectiveness and adverse effects of cannabis for the treatment of these conditions compared to widely-used pharmaceutical products.

Cognitive and Clinical Outcomes Associated with Cannabis Use in Patients with Bipolar I Disorder

Published in Psychiatry Research, this 2012 article compares clinical and neurocognitive measures in individuals with bipolar disorder and a history of cannabis use disorder (CUD) with those who do not.  Analyzing data from 200 patients collected over a nine-year period, the authors found that patients with a history of CUD had better neurocognitive performance as compared to patients with no history of CUD.  Specifically, patients with a history of CUD demonstrated better neurocognitive performance on measures of attention, processing speed, and working memory.  Consistent with previous studies that demonstrated that patients with CUD had comparatively superior verbal fluency performance (cited in the report), the authors posit that cannabis use may have a beneficial effect on cognitive functioning in patients with severe psychiatric disorders.  However, the authors also found that a history of CUD was associated with an increased rate of psychosis during acute bipolar episodes, indicating a more severe clinical presentation for patients with bipolar disorder who use cannabis when compared to those who do not use cannabis.  The authors suggest treatment implications may include the development of medications with similar properties as cannabis, without its psychotomimetic effects, to be tested in cognitive enhancement trials in patients with bipolar disorder and/or schizophrenia.

Marijuana Use and Motor Vehicle Crashes

Published by Oxford University Press in 2011, this article utilizes a meta-analysis of nine epidemiologic studies to assesses the association between marijuana use and crash risk.  Although the authors note that previous epidemiologic studies have shown contradictory results, the results of this study suggest that marijuana use is associated with a significantly increased risk of motor vehicle crashes.  Specifically, the authors found that drivers who test positive for marijuana, or self-report using marijuana, are more than twice as likely as other drivers to be involved in motor vehicle crashes and that crash risk appears to increase progressively with the dose and frequency of marijuana use.  Importantly, they note that it is impossible to infer causality from these epidemiologic data alone – assessing interaction effects on driving safety of different drug combinations based on epidemiologic data would require very large study samples, comprehensive drug testing data, and a large financial commitment and resources.

Systematic Review: Efficacy and Safety of Medical Marijuana in Selected Neurologic Disorders

This 2014 report from the Guideline Development Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology is aimed at determining the efficacy and safety of medical marijuana in several neurologic conditions, including the treatment of symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS), epilepsy, and movement disorders.  A variety of formulations of medical marijuana was used in this study, with differing amounts of THC and CBD.  The subcommittee concludes that oral cannabis extract is effective in reducing patient-centered and objective measures of spasticity after one year of treatment and in treating central pain/painful spasms; probably effective in treating patient-centered measures of spasticity; and not effective in treating bladder complaints, tremor, or levodopa-induced dyskinesias in Parkinson disease.  They found that nabiximols* probably are effective in reducing patient-centered measures of spasticity, central pain/painful spasms and reducing bladder voids but possibly ineffective in reducing tremor.  Meanwhile, THC was found to be effective in reducing patient-centered and objective measures of spasticity after one year of treatment; probably effective in reducing patient-centered measures of spasticity and central pain/painful spasms; and probably ineffective in reducing bladder complains and tremors.  The authors note that comparative effectiveness of medical marijuana versus other treatment therapies is unknown.  The subcommittee found that the risk of adverse psychopathologic effects was nearly 1 percent. 

* Nabiximols is a specific extract of cannabis that was approved as a botanical drug in the United Kingdom in 2010 as a mouth spray.

The Association Between Cannabis Use and Depression: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Longitudinal Studies

Utilizing a meta-analysis of longitudinal studies, this 2013 report published in Psychological Medicine analyzes the extent to which different patterns of cannabis use are associated with the development of depression.  The authors found that cannabis use may be associated with an increased risk for developing depressive disorders and recommend further longitudinal exploration of the issue, particularly as it relates to potentially significant confounding factors.  Two broad explanations for the association between cannabis use and the development of depression are discussed.  The first is a possible neurobiological link between cannabinoid effects and symptoms of depression.  However, the authors note that there is little research evidence to support this.  Instead, they suggest that most relevant research implies that cannabinoids may have an antidepressant effect. A second possibility posited by the authors is that cannabis use causes life events or circumstances that increases the likelihood of depression.  In other words, the association between cannabis use and increased risk for depression may be socially mediated. 


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.

States with Apiaries Designated as Agricultural Land
State Definition Citation Type
Alabama Agricultural and forest property: all real property used for raising, harvesting, and selling crops or for the feeding, breeding, management, raising, sale of, or the production of livestock, including beef cattle, sheep, swine, horses, ponies, mules, poultry, fur-bearing animals, honeybees, and fish, or for dairying and the sale of dairy products, or for the growing and sale of timber and forest products, or any other agricultural or horticultural use or animal husbandry and any combination thereof. Code of Ala. § 40-8-1 Current Use
Florida Agricultural purposes: includes, but is not limited to, horticulture; floriculture; viticulture; forestry; dairy; livestock; poultry; bee; pisciculture, if the land is used principally for the production of tropical fish; aquaculture, including algaculture; sod farming; and all forms of farm products as defined in s. 823.14(3) and farm production. Fla. Stat. § 193.461 Classified Use*
Georgia Tangible real property which is devoted to 'bona fide agricultural purposes: tangible real property, the primary use of which is good faith commercial production from or on the land of agricultural products, including horticultural, floricultural, forestry, dairy, livestock, poultry, and apiarian products and all other forms of farm products. O.C.G.A. § 48-5-7.1 Current Use
Texas Agricultural use: includes but is not limited to the following activities: cultivating the soil, producing crops for human food, animal feed, or planting seed or for the production of fibers; floriculture, viticulture, and horticulture; raising or keeping livestock; raising or keeping exotic animals for the production of human food or of fiber, leather, pelts, or other tangible products having a commercial value; planting cover crops or leaving land idle for the purpose of participating in a governmental program, provided the land is not used for residential purposes or a purpose inconsistent with agricultural use; and planting cover crops or leaving land idle in conjunction with normal crop or livestock rotation procedure. The term also includes the use of land to produce or harvest logs and posts for the use in constructing or repairing fences, pens, barns, or other agricultural improvements on adjacent qualified open-space land having the same owner and devoted to a different agricultural use. The term also includes the use of land for wildlife management. The term also includes the use of land to raise or keep bees for pollination or for the production of human food or other tangible products having a commercial value, provided that the land used is not less than 5 or more than 20 acres. Tex. Tax Code § 23.51 Current Use
Virginia According to 2VAC5-20-20 of the "Standards for Classification of Real Estate Devoted to Agricultural Use and to Horticultural Use Under the Virginia Land Use Assessment Law," real estate devoted to "bees and apiary products" can be considered a qualifying use. 2 VAC 5-20-20 Current Use or Previous Use
West Virginia Farming purposes: the utilization of land to produce for sale, consumption or use, any agricultural products, including, but not limited to, livestock, poultry, fruit, vegetables, grains or hays or any of the products derived from any of the foregoing, tobacco, syrups, honey, and any and all horticultural and nursery stock, Christmas trees, all sizes of ornamental trees, sod, seed and any and all similar commodities or products including farm wood lots and the parts of a farm which are lands lying fallow, or in timber or in wastelands. W. Va. Code § 11-1A-3 Farm Use

* Classified use and current use are functionally equivalent, as the difference lies in state terminology, not in valuation.


