Our American States show

Our American States

Summary: 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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  • Artist: NCSL
  • Copyright: (c) National Conference of State Legislatures

Podcasts:

 Data Privacy, State Legislation and the Pandemic | OAS Episode 107 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Consumer concern about data privacy has been mounting for the last few years in light of numerous data breaches. Many people also are aware of recent major governmental actions to protect privacy. One of the most far-reaching was Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation, passed in May 2018. The California Consumer Privacy Act, passed in 2018, went into effect this year and was by far the most comprehensive law enacted in any state.  This podcast focuses on data privacy and features a discussion with Ted Claypoole, an attorney with Womble Bond Dickinson in Atlanta and one of the nation’s top legal experts on data privacy. Claypoole has more than 30 years of experience representing clients in in the public and private sector on issues related to software, data management and security. He is also one of the contributors to the HeyDataData technology blog. I talked with Claypoole about the ramifications of those laws, the prospect for more comprehensive data privacy laws in the states, the likelihood that Congress will look at a comprehensive data privacy law, and privacy issues related to artificial intelligence. Resources HeyDataData Blog NCSL: Coronavirus Resources for States Page NCSL: Data Privacy Documents

 Keeping Kids Up to Date on Vaccines | OAS Episode 106 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Today’s podcast focuses on childhood vaccinations and a troubling drop in the rate of routine immunizations for children in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our first guest is Dr. Melinda Wharton, the director of the Immunization Services Division at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Wharton, one of the nation’s preeminent experts on vaccine policy, discusses the reasons behind the drop, the steps the CDC is taking to help states bolster the immunization rate, the importance of keeping children on a vaccine schedule and what state lawmakers can do to help. She also reminds us that adults need vaccines as well as we enter flu season. My other guest is Erik Skinner, an NCSL policy associate who tracks legislation related to vaccines. He offers a perspective on how state legislatures acted on vaccine policy.         Resources Immunization Services Division, CDC NCSL: Coronavirus Resources for States Page

 Building Democracy: The Story of Legislatures | Episode 3 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Overview NCSL’s Our American States podcast presents a special six-part series, “Building Democracy: The Story of Legislatures.” This new mini-series covers the history, characters and stories of state legislatures in America, from the beginnings in Jamestown, to the present day and into the future. Each episode in the series will contain interviews with experts from inside and outside the legislative world to provide a comprehensive view of historical events and their legacy in today’s legislatures. Extras will include extended guest interview clips, articles in NCSL’s State Legislatures magazine, blogs and resources for those who want to dive deeper into topics covered in the podcast. Episode 3 In this installment, we explore how the states and their legislatures expanded west, split apart, and came together again. The era of American history between 1803-1877 was one of massive territorial growth, conflict, and social and economic change. The U.S. evolved from a small grouping of former colonies and newly formed states on the East Coast to exponentially expanding territories across the South, Midwest and the wilderness of the West. Legislatures were the main venue for shaping these territories into states of diverse populations and environments. After the Civil War, state legislatures became the main setting for enforcing reconstruction policies and resistance to them. The struggle to integrate a huge population of formerly enslaved people into the citizenry led to incredible victories for the expansion of civil rights, only to see them shrink again, continuing the push and pull we continue to experience as a nation today. Guests Bob Davidson, former director, Mississippi Senate Legislative Services Office Mark Hirsch, historian, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian │Bio │Blog Burdett Loomis, professor emeritus, University of Kansas │Bio Kercheik Sims-Alvarado, assistant professor of Africana Studies, Morehouse College │Bio │Book Special Guest Voice Representative Billy Mitchell, Georgia │Bio Additional Resources Building Democracy: Episode 3 | Transcript Building Democracy: Episode 3 | Show Notes Building Democracy: Episode 3 | Resources and Reading List

 COVID-19: A New Approach to Back to School | OAS Episode 105 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Today’s podcast looks at how K-12 schools can reopen safely amid an ongoing pandemic and what that might look like for the foreseeable future. Our first guest is Dr. Carissa Moffat Miller, the executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CSCCSO).  Dr. Miller’s organization works with state education leaders around the nation and offers a national perspective on how schools are reopening. Our second guest is Dr. Kristi Wilson, president of the American Association of School Administrators, which is the organization of school superintendents around the nation. She is also the superintendent of the Buckeye Elementary School District just west of Phoenix, and offers some perspective from the district superintendent level.         Resources AASA: Guidelines for Reopening Schools NCSL: Coronavirus Resources for States Page Council of Chief State School Officers Coronavirus Resources Homepage OAS Episode 105 Transcription

 Traffic Safety: Legislative Trends and the Effects of the Pandemic | OAS Episode 104 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

