SLC Publications

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 and SLC Issue Briefs comprise concise reports that identify new and emerging issues that are time sensitive and often off the radar of policymakers. These briefs examine the impact and implications of recent state and national developments for the Southern states.

Comparative Data Reports (CDRs) are prepared annually by select SLC states’ fiscal research departments. These reports track revenue sources, appropriations levels, performance measures, and a multitude of other metrics in Southern states. A useful tool for legislators and legislative staff alike, CDRs are available for adult correctional systems, education, Medicaid, and transportation.


Policy Analysis | April 2019

School Counselor Legislation in the South

Cody Allen, Policy Analyst

Along with the more routine duties of academic and career development, school counselors also have a responsibility to assist students with personal and social development. The student-to-school counselor ratio across the South and the time allotment school counselors must spend providing direct services to students recently has drawn greater attention, as well as the need to clarify these direct services.

The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) narrows in on two best practices for states to implement regarding their school counselor programs. The first is a recommended student-to-school counselor ratio of 250-to-1. While the second is a recommendation that school counselors allocate 80 percent of their work-time to providing direct services to students and only 20 percent to non-related or administrative tasks.1

Student-to-School Counselor Ratios

In 2013 and 2017, respectively, North Carolina and Tennessee were the first states to require an 80-20 allotment for their school counselors, although neither state has yet to achieve the recommended 250‑to-1 ratio recommended by the ASCA.2

According to the ASCA and the U.S. Department of Education, based on the most recent available data, the average student-to-school counselor ratio among SLC states for the 2015-2016 school year was 411‑to-1 (slightly better than the national average of 464-to-1), with no SLC states meeting the recommended ratio. As the table illustrates, Tennessee came closest to meeting the recommended ASCA ratio.

Student-to-School Counselor Ratios and Number of School Counselors in Southern States
State Student-to-School Counselor Ratio (2015-2016) Total Number of School Counselors (2015-2016)
Alabama 491-to-1 1,516
Arkansas 378-to-1 1,303
Florida 484-to-1 5,770
Georgia 476-to-1 3,690
Kentucky 442-to-1 1,553
Louisiana 393-to-1 1,828
Mississippi 435-to-1 1,120
Missouri 349-to-1 2,637
North Carolina 375-to-1 4,124
Oklahoma 430-to-1 1,611
South Carolina 367-to-1 2,079
Tennessee 336-to-1 2,980
Texas 444-to-1 11,943
Virginia 385-to-1 3,334
West Virginia 380-to-1 731

Sources: “Student-to-School-Counselor Ratio 2015-2016,” American School Counselor Association, accessed March 1, 2019 and “State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey 2015-16,” Common Core of Data, National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, accessed March 1, 2019

North Carolina

In 2013 and 2014, North Carolina enacted Senate Bills 402 and 744 to clarify the services and duties required of school counselors.3,4 According to North Carolina General Statutes §115C-316.1, counselors must spend at least 80 percent of their work time providing appropriate “direct services” to students.5

Specifically, Section (a)(3) defines some of these “direct services” that focus on the behavioral and mental health of students. Such services include:

  • Providing responsive services through consultation with students, families and staff;
  • Individual and small group counseling;
  • Crisis counseling;
  • Referrals; and
  • Peer facilitation.6

The State Board of Education further defines these as preventative and responsive services and requires that counselors identify students whose needs or concerns require such services.7

Tennessee

Two sections of the Tennessee Code address school counselor duties and responsibilities with specificity. According to Tennessee Code §49-5-302(b), the duties of school counselors include, but are not limited to, counseling on social or peer-group pressure problems; providing guidance on socialization and group interaction; offering behavioral guidance; and counseling on personal problems.8 While Tennessee Code §49-6-303 states that school counseling programs must operate under guidelines adopted by the State Board of Education, it also further defines the services school counselors shall provide to students and includes:

  • Serving in a consultative role to parents as a resource in understanding growth and development problems and as an aid in understanding how some non-school factors affect learning;
  • Serving as a resource in decreasing disciplinary issues, understanding peer relations, teacher‑pupil relations, social awareness and drug awareness;
  • Serving as a resource in decreasing juvenile delinquency incidents through guidance and counseling;
  • Serving as an available source for students needing someone to listen to their problems or concerns; and
  • Serving as a resource in implementing a conflict resolution intervention program.

Additionally, it specifies counselors may refer or assist parents and guardians in accessing outside mental health assessments or services.9

In 2017, subject to statute, the state Department of Education codified the standards for school counselors – through their Comprehensive School Counseling Model Implementation Guide – to comply with the ASCA recommend practice with an emphasis on the 80-20 time allocation. The standards outline the recommended direct services as: providing counseling to students who are tardy, absent or have disciplinary problems; helping the school administration identify and resolve student issues, needs, problems and areas of concern; providing responsive and crisis counseling; referring students and families to available school and community resources; and providing both individual and peer group counseling.10

The Tennessee Department of Education also emphasizes school counselors address student social and personal development with an emphasis on character education; bullying and harassment response; internet safety; suicide prevention; and school climate monitoring and improvement.11

Recent Legislation

Many SLC member states have proposed – or enacted – legislation addressing school counseling services and ratios during the 2019 sessions.

Arkansas Senate Bill 199 (Enacted)

This legislation, titled the School Counseling Improvement Act of 2019, rewrites most of Arkansas’s statutory language regarding school counselors, with the following notable effects:

  • Defines “direct services” to include responsive services regarding students personal or behavioral issues; administration of risk-assessment; and interventions for students exhibiting dangerous behaviors;
  • Defines “indirect services” to be consultations with students, parents, guardians, staff and community agencies regarding student’s non-academic needs;
  • Requires school counselors spend at least 90 percent of their work time providing the aforementioned direct and indirect services to students; and
  • Limits school counselor’s time allotment to administrative tasks to no more than 10 percent of their work time.

Florida House Bill 1277 (Pending)

This bill would require all school districts provide funding to hire counselors at the recommended student-counselor ratio of 250-to-1.

Kentucky Senate Bill 1 (Enacted)

This comprehensive school safety bill addresses school counselors and requires each school district employ at least one school counselor and aim to have a 250-to-1 student-counselor ratio in each school by the 2021 school year. It also requires counselors spend at least 60 percent of their work time providing direct services to students.

Oklahoma Senate Bill 35 (Pending)

This legislation would create a new section of law requiring school counselors spend at least 80 percent of their work time providing direct services to students. It also defines “direct services” as: providing responsive services through consultation with students, parents, guardians and staff, individual and small group counseling, crisis counseling, referrals, and peer facilitation.

Texas Senate Bill 426 (Pending)

This bill would require school counselors spend at least 80 percent of their work time performing the counseling duties laid out in Texas Statute 33.005. The statute requires school counselors plan, implement and evaluate a guidance and counseling program to include:  

  • A guidance curriculum to help students develop their full educational potential, including the students’ interests and career objectives;
  • A responsive services component to intervene on behalf of any student whose immediate personal concerns or problems put the student’s continued educational, career, personal, or social development at risk;
  • An individual planning system to guide a student as the student plans, monitors, and manages the student’s own educational, career, personal, and social development; and
  • A system to support the efforts of teachers, staff, parents, and other members of the community in promoting the educational, career, personal, and social development of students.

Virginia House Bill 1729 (Enacted)

This legislation requires school counselors in public elementary or secondary schools spend at least 80 percent of their work time, during normal school hours, providing direct services to individual or groups of students, as recommended by the ASCA.

West Virginia Senate Bill 451 (Failed)

This comprehensive education bill would have codified school counselors’ main responsibility as that of providing direct counseling services to students in support of their academic, social and emotional needs. However, this legislation would have completely removed existing language in the statute that quantifies the allotment counselors must spend on direct services, currently at 75 percent of work time.

Endnotes

1 “ASCA National Model, A Framework for School Counseling Programs,” American School Counselors Association, accessed March 1, 2019, https://www.schoolcounselor.org/asca/media/asca/ASCA%20National%20Model%20Templates/ANMExecSumm.pdf.

2 Anita Wadhwani. “Extra duties limited school counselors’ face time with students. A new rule is changing that.” The Nashville Tennessean, August 27, 2018, accessed March 1, 2019, https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2018/08/27/tennessee-school-counselors-mental-health-students/928397002/v.

3 North Carolina Senate Bill 402 (2013), accessed March 1, 2019, https://www.ncleg.net/enactedlegislation/sessionlaws/html/2013-2014/sl2013-360.html.

4 North Carolina Senate Bill 744 (2013), accessed March 1, 2019, https://www.ncleg.net/enactedlegislation/sessionlaws/html/2013-2014/sl2014-100.html.

5 North Carolina General Statutes §115C-316.1, accessed March 1, 2019,  https://www.ncleg.net/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/PDF/BySection/Chapter_115C/GS_115C-316.1.pdf.

6 Ibid.

7 “School Counselor Job Description,” Department of Public Instruction, State Board of Education, accessed March 1, 2019, http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/studentsupport/counseling/standards/counselordesc.pdf.