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.

Given such perceived disruptions to a pillar of the national economy, it is instructive to understand the role of retail in each state’s economic landscape and the extent to which the industry’s difficulties have impacted states’ workforces in recent years. This SLC Issue Brief reviews Occupational Employment Statistics from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, for three prominent retail occupations — cashiers, retail salespersons and retail supervisors — to determine how employment in these areas has evolved since 2012. Several states in the South have maintained solid growth in these occupations, in some cases surpassing the national average by wide margins, despite the many challenges confronting the industry. However, such growth likely cannot be sustained due to the ongoing and accelerating shift to online commerce.


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.

Given this burgeoning sector’s ability to create jobs and provide additional energy security and independence in the United States, the often asked question regarding the viability of utility-scale wind power development depends on several factors, including quality of the available wind resources, regional market prices for electrical power, transmission capacity and accessibility, and state-specific policies. While these factors are crucial to the successful development of wind power, states with limited wind resources may benefit from expanded utilization of this renewable resource. This SLC Special Series Report, the second in a series exploring the myriad impacts of wind energy expansion in the Southern region, examines the development of the industry in Texas, Oklahoma and Virginia. Specifically, this report explores the resources, capacity and transmission; policies and incentives; and economic impacts of wind energy generation in these states, thus demonstrating the opportunities available.


SLC Special Series Report | December 1, 2017

Long-Term Care in the South (Part II)

Roger Moore, Policy Analyst

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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.

Part I of this SLC Special Series Report detailed many of the broader concerns that long-term care poses for Southern states, including challenging demographic shifts, deteriorating health status among key segments of the population and prohibitively high costs of various LTC services. Part II outlines the role that insurance plays in financing long-term care and reviews potential insurance-related solutions that could create more affordable care in the future for states and LTC recipients.


Issue Brief | October 30, 2017

NAFTA Trade Data – SLC States, Canada and Mexico

Roger Moore, Policy Analyst

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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.

Since NAFTA’s implementation in 1994, trade between the SLC region and Canada and Mexico has changed dramatically. According to the Office of the United States Trade Representative, national exports and imports to/from Mexico increased by 455 percent and 637 percent, respectively, between 1993 and 2016. Meanwhile, exports and imports to/from Canada increased 165 percent and 150 percent, respectively, during the same period.

Exports to Mexico, in particular, have risen exponentially across the region, with Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina all experiencing increases of more than 500 percent between 1993 and 2016. With the exception of Oklahoma, where exports to Mexico have risen by approximately 82 percent since 1993, every state in the region has seen an increase of at least 125 percent.

As a percentage of their total exports, SLC states likewise have increased the amount of trade to Mexico. Across the region, the percentage of all exports to Mexico averaged 7.2 percent in 1993, compared to 11.9 percent in 2016. 

Exports to Canada between 1993 and 2016 have increased in every SLC state, from a low of 12 percent in Oklahoma, to a high of 262 percent in Kentucky. However, as a percentage of total exports, several SLC states, including Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Tennessee, export less to Canada than they did in 1993. Across the region, the percentage of all exports to Canada averaged 21.5 percent in 1993; in 2016, it dropped slightly to 19.5 percent.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Mexico now is the first or second most important export market for Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas, and it is among the top five export markets for Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, South Carolina and Virginia.

Meanwhile, Canada is the top export market for Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. For all remaining states in the region, Canada is among the top three export markets.

Imports from Canada and Mexico also have a major impact on economies across the SLC region. With the exception of Louisiana, Canada and/or Mexico are among the top five importers for every SLC member state.

Across the SLC region, the total value of exports and imports to/from Canada and Mexico in 2016 was approximately $378 billion, representing more than one third of the national total.


SLC States’ Exports to Mexico 1993 and 2016 (millions of dollars)
Source: United States Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Data. (Calculation made via Consumer Price Index Inflation Calculator, Bureau of Labor Statistics.)
State Exports to
Mexico 1993
(in 2016 dollars)
Exports to Mexico 2016 Percent increase
Alabama $344 $2,633 664.5
Arkansas $174 $685 294.0
Florida $1,256 $2,830 125.3
Georgia $684 $3,526 415.7
Kentucky $328 $2,226 578.8
Louisiana $834 $5,484 557.5
Mississippi $150 $1,029 584.1
Missouri $655 $2,534 286.6
North Carolina $842 $3,012 257.6
Oklahoma $294 $536 82.5
South Carolina $241 $2,118 777.3
Tennessee $778 $4,466 474.4
Texas $33,909 $91,746 170.6
Virginia $360 $1,090 202.9
West Virginia $62 $179 187.6

SLC States’ Percentage of Exports to Mexico 1993 and 2016
Source: United States Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Data.
State Percent of all exports to Mexico 1993 Percent of all exports to Mexico 2016
Alabama 5.2 12.9
Arkansas 6.7 12.0
Florida 4.1 5.4
Georgia 5.0 9.9
Kentucky 4.2 7.6
Louisiana 3.3 11.3
Mississippi 4.9 9.8
Missouri 9.8 18.2
North Carolina 4.4 10.0
Oklahoma 7.2 10.6
South Carolina 2.8 6.8
Tennessee 7.3 14.2
Texas 39.0 39.7
Virginia 2.1 6.7
West Virginia 2.4 3.6

