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The Our American States podcast is where you hear compelling conversations that tell the story of America’s state legislatures, the people in them, the politics that compel them, and the important work of democracy.

The Our American States podcast is where you hear compelling conversations that tell the story of America’s state legislatures, the people in them, the politics that compel them, and the important work of democracy.
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United States

Description:

The Our American States podcast is where you hear compelling conversations that tell the story of America’s state legislatures, the people in them, the politics that compel them, and the important work of democracy.

Language:

English


Episodes

The Art of Persuasion | OAS Episode 51

12/13/2018
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We are celebrating Legislative Staff Week with a special podcast on “The Art of Persuasion.” Our expert will dive into the reasons why being able to persuade is important and how to use tactics to help others understand your point of view. Our guest is Curt Stedron, who is a legislative trainer with the National Conference of State Legislatures. He’ll outline the importance of storytelling, describe how to reframe issues and examine how word choice is critical in communication.

Duration:00:16:17

Brain Development and Childhood Adversity | OAS Episode 50

12/6/2018
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On this episode of “Our American States,” we explore two critical components of a child’s development. First, we’ll address adverse childhood experiences (often referred to as ACEs), which are stressful or traumatic events in childhood that have long-term impacts on health and well being. We talk to a national expert who will walk us through research on childhood trauma, and provide policymakers with ideas to address families facing stresses that cause ACEs. We also discuss the importance...

Duration:00:29:50

Women Elected to State Legislatures in Historic Numbers | OAS Episode 49

11/29/2018
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Following the 2018 midterm elections, more women will serve in state legislatures than ever before. Starting with the 2019 sessions, it appears that about 28 percent of the nation’s 7,383 state legislators will be women—a significant jump from a touch under 25 percent after the 2017 elections. In this episode, we dive into the historic numbers and discuss why they increased this year. Our guest, Katie Ziegler, is the program manager for NCSL’s Women’s Legislative Network, the professional...

Duration:00:20:19

Eviction Database Shows America’s Housing Crisis | OAS Episode 48

11/8/2018
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Matthew Desmond went to Milwaukee to live with families being evicted from their homes. The personal stories he obtained there set the course for his book “Evicted,” which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2017. He then created a team at Princeton University to create a national database containing 80 million records on evictions since the year 2000. Data collected by this project shows that 2.3 million Americans in 2016 lived in a home that received an eviction notice. Desmond is the principal...

Duration:00:19:18

Law Enforcement: Reform, Accountability and Communication | OAS Episode 47

10/25/2018
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Sates work to improve community safety in several ways, including the reduction of serious crime, ensuring fair enforcement of the laws and increasing police effectiveness. On this episode of “Our American States,” we examine the issues of policing, policy, costs, communication between communities and law enforcement agencies, and the need for criminal justice reform, including alternatives to incarceration of people needing mental health treatment. Our program gets insightful perspectives...

Duration:00:25:04

State Capitol Symbols, Traditions and Styles | OAS Episode 46

10/18/2018
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Every state capitol is unique—but with some interesting similarities. We’ll dive into traditions, symbols and decorative features you can find in these impressive structures across our country. Our two guests have extensive experience and will share their knowledge with us on this episode of “Our American States.” First, we talk with G. Paul Nardo, clerk of the House for the Virginia House of Delegates and the Keeper of the Rolls of the Commonwealth of Virginia. He’ll discuss traditions...

Duration:00:26:59

School Leadership: Study Looks at Stemming Principal Turnover Rates | OAS Episode 45

10/11/2018
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Our nation’s education system is constantly being evaluated and analyzed—including the area of school leadership and how it impacts teachers and the quality of learning students receive. The focus of this edition of “Our American States” is on principal supervisors. The Principal Supervisor Initiative, a recently released national study, specifies five components for consideration that urge school districts to help stem the tide of principal turnover by ensuring supervisors provide...

Duration:00:16:50

2018 State Legislative Elections: Will History Prevail? | OAS Episode 44

9/27/2018
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More than 80 percent of all state legislative seats are up for election on Nov. 6, and, after the primaries, 21 percent of those seats have already turned over. That’s 2 to 3 percent higher than analysts normally see in a full election cycle, which means this could be one of the highest turnover rates in history. And there’s more data that makes this an interesting election to watch. More women are running for office. The number of unopposed candidates has dropped dramatically. And...

From Taxes to Marijuana: November Voters to Decide 160-Plus Policy Issues | OAS Episode 43

9/13/2018
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All voters will have the opportunity to elect federal, state and local government officials this November, but in more than 30 states more than 160 ballot issues on a wide variety of issues will also be on the ballot. NCSL maintains an election ballot issues database on all of the issues. We asked Patrick Potyondy, a legislative policy specialist and ACLS-Mellon public fellow in NCSL’s Elections and Redistricting program, to walk us through some of the key measures. He discusses proposals...

Duration:00:21:59

Bipartisan Efforts to Improve Economic Opportunities for Families | OAS Episode 42

8/30/2018
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The success and self-sustainability of families is critical to the overall well-being of our nation’s states. State legislators seeking to bolster economic opportunities for families in their districts have many challenging factors to consider and a wide field of policy options to choose from. To navigate this complex policy area, some of the best available tools for lawmakers are the wealth of knowledge developed by their colleagues and the work and guidance of national experts. The...