8 Tennessee Code §49-5-302, accessed March 1, 2019, https://advance.lexis.com/tncode/chapter49/section5.

9 Tennessee Code §49-6-303, accessed March 1, 2019, https://advance.lexis.com/tncode/chapter49/section6.

10 “Tennessee Comprehensive School Counseling Model Implementation Guide 2017,” Tennessee Department of Education, accessed March 1, 2019, https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/education/ccte/counseling/ccte_counseling_implementation_guide.pdf.

11 “School Counseling,” Tennessee Department of Education, accessed March 1, 2019, https://www.tn.gov/education/student-support/school-counseling.html.


SLC Regional Resource | April 2019

Weathering the Storm: Assessing the Agricultural Impact of Hurricane Michael

Anne Roberts Brody, Policy Analyst

Hurricane Michael roared onto the Florida Panhandle on October 10, 2018. A Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 155 miles per hour — just shy of the 157 miles per hour necessary to be classified a Category 5 storm — it was the third strongest hurricane to strike the United States mainland. As Michael moved northeast across Alabama and Georgia, the hurricane’s fierce winds, towering storm surge and punishing rain caused billions of dollars in damage to homes, businesses and infrastructure in the Southern region.

For farmers in Florida, Alabama and Georgia, the timing of the storm could not have been worse. Just as harvest season for many vegetable and row crops was beginning, like a plague of locusts, Michael devoured nearly every farm in its path. This SLC Regional Resource, current as of April 15, 2019, reviews the agricultural impact of Hurricane Michael on Florida, Alabama and Georgia. Across the three states, cotton and timber were hardest hit, but damage to other agricultural products and infrastructure was equally devastating.


SLC Regional Resource | April 2019

Surprise Medical Billing in the South: A Balancing Act

Roger Moore, Policy Analyst

Balance billing is a common practice that occurs when a medically insured patient receives treatment from an out-of-network healthcare provider, either intentionally or inadvertently, and subsequently is billed the difference between the insurance company’s reimbursement rate and the amount charged by the provider. Not bound by contractual, in-network rate agreements with insurers, out-of-network providers are permitted to bill patients the remaining balance for services rendered after deductibles, copayments and coinsurance obligations have been paid. In most cases, the amount charged by a provider and the insurer’s reimbursement rate are significantly different, resulting in a confusing and/or financially distressful medical bill that must be settled or resolved by the patient.

As healthcare costs in the United States continue to climb, often forcing consumers to pay higher premiums and deductibles for care, balance billing has become a controversial and confounding policy issue involving insurers, healthcare providers, consumer advocate organizations and regulators at both the state and federal levels. Balance billing most frequently occurs after patients unintentionally receive care outside their insurance network, either during emergencies or other situations when options to choose providers are restricted.

This SLC Regional Resource provides an overview of balance billing practices and actions that Southern states have taken or considered to address the prevalence of surprise medical bills. Several states in the region have passed legislation to protect patients from balance billing in specified situations, but the scope of legislation is limited due to federal restrictions.


Policy Analysis | April 2019

Federal Legislation on Rural Hospitals

Nick Bowman, Research and Publications Associate

Introduction

In 2016, approximately 62 million Americans, nearly one-fifth of the total population, lived in rural areas, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In 2017, there were 1,875 rural community hospitals and 1,971 rural hospitals in the United States, 1 per the American Hospital Association (AHA). With decreasing patient volumes and increasing regulations, many rural hospitals have struggled to maintain financial viability in recent years.

Rural hospitals provide much needed healthcare to residents in less populous areas of the United States. Defining a rural hospital or resident is challenging, as different organizations have their own distinct criteria. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) delineates rural and urban beneficiaries based on their mailing address and corresponding Census Bureau core-based statistical area (CBSA)2. Any resident of a metropolitan or micropolitan CBSA is an urban resident.3 All others are rural residents. However, CMS does not have one all-encompassing definition of a rural hospital, instead delineating six types of rural hospitals and providing criteria for each type. Additionally, the federal government has two definitions of urban vs. rural. The first is the Census Bureau’s definition. The Office of Management and Budget uses slightly different criteria, defining areas as metropolitan, micropolitan or neither.4 Further complicating matters, the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) employs aspects of both definitions when delineating urban and rural.5

Throughout this analysis, the term “rural hospital” shall refer to a healthcare facility—including for profit or nonprofit facilities, and public or private facilities—providing medical services to rural Americans, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau.

In 1997, Congress created the Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) classification under Medicare for rural hospitals as part of the Balanced Budget Act (BBA) to improve access to healthcare. Under Medicare, all hospitals are classified by the types of service provided. Currently, there are six Medicare classifications for rural hospitals: Critical Access Hospital, Sole Community Hospital, Medicare Dependent Hospital, Rural Referral Center, Rural Community Hospital and Low-volume Adjustment. (For more information on these categories, see Table 1.) To maintain the CAH classification, rural hospitals must have between one and 25 acute care6 inpatient beds; be located more than 35 miles from another hospital; maintain an annual average length of patient stay of 96 hours or less for acute care patients; and provide 24-hour emergency care services. To participate in Medicare, all hospitals must be primarily engaged in providing inpatient care.

Medicare Designations for Rural Hospitals
Designation Eligibility Criteria

Critical Access Hospital (CAH)

  • Serves a rural area as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau
  • More than 35 miles from nearest hospital or CAH or more than 15 miles in areas with hazardous terrain or only secondary roads or designated by state as “necessary provider” before 2006
  • 25 acute care inpatient beds or fewer
  • 24-hour emergency services
  • Annual average length of stay of patient 96 hours or less per patient for acute care

Sole
Community
Hospital
(SCH)

More than 35 miles from other similar hospitals (excludes CAHs) or serves a rural area as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau and one of the following:

  • Between 25 and 35 miles from other similar hospitals and serves as main hospital in the vicinity
  • Between 15 and 25 miles from other similar hospitals, but other hospitals are often inaccessible
  • Nearest similar hospital is at least 45 minutes away

Medicare Dependent Hospital (MDH)

  • Serves a rural area as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau
  • Not a SCH
  • 100 beds or fewer
  • At least 60 percent of inpatient days or discharges are Medicare Part A beneficiaries

Rural Referral Center (RRC)

Serves a rural area as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau plus one of the following (42 CFR 412.96):

  • 275 acute care inpatient beds or more, or
  • Most Medicare patients referred by outside providers and most Medicare patients live more than 25 miles away, or
  • High case-mix and high discharge volume and one of the following: mostly specialty practitioners, most inpatients live 25 miles away, many patients referred by outside providers

Rural Community Hospital (RCH)

Pilot program; extended in 2016 for five years (30 participating hospitals)

  • Serves a rural area as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau
  • Fewer than 51 acute care inpatient beds
  • 24-hour emergency services
  • Not designated/eligible to be CAH

Low-volume Adjustment (LVA)

Pilot program; expired in 2017, but extended through 2022 with new criteria beginning in 2019:

  • Fewer than 3,800 total discharges
  • Located more than 15 road miles from the nearest subsection (d) hospital

Source: “2019 Rural Report,” American Hospital Association, https://www.aha.org/system/files/2019-02/rural-report-2019.pdf, accessed February 15, 2019.

Rural hospitals also provide strong economic returns to rural areas, often being one of the top employers. The average CAH directly employs approximately 140 persons with an average of $6.8 million in annual wages. In the years since the BBA was passed, many rural hospitals have struggled to maintain their CAH status while participating in Medicare. According to the University of North Carolina's Sheps Center for Health Services Research, 95 rural hospitals have closed in the United States, since January 2010, with most closures taking place in the South (see Figure 1). If this trend continues, some experts project that additional rural hospital closures will have disastrous consequences.

Statistically, rural Americans tend to have lower incomes and poorer health than those living in suburban and urban areas. According to the National Rural Health Association (NHRA), one of the major proponents for the improvement of rural healthcare, the per capita income of rural residents is $9,212 lower than the national average per capita income. (Per the U.S. Census Bureau, national per capita income from 2013 to 2017 was $31,177. The national median household income during this same time frame was $57,652.) Rural Americans are more likely to use the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; have greater transportation challenges when visiting a healthcare provider; be uninsured; use tobacco; have diabetes; and lack access to broadband internet. Additionally, most vehicle crash-related deaths occur in rural areas and most rural Americans must travel twice as far as urban residents to reach the nearest hospital.

To address these issues, U.S. Senator Charles Grassley (IA) sponsored the Rural Emergency Acute Care Hospital (REACH) Act in June 2015 and May 2017. On both occasions, the bill was read twice and referred to the Senate Finance Committee, which was then chaired by Senator Orrin Hatch (UT), with no further action. In 2018, Senator Hatch retired from the U.S. Senate and Senator Grassley became chair of the Finance Committee. Supporters of rural hospitals are hoping that Senator Grassley will re-introduce the bill.