SLC States’ Exports and Imports to/from Mexico 2016 (millions of dollars)
Source: United States Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Data.
National Rank State Exports to Mexico Percent of all exports Imports from Mexico Percent of all imports Total imports and exports
18 Alabama $2,633 12.9 $3,177 14.4 $5,810
36 Arkansas $685 12.0 $597 7.6 $1,282
10 Florida $2,830 5.4 $5,784 7.9 $8,614
8 Georgia $3,526 9.9 $6,469 7.5 $9,995
13 Kentucky $2,226 7.6 $5,197 13.0 $7,423
15 Louisiana $5,484 11.3 $1,099 3.4 $6,583
30 Mississippi $1,029 9.8 $1,552 11.1 $2,581
21 Missouri $2,534 18.2 $2,692 15.6 $5,226
12 North Carolina $3,012 10.0 $4,583 9.7 $7,595
35 Oklahoma $536 10.6 $815 9.6 $1,351
20 South Carolina $2,118 6.8 $3,395 9.4 $5,513
7 Tennessee $4,466 14.2 $7,324 9.7 $11,790
1 Texas $91,746 39.7 $81,007 35.3 $172,753
32 Virginia $1,090 6.7 $783 3.0 $1,873
40 West Virginia $179 3.6 $230 6.9 $409

SLC States’ Exports to Canada 1993 and 2016 (millions of dollars)
Source: United States Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Data.
State Exports to
Canada 1993
(in 2016 dollars)
Exports to Canada 2016 Percent increase
Alabama $1,376 $4,135 200.6
Arkansas $836 $1,164 39.3
Florida $2,692 $3,502 30.1
Georgia $2,763 $5,856 112.0
Kentucky $2,329 $7,478 221.1
Louisiana $741 $2,682 262.1
Mississippi $619 $2,186 253.2
Missouri $2,740 $5,234 91.0
North Carolina $4,427 $6,407 44.7
Oklahoma $1,241 $1,399 12.7
South Carolina $1,929 $3,478 80.3
Tennessee $3,530 $8,722 147.1
Texas $7,149 $19,960 179.2
Virginia $1,873 $2,906 55.2
West Virginia $466 $1,537 230.0

SLC States’ Percentage of Exports to Canada 1993 and 2016
Source: United States Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Data.
State Percent of all exports to Canada 1993 Percent of all exports to Canada 2016
Alabama 20.1 20.2
Arkansas 32.1 20.4
Florida 8.9 6.7
Georgia 20.4 16.4
Kentucky 30.0 25.6
Louisiana 2.9 5.5
Mississippi 20.0 20.8
Missouri 41.2 37.6
North Carolina 23.4 21.2
Oklahoma 30.5 27.7
South Carolina 22.4 11.1
Tennessee 33.1 27.7
Texas 8.2 8.6
Virginia 11.1 17.8
West Virginia 18.2 30.5

SLC States’ Exports and Imports to/from Canada 2016 (millions of dollars)
Source: United States Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Data.
National Rank State Exports to Canada Percent of all exports Imports from Canada Percent of all imports Total imports and exports
21 Alabama $4,135 20.2 $2,076 9.4 $6,211
43 Arkansas $1,164 20.4 $753 9.6 $1,917
19 Florida $3,502 6.7 $4,293 5.8 $7,795
16 Georgia $5,856 16.4 $3,997 4.6 $9,853
13 Kentucky $7,478 25.6 $3,470 8.7 $10,948
28 Louisiana $2,682 5.5 $1,481 4.6 $4,163
37 Mississippi $2,186 20.8 $909 6.5 $3,095
18 Missouri $5,234 37.6 $2,956 17.2 $8,190
17 North Carolina $6,407 21.2 $3,351 7.1 $9,758
30 Oklahoma $1,399 27.7 $2,542 29.9 $3,941
20 South Carolina $3,478 11.1 $2,940 8.1 $6,418
10 Tennessee $8,722 27.7 $5,148 6.8 $13,870
4 Texas $19,960 8.6 $15,228 6.6 $35,188
25 Virginia $2,906 17.8 $1,920 7.4 $4,826
39 West Virginia $1,537 30.5 $1,126 33.8 $2,663

Top Five Export Destinations for SLC States
* Mexico is the 9th largest export market for West Virginia.
Source: United States Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Data.
Alabama Arkansas Florida Georgia Kentucky
1. Canada 1. Canada 1. Brazil 1. Canada 1. Canada
2. China 2. France 2. Canada 2. Mexico 2. United Kingdom
3. Germany 3. Mexico 3. Mexico 3. China 3. France
4. Mexico 4. Japan 4. Colombia 4. Germany 4. Mexico
5. United Kingdom 5. China 5. Germany 5. Japan 5. Brazil
Louisiana Mississippi Missouri North Carolina Oklahoma
1. China 1. Canada 1. Canada 1. Canada 1. Canada
2. Mexico 2. Mexico 2. Mexico 2. Mexico 2. Mexico
3. Canada 3. Panama 3. China 3. China 3. Germany
4. Netherlands 4. China 4. Japan 4. Saudi Arabia 4. Singapore
5. Japan 5. Guatemala 5. Belgium 5. Japan 5. Japan
South Carolina Tennessee Texas Virginia West Virginia *
1. China 1. Canada 1. Mexico 1. Canada 1. Canada
2. Germany 2. Mexico 2. Canada 2. China 2. China
3. Canada 3. China 3. China 3. Mexico 3. Belgium
4. United Kingdom 4. Japan 4. Brazil 4. United Kingdom 4. Brazil
5. Mexico 5. Belgium 5. South Korea 5. Germany 5. Netherlands

Top Five Importers to SLC States
* Canada is Georgia’s 6th largest importer.
Canada and Mexico are Louisiana’s 6th and 10th largest importers, respectively.
Mexico is Virginia’s 9th largest importer.
Source: United States Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Data.
Alabama Arkansas Florida Georgia * Kentucky
1. South Korea 1. China 1. China 1. China 1. China
2. Germany 2. France 2. Mexico 2. Germany 2. Mexico
3. Mexico 3. Canada 3. Canada 3. Mexico 3. Japan
4. Canada 4. Mexico 4. Germany 4. South Korea 4. Canada
5. China 5. Germany 5. Japan 5. Japan 5. Germany
Louisiana Mississippi Missouri North Carolina Oklahoma
1. Saudi Arabia 1. China 1. China 1. China 1. Canada
2. Venezuela 2. Mexico 2. Canada 2. Mexico 2. China
3. Russia 3. Venezuela 3. Mexico 3. Canada 3. Mexico
4. Iraq 4. Canada 4. Germany 4. Germany 4. Japan
5. Algeria 5. Japan 5. United Arab Emirates 5. Japan 5. Germany
South Carolina Tennessee Texas Virginia West Virginia
1. Germany 1. China 1. Mexico 1. China 1. Canada
2. China 2. Japan 2. China 2. Germany 2. Japan
3. Mexico 3. Mexico 3. Canada 3. Canada 3. Mexico
4. Canada 4. Ireland 4. South Korea 4. Japan 4. China
5. Japan 5. Canada 5. Germany 5. Malaysia 5. Germany

References

Foreign Trade Data, United States Census Bureau, https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/state/data/index.html (accessed October 30, 2017).

