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:

 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

 Legislative Staff Week: Readiness and Resilience in a Pandemic | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

This podcast is part of Legislative Staff Week, NCSL’s effort to recognize the crucial work of legislative staff across the nation. It is also 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. Today we’re talking with Laree Kiely, president and chief wisdom officer at the We Will consulting firm in California. She is an expert on leadership and management and talked with “Our American States” about readiness and resilience during the pandemic. Kiely also serves as a trainer at NCSL's Legislative Management Institute.  Coronavirus Resources for States Page Coronavirus and State Legislatures in the News OAS Episode 93 Transcription NCSL Legislative Staff Week 2020 We Wil Inc. Consulting Firm

 Building Democracy: The Story of Legislatures | Episode 2 | 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 2 The second episode tells the story of how a handful of colonial possessions became the first American states. How did deliberative bodies make the transition from colonial assemblies, to provincial congresses during the conflict, and then to democratically elected legislatures in a tumultuous time of uncertainty? It wasn’t easy and conflict arose in the hallowed halls of deliberative bodies, across geographic regions and even within families.  Join expert guests, including legal counsel with the South Carolina House Clerk’s office, Richard Pearce; Professor Peverill Squire; and Professor Alexander Keyssar for an inside look at representative democracy amid the American Revolution. Hosts Megan McClure John Mahoney Nicholas Birdsong General Thanks To the NCSL Legislative Staff Coordinating Committee for the idea which led to the creation of Building Democracy and who’s support keeps it going. To Podfly Productions for production and editing To the House of Pod for recording and studio space

 COVID-19: An Update From NCSL’s Executive Director | OAS Episode 92 | 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. The podcasts and a new webinar series look at public health responses, workplace issues, education and childcare, the economy, elections and continuity of government. 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 Tim Storey, the executive director of NCSL. Tim and other NCSL staffers have been talking with state leaders to understand what they need during this pandemic, and advocating on behalf of states to members of Congress and the administration. Resources Coronavirus Resources for States Page Coronavirus and State Legislatures in the News OAS Episode 92 Transcription

 COVID-19: Feeding Kids During the Pandemic | OAS Episode 91 | 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. The podcasts and a new webinar series look at public health responses, workplace issues, education and childcare, the economy, elections and continuity of government. Today’s podcast started with a simple question: How are we feeding the 22 million children who get free or reduced-cost meals every day at school? To help answer it, we’re first talking with Carolyn Vega, senior manager for Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign, who offers a national perspective on what states are doing and can do. Our second guest is Montana Rep. Moffie Funk (D) who gives a state-level perspective, especially on the challenge of getting meals to children in rural areas. Coronavirus Resources for States Page Coronavirus and State Legislatures in the News NCSL COVID-19 Resources: Hunger and Nutrition Programs No Kid Hungry OAS Episode 91 Transcription Representative Moffie Funk (D) Legislative Homepage

 COVID-19: Health Care in Rural America | OAS Episode 90 | 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. The podcasts and a new webinar series look at public health responses, workplace issues, education and childcare, the economy, elections and continuity of government. On today’s episode, the focus is on rural health care. Our first guest is Alana Knudson, co-director of the Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis, part of NORC at  the University of Chicago. She’ll give us a national overview of rural health care and its challenges. Later in the show we’ll talk with Dr. James Hotz. Nearly 40 years ago, Hotz founded the Albany Area Primary Health Care community health center in southwest Georgia. He continues to work as a primary care physician. He’ll fill us in on what frontline rural practitioners are seeing during this pandemic. Coronavirus Resources for States Page Coronavirus and State Legislatures in the News NORC at the University of Chicago OAS Episode 90 Transcription Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis

 COVID-19: State and Federal Responses to Education and Child Care | OAS Episode 89 | 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. The podcasts and a new webinar series look at public health responses, workplace issues, education and childcare, the economy, elections and continuity of government. On today’s episode, we talk with two NCSL experts about how the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted schools and child care and how the state and federal governments are responding. Our first guest in Austin Reid, the director of NCSL’s Education Standing Committee and an expert on federal education policy. He reviews the funding for education in the recently passed $2 trillion federal stimulus bill, how student borrowers will be affected and steps states have taken to address the crisis. Our second guest is Jeni Palmer, who follows a wide range of child care issues for NCSL. She explains that the child care system was not functioning well before the pandemic and the emergency has made a bad situation worse. She reports on what states are doing to shore up the system during the crisis. Coronavirus Resources for States Page Coronavirus and State Legislatures in the News OAS Episode 89 Transcription

 COVID-19: Communicating in a Crisis | OAS Episode 88 | 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. The podcasts and a new webinar series look at public health responses, workplace issues, education and childcare, the economy, elections and continuity of government. On today’s episode, we talk with two legislative veterans about communicating in a crisis. Our first guest is Kit Beyer, director of communications for Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, who is also president of NCSL. Beyer shares her experiences in the current crisis and some advice honed from previous emergencies. Our second guest is Mississippi Lieutenant Governor Delbert Hoseman (R), who has seen a remarkable number of natural disasters in his state. He shares his pragmatic approach to emergencies and talks about the value of optimism and a positive attitude in a crisis. Resources Coronavirus Resources for States Page Coronavirus and State Legislatures in the News OAS Episode 88 Transcription

 COVID-19: State Public Health and Fiscal Responses | OAS Episode 87 | 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. The podcasts and a new webinar series look at public health responses, workplace issues, education and childcare, the economy, elections and continuity of government. On today’s episode, we talk with two NCSL experts. Tahra Johnson, a member of NCSL’s Health Program, discusses actions states have taken in the public health arena and the still daunting challenges ahead. Erica MacKellar from NCSL’s Fiscal Program reports on the blizzard of fiscal legislation that legislatures have  enacted in a very short period of time. She notes that while every state and territory wil be affected economically by the pandemic, those especially reliant on tourism and oil and gas production might be particularly hard hit. Resources Coronavirus Resources for States Page Coronavirus and State Legislatures in the News OAS Episode 87 Transcription