Rural Hospital Closures in the U.S.: January 2010 - Present

Rural Hospital Closures in the U.S.: January 2010 - Present

Source: University of North Carolina's Sheps Center for Health Services Research (accessed February 13, 2019)

Bill Summary

The primary goal of the REACH Act is to create a new Rural Emergency Hospital (REH) classification under Medicare to prevent rural hospitals from losing Medicare funding and potentially shutting down. These REHs would maintain an emergency room and outpatient services—and still would be eligible to participate in Medicare—but would not provide inpatient services, as currently required. To provide care to patients with severe injuries or illnesses, REHs must have protocols to transport patients to hospitals that provide inpatient treatment. The Medicare reimbursement rate would be 110 percent of reasonable costs (including transportation services), compared with the current 101 percent reimbursement rate for CAHs. If the bill is passed, the CAH classification still would be available and hospitals would not be forced to convert to the REH classification. Additionally, CAH hospitals that convert to REH could revert to the CAH classification, if desired.

The REACH Act also allows REHs to add the emergency medicine specialty7 to the list of specialty professions under the National Health Service Corps (NHSC), a subdivision of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration, Bureau of Clinician Recruitment and Service. Founded in 1972, the NHSC awards scholarships and provides loan repayment options to qualifying physicians who practice at any of the more than 5,000 NHSC locations in underserved communities. To encourage new doctors to work in rural areas, the legislation would permit Medicare reimbursement for hospitals with approved residency programs when interns and residents perform emergency department rotations in REHs.

Bill Supporters

In 2017, the REACH Act was sponsored by Senator Charles Grassley and had four co-sponsors, Senator Cory Gardner (CO), Senator Amy Klobuchar (MN), Senator Susan Collins (ME) and Senator Angus King (ME). In addition, the bill has been supported by the AHA, that called it “an important first step toward ensuring access to healthcare services in some rural communities.” The AHA has called for the proposed REH policies to be extended to facilities in non-rural areas to increase healthcare access.

Save Rural Hospitals Act

The NRHA has supported the REACH Act, but prefers the Save Rural Hospitals Act (SRHA), sponsored by Representative Dave Loebsack (IA) and Representative Sam Graves (MO). Like the REACH Act, the SRHA was introduced in the 114th Congress (2015-2016) and the 115th Congress (2017-2018), but did not advance out of committee.

The SRHA would eliminate Medicare sequestration;8 extend payment levels for low-volume hospitals and Medicare-dependent hospitals; delay penalties incurred if a rural hospital fails to become an electronic health record user; make increased Medicare payments for ambulance services in rural areas permanent; and establish a program under which rural hospitals meeting specific requirements would be eligible for greater payment for qualified outpatient services. Additionally, the SRHA would create a new Medicare hospital designation, the Community Outpatient Hospital (COH), which, like the REACH Act’s proposed Rural Emergency Hospital, would not provide any inpatient services. Critical Access Hospitals and rural hospitals with 50 acute care beds or less would be eligible to become COHs, which would be reimbursed at the rate of 105 percent of reasonable cost.

Status

As of this writing, neither the REACH Act nor the SRHA have been introduced into the 116th Congress (2019-2020). Discussing the 116th Congress earlier this year, Senator Grassley said that, “My top priorities include lowering healthcare costs — including prescription drug costs, increasing quality of care for seniors, addressing rural healthcare needs and conducting rigorous oversight of the Affordable Care Act, the healthcare nonprofit sector and executive federal health care agencies,” but gave no indications regarding a potential re-introduction of the REACH Act.


Endnotes

1. “Community hospitals” are defined by the AHA as all nonfederal, short-term general, and other special hospitals. A “rural community hospital” is a community hospital in a rural area, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau.

2. Core-based statistical areas consist of the county, counties or similar entities associated with at least one urban core (urbanized area or urban cluster) with at least 10,000 residents, plus adjacent counties having a high degree of social and economic integration with the core as measured through commuting ties with the counties that make up the core.

3. A metropolitan (metro) area contains a core urban area of 50,000 or more residents, and a micropolitan (micro) area contains an urban core of at least 10,000 (but less than 50,000) residents.

4. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) designates counties as metropolitan, micropolitan, or neither. All counties that are not part of a metropolitan statistical area are considered rural. Micropolitan counties are considered rural along with all counties that are not classified as either metro or micro.

5. The FORHP accepts all non-metro counties as rural and uses an additional method of determining rurality called the Rural-Urban Commuting Area (RUCA) codes. Like the MSAs, these are based on Census data that is used to assign a code to each Census tract. Tracts inside metropolitan counties with the codes 4-10 are considered rural. While use of the RUCA codes has allowed identification of rural census tracts in metropolitan counties, among the more than 70,000 tracts in the United States there are some that are extremely large. In these larger tracts, use of RUCA codes alone fails to account for distance to services and sparse populations. In response to these concerns, FORHP has designated 132 large area Census tracts with RUCA codes 2 or 3 as rural. These tracts are at least 400 square miles in area with a population density of no more than 35 people. 

6. Acute care include “all promotive, preventive, curative, rehabilitative or palliative actions, whether oriented toward individuals or populations, whose primary purpose is to improve health and whose effectiveness largely depends on time-sensitive and, frequently, rapid intervention.” Source: “Health systems and services: the role of acute care,” World Health Organization, https://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/91/5/12-112664/en/.

7. Emergency medicine focuses on the immediate decision making and action necessary to prevent death or further harm in the pre-hospital setting and in the emergency department. An emergency medicine specialist provides immediate recognition, evaluation, care and stabilization of patients. Source: “American Board of Emergency Medicine,” American Board of Medical Specialties, https://www.abms.org/member-boards/contact-an-abms-member-board/american-board-of-emergency-medicine/.

8. The federal Budget Control Act of 2011 requires cuts in federal spending, including a 2 percent reduction in Medicare reimbursements for all Medicare services provided on or after April 1, 2013.

 

Sources/Further Reading

“2019 Rural Report,” American Hospital Association, https://www.aha.org/system/files/2019-02/rural-report-2019.pdf, accessed February 15, 2019.

“About Rural Health Care,” National Rural Health Association, https://www.ruralhealthweb.org/about-nrha/about-rural-health-care#_ftn1, accessed February 13, 2019.

“About Rural Health in America,” June 9, 2018, National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health, https://nosorh.org/about-rural-health-in-america/, accessed March 12, 2019.

“Advanced Copy- Revisions to State Operations Manual (SOM) Hospital Appendix A,” Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, September 6, 2017, https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Provider-Enrollment-and-Certification/SurveyCertificationGenInfo/Downloads/Survey-and-Cert-Letter-17-44.pdf, accessed February 13, 2019.

“AHA Expresses Support for the Rural Emergency Acute Care Hospital (REACH) Act, S. 1130,” American Hospital Association, https://www.aha.org/letter/2017-05-18-aha-expresses-support-rural-emergency-acute-care-hospital-reach-act-s-1130, accessed February 13, 2019.

Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, “95 Rural Hospital Closures: January 2010 – Present,” The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, https://www.shepscenter.unc.edu/programs-projects/rural-health/rural-hospital-closures/, accessed February 12, 2019.

“Critical Access Hospital,” Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, August 2017, https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Medicare-Learning-Network-MLN/MLNProducts/downloads/critaccesshospfctsht.pdf, accessed February 13, 2019.

“Critical Access Hospitals,” Rural Health Information Hub, https://www.ruralhealthinfo.org/topics/critical-access-hospitals, accessed February 13, 2019.

David Wright, Marie Vasbinder and Lisa Marunycz, “CMS Definition of a Hospital Requirements: Primarily Engaged,” Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, November 2, 2017, https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Outreach/NPC/Downloads/2017-11-02-Hospital-Call-Presentation.pdf, accessed February 13, 2019.

“Fast Facts on U.S. Hospitals, 2019,” American Hospital Association, https://www.aha.org/statistics/fast-facts-us-hospitals, accessed February 15, 2019.

“H.R. 2957 – Save Rural Hospitals Act,” United States Congress, https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/2957, accessed March 12, 2019.

Kaitlyn Houseman, “What the Sequestration Means to Medicare Payments for Providers,” March 11, 2013, Group One Health Source, http://www.grouponehealthsource.com/news/bid/63514/what-the-sequestration-means-to-medicare-payments-for-providers, accessed March 12, 2019.

“National Health Service Corps (NHSC),” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, https://www.usphs.gov/student/nhsc.aspx, accessed March 14, 2019.

“National Health Service Corps,” Health Resources and Services Administration, https://bhw.hrsa.gov/loansscholarships/nhsc, accessed March 14, 2019.

“Quick Facts,” United State Census Bureau, https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/ US/SEX255217, accessed February 13, 2019.

“S.1130 – Rural Emergency Acute Care Hospital Act,” May 16, 2017, U.S. Congress, https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/1130/text?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22Rural+Emergency+Acute+Care+Hospital+Act%22%5D%7D&r=1, accessed February 11, 2019.