“NAFTA ’95: A Report Card,” Southern Legislative Conference, 1995.

“U.S.-Canada Trade Facts,” Office of the United States Trade Representative, https://ustr.gov/countries-regions/americas/canada (accessed October 30, 2017).

“U.S.-Mexico Trade Facts,” Office of the United States Trade Representative, https://ustr.gov/countries-regions/americas/mexico (accessed October 30, 2017).


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

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)


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)


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

Source: Prison Policy Initiative (accessed June 22, 2017)

Median annual pre-incarceration incomes for people in local jails unable to post a bail bond, ages 23-39, in $USD (2015), by race/ethnicity and gender.

Note: The median bail bond amount nationally is almost a full year’s income for the average person unable to post a bail bond.
Source: Prison Policy Initiative (accessed June 22, 2017)

Kentucky

Of the SLC member states, the most comprehensive bail reform has been in Kentucky, in the form of centralized pretrial programs (of note, the District of Columbia and New Jersey also have authorized similar programs). In 2011, Kentucky lawmakers passed the Public Safety and Offender Accountability Act, or House Bill 463. The legislation implements several pretrial reforms including: a deferred prosecution program for first or second offenders, pretrial risk assessment in determining conditions for bail, and evidence-based practices for contractors providing intervention services. Further, the bill directs the state Department of Corrections to develop an online system of state statistics on offenders to provide courts, attorneys and other relevant parties with objective information to be used in plea negotiations and sentencing. The language in House Bill 463 also directs the state Supreme Court to establish guidelines for the release of moderate- and high-risk defendants with supervision in lieu of cash bail or pretrial detention. Kentucky is one of several states that has received technical assistance and support from The Council of State Governments’ Justice Center through the Justice Reinvestment Initiative, a public-private partnership that includes the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Crime and Justice Institute, Vera Institute of Justice and other organizations.

(See pages 15-18, 25-30, 37, 48 and 65 of bill text)

See also:
"2011 Kentucky Reforms Cut Recidivism, Costs," The Pew Center on the States, July 2011
"Lessons from the States: Reducing Recidivism and Curbing Corrections Costs Through Justice Reinvestment," The Council of State Governments' Justice Center, April 2013

Arkansas

Arkansas lawmakers passed the Public Safety Improvement Act in 2011, which requires the Department of Corrections to conduct a risk-needs assessment — a report that measures an offender’s criminal risk factors and individual needs — intake and use the results to assign pretrial programming or conditions for supervision. The bill also strengthens reporting requirements and administrative processes for discharge from probation or parole.

(See pages 83 and 95 of bill text)

See also:
“Arkansas’s 2011 Public Safety Reform,” The Pew Center on the States, July 2011.

Alabama

Alabama House Bill 494 (2013) allows the district attorney to delegate authority and discretion for recommendation and enrollment in pretrial intervention programs to the presiding judge. All discretionary powers over any acceptance, denial, dismissal, and completion of any pretrial intervention program candidate or enrollee reside with the district attorney and presiding judge of the court. With regard to probations, if the court finds that the defendant is unable to pay the supervision fee, it may, in lieu of a monthly probation supervision fee, require the defendant to perform community service. The legislation also establishes additional criteria that may allow an offender to enter a pretrial diversion program.

Louisiana

Louisiana House Bill 249 (2017), signed into law by Governor John Edwards on June 15, 2017, allows judges to reduce or waive fines when offenders cannot afford the payment or when it presents a financial burden on an offender’s dependents. The law also allows for the creation of monthly payment plans for defendants, based on their ability to pay. Judges also are prohibited from extending the probation period of a convicted offender even if they have unpaid fines and fees.

Texas

Texas Senate Bill 1913 (2017) , signed into law by Governor Greg Abbot on June 15, 2017, includes numerous provisions relating to court administration and defendants, including: payment of fines and costs by indigent defendants, performance of community service in lieu of paying fines, and repeal of certain fees. The legislation requires courts to inquire whether the defendant has sufficient resources or income to pay all or part of the fine and court costs. If the court determines that the defendant cannot pay immediately, the legislation provides alternatives to detainment. The bill also restricts the usage of “capias pro” fines: warrants issued when a person misses a payment deadline or community service obligations.

Mississippi

Mississippi approved comprehensive sentencing and corrections legislation in 2014 that enhances clarity in sentencing and prioritizes prison space for violent and career offenders. House Bill 585 expands judicial discretion by authorizing alternatives to incarceration for non-violent offenders, strengthens supervision and programs to reduce recidivism, and establishes performance objectives and measures. The legislation also made changes to felony threshold amounts.

(See pages 4, 12, 48 and 52 of bill text)

See also:
“Mississippi’s 2014 Corrections and Criminal Justice Reform,” The Pew Charitable Trusts, May 2014.

West Virginia

West Virginia lawmakers, in 2014, passed Senate Bill 307, which authorizes community corrections programs to operate pretrial release programs. Senate Bill 307 was crafted with recommendations from The Council of State Governments’ Justice Center report, Analyses and Policy Options to Reduce Spending on Corrections and Reinvest in Strategies to Increase Public Safety.


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. 

It is not widely known that states have the authority to sanction sales across their borders and define the conditions under which such sales can be made. According to the Commonwealth Fund, six states have enacted policies allowing out-of-state health insurance plans in their markets: Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, Rhode Island, Washington, and Wyoming. However, not one out-of-state health insurer has offered policies in a new market that allows cross-state sales. Experts and officials in the insurance industry attribute this to the fact that establishing local provider networks, a necessity for all health insurers, is an extremely difficult and timely undertaking, particularly for an entity based in another state, as it involves negotiating contracts with local doctors and hospitals so that customers can be covered in their respective areas. In fact, setting up a local provider network reportedly is the biggest barrier for insurance companies that may be interested in selling their policies in another state, more so than restrictive regulatory environments or costly benefit mandates.