 COVID-19 | Continuity of State Government and Elections | OAS Episode 86 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

This podcast is the first in a series NCSL is producing to focus on how states are taking action in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The podcasts and a new webinar series will look at public health responses, workplace issues, education and childcare, the economy, elections and continuity of government. On today’s episode, we talk with two NCSL experts. Natalie Wood, director of NCSL’s Center for Legislative Strengthening, discusses steps legislatures have taken in response to the pandemic and specific actions they’ve taken to ensure legislative operations can continue. Our second guest is Wendy Underhill, director of NCSL’s Elections and Redistricting Program. She discusses how the pandemic may affects voting and also how the U.S. Census Bureau is handling its one-a-decade count during the emergency. Resources 2020 Census Resources Coronavirus Resources for States Page Coronavirus and State Legislatures in the News NCSL Elections and Campaigns Program Transcription of OAS Episode 86

 Ready, Set, Count: Kicking Off the Census | OAS Episode 85 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

The U.S. Census, the once-a-decade count of everyone in the country, starts this month. Coming right up is Census Day, April 1, by which time everyone should have received a notification to fill out the census. When you respond you tell the census bureau where you live on April 1. To discuss the stakes in the census—everything from federal money to redistricting—we check in with Wendy Underhill, NCSL’s program director for Elections and Redistricting. Later in the show, we talk with Kathleen Styles, chief of decennial communications and stakeholder relations at the U.S. Census Bureau. Resources Differential Privacy for Census Data Explained 2020 Census Resources and Legislation 2020 Census Talking Points (for Legislators and Others) Transcription of OAS Episode 85

 A Mountain of Money: Tackling Student Debt | OAS Episode 84 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

The level of student debt in this country is of mounting concern to state legislators. The more than $1.6 trillion owed by more than 44 million people is starting to affect when people buy homes, get married and make other major life decisions. On this episode, we talk with two NCSL experts, Sunny Deye and Andrew Smalley, about the scope of the problem and steps states are taking to address it. In our second segment, we talk with Winston Berkman-Breen, who is the student advocate and director of consumer advocacy for the New York State Department of Financial Services. His role, essentially that of student debt ombudsman, is one step states are taking to help better manage the student debt challenge. Additional Resources Transcription of Episode 84 Strengthening Student Loan Oversight, Legisbrief  NCSL Webpage on Student Loan Oversight NCSL Postsecondary Bill Tracking Database

 Occupational Licensing: Economic Pros and Cons | Episode 83 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

About 25% of workers in the U.S. now need a license to work, an increase from about 5% in the 1950s. State legislators and other policymakers have taken an increasingly active role in developing new regulatory policies that strike a balance needed to protect consumers and promote economic growth and employment opportunity. On today's show,, we talk with Dr. Morris Kleiner, an economist and professor at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Kleiner, an expert on occupational licensing, discusses the pros and cons of occupational licensing and its effect on the broader economy and different groups of workers. On this episode we also hear from Gene Rose, the voice of "Our American States" for the past three years, on why he is handing over the podcast to a new host.  Additional Resources Transcription of Episode 83 Occupational Licensing Homepage

 Building Democracy: The Story of Legislatures | Episode 1 | 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 1 "First Assembly – Virginia 1619" examines life on the Jamestown colony, which has been called the first American startup, and introduces Sir Edwyn Sandys (pronounced "Sands"), "one of hte most influential characters in the history of the American colonies that no one ever heard of." A businessman charged with establishing a successful colony in America, Sandys' aspiration was to establish a society that was fairer than society in England. He helped write The Great Charter, which called for the election of representatives or “burgesses” to serve alongside appointed officials in a “General Assembly”, a direct DNA ancestor of today's legislatures. Life in the colony was challenging and messy, chock full of scandals, corruption and infighting. Human beings became an early commodity through slave trade from Africa. Join NCSL staffers and "Building Democracy" hosts John Mahoney and Megan McClure along with their expert guests, former Virginia clerk of the House, G. Paul Nardo; curator of American Slavery at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Mary Elliott; and Jim Horn, president of the Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation, as they explore this history—the good and the bad—and how the first meeting of these colonial representatives was the starting point in the story of America’s state legislatures. Episodes will be released every other month through the end of 2020.  Building Democracy Podcast Homepage   Hosts Megan McClure John Mahoney Nicholas Birdsong Guests G. Paul Nardo, former clerk of the house and keeper of the roles of the Commonwealth of Virginia Jim Horn, president, Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation Mary Elliott, curator of American Slavery, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture General Thanks To the NCSL Legislative Staff Coordinating Committee for the idea which led to the creation of Building Democracy and who’s support keeps it going. To Podfly Productions for production and editing To the House of Pod for recording and studio space Additional Resources Building Democracy: Episode 1 | Transcript Building Democracy: Episode 1 | Show Notes Building Democracy: Episode 1 | Resources and Reading List

 State of State Legislatures 2020 | OAS Episode 82 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

To kick off 2020, we talked with Tim Storey, who took over as executive director of the National Conference of State Legislatures in mid-2019. Storey discusses the strength of state budgets and his view that there are not one or two big issues dominating legislative agendas this year, a change from previous years. And he discusses the upcoming redistricting of state legislative and congressional districts that make this election the "big kahuna" of the decade. Transcription of Episode 82

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