Sara Heath, “AHA Lauds Bill for Patient Access to Rural Emergency Hospitals,” May 19, 2017, Patient Engagement Hit, https://patientengagementhit.com/news/aha-lauds-bill-for-patient-access-to-rural-emergency-hospitals, accessed February 13, 2019.

Senator Charles Grassley, “Top Priority is reducing health care costs,” Office of United States Senator Charles Grassley, January 14, 2019, https://www.grassley.senate.gov/news/news-releases/grassley-op-ed-top-priority-reducing-health-care-costs, accessed March 20, 2019.

“Sponsor the Save Rural Hospitals Act (H.R. 957),” National Rural Health Association, https://www.ruralhealthweb.org/NRHA/media/Emerge_NRHA/Advocacy/Government%20affairs/2018/2018-NRHA-Save-Rural-Hospitals-Act-(H-R-2957)-sponsor-request.pdf, accessed March 12, 2019.

“The Rural Emergency Acute Care Hospital (REACH) Act: A Solution for Rural Acute Care Access,” June 23, 2015, The Office of United States Senator Charles Grassley, https://www.grassley.senate.gov/sites/default/files/news/upload/White%20Paper%20on%20REACH%20Act_FINAL2.pdf, accessed February 11, 2019.

“Urban and Rural,” United States Census Bureau, https://www.census.gov/geo/reference/urban-rural.html, accessed March 12, 2019.

“What Are Community Hospitals?” Athena Health, https://www.athenahealth.com/knowledge-hub/community-hospitals/what-are-community-hospitals, accessed March 14, 2019.


Policy Analysis | March 2019

Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals

Anne Roberts Brody, Policy Analyst

The Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals (CCRs) from Electric Utilities final rule was signed on December 19, 2014, and published in the Federal Register on April 17, 2015. The rule finalized federal regulations to provide a comprehensive set of requirements for the safe disposal of CCRs, commonly known as coal ash, from coal-fired power plants.

On July 26, 2016, the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed a direct final rule and a companion proposal to extend the compliance deadlines for certain inactive CCR surface impoundments. These revisions were in response to a partial vacatur ordered by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on June 14, 2016. The direct final rule was published in the Federal Register on August 5, 2016, and became effective October 4, 2016.

Since 2016, there have been 52 legislative measures addressing CCRs in seven Southern states. The majority came from Virginia, with 17 pieces of legislation introduced. Meanwhile, Georgia introduced 11 pieces of legislation, North Carolina 10 and Missouri eight. Alabama, South Carolina and Texas also considered legislation related to CCRs.

In Virginia, structurally compromised surface impoundments located near the Chesapeake Bay Watershed have caused groundwater contamination. Likewise, the low-lying area is vulnerable to sea level rise and hurricanes, which could cause impoundment breaches. This legislative session, lawmakers reached an agreement (HB 2786/SB 1355) requiring the closure of specific CCR impoundments and the beneficial reuse of approximately 25 percent of CCRs in the area. The remaining 75 percent must be transferred to modern, lined landfills. The bill also limits how much utilities can charge ratepayers for the cleanup.

In 2014, a breach at a Duke Energy CCR impoundment caused approximately 39,000 tons of coal ash to be released into the Dan River in North Carolina. Following this breach, the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources created a task force to review all CCR impoundments in the state and develop procedures to prevent future environmental disasters at these facilities. House Bill 630 of 2015 requires CCR operators to provide replacement drinking water supplies to households located within a ½-mile radius of certain CCR impoundments. The bill also makes changes to the classifications of CCR impoundments and requires the processing and beneficial reuse of CCRs. Concerns about the management of CCR units recently were highlighted in the state when flooding caused by Hurricane Florence inundated two surface impoundments, leading to discharges in two rivers.

In 2018, the Missouri General Assembly approved three bills related to CCR management. As a whole, the bills give the state Department of Natural Resources the authority to promulgate rules and approve site-specific target levels for the management, closure and post-closure of CCR units in accordance with the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and approve site-specific groundwater criteria.

Since the final rule was published, 11 pieces of legislation (eight bills and three resolutions) addressing CCR management have been introduced in Georgia, though as of March 1, 2019, none have been enacted. Two resolutions (HR 1782 of 2015 and HR 513 of 2017) called for the creation of a House Study Committee on coal ash, while HR 257 of 2019 urges Georgia Power, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Southern Company, to remove an unlined coal ash pile at a specific location and move it to a lined landfill. Other legislation has focused on providing public notification related to landfills accepting CCRs or dewatering CCR impoundments, imposing excise taxes and disposal fees on CCRs, and protecting ground and surface water.

In South Carolina, House Bill 4857 of 2015 requires CCRs at some locations to be placed in a Class 3 landfill* and directs the state Department of Health and Environmental Control to promulgate regulations on beneficial reuse. The bill contains a sunset clause of five years from the effective date. This year, House Bill 3483 seeks to extend the sunset clause.

In 2017, the Alabama Legislature approved House Resolution 94, urging the EPA to analyze the combined potential impact of its future regulations for coal-fired power plants, including regulations impacting CCRs, and to share such analysis with all states. Although Texas considered two pieces of legislation in 2017, both failed.


* A Class 3 landfill is one that accepts municipal solid waste, industrial solid waste, sewage sludge, nonhazardous municipal solid waste incinerator ash and other nonhazardous waste. These landfills are required to have a "Special Wastes Analysis and Implementation Plan" to identify and manage special wastes. These landfills are lined and must meet requirements related to location, design, operation and closing. In South Carolina, all Class 3 landfills must be approved and permitted by the state Department of Health and Environmental Control.


Coal Combusion Legislation in Southern States


Alabama - HR 94 (2017) - Adopted

A resolution concerning the combined impacts of future U.S. EPA regulations for coal-fired power plants.

Notes

Urges the U.S. EPA to analyze the combined potential impact of its future regulations for coal-fired power plants and share the analysis with state governments.

Georgia - HR 1782 (2015) - Failed

A resolution creating the House Study Committee on coal ash and for other purposes.

Notes

Creates a committee to study the conditions, needs, issues and problems of coal ash disposal.

Georgia - HB 879 (2017) - Failed

A bill to amend Article 2 of Chapter 5 of Title 12 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to control of water pollution and surface-water use, so as to provide notice to local governing authorities prior to the dewatering of coal combustion residual surface impoundments; provide for minimum notice requirements to the public of such dewatering; provide for definitions; provide for related matters; repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

Notes

Requires owner/operators to notify local government officials, as well as the public, after the commencement of dewatering of a CCR surface impoundment.

Georgia - HR 513 (2017) - Failed

A resolution creating the House Study Committee on Coal ash and for other purposes.

Notes

Creates a committee to study the conditions, needs, issues and problems of coal ash disposal.

Georgia - HB 975 (2017) - Failed

A bill to amend Article 2 of Chapter 8 of Title 12 of the Official code of Georgia Annotated, relating to solid waste management generally, so as to provide for collection of a fee by local governing authorities for the disposal of coal combustion residuals in municipal solid waste disposal facilities; amend Chapter 12 of Title 48 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to specific, business and occupation taxes so as to provide for an excise tax on the disposal of coal combustion residuals; provide for the method for the collection of the excise tax; provide for the enforcement and implementation of the excise tax; provide for definitions; provide for related matters; repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

Notes

Allows cities operating municipal solid waste disposal facilities to assess a fee of up to 25 cents per ton, or volume equivalent, for the disposal of CCRs.  Requires fees assessed and collected to be paid to the state Environmental Protection Division.  Establishes a state excise tax of $2.50 per ton, or volume equivalent, to be imposed on the owner/operator of any facility that produces CCRs disposed of in municipal solid waste disposal facilities in the state.  Authorizes the promulgation of rules and regulations necessary for enforcement.

Georgia  - HB 880 (2017) - Failed

A bill to amend Part 1 of Article 2 of Chapter 8 of Title 12 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to general provisions relative to solid waste management, so as to provide for safe disposal of coal ash in municipal solid waste and commercial industrial solid waste landfills; provide for definitions; provide requirements for siting new or expanded landfills receiving coal combustion residuals; provide for such landfills permitted prior to July 1, 2018; provide for ground-water monitoring; provide for related matters; repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

Notes

On and after July 1, 2018, any modification of an existing permit to allow for the receipt of CCRs at a landfill in which the CCRs will be comingled with other waste and the ratio of the CCRs received daily at the landfill is 1:10 or greater, shall be considered a major modification.  Requires public notification for minor modifications.  Requires the state Environmental Protection Division to make applications for modifications allowing for the receipt of CCRS at landfills publicly available on the division's website.  Establishes new permitting requirements to protect water quality.

Georgia - HB 387 (2017) - Failed

A bill to amend Article 2 of Chapter 8 of Title 12 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to general provisions relative to solid waste management, so as to regulate the disposal of coal combustion residuals; require a permit or permit notification and additional requirements prior to the dewatering of surface impoundments for coal combustion residuals; require certain electric utilities and power producers to convert to dry storage of coal combustion residuals after a certain date; provide for related matters; repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

Notes

Requires owner/operators of unlined existing CCR surface impoundments to stop disposing of CCRs and all other waste into said CCR surface impoundments and to initiate closure of the impoundments, consistent with federal law.  The provisions do not apply to unlined existing CCR surface impoundments if a retrofit, in accordance with federal law, has been initiated.  Allows for flexibility if timelines are not achievable.  Establishes permits and requirements.  Requires public notification of dewatering.