There are options available to overcome these obstacles though, to date, none have been successfully applied. A block of states could pass legislation and open their markets to each other simultaneously, thereby spurring investment that can provide the foundation for a sustainable cross-state market. Additionally, a group of states could enter an interstate compact under which each state abides by a specified set of regulations. This is complicated, however, because many states and their insurance authorities may be unwilling to relinquish their regulatory autonomy, which would be required to enter such a collective compact. There also would be questions related to how an interstate compact would be crafted, as it would require input from multiple states and nuanced negotiations to ensure all involved parties are satisfied. A third option is for the federal government to mandate that states must accept out-of-state policies rather than simply allowing them the option to do so, as the current law maintains. Legislators concerned about federal government overreach, however, may oppose such a mandate.

Opponents of cross-state health insurance policies claim that, if broadly enacted, these would lead to a “race to the bottom” as health insurers flock to states with the least restrictive policies and fewest consumer protections. In theory, insurers operating within less restrictive regulatory environments would attract younger, healthier customers since they could offer inexpensive plans with less comprehensive coverage. Meanwhile, insurers operating under more restrictive environments that mandate extensive coverage would attract a disproportionate number of older and unhealthier people, creating a prohibitively costly risk pool that is unsustainable in the long run without increasing premiums or reducing coverage. Critics also contend that if insurers were allowed to sell policies out-of-state, they would be less accountable to many of their out-of-state consumers, since regulators in one state do not have the authority to enforce laws and address improper practices in another state. Overall, critics assert, cross-state health insurance policies likely would benefit younger and healthier people interested in purchasing inexpensive policies; however, older customers, and those with pre-existing conditions, would be adversely affected.


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.

Table 1. Limits on Bills Introduced Per Session in SLC Member States
State/Chamber Limit on Legislation Introduced Per Session
Alabama No limit
Arkansas No limit
Florida House Six bills per member
Florida Senate No limit
Georgia No limit
Kentucky No limit
Louisiana Five bills that were not pre-filed
Mississippi No limit
Missouri No limit
North Carolina House 15 bills per member
North Carolina Senate No limit
Oklahoma House Eight bills or joint resolutions per member *
Oklahoma Senate No limit
South Carolina No limit
Tennessee House 15 bills per member
Tennessee Senate No limit
Texas No limit
Virginia House 15 per member in odd-numbered years; five non-pre-filed bills after the pre-filing deadline
Virginia Senate Eight non-pre-filed bills after the pre-filing deadline
West Virginia No limit

* There are exceptions to this limit. See the section on Oklahoma for more information.


In addition, many states permit the practice of pre-filing legislation before a legislative session begins. Table 2 illustrates the practice of pre-filing in the 15 SLC member states. Fourteen SLC member states permit the practice of pre-filing legislation. The Florida House of Representatives allows members to introduce up to six bills per session, two of which must be pre-field. Limits on legislation that is not pre-filed, as practiced in Louisiana and Virginia, creates a de facto pre-filing requirement.

Table 2. Pre-filing of Bills in SLC Member States
State/Chamber Pre-filing of Legislation
Alabama Permitted
Arkansas Permitted
Florida House Six bills per member may be introduced, at least two must be pre-filed
Florida Senate Permitted
Georgia Permitted
Kentucky Permitted
Louisiana No member may introduce more than five non-pre-filed bills *
Mississippi Permitted
Missouri Permitted
North Carolina House Not permitted
North Carolina Senate Not Permitted
Oklahoma House Permitted
Oklahoma Senate Permitted
South Carolina Permitted
Tennessee House Permitted
Tennessee Senate Permitted
Texas Permitted
Virginia House Five non-pre-filed bills may be filed after the pre-filing deadline
Virginia Senate Eight non-pre-filed bills may be filed after the pre-filing deadline
West Virginia Permitted

* See the section on Louisiana for more information.


States with Bill Introduction Limits
Florida

A member of the House of Representatives may not file more than six bills during a regular session. Of the six bills, at least two must be pre-filed with the clerk of the House no later than 12:00 p.m. on the sixth Tuesday prior to the first day of the regular session. Bills that do not count toward these limits include: ceremonial House resolutions, memorials, concurrent resolutions regarding extension of a session of legislative organization, trust fund bills adhering to another bill, public records or public meetings exemptions bills adhering to another bill, joint resolutions adhering to a general bill, and bills that only repeal or delete provisions of the Florida Statutes or Laws of Florida.

There is no limit on the number of bills introduced in the Senate. Bills may be pre-filed but are not required to be.

Sources
“The Florida Senate: Rules and Manual 2016-2018.” The Florida Senate. November 22, 2016. https://www.flsenate.gov/PublishedContent/ADMINISTRATIVEPUBLICATIONS/2016-2018SenateRules.pdf (accessed March 17, 2017).
“The Rules of the Florida House of Representatives.” Florida Legislature. http://www.leg.state.fl.us/cgi-bin/view_page.pl?Tab=session&Submenu=1&FT=D&File=hb0001O.html&Directory=session/2004O/House/bills/billtext/html/ (accessed March 17, 2017).

Louisiana

Under the Constitution of the State of Louisiana, no member of the Legislature may introduce more than five bills that were not pre-filed, except as provided in the joint rules of the Legislature. Additionally, sessions convening in even-numbered years are general in nature; sessions convening in odd-numbered years are fiscal in nature.

In odd-numbered years, the Legislature divides all bills into three classes:

  • Class I: Measures to enact a general appropriation bill; enact the comprehensive capital budget; make an appropriation; levy or authorize a new tax; increase an existing tax; levy, authorize, increase, decrease, or repeal a fee; dedicate revenue; bills regarding tax exemptions, exclusions, deductions, reductions, repeals, or credits; or bills regarding issuance of bonds.
  • Class II: Local or special bills (those which are constitutionally required to be and have been advertised).
  • Class III: Any other subject matter not covered by Class I or Class II.

In odd-numbered years, all Class III bills must be pre-filed, and no member may pre-file more than five of these bills. There is no limit for pre-filing Class I or Class II bills, but only five of these bills may be introduced after the session begins.

Sources
“Constitution of the State of Louisiana, Article III.” Louisiana Senate. http://senate.la.gov/Documents/Constitution/Article3.htm (accessed March 20, 2017).
“Regular Session Information Bulletin.” Louisiana House of Representatives. September 30, 2016. https://legis.la.gov/legisdocs/17rs/17RS_House_Bulletin.pdf(accessed March 20, 2017).