The focus of today’s podcast is transportation safety and the type of legislation states have enacted to address concerns in that area. Our guests are two NCSL staffers, Doug Shinkle, who directs the Transportation Program, and Samantha Bloch, an NCSL transportation and traffic safety policy expert. We discussed a range of topics—school bus safety, hand-held devices, alcohol and drug impaired driving. I also asked them to share their thoughts on how the COVID-19 pandemic might change some aspects of transportation and how states may respond.         Resources NCSL Transportation Legislation Tracking Database NCSL Transportation Program Homepage OAS Episode 104 Transcription

 COVID-19: Contact Tracing, the CDC and the States | OAS Episode 103 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Today’s podcast focuses on contact tracing, a longtime tool used by public health officials. During this pandemic, contact tracers identify people infected with the coronavirus and then contact others they’ve interacted with recently. Contact tracers then help people get testing and offer support for self-isolating. While every state receives some funding from the federal government to support contact tracing, states have the flexibility to manage their contact tracing plans differently. At least 17 states and the District of Columbia have introduced legislation related to contact tracing, with at least and 11 states and D.C. having enacted these measures so far. Our guest is Dr. Kyle Bernstein, chief of the Epidemiology and Statistics Branch in the Division of STD Prevention at the CDC and an expert in contact tracing. This project is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $120,000 with 100 percent funded by CDC/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, CDC/HHS, or the U.S. government. Coronavirus Resources for States Page COVID-19: State Efforts on Testing and Contact Tracing, Archived NCSL Webinar NCSL COVID-19 Testing and Contact Tracing Resources OAS Episode 103 Transcription

 COVID-19: Connecting Behavioral and Public Health | OAS Episode 102 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

This podcast focuses on how states can ensure that their public health systems are connecting people with physical and behavioral health services in an integrated system, an issue made even more urgent by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our guests include: Karmen Hanson, a health policy expert from NCSL. New Jersey Assemblyman Herb Conaway (D), a longtime legislator, physician and a county director of health. Dr. Anne Zink, chief medical officer for the state of Alaska. Resources NCSL Behavioral Health Overview  Bridging the Gap: Connecting Behavioral and Public Health  Interconnecting Behavioral and Public Health Systems Improves State Performance Transcription OAS Episode 102 This project is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $250,000 with 100% funded by CDC/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by CDC/HHS, or the U.S. Government.

 The ADA at 30: A Conversation With Former Senator Tom Harkin | OAS Episode 101 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Today’s podcast focuses on the Americans With Disabilities Act, which celebrates its 30th anniversary on July 26. We’re fortunate to have former Iowa Senator Tom Harkin (D) as our guest. Senator Harkin, who spent 30 years in the U.S. Senate, was the author and chief sponsor of the ADA. Senator Harkin shares the history of the ADA and how he came to play such a pivotal role. We also talked about his brother Frank, who helped inspire his work on the ADA; the political effort it took to pass the legislation; and the still unfinished business of ensuring that people with disabilities have the chance for a full life in American society. Americans With Disabilities Act: Celebrating 30 Years The Harkin Institute Transcription of OAS Episode 101

 Podcast Hits the Century Mark | OAS Episode 100 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Today’s podcast is the 100th episode of “Our American States,” a milestone we marked by  bringing back the original host of the podcast, Gene Rose, and recalling some of our favorite moments from the last 3 ½ years. Those included interviews with political consultant Frank Luntz, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Matthew Desmond, who wrote “Evictions,” which won the Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction.  We review some of the major policy issues that the podcast has covered, including how states have reacted to the COVID-19 crisis. We also share some clips from memorable interviews with a number of legislators and legislative staffers, as well as former NCSL Executive Director William Pound and current Executive Director Tim Storey. Resources Transcription of OAS Episode 100

 COVID-19: Searching for a Vaccine | OAS Episode 99 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

This podcast is one in a series NCSL is producing about states and the coronavirus pandemic. You can find links to podcasts, webinars and other resources at www.ncsl.org/coronavirus Today’s topic could hardly be of greater interest: the hunt for a COVID-19 vaccine. And at the forefront of that effort are the world’s pharmaceutical companies, which are pursuing multiple initiatives to find a vaccine. To discuss that effort is today’s guest,  Clement Lewin, associate vice president for Vaccines R&D Strategy at the pharmaceutical firm Sanofi Pasteur. Lewin, who holds a Ph.D. from the University of London in medical microbiology and has extensive experience in the field of vaccine development, discusses the overall efforts to create a vaccine for COVID-19, and also explain the role state legislators and other policymakers can play in the vaccine process. This podcast was sponsored by Sanofi Pasteur, a member of the NCSL Foundation for State Legislatures. Resources Coronavirus Resources for States Page Coronavirus and State Legislatures in the News Sanofi’s Response in the Fight Against COVID-19 Transcription of OAS Episode 99