Georgia - SB 165 (2017) - Failed

A bill amend Article 2 of Chapter 8 of Title 12 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to solid waste management, so as to impose liability on any producer of coal ash who disposes of such coal ash in this state in the event of a release; provide for definitions; require financial security and testing measures; provide for causes of action; provide for exceptions; provide for related matters; repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

Notes

To dispose of CCRs at any disposal site, the originator must own at least $100 million in assets in the state or post a surety bond with the state Department of Natural Resources in an amount sufficient to cover any liability.  Authorizes the state Environmental Protection Division to require the testing of CCRs for toxic materials determined to be hazardous to health and safety prior to disposal at any disposal site.  Establishes liability.

Georgia - HB 388 (2017) - Failed

A bill to amend Part 1 of Article 2 of Chapter 8 of Title 12 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to general provisions relative to solid waste management, so as to regulate the disposal of coal combustion residuals in landfills; require a management plan from certain landfills prior to receiving or continuing to receive coal combustion residuals; provide for requirements and duties under such plans; provide for related matters; repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

Notes

Requires a CCR management plan to be submitted to the state Environmental Protection Division for any landfill that disposes of CCRs or uses CCRs as daily cover.  Directs the division to consider whether the modifications proposed would impact the facility's ability to adequately protect human and environmental health.  Establishes standards and requirements for CCR management plans.

Georgia - HR 257 (2019) - Introduced; referred to committee

A resolution urging Georgia Power to remove the unlined coal ash pile at the McDonough-Atkinson Power Plant and place the coal ash in a lined landfill; and for other purposes.

Notes

Urges Georgia Power to remove the unlined coal ash pile at the McDonough-Atkinson Power Plant and place the coal ash in a lined landfill. Directs the clerk of the House of Representatives to distribute the resolution to the state Department of Natural Resources, Environmental Protection Division and the U.S. EPA.

Georgia - HB 94 (2019) - Introduced; referred to committee

A bill to amend Part 1 of Article 2 of Chapter 8 of Title 12 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to general provisions relative to solid waste management, so as to provide for safe disposal of coal ash in municipal solid waste and commercial industrial solid waste landfills; provide for definitions; provide requirements for siting new or expanded landfill receiving coal combustion residuals; provide for such landfills permitted prior to July 1, 2019; provide for ground-water detection monitoring; provide for related matters; repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

Notes

Requires landfill owner/operators to provide public notification when seeking modifications to permits in order to allow for the receipt of CCRs at a given landfill and establishes a timeline for notification.  Restricts landfills located in specific proximities to aquifers from receiving CCRs under certain circumstances.  Requires semi-annual groundwater monitoring of certain landfills receiving CCRs.

Georgia - HB 93 (2019) - Introduced; approved by committee

A bill to amend Article 2 of Chapter 5 of Title 12 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to control of water pollution and surface-water use, so as to provide notice to local governing authorities prior to the dewatering of coal combustion residual surface impoundments; provide for minimum notice requirements to the public of such dewatering; provide for definitions; provide for related matters; repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

Notes

Requires owner/operators to notify local government officials, as well as the public, after the commencement of dewatering of a CCR surface impoundment.

Missouri - HB 1162 (2017) - Failed

An act to repeal section 260.370 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri and enact in lieu thereof two new sections relating to the state Hazardous Waste Commission.

Notes

Gives the Hazardous Waste Commission authority to promulgate rules for the management and risk-based closure of coal combustion residual units.  Directs the commission to promulgate rules.

Missouri - SB 489 (2017) - Failed

An act to repeal section 260.370 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri and enact in lieu thereof two new sections relating to the regulation of coal combustion residual units.

Notes

Directs the state Hazardous Waste Commission to draft rules to meet requirements for federal approval for the regulation of CCR units.  Sets forth standards and requirements.

Missouri - SB 405 (2017) - Failed

An act to repeal sections 67.990, 67.993, 190.327 and 260.242 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri and enact in lieu thereof four new sections relating to public safety.

Notes

Gives the state Department of Natural Resources authority to promulgate rules for the management, closure and post-closure of CCR units in accordance with, but not more restrictive than the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.  Directs fees to a designated fund.

Missouri - HB 571 (2017) - Failed

An act to repeal sections 260.242 and 319.318 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri and enact in lieu thereof four new sections relating to natural resources.

Notes

Gives the state Department of Natural Resources authority to promulgate rules for the management, closure and post-closure of CCR units in accordance with, but not more restrictive than the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Directs the department to promulgate rules.  Directs fees to a designated fund.

Missouri - SB 917 (2018) - Enacted

An act to repeal section 260.242 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri and enact in lieu thereof one new section relating to coal ash.

Notes

Gives the state Department of Natural Resources authority to promulgate rules for the management, closure and post-closure of CCR units in accordance with the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and to approve site-specific groundwater criteria.  Establishes fees and funds.

Missouri - SB 659 (2018) - Enacted

An act to repeal sections 260.242, 260.262, 260.391, 319.129, 414.032 and 640.620 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri and enact in lieu thereof ten new sections relating to the state Department of Natural Resources.

Notes

The portions pertaining to CCR management are ordered and numbered differently, but identical in meaning and effect as those in SB 917.

Missouri - HB 2041 (2018) - Failed

An act to repeal section 260.242 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri and enact in lieu thereof one new section relating to solid waste management.

Notes

Gives the state Department of Natural Resources the authority to promulgate rules and approve site-specific target levels for the management, closure and post-closure of CCR units.  Rules must be as protective as the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.  Directs the department to promulgate rules.  Establishes fees and funds.  Establishes a legislative taskforce to evaluate fees.

Missouri - SB 782 (2018) - Enacted

An act to repeal sections 260.242, 260.262, 260.380, 260.391, 260.475, 319.129, 444.772, 640.648, 644.054 and 644.057 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri and enact in lieu thereof sixteen new sections relating to the Department of Natural Resources.

Notes

Gives the state Department of Natural Resources the authority to promulgate rules and approve site-specific target levels for the management, closure and post-closure of CCR units in accordance with the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and approve site-specific groundwater criteria.  Directs the department to promulgate rules.  Establishes fees and funds.  Establishes a legislative taskforce to evaluate fees.

North Carolina - HB 448 (2015) - Failed

A bill to extend by one year the prohibition on the use of coal combustion products as structural fill.

Notes

Extends the prohibition by one year.

North Carolina - SB 716 (2015) - Enacted

An act to direct the North Carolina Utilities Commission to render an expedited decision, under certain conditions, on an application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity for an application to construct a generating facility that uses natural gas as the primary fuel and modify certain requirements under the Coal Ash Management Act of 2014 for coal surface impoundments located on sites at which all coal-fired generating units present on those sites will permanently cease operations by January 31, 2020.

Notes

Extends by three years the closure deadline for CCR surface impoundments located at the Asheville Seam Electric Generating Plant, owned and operated by Duke Energy Progress.

North Carolina - HB 732 (2015) - Failed

A bill to prohibit recovery of costs related to management of coal combustion residuals.

Notes

Prohibits utilities from recovering costs related to the management of CCR surface impoundments.

North Carolina - HB 656 (2015) - Failed

A bill to amend the Coal Ash Management Act of 2014.

Notes

Prohibits electric utilities from recovering the costs of managing CCR surface impoundments and unlawful discharges, including the costs of complying with corrective actions imposed by state or federal law. Requires dewatering and closure of all CCR surface impoundments.

North Carolina - SB 71 (2015) - Vetoed

An act to require a coal combustion residuals impoundment owner to provide permanent alternative water supplies for residents in areas surrounding coal combustion residuals surface impoundments; extend the period for public comment and review of proposed risk classifications for coal combustion residuals surface impoundments; and modify appointments to the Coal Ash Management Commission, Mining Commission and Oil and Gas Commission, in accord with the holding of McCrory v. Berger.

Notes

Additional context provided in the preamble.

North Carolina - HB 630 (2015) - Enacted

An act to require a coal combustion residuals impoundment owner to provide permanent alternative water supplies for residents in areas surrounding coal combustion residuals surface impoundments; repeal statutory provisions related to the Coal Ash Management Commission; modify the closure requirements for coal combustion residuals surface impoundments under the Coal Ash Management Act of 2014; and modify appointments to the Mining Commission and Oil and Gas Commission.

Notes

Requires CCR operators to provide replacement drinking water supplies to households located within a 1/2-mile radius of the established compliance boundary of a CCR impoundment.  Changes the classifications of CCR impoundments.  Requires the processing and beneficial reuse of CCR.  Makes changes to the appointment process for the Mining Commission and the Oil and Gas Commission. Strikes all mention of the Coal Ash Commission.