North Carolina

The House of Representatives has a limit of 15 bills per session per member. Pre-filing of bills is not permitted. There is an exchange program, operated by the House principal clerk, for members who wish to file more than their allotment.

There are no limits on the number of bills that may be introduced in the Senate. Pre-filing of bills is not permitted.

In both chambers, bills may only be introduced in either chamber on legislative days when the General Assembly is in session.

Source
Email communication with Paul Coble, Legislatives Services Officer, General Assembly on March 13, 2017.

Oklahoma

In the House of Representatives, members may only introduce a total of eight bills or joint resolutions during a session. Simple and concurrent resolutions, which don’t have the force and effect of law, are exempt. Other exceptions to the eight-bill limit include:

  • Budget bills authored by the chair of the Appropriations and Budget Committee;
  • Bills introduced to merge duplicate sections;
  • Measures that disapprove or approve agency rules;
  • Bills relating to the Oklahoma Sunset Law;
  • Bills that simply repeal statutory language; and
  • Any other measure authorized by the Speaker.

Although the House has an eight-bill limit, members may introduce more than eight bills; however, only the first eight bills are technically eligible to be heard and the remainder are sent to the Rules Committee for consideration. In addition, there is an exchange program for members who wish to file more than their allotment.

Bills may be pre-filed, but are not required to be.

In the Senate, there is no limit on the number of bills that may be introduced each legislative session. Bills may be pre-filed, but are not required to be.

Sources
Email communication with Marcia Goff, Research Director, House of Representatives on March 13, 2017.
“Senate Rules for the 56th Oklahoma Legislature.” Oklahoma Senate. 2017. http://www.oksenate.gov/publications/senate_rules/2017-Senate-Rule.pdf (accessed March 24, 2017).

Tennessee

In the House of Representatives, members may only introduce 15 bills per session. Bills filed on behalf of the governor do not count toward the limit.

In the Senate, there is no limit on the number of bills introduced until the second Thursday of session; after that date, members may only introduce nine bills per session.

In both chambers, bills may be pre-filed, but are not required to be.

Sources
“How Many Bills Can State Legislators Introduce?” MultiState. December 21, 2015. https://www.multistate.us/blog/insider/2015/12/how-many-bills-can-state-legislators-introduce (accessed March 24, 2017).
“The Book of the States.” The Council of State Governments. 2016. http://knowledgecenter.csg.org/kc/system/files/3.14%202016.pdf (accessed March 24, 2017).
Humphrey, Tom. “Tennessee lawmakers file more than 1,400 bills.” Knoxville News Sentinel. February 13, 2017. http://www.knoxnews.com/story/news/local/tennessee/2017/02/13/tennessee-lawmakers-file-more-than-1400-bills/97758034/ (accessed March 24, 2017).
Humphrey, Tom. “Deadline Thursday for Tenn. Legislative bills in 2016 session.” Knoxville News Sentinel. January 17, 2016. http://archive.knoxnews.com/news/politics/deadline-thursday-for-tenn-legislative-bills-in-2016-session-2979ef9e-f6b6-45b7-e053-0100007ff298-365585101.html (accessed March 24, 2017).
“Temporary Rules of Order of the Senate for the 110th General Assembly.” Tennessee General Assembly. January 10, 2017. http://www.capitol.tn.gov/senate/publications/Temp%20Rules%20Of%20Order%20110th%20(1-10-17).pdf (accessed March 24, 2017).

Virginia

Senators are limited to introducing 10 commending and memorial resolutions each session. In odd-numbered years (i.e, years in which a budget bill is in effect and only budget amendments are being considered), delegates may introduce a total of 15 bills, excluding commending and memorial resolutions.

In addition, after Virginia's pre-filing deadline passes (10:00 a.m. on the first day of each session), delegates may introduce up to five non-pre-filed bills and senators may introduce up to eight non-pre-filed bills, commending and memorial resolutions are not counted for purposes of these limits. Thus, while there is no pre-filing requirement, the limit on bills after the pre-filing deadline effectively creates a pre-filing requirement.

Source
Email communication with Mark Vucci, Acting Director, Division of Legislative Services on March 14, 2017.

States with No Bill Introduction Limits

The following states have no limit on the number of bills that may be introduced each legislative session:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Georgia
  • Kentucky
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • West Virginia

In these states, bills may be pre-filed, but are not required to be.

Sources
Email communication with Jerry Bassett, Senior Counsel to Legislative Service Agencies, Alabama Legislative Reference Service on March 14, 2017.
Email communication with Ann Cornwell, Director, Arkansas Senate on March 13, 2017.
Email communication with Martha Wigton, Director, Georgia House Budget and Research Office on March 13, 2017.
Email communication with David Byerman, Director, Kentucky Legislative Research Commission on March 13, 2017.
“House Rules.” Mississippi Legislature. http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/htms/h_rules.pdf (accessed March 20, 2017).
“Senate Rules.” Mississippi Legislature. http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/htms/s_rules.pdf (accessed March 20, 2017).
“Missouri Constitution, Article III.” Missouri General Assembly. http://www.moga.mo.gov/mostatutes/ConstArticles/Art03.html (accessed March 24, 2017).
“Rules of the House of Representatives.” South Carolina Legislature. 2017. http://www.scstatehouse.gov/housepage/hourule.php (accessed March 24, 2017).
“Rules of the Senate.” South Carolina Legislature. December 6, 2016. http://www.scstatehouse.gov/senatepage/senrule.php (accessed March 24, 2017).
Grissom, Brandi and Lauren McGaughy. “Let the lawmaking begin: Texas legislators file bills for the 2017 session.” The Dallas Morning News. November 14, 2016. http://www.dallasnews.com/news/texas-legislature/2016/11/14/let-lawmaking-begin-lawmakers-file-bills-2017-session(accessed March 24, 2017).
“Senate Rules.” Texas Senate. January 11, 2017. http://www.senate.texas.gov/_assets/pdf/SenateRules85.pdf (accessed March 24, 2017).
“Texas House Rules.” Texas House of Representatives. 2017. http://www.house.state.tx.us/_media/pdf/hrrules.pdf (accessed March 24, 2017).
Email communication with Aaron Allred, Legislative Manager and Legislative Auditor, West Virginia Legislature on March 13, 2017.


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

The Oklahoma State System of Higher Education must offer incoming in-state students a fixed-rate tuition plan for four years or more, depending on the length of a bachelor’s program, as determined by the institution. Students who choose to participate in the fixed-rate tuition plan must maintain continuous enrollment for the duration of their bachelor’s program.

