Research by Mikko Lindberg

Policy Analysis | March 2020

Coronavirus Impacts on State Legislatures and Elections

Mikko Lindberg, Anne Brody, Roger Moore, Cody Allen and Nick Bowman

All information presented is current as of March 27, 2020.


Session adjourned indefinitely.

U.S. Senate Republican Runoff Election moved from March 31 to July 14.


General Assembly still scheduled to convene on April 8. Interim committee hearings and meetings have been cancelled through March 20 and will be reevaluated weekly. General Primary Runoff Elections are scheduled for March 31, no announced postponement.

The General Assembly convened for a special session on Thursday, March 26. The session is limited to a single bill that would transfer $173 million in surplus funds to a special COVID-19 fund. In order to follow recommended public health guidelines for “social distancing,” the session will feature a unique format. The House met at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s basketball arena to allow members and staff to adequately space out. Meanwhile, the majority of the Senate gathered in the chamber at the Capitol, with 20 members evenly spread out on either side of the chamber, and the remaining 10 senators sitting upstairs in the gallery space.Members may designate a colleague as a proxy to vote on their behalf, if they are unable or unwilling to attend in person.


Session adjourned sine die on March 19.

Presidential Preference Primary elections were held March 17, as scheduled.


The General Assembly has suspended session indefinitely.

The presidential primary has been delayed from March 24 until May 19. Early voting was terminated and will resume on April 27.

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Policy Analysis | October 2016

Employee Voting Leave Regulations

Mikko Lindberg

Nine of the 15 SLC member states provide regulatory guidelines under which employers may grant employees time off to vote in an election.

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Policy Analysis | August 2016

Southern High School Graduation Rates

Mikko Lindberg

High school graduation rates across the nation continue to rise to new heights, according to data from the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics. The nation's high school graduation rate hit 82 percent in 2013-14, the highest level since states adopted a new uniform way of calculating graduation rates five years ago.

Since 2010, states, districts and schools have been using a new, common metric to promote greater accountability, reduce dropout rates, and increase graduation rates. For four consecutive years, graduation rates have continued to climb, which reflects continued progress among America's high school students.

For a number of years, the SLC Comparative Data Report on Education, prepared annually by legislative staff in West Virginia, has tracked graduation rates in SLC member states, among other key figures. This year’s report shows that the average graduation rate for SLC member states is slightly above the national norm, at 82.5 percent versus 82.3 percent, with Texas leading the Southern region, with a high school graduation rate of 88.3 percent for the 2013-14 school year.

Public High School Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate (2013-2014)

(click on headers to sort by column)

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More Research by Mikko Lindberg

SLC Regional Resource | February 2016

Special Education School Vouchers: A Look at Southern States

Policy Analysis | February 2016

Higher Education Funding

SLC Regional Resource | November 2015

Student Assessments in Southern States: Recent Developments

Policy Analysis | October 2015

2015 Update on Common Core in SLC Member States

Policy Analysis | May 2015

Governing Entities for Higher Education

Policy Analysis | April 2015

Primary Election Formulas of SLC Member States

SLC Regional Resource | February 2015

Common Core in the South: Where the States Stand Now

Policy Analysis | January 2015

State Occupational Boards and Commissions Fees

Policy Analysis | July 2014

In-State Tuition for Veterans

Policy Analysis | March 2014

Elderly Drivers

Policy Analysis | December 2013

Southern States' Early Graduation Policies

Policy Analysis | May 2013

Variable Gasoline Tax Rates

Policy Analysis | March 2013

Southern States' Distracted Driving Laws

Policy Analysis | November 2012

Government Performance Audit Agencies

Policy Analysis | September 2012

Seat Belt Regulations for 15-Passenger Vans

Policy Analysis | June 2012

Grandparental Visitation Rights

Policy Analysis | May 2012

Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse

Policy Analysis | February 2012

State Employee Retirement Age in SLC Member States

Policy Analysis | July 2011

Southern States' Annual Incomes Rates

Policy Analysis | April 2011

Southern States' Sunset Regulations

SLC Regional Resource | June 2010

Creating Value: Recycling in the Southern States

Policy Analysis | April 2010

Judicial Advisory Councils