North Carolina - SB 657 (2017) - Failed

A bill to study adverse impacts on drinking water of residents in divided neighborhoods surrounding coal combustion residuals surface impoundments.

Notes

Directs the state Department of Environmental Quality to conduct a study of the distribution and levels of hexavalent chromium in the groundwater beneath a divided neighborhood to determine if all households in the partially impacted neighborhood should receive a permanent replacement water supply.

North Carolina - HB 567 (2017) - Failed

A bill to study adverse impacts on drinking water of residents in divided neighborhoods surrounding coal combustion residuals surface impoundments.

Notes

Identical to SB 657.

North Carolina - HB 687 (2017) - Failed

A bill to amend various provisions related to coal ash cleanup.

Notes

Prohibits electric utilities from recovering the costs of managing CCR surface impoundments and unlawful discharges, including the costs of complying with corrective actions imposed by state or federal law.  Directs the department to consider various risks to public and environmental health and safety, as well as structural integrity.  Requires dewatering and closure of all CCR surface impoundments.

South Carolina - SB 1061 (2015) - Failed

A bill to add section 58-27-255 to the 1976 Code of Laws and provide for coal combustion residuals that result from the production of electricity to be placed in a Class 3 Landfill, with some exceptions.

Notes

Requires CCRs to be placed in a Class 3 Landfill unless the CCRs are located contiguous with the electric generating unit; intended to be beneficially reused; placed into beneficial reuse; or placed in an appropriate landfill owned and operated by the entity that produced the CCRs.

South Carolina - HB 4857 (2015) - Enacted

An act to amend the Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, by adding section 58-27-255 to require coal combustion residuals resulting from the production of electricity to be placed in a Class 3 Landfill and provide exceptions.

Notes

Requires CCRs to be placed in a Class 3 Landfill unless the CCRs are located contiguous with the electric generating unit; intended to be beneficially reused; placed into beneficial reuse; or placed in an appropriate landfill owned and operated by the entity that produced the CCRs.  Allows the state Department of Health and Environmental Control to promulgate regulations on beneficial reuse.  Contains a sunset clause of five years from the act's effective date.

South Carolina - HB 3483 (2019) - Introduced; passed chamber of origin

A bill to repeal section 3 of Act 138 of 2016 relating to the automatic repeal of statutory provisions requiring certain coal combustion residuals to be placed in a Class 3 Landfill.

Notes

Relates to HB 4857 of 2015 (same as Act 138 of 2016).

Texas - SB 1629 (2017) - Failed

A bill relating to systems of prior authorization for the control, management and disposal of certain nonhazardous, industrial solid wastes for which there are minimum federal requirements.

Notes

Allows the commission, via rulemaking, to require a registration that requires prior approval for the control, management, or disposal of industrial solid wastes for which there are minimum federal requirements under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976.

Texas - HB 4058 (2017) - Failed

A bill relating to systems of prior authorization for the control, management and disposal of certain nonhazardous, industrial solid wastes for which there are minimum federal requirements.

Notes

Identical to SB 1629.

Virginia - SB 1398 (2016) - Enacted

An act to require evaluation of closure of coal combustion residuals units.

Notes

Requires the owner/operator of every CCR surface impoundment located within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed to assess each CCR surface impoundment regarding the closure of any such units.  Sets out minimum requirements for the assessment.

Virginia - SB 1383 (2016) - Failed

A bill to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 10.1-1402.03, relating to coal ash treatment by utilities.

Notes

Requires utilities to treat and sell a portion of stored CCR at each facility each year.  Establishes a formula to determine each utility's portion.

Virginia - SB 767 (2018) - Introduced; referred to committee

A bill to amend the Code of Virginia by adding in Article 2.1 of Chapter 14 of Title 10.1 a section numbered 10.1-1413.3, relating to coal combustion residuals surface impoundments; flaws in closure plans; delay of permit.

Notes

Allows the director of the state Department of Environmental Quality to suspend, delay or defer the issuance of flawed closure permits and to mandate corrective actions and decline to issue the permit until such mandatory corrective actions are complied with and the flaw is fully addressed.  Requires local public hearings for each permit.

Virginia - SB 1534 (2018) - Failed

A bill to amend and reenact Section 56-585.1 of the Code of Virginia, relating to utilities; coal combustion residuals; cleanup costs.

Notes

Requires utilities to cover cleanup costs related to CCRs in the Chesapeake By Watershed, costs must be recovered over a 25-year period.  Adjustments cannot be made for compensating the utility for carrying the costs, nor length of reimbursement, nor interest on funds advanced by the utility or any rate of return on such funds.

Virginia - HB 467 (2018) - Failed

A bill to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 10.1-1402.03, relating to coal ash recycling or reuse.

Notes

Requires recycling unless there is proof that recycling is not cost effective.

Virginia - HB 1493 (2018) - Failed

A bill to amend and reenact Sections 56-576 and 56-585.1 of the Code of Virginia, relating to electric utility regulation; recovery of costs of coal combustion by-product management.

Notes

Would allow utilities to petition for rate adjustments to cover costs related to CCR management.

Virginia - SB 807 (2018) - Enacted

An act relating to the closure of coal combustion residuals impoundments and other units; permits; request for proposals for recycling or beneficial use projects.

Notes

All permits for CCR closures are suspended or deferred through July 1, 2019.

Virginia - SB 1743 (2018) - Failed

A bill to amend the Code of Virginia by adding in Chapter 3.1 of Title 62.1 an article numbered 2.7, consisting of sections numbered 62.1-44.15:85 through 62.1-44.15:91, relating to Coal Ash Management.

Notes

Prohibits the expansion or construction of any new CCR unit and sets out closure requirements.

Virginia - HB 2105 (2018) - Failed

A bill to amend the Code of Virginia by adding in Article 2.1 of Chapter 14 of Title 10.1 a section numbered 10.1-1413.3, relating to coal combustion residual units; closure; beneficial use.

Notes

Relates to the closure of CCR units located in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.  Sets out requirements. Requires closure to be completed by contractors that pay fair wages.

Virginia - SB 1533 (2018) - Failed

A bill to amend the Code of Virginia by adding in Article 2.1 of Chapter 14 of Title 10.1 a section numbered 10.1-1413.3, relating to coal combustion residuals units; closure; beneficial use.

Notes

Identical to HB 2105.

Virginia - HB 2786 (2018) - Enrolled; pending governor's signature

An act to allow closure of certain coal combustion residuals impoundments.

Notes

Requires the closure of specific CCR units and that the CCR be beneficially reused or disposed of at a site that meets federal standards.  Requires that owner/operators beneficially reuse a total of at least 6.8 million cubic yards from no fewer than two of the sites listed.  Requires the development of a transportation plan, in consultation with the locality, that minimizes impact to surrounding communities.  Sets requirements for the transportation plans.  Requires the owner/operator complete closure within 15 years and provide a connection to a municipal water supply for any residence within ½-mile of the CCR unit. Sets reporting requirements and provides for cost recovery under certain conditions.

Virginia - SB 1355 (2018) - Enrolled; pending governor's signature

An act to allow closure of certain coal combustion residuals impoundments.

Notes

Identical to HB 2786.

Virginia - HB 182 (2018) - Failed

A bill to amend the Code of Virginia by adding in Article 2.1 of Chapter 14 of Title 10.1 a section numbered 10.1-1413.3, relating to coal combustion residuals impoundments; Chesapeake Bay Watershed; closure requirements.

Notes

Requires the closure of all CCR surface impoundments located within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. 

Virginia - SB 708 (2018) - Failed

A bill to amend the Code of Virginia by adding in Article 2.1 of Chapter 14 of Title 10.1 a section numbered 10.1-1413.3, relating to coal combustion residuals impoundments; Chesapeake Bay Watershed; closure requirements.

Notes

Identical to HB 182.

Virginia - SB 1009 (2018) - Failed

A bill to amend the Code of Virginia by adding in Article 2.1 of Chapter 14 of Title 10.1 a section numbered 10.1-1413.3, relating to coal combustion residuals impoundments; Chesapeake Bay Watershed; closure requirements.

Notes

Nearly identical to HB 182 and SB 708.  The differences are of no material consequence.

Virginia - SB 808 (2018) - Introduced; referred to committee

A bill to amend and reenact Section 56-585.1:1 of the Code of Virginia, relating to electric utilities; transitional rate period; coal combustion residuals landfills.

Notes

Would allow utilities to expense up to 80 percent of costs associated with closure by removal of CCR landfill or surface impoundments against overearnings. 

Virginia - SB 768 (2018) - Introduced; referred to committee

A bill to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 56-585.1:4, relating to electric utility regulation; costs associated with closure in place of coal combustion residuals landfills and surface impoundments.

Notes

Outlines when cost recovery for closure is not allowed.