Institutions must provide to students the annual tuition rate and the percentage increase of regular tuition for the previous four academic years, as well as the annual tuition rate and percentage increases that would need to occur during the following four years for the traditional tuition plan to surpass the costs of the fixed-rate tuition plan of their selected bachelor’s program. The costs of fixed-rate tuition plans cannot exceed 115 percent of the traditional tuition plans during the same academic year.

§ 70-3218.8
Effective 2008-2009 academic year

Texas Education Code

Undergraduate students, in addition to undergraduate transfer students, may receive fixed-rate tuition plans for the first 12 consecutive semesters after enrollment at public universities in the state. Fees charged by an institution to any student participating in the fixed-rate tuition plan cannot exceed the fees charged to students who are not participating. Universities can enact mandatory fixed-rate plans for all students or offer students the option of choosing between fixed-rate plans and traditional tuition plans.

§ 54.017
Effective 2014-2015 academic year


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:

  • Permitting the state to seize all property associated with activities of human trafficking, proceeds of which often go to law enforcement agencies, child services, and/or human trafficking victim funds (Georgia, Kentucky, Virginia)
  • Requiring traffickers to register as sex offenders (Georgia)
  • Clarifying and expanding definitions of 'abuse,' 'trafficking,' and/or 'coercion' to better protect victims and facilitate prosecution of traffickers (Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee)
  • Requiring specified establishments to provide information about the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline (South Carolina)
  • Removing the statute of limitations on child prostitution (Texas)
  • Granting immunity to witnesses involved in prostitution cases (Texas)
  • Establishing safe harbor laws whereby victims of trafficking are not convicted of crimes for activities in which they were forced to engage (Alabama, Florida, Georgia)
  • Requiring perpetrators to pay additional fines upon conviction to fund counseling and other related services for victims (Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi)
  • Requiring law enforcement officers to undergo training to assist them in successfully addressing cases involving human trafficking and child abuse (Georgia)

Human Trafficking Legislation in Southern States


State Bill Key Provisions
Alabama House Bill 433 (2016)
  • Provides a safe harbor provision in state law whereby a child who engages in prostitution will not be convicted of a crime
  • Provides social and community services for sexually exploited children
  • Authorizes an additional fine of $500 for those convicted of trafficking, to be used for counseling and other services for victims
Arkansas House Bill 1203 (2013)
  • Expands the definition of human trafficking
  • Increases penalties for those convicted of trafficking
  • Permits the attorney general to create the State Task Force for the Prevention of Human Trafficking
  • Allows victims of human trafficking to bring civil actions in any appropriate state court
    • The court can award actual damages, compensatory damages, punitive damages, injunctive relief or any other appropriate relief to the victim.
    • If the trafficker's actions were willful and malicious, three times actual damages shall be awarded to the victim.
Florida House Bill 545 (2016)
  • Includes human trafficking as a predicate offense for felony murder
  • Increases penalties for individuals and establishments convicted of human trafficking
  • Removes people younger than 18 years old from being prosecuted for prostitution
Georgia House Bill 200 (2011)
  • Significantly increases penalties for individuals convicted of human trafficking
    • Those caught trafficking a minor under the age of 16 are charged with a felony. Punishment includes 10 to 30 years in prison and fines up to $100,000.
    • Those caught trafficking a minor between the ages of 16-18 are charged with a felony. Punishment includes five to 20 years in prison and fines between $2,500-$10,000.
  • Allows the state to seize all property that a trafficker used in the course of his/her trafficking activities
  • Mandates law enforcement training to assist officers in successfully handling incidents involving human trafficking victims
  • Prohibits unfamiliarity with the age of the victim as a defense for those accused of human trafficking
  Senate Bill 8 (2015)
  • Requires individuals convicted of human trafficking to register as sex offenders on the State Sexual Offender Registry
  • Establishes the Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Children Fund, which is tasked with providing physical and mental health care, housing, education, professional development, child care, legal help and other services to victims of human trafficking
    • The Fund receives money from two sources:
      • Adult entertainment establishments must pay $5,000 annually.
      • Individuals convicted of human trafficking must pay a fine of $2,500 into the fund, in addition to all other penalties and fines levied.
Kentucky House Bill 3 (2013)
  • Implements multiple measures to protect and support children who are victims of trafficking
  • Requires any person convicted of trafficking to pay $10,000, in addition to all other applicable fees and penalties, to support a human trafficking victims fund
    • Money in the fund will be distributed to agencies throughout the state that support victims of human trafficking.
  • Mandates that proceeds and assets seized as a result of human trafficking be distributed as follows:
    • 50 percent - Human trafficking victims fund
    • 42.5 percent - Law enforcement agency that seized the property, to be used for law enforcement purposes
    • 7.5 percent - Office of the attorney general
Louisiana House Bill 49 (2012)
  • Significantly increases penalties for anyone facilitating acts of human trafficking
    • Anyone convicted of trafficking as outlined in the bill who previously was convicted of a sex offense against a minor will be fined up to $100,000 and imprisoned for at least 50 years, at least half of which time must be served without the opportunity of parole, probation or suspension of sentence.
  • Requires fines up to $75,000 and imprisonment up to 40 years for second convictions involving child pornography
  • Prohibits unfamiliarity with the age of the victim as a defense for those accused of human trafficking
Senate Bill 88 (2013)
  • Creates multiple provisions to support victims of human trafficking
  • Establishes that proceeds from property and assets seized as a result of trafficking activities be distributed as follows:
    • 25 percent: Seizing agency or agencies allocated in proportion to their management of the investigation
    • 25 percent: Prosecuting agency
    • 50 percent: Exploited Children's Special Fund
  • Provides safe harbor for sexually exploited children whereby victims of trafficking are diverted into services, such as counseling and emergency housing, rather than charged with a crime
Senate Bill 90 (2016)
  • Increases the age threshold for human trafficking victims from 18 to 21 years old
    • Anyone found guilty of trafficking a victim under the age of 21 will be fined up to $50,000 and/or imprisoned for 15 to 50 years.
Mississippi House Bill 673 (2013)
  • Increases penalties for individuals
    • Those convicted of human trafficking are imprisoned for two to 20 years and/or fined $10,000-$100,000.
    • Those convicted of trafficking minors will be imprisoned for five to 30 years and/or fined $50,000-$500,000.
  • Mandates that 50 percent of all fines resulting from a conviction will be deposited into the Relief for Victims of Human Trafficking
Senate Bill 2156 (2016)
  • Alters the definition of "coercion" to better protect victims of human trafficking
  • Clarifies that a child involved in trafficking is considered abused, and that promoting or procuring prostitution of a child is a registrable offense
North Carolina Senate Bill 683 (2013)
  • Increases penalties for individuals promoting prostitution as well as those who patronize prostitutes or related establishments in which prostitution occurs
    • Prohibits unfamiliarity with the age of the victim as a defense for those accused of human trafficking
  • Establishes the North Carolina Human Trafficking Commission. The Commission is tasked with:
    • Applying for and receiving funding to combat human trafficking
    • Contributing to efforts to inform law enforcement, social service providers and the general public about human trafficking
    • Suggesting new policies and legislation to eradicate human trafficking
  • Provides services for victims of prostitution and human trafficking
    • Subject to the availability of funds, the Department of Health and Human Services can provide services and assistance to victims of trafficking.
Oklahoma House Bill 2518 (2012)
  • Increases penalties for individuals convicted of human trafficking
    • If the victim is 18 and over, the convicted individual will face at least five years' imprisonment and/or a fine up to $10,000.
    • If the victim is under 18, the convicted individual will face at least 10 years in prison and/or a fine up to $20,000.
House Bill 1006 (2015)
  • Amends statutes related to electronic interception to include individuals suspected of human trafficking
    • Upon approval by a relevant judge, law enforcement agencies can intercept wire, oral or electronic communications of anyone suspected of human trafficking activities.
South Carolina Senate Bill 196 (2015)
  • Amends laws related to the state grand jury system to include crimes involving human trafficking
    • A grand jury can investigate crimes involving human trafficking.
  • Requires the following specified establishments to post information regarding the 24/7 National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline:
    • Adult businesses, including nightclubs, bars, restaurants, or similar businesses in which a person appears nude or seminude
    • Businesses and establishments that offer massages or bodywork services by any unlicensed persons
    • Urgent care centers and emergency rooms
    • Transportation hubs, including airports, train stations, bus stations, rest areas and truck stops
Tennessee Senate Bill 2121 (2016)
  • Alters the meaning of "promoting prostitution" so that it only applies when someone promotes or procures another individual for prostitution so victims are not punished for acts in which they are forced to engage
  • Expands the definition of 'caregiver' to include those who also may be traffickers
    • Including this change allows the Department of Children's Services to provide assistance for minors who are victims of trafficking and sexual exploitation.
Texas House Bill 10 (2015)
  • Removes the statute of limitations on child prostitution
  • Grants immunity for witnesses in prostitution cases
  • Creates the Child Sex Trafficking Prevention Unit
Virginia House Bill 1964 (2015)
  • Establishes criminal offense for acts involving human trafficking
    • Anyone convicted of recruiting another person into prostitution is charged with a felony.
  • Permits multi-jurisdictional grand juries to investigate cases involving human trafficking
  • Allows the state to seize all property and assets connected to human trafficking activities once a conviction is made
    • Real property is not subject to seizure unless the convicted individual is sentenced to at least five years in prison.
West Virginia House Bill 2318 (2017)
  • Imposes penalties up to $200,000 and three to 15 years' imprisonment for anyone convicted of trafficking
    • If the victim is a minor, penalties are raised to fines up to $300,000 and five to 20 years in prison.
  • Establishes that violations against each victim, adult or minor, are considered separate offenses
  • Permits legal recourse for people accused of prostitution as a result of being trafficked
    • The victim may apply for a petition to have the conviction vacated and expunged from the victim's record.
  • Allows the court to require those convicted of trafficking to provide restitution to the victim