 COVID-19: Jeb Bush on Leadership, Federalism and the Challenges for States | OAS Episode 98 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

This podcast is another in a series NCSL is producing about states and the coronavirus pandemic. You can find links to podcasts, webinars and other resources at www.ncsl.org/coronavirus. Today we’re talking with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. Bush recently wrote an op-ed article for the Wall Street Journal about leadership, federalism and the challenges facing states after COVID-19. We asked the governor to expand on those ideas and the tough task state lawmakers have ahead of them. We also asked the governor, whose signature policy area has been education ever since he was governor, for his thoughts on what schools will look like post pandemic. Coronavirus Resources for States Page Coronavirus and State Legislatures in the News Foundation for Excellence in Education | ExcelinEd Transcription of OAS Episode 98

 COVID-19: States, the CDC and Suicide Prevention | Episode 97 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

This podcast is another in a series NCSL is producing to focus on how states are responding to the coronavirus pandemic. You can find links to podcasts, webinars and other resources at www.ncsl.org/coronavirus. Our topic for this podcast is a sobering one: suicide. The rate of suicide in the U.S. is one of the highest among wealthy nations. Nearly 50,000 people took their own lives in the U.S. in 2018. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased concern among experts that the nation may face an increase in suicides as people struggle during the crisis. Our first guest today is Charlie Severance-Medaris, a policy expert on the topic at NCSL. Charlie provides an overview on suicide in the U.S. Our second guest is Dr. Alex Crosby, chief medical officer in the Division of Injury Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He has expertise and long experience in dealing with the public health aspects of suicide and suicide prevention. Resources As High-Profile Deaths Stir Discussion, CDC Outlines Rising Suicide Rates and Prevention Strategies | Blog CDC Center for Injury Prevention and Control Coronavirus Resources for States Page Coronavirus and State Legislatures in the News Suicide Prevention Convening Meeting | Agenda and Presentations Transcription of OAS Episode 97

 COVID-19: Juvenile Justice Reform and the Pandemic | Episode 96 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

This podcast is one in a series NCSL is producing to focus on how states are responding to the coronavirus pandemic. You can find links to podcasts, webinars and other resources at www.ncsl.org/coronavirus. Today our focus is on the U.S. juvenile justice system. Efforts to reform the system have been going on for the past 20 years, driven by research, court decisions and other factors. We’re going to talk about where the reform efforts stood before the pandemic, how COVID-19 has affected juvenile justice and how the health crisis may change the system down the road. Our first guest is Anne Teigen, an expert on juvenile justice with NCSL’s Criminal Justice Program. She’ll give us an overview of juvenile justice reform efforts and a rundown on actions states have taken.  Our second guest is Nate Balis, director of the Juvenile Justice Strategy Group at the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Balis will discuss where spending is most effective in the juvenile justice system, how COVID-19 is affecting the system right now and what the system may look like post-pandemic. Resources The Annie E. Casey Foundation Juvenile Justice Program Coronavirus Resources for States Page Coronavirus and State Legislatures in the News NCSL Civil and Criminal Justice Program OAS Episode 96 Transcription

 COVID-19: Campaigning and Voting Amid a Pandemic | Episode 95 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

This podcast is one in a series NCSL is producing to focus on how states are taking action in response to the coronavirus pandemic. You can find links to podcasts, webinars and other resources at www.ncsl.org/coronavirus. Elections in the age of the pandemic are getting a lot of attention lately, with much of the talk focusing on mail-in balloting for November. But there is a lot more than mail-in ballots to discuss, including election administration, cybersecurity, campaigns amid a pandemic, misinformation, turnout and more. And there are more than 6,000 state legislative seats on the fall ballot. Helping us sort out all the details is Wendy Underhill, director of NCSL’s Elections and Redistricting program. Coronavirus Resources for States Page Coronavirus and State Legislatures in the News NCSL Elections Program OAS Episode 95 Transcription

 COVID-19: Coronavirus Modeling and Reopening the Economy | Episode 94 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

This podcast is one in a series NCSL is producing to focus on how states are taking action in response to the coronavirus pandemic. You can find links to sign up for these webinars and view archived versions along with links to a wide range of other resources at www.ncsl.org/coronavirus. Today we’re talking with Dr. Nirav Shah,  a senior scholar at Stanford University’s Clinical Excellence Research Center and former commissioner for the New York State Department of Health. Dr. Shah discussed the myriad COVID-19 models, how to understand them and how they can be used as state leaders look at reopening the economy in their states. Resources Covidactnow.org Coronavirus Resources for States Page Coronavirus and State Legislatures in the News OAS Episode 94 Transcription

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