SLC Regional Resource | March 2019

Sports Betting in the South

Cody Allen, Policy Analyst

On May 14, 2018, the United States Supreme Court — via a 6-3 decision in Murphy, Governor of New Jersey v. National Collegiate Athletic Association (Murphy v. NCAA) — overturned the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), a longstanding federal prohibition on professional and amateur single-game sports wagering. The Murphy v. NCAA case was closely followed by state governments across the country, as ending the prohibition could open up an additional source of revenue. On September 5, 2017, West Virginia — joined by 20 other states — filed an amici curiae brief in support of New Jersey. Several signatories from SLC member states joined the brief, including the attorneys general of Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas, as well as the governor of Kentucky.

This SLC Regional Resource, current as of January 31, 2019, examines the status of active sports gambling laws in Mississippi and West Virginia, the two SLC states that currently authorize it. As additional data is gathered on the revenue gained from taxing sports wagering, it is anticipated many states will act during the 2019 and 2020 legislative sessions to bring this form of gaming to their states — especially those with a lottery or casino gaming infrastructure already in place.


Policy Analysis | January 2019

Medical Marijuana Laws in Southern States

Anne Roberts Brody, Policy Analyst

Of the 15 states comprising the Southern Legislative Conference, six (Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma and West Virginia) have laws establishing comprehensive medical marijuana programs.* Of those, only Florida’s medical marijuana program is fully operational. Programs in Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma and West Virginia are still in the developmental phases.

Within the public policy community, a consensus has emerged on what constitutes a comprehensive medical marijuana program. Such programs are characterized by four key criteria:

  1. Access to medical marijuana (often through a dispensary or home grow operation)
  2. Patient registry and/or other identification systems
  3. Protection from criminal prosecution
  4. Allow for a variety of medical marijuana forms (oils, tinctures, sprays, chewables, etc.)

Access to medical marijuana that meets established quality standards is an essential component of state medical marijuana laws. All six Southern states with comprehensive medical marijuana laws have established a framework for licensing dispensaries. While some states outside the region allow qualified patients and/or designated caregivers to grow limited amounts of marijuana, within the Southern region, only Oklahoma and Missouri allow licensed patients to grow marijuana. Oklahoma State Question 788, approved by voters on June 26, 2018, authorizes licensed patients and licensed caregivers to legally possess six mature or seedling marijuana plants. Likewise, Missouri Amendment 2, approved by voters on November 2, 2018, also allows authorized patients or their designated caregivers to legally possess six plants.

Another component of a comprehensive medical marijuana law is the establishment of a patient registry and/or identification systems. Laws in Arkansas, Florida, Oklahoma and West Virginia provide for the establishment of a patient registry and patient identification cards. In Oklahoma, patient identification cards are referred to as medical marijuana licenses. Missouri requires authorized patients and/or their designated caregivers to poses identification cards, but the law does not specifically require the creation of a patient registry. Louisiana’s medical marijuana regulations currently are being promulgated and are expected to include one or both of these mechanisms. Patient registries often are confidential and available only to law enforcement officials, qualified physicians, and medical marijuana treatment centers/dispensaries for the purpose of verifying the authorization of a qualified patient or caregiver to possess medical marijuana. State laws and regulations may also establish a registration system for physicians qualified to recommend medical marijuana to patients, as has been done in Florida and Louisiana.

Comprehensive medical marijuana laws provide legal protections for qualified patients and designated caregivers registered with the state and/or in possession of a registry identification card who are in possession of medical marijuana within the legal limits established by the state. For example, Arkansas protects patients and designated caregivers from “arrest, prosecution or penalty in any manner,” and from the denial of “any right or privilege, including without limitation a civil penalty or disciplinary action by a business, occupational, or professional licensing board or bureau.” Some state laws also provide protections against employment and housing discrimination for qualified patients and designated caregivers. State law in Oklahoma protects against employment and housing discrimination for licensed medical marijuana patients. Oklahoma law also protects the child custody rights of licensed medical marijuana patients.

Access to medical marijuana in a variety of forms is one of the central components of comprehensive medical marijuana laws because it allows patients, in consultation with a qualified physician, to select a form that best suits their treatment needs. Comprehensive medical marijuana laws allow for a variety of forms, including pills, oils, topical forms (gels, creams or ointments), tinctures, liquids, dermal patches, and suppositories. At this time, only Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri allow for marijuana to be smoked as a mechanism to treat a qualifying condition. In 2017, the Florida Legislature approved Senate Bill 8A, which includes a provision that smoking marijuana is not an approved medical use. On May 25, 2018, a circuit court judge ruled that the ban on smoked medical marijuana is unconstitutional because it conflicts with the intent of the constitutional amendment which legalized medical marijuana in Florida. The state Department of Health is appealing the verdict.

In addition to these criteria, most state laws include a list of conditions authorized for treatment with medical marijuana and a limit on the amount of marijuana a patient or primary caregiver may legally possess. For example, Arkansas permits authorized patients to possess up to 2.5 oz of medical marijuana, while Florida allows patients to possess a 70-day supply but does not specify a weight or volume limit. Another common component of medical marijuana laws is a cap on the concentration of active tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) per portion or “dose.” Arkansas, Florida and Louisiana limit the amount of active THC to 10 milligrams per dose. The maximum amount of active THC per dose is not specified in medical marijuana laws in Missouri, Oklahoma or West Virginia. However, regulations in West Virginia currently are being promulgated and likely will address this. At this time, Oklahoma’s medical marijuana laws and regulations do not specify qualifying medical conditions.

Although marijuana – both medical and recreational – is increasingly accepted in states, it remains a Schedule I controlled substance under the federal Controlled Substances Act. Schedule I substances are subject to the strictest regulation and federal law prohibits physicians from prescribing them. The act of prescribing a Schedule I substance could result in a physician losing their license. Instead, state medical marijuana laws allow for qualified physicians to issue a medical marijuana “recommendation” or “referral,” which is considered protected free speech between a doctor and a patient. Further, a physician’s recommendation does not allow patients to directly obtain medical marijuana under state law. Rather, the patient must register with the state and obtain medical marijuana through a licensed dispensary.


* While many states in the Southern region have laws allowing for the use of low THC/high cannabidiol products to treat certain medical conditions, laws in those states do not meet the criteria of comprehensive medical marijuana laws.


Medical Marijuana Laws in Southern States
State Forms of Marijuana Allowed Qualifying Medical Conditions
Arkansas Stalks, seeds, roots, dried leaves, flowers, oils, vapors, waxes and other portions of the marijuana plant and any mixture or preparation thereof. Smoking is permitted. Cancer, Glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, Hepatitis C, ALS, Tourette's syndrome, Chron's disease, ulcerative colitis, post-traumatic stress disorder, severe arthritis, fibromyalgia, Alzheimer's disease, and other chronic diseases producing specific symptoms.
Florida All parts of any plant of the genus Cannabis, whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of the plant; and every compound, manufacture, sale, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant or its seeds or resin that is dispensed only from a dispensing organization for medical use by an eligible patient. Smoking is prohibited.** Cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, PTSD, ALS, Crohn's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, a terminal condition diagnosed by a physician other than the qualified physician issuing the physician certification, and chronic nonmalignant pain caused by a qualifying medical condition or that originates from a qualifying medical condition and persists beyond the usual course of that qualifying medical condition.
Louisiana Oils, extracts, tinctures, sprays, solid oral dosage forms, liquid oral dosage forms, gelatin-based chewables, topical applications, transdermal patches, and suppositories. Smoking is prohibited. Cachexia/wasting syndrome, cancer, Crohn's disease, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, seizure disorders, spasticity, glaucoma, Parkinson's disease, intractable pain, post traumatic disorder and some conditions associated with autism spectrum disorder.
Missouri Capsules, teas, oils, and other infused products; vaporization or smoking of dried flowers, buds, plant material, extracts, or oils; application of ointments or balms; transdermal patches and suppositories; marijuana-infused food products or any other method recommended by a patient's physician. Cancer; epilepsy; glaucoma; intractable migraines unresponsive to other treatment; a chronic medical condition that causes severe, persistent pain or persistent muscle spasms, including, but not limited to, those associated with multiple sclerosis, seizures, Parkinson's disease and Tourette's syndrome; debilitating psychiatric disorders, including, but not limited to, post-traumatic stress disorder; HIV or acquired immune deficiency syndrome; a chronic medical condition that is normally treated with a prescription medication that could lead to physical or psychological dependence, when a physician determines that medical use of marijuana could be effective and would serve as a safer alternative; any terminal illness; and any other chronic, debilitating or other medical condition, including, but not limited to, hepatitis C, ALS, inflammatory bowel disease, Chron's disease, Huntington's disease, autism spectrum disorder, neuropathies, sickle cell anemia, Alzheimer's disease, cachexia, and wasting syndrome.
Oklahoma Forms include, but are not limited to oils, tinctures, edibles, pills, topical forms, gels, creams, forms medically appropriate for administration by vaporization or a nebulizer, patches, and liquids excluding live plant forms. Smoking is permitted. Not specified
West Virginia Pill, oil, topical forms (including gels, creams or ointments), tincture, liquid, dermal patch, and forms medically appropriate for administration by vaporization or nebulization. Smoking is prohibited. Any terminal illness; cancer; HIV/AIDS; ALS; Parkinson’s disease; multiple sclerosis; spinal cord damage; epilepsy; neuropathies; Huntington’s disease; Crohn’s disease; post-traumatic stress disorder; intractable seizures; sickle cell anemia; and "severe chronic or intractable pain in which conventional therapeutic intervention and opiate therapy is contraindicated or has proved ineffective as determined as part of continuing care."
State Amount Legal Protection? Dispensaries Allowed? Home Grow Allowed? Allowable Concentration of THC Patient Registry? ID Cards? Method of Legalization
Arkansas 2.5 oz Yes Yes No 10 milligrams Yes Yes Ballot measure
Florida 70-day supply (amount not specified) Yes Yes No 10 milligrams Yes Yes Ballot measure
Louisiana 30-day supply (amount not specified) Yes Yes No 10 milligrams Not specified Not specified Legislation
Missouri The Department of Health and Senior Services shall set a limit on the amount that may be purchased by or on behalf of a single patient in a 30-day period, provided that limit is not less than four ounces of dried, unprocessed marijuana or its equivalent. The department may also set a limit on the amount of possession, provided that it is not less than a 60-day supply. Yes Yes Yes Not specified Not specified Yes Ballot measure
Oklahoma Patients may possess up to 3 oz of marijuana on their person; six mature marijuana plants; six seedling plants; 1 oz of concentrated marijuana; 72 oz of edible marijuana; and up to 8 oz of marijuana in their residence. Yes Yes Yes Not specified Yes Yes Ballot measure
West Virginia 30-day supply (amount not specified) Yes Yes No Not specified Yes Yes Legislation