Duration:00:30:30

States Fighting Urge to Text and Drive | OAS Episode 41

8/16/2018
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Since the relative recent invention of texting, drivers have been tempted to check their phones. And pretty much at the same time, states have been looking at ways to temper that urge. There are a number of challenges to effectively enforce distracted driving laws. Drivers find loopholes that give motorists a number of plausible excuses for holding or manipulating a mobile device. And no state or locality can afford a patrol to watch every driver on every road. Still, an estimated 40,000...

Duration:00:32:09

Opioid Crisis Generates Bipartisan Solutions | OAS Episode 40

8/9/2018
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The U.S. Department of Health and Human services says 116 people die each day in the United States from an overdose of opioids. This includes prescription pain relievers, heroin and synthetic opioids. It says more than 2.1 million people had an opioid use disorder in 2016. This year, the National Conference of State Legislatures created an Opioid Policy Fellows Program, open to chairs of health-related legislative committees. Through face-to-face meetings, the program is focused on health...

Duration:00:19:19

What the U.S. Supreme Court Told States This Term | OAS Episode 39

7/26/2018
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When the dust settled from the U.S. Supreme Court decisions in the term that ended in June 2018, states were left with a historic victory regarding the fairness of sales tax collections and the ability to decide for themselves on the legality of sports wagering. While there were other victories, some issues remained cloudy. But perhaps the biggest news of the term was the announcement from Justice Anthony Kennedy that he is retiring. In this episode of “Our American States,” we ask Lisa...

Duration:00:24:03

Taxes, Tariffs and Threats: A Look at the Still Booming U.S. Economy | OAS Episode 38

7/19/2018
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For most states, the fiscal year ended on June 30, 2018. We decided this would be a good time to get an overview of the national economy from an expert familiar to many state legislators and state legislative staff. Christopher Thornberg, the founding partner of the research firm Beacon Economics, is our guest on this episode. He says a pressing concern for states is higher interest rates over the next 24 months and a lack of workers. He believes the economy will continue to grow over the...

Duration:00:19:53

Ride Hailing Services: Wheelchairs and Seniors Waiting at the Curb | OAS Episode 37

7/12/2018
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On this issue of “Our American States,” we’ll take a look at how ride hailing services are having an effect on people with disabilities and older adults. Historically, the Americans with Disabilities Act has required taxi services to make accommodations for people with disabilities to ensure equal access to transportation services. This includes, for example, requirements that taxi companies have a certain number of wheelchair accessible vehicles, and allow service dogs to ride for...

Duration:00:21:39

Behind the Supreme Court Case That Gives States OK to Tax Internet Sales | OAS Episode 36

6/28/2018
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For more than 25 years, states have worked to close a loophole that allowed online companies to sell products tax free, while traditional brick and mortar stores were forced to collect and remit those taxes to states. The effort to put fairness in the marketplace and in state tax policy was led by the creation of a special task force formed by the National Conference of State Legislatures 26 years ago. The work paid off on June 21, 2018 when the United States Supreme Court reversed a 1992...

Duration:00:18:58

Summer Learning Programs Closing Achievement Gaps | OAS Episode 35

6/14/2018
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Taking classes in the summer was once seen as a punitive measure. Research, though, is showing that students of all ages and grades often suffer from a “summer slide,” or summer learning loss that makes re-entry to school in the fall more difficult. Our guests explain how this slide is tied into the achievement gap and affects students over time. Matthew Boulay is the founder and CEO of the National Summer Learning Association. He discusses how students experience a “summer slide” and why...

Duration:00:24:19

Putting the “Human” in Human Resources | OAS Episode 34

5/24/2018
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In this edition, we talk with the president and CEO of the world’s largest human resource association, Johnny Taylor. His organization, the Society for Human Resource Management, represents human resource professionals in 165 countries and has more than 300,000 members. Taylor provides his expertise and discusses how state legislatures can benefit from stronger human resource offices and policies. We get his advice for human resource directors and he explains why it’s important to have...

Duration:00:20:59

Mindfulness: Legislative Staff Elixir | OAS Episode 33

5/10/2018
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Working in state legislatures is a very demanding job. State legislative serve in an institution where workload changes can come often and swiftly. The shifting nature of legislation and the mixture of public opinion, rules, procedures and process make session work stressful. But for the estimated 30,000-plus legislative staff that work in legislatures during session, most will tell you the work is rewarding. This week, the National Conference of State Legislatures is celebrating...

Duration:00:22:09

Online Sales Tax Decision Up to the Supreme Court | OAS Episode 32

4/26/2018
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In 1992, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that online retailers did not have to collect sales or use taxes unless the company had a physical presence in a state. Soon after, the National Conference of State Legislatures and other state and local government organizations, championed efforts in Congress and in the states to fix the remote sales tax issue. NCSL President and South Dakota Senator Deb Peters (R), who has been active with NCSL in addressing this matter, filed legislation in her state...

Duration:00:25:19