Webinar | February 16, 2017

Long-Term Care: Challenges and Solutions for States

Roger Moore

Among the many concerns currently facing America’shealthcare system, few are more significant, both medically and fiscally, than long-term care (LTC). With the continuing rise of U.S. citizens 65 and older – statistically, the demographic most in need of LTC – states need to begin preparing for the growing pressures that will be placed on their budgets as a result of the nation’s aging population. Presently, LTC costs are unaffordable for large segments of the population, forcing many LTC recipients to instead rely on other sources for support, primarily Medicaid and unpaid caregiving from friends and family. This webinar addresses the problems LTC poses for states; highlight state and federal legislative efforts to stem rising LTC costs; and includes a presentation about long-term care challenges and potential solutions in Virginia.

Presenters

Kathleen Ujvari, Senior Strategic Policy Advisor, AARP Public Policy Institute
Jeff Lunardi, Principal Legislative Analyst, Virginia Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission
Anne Tumlinson, CEO, Anne Tumlinson Innovations LLC

Archived Webinar | PowerPoint Slides

Webinar | January 24, 2017

Interstate Groundwater Disputes and the U.S. Supreme Court

Anne Roberts Brody, Policy Analyst

More than 30 interstate compacts govern the use of water from shared lakes and rivers in the United States. However, there is not a single legal agreement in place between states to guide the apportionment of groundwater that crosses state lines. In 2013, Nevada and Utah appeared poised to be the first two states to reach such an agreement, but ultimately failed. Now, with a longstanding groundwater dispute between Mississippi and Tennessee headed for the U.S. Supreme Court, a legal precedent governing the apportionment of interstate groundwater is imminent. The outcome of Mississippi v. Tennessee could have implications for all contiguous U.S. states. This webinar addresses the possible outcomes of Mississippi v. Tennessee, implications for interstate groundwater policy, and the role of interstate compacts in resolving water disputes between states.

Presented by CSG west and the Southern Office of the Council of State Governments

Presenters

Noah D. Hall, Associate Professor of Law, Wayne State University Law School, Michigan
Michael Campana, Ph.D., Professor of Hydrogeology and Water Resources Managment, Oregon State University
Technical Director, American Water Resources Association

Archived Webinar | PowerPoint Slides

SLC Special Series Report | January 17, 2017

Long-Term Care in the South (Part 1)

Roger Moore

Among the many concerns currently facing America's healthcare system, few are more significant, both medically and fiscally, than long-term care (LTC). Broadly defined as a range of services that support individuals who are limited in their ability to care for themselves, long-term care stands to become one of America's foremost healthcare challenges in the years ahead. With the continuing rise of U.S citizens 65 and over — statistically, the demographic most in need of LTC — states need to begin preparing for the growing pressures that will be placed on their budgets by the nation's aging population. This SLC Special Series Report explores the challenges long-term care poses for states in the SLC region. Subsequent reports will examine possibilities for managing long-term care and highlight actions that states in the SLC region have taken to tackle this important issue.