Other | January 2019

Issues to Watch - 2019

Anne Roberts Brody, Cody Allen and Roger Moore

As the 2019 legislative cycle begins, legislators across the South are preparing and pre-filing legislation to address emerging and relevant policy issues in their states. With its regional focus, the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) is uniquely positioned to research and identify current and emerging policy issues and trends. This report was prepared by SLC policy analysts Anne Roberts Brody, Cody Allen and Roger Moore as a snapshot of issues and trends that are anticipated to emerge during the 2019 legislative term.

This report previews current and emerging trends that have been identified under the purview of the SLC’s six standing committees, which are relevant to poli­cymakers across the South. The Agriculture and Rural Development preview discusses industrial hemp cultivation and the struggles of rural hospitals, while the Economic Development, Transportation and Cultural Affairs preview considers occupational licensing regulations and the funding of transportation and state infrastructure. In Education policy, teacher pay legislation and school counseling are trends to watch for the 2019 legislative term, while the management of coal combustion residuals — commonly referred to as coal ash — is an important emerging issue in the Energy and Environment arena. The Fiscal Affairs and Government Operations preview compares online sales tax legislation in the wake of the South Dakota v. Wayfair decision, and the Human Services and Public Safety preview examines balance billing policy at both the state and federal level.


Policy Analysis | October 2018

CDL Waivers for the Agriculture Industry

Anne Roberts Brody, Policy Analyst

Introduction
Transportation facilitates agriculture development by linking farmers, ranchers, manufacturers and service industries to grain elevators, processors, feedlots, markets, ports, rail, and barge facilities. Because agriculture requires large amounts of fertilizers and chemicals, it needs motor carriers that can safely haul hazardous materials. However, obtaining and maintaining a commercial drivers license can be costly and time consuming.

The inherently seasonal nature of agriculture requires drivers to be available to transport freshly harvested crops, or to provide fuel to implements of husbandry in a timely fashion. Delays caused by driver or vehicle shortages can be costly, resulting in spoiled crops and/or reduced returns. Likewise, the seasonal nature of this work means that farmers, farm workers and certain farm-related service industries need the ability to transport these goods during limited periods of time and for shorter distances than drivers for other industries. Recognizing this, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) Act of 2012 authorized a broad exemption from many federal regulations for vehicles that are classified as covered farm vehicles and granted states broad authority to waive certain Commercial Drivers License (CDL) requirements for farmers and employees of designated farm-related service industries. These exemptions offer the flexibility that is vital to the agriculture industry.

Federally Authorized CDL Waivers

Exemption for Farmers
49 CFR 383.3(d) gives states authority to exempt operators of farm vehicles from the requirements in 49 CFR 383, provided the vehicle is controlled and operated by a farmer or by a farmer’s employee or family member and used to transport agricultural products, farm machinery or farm supplies to or from a farm. This waiver is limited to farm vehicles which are operated within 150 miles of the operator’s farm.

Exemption for Farm-Related Service Industries
49 CFR 383.3(f) gives states authority to waive the required knowledge and skills tests (49 CFR 383.110) and issue restricted CDLs to employees of designated farm-related service industries: agri-chemical businesses; custom harvesters; farm retail outlets and suppliers; and livestock feeders. Restricted CDLs extended to employees of designated farm-related service industries are limited to seasonal periods determined by each state and must not exceed 180 days. While a state may provide for more than one seasonal period, each restricted CDL is valid for only one season and must be revalidated for each successive season. Restricted CDL holders are limited to operating Group B and C vehicles1 and may not operate vehicles carrying any placardable quantities of hazardous materials. An exception to the hazardous materials policy is made for diesel fuel in quantities of 3,785 liters (1,000 gallons) or less; liquid fertilizers (plant nutrients) in vehicles or implements of husbandry in total quantities of 11,355 liters (3,000 gallons) or less; and solid fertilizers (solid plant nutrients) that are not transported with any organic substance. Finally, restricted CDL holders may not operate a commercial motor vehicle beyond 241 kilometers (150 miles) from the place of business or the farm currently being served.

Exemption for Covered Farm Vehicles
49 CFR 383.3(h) exempts drivers of a covered farm vehicle2 with a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or less from certain requirements anywhere in the United States. Drivers of covered farm vehicles with a GVWR of more than 26,001 may be exempted from the requirements anywhere in the state of registration or across state lines within 150 air miles of the farm or ranch with respect to which the vehicle is being operated. In both cases, the exempted requirements include:

  • Any requirement relating to commercial drivers licenses in 49 CFR Part 383 or controlled substances and alcohol use and testing in 49 CFR Part 382;
  • Any requirement in 49 CFR Part 391, Subpart E (Physical Qualifications and Examinations);
  • Any requirement in 49 CFR Part 395 (Hours of Service of Drivers); and
  • Any requirement in 49 CFR Part 396 (Inspection, Repair, and Maintenance)

Class A Exemption for Farm-Related Service Industry
49 CFR 383 (i) gives states the authority to waive the requirement for a holder of a Class A CDL to obtain a hazardous materials endorsement for designated farm-related service industries, provided that the driver is operating a service vehicle that is transporting less than 1,000 gallons of diesel and clearly marked with a “flammable” or “combustible” placard.

CDL Waivers in SLC States

Of the 15 states comprising the Southern Legislative Conference, 14 states extend CDL waivers to farmers and/or covered farm vehicles; 10 states extend seasonally restricted CDL waivers to farm-related service industries and two states extend Class A CDL waivers to farm-related service industries. Alabama does not appear to extend any CDL waivers to persons in the agricultural industry.

CDL Waivers for the Agriculture Industry In SLC States
State Farmers / Farm Vehicles Citation Farm-related Service Industries Citation Class A Citation Additional Information
Arkansas Yes 006 05 CARR 035 Yes 006 05 CARR 037 No N/A  
Florida Yes 15A-7016, F.A.C No N/A No N/A  
Georgia Yes O.C.G.A § 40-5-142 Yes O.C.G.A. § 40-5-148.1; Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. R. 375-3-11-.17 No N/A  
Kentucky Yes KRS § 281A.050 Yes 601 KAR 11:080 No N/A  
Louisiana Yes La. R.S. § 32:408 Yes La. R.S. § 32:423 No N/A More information on the farm-related service industry CDL waiver, click here.
Mississippi Yes Miss. Code Ann. § 63-1-203 Yes Miss. Code Ann. § 63-1-207 No N/A  
Missouri Yes § 302.775 R.S.Mo. Yes 12 CSR 10-24.412 No N/A  
North Carolina Yes N.C. Gen. Stat. § 20-37.16 No N/A No N/A  
Oklahoma Yes 47 Okl. St. § 6-102.1 Yes 47 Okl. St. § 6-111 Yes O.A.C. § 595:11-1-14 FMCSR Part 383 adopted by reference in O.A.C. § 595:11-1-14
South Carolina Yes S.C. Code Regs. 38-383.3 Yes S.C. Code Regs. 38-383.3 No N/A  
Tennessee Yes Tenn. Code Ann. § 55-50-102 No N/A No N/A  
Texas Yes 37 TAC § 16.3 Yes 37 TAC § 16.6 Yes 37 TAC § 16.1 FMCSR Part 383 adopted by reference in 37 TAC § 16.1
Virginia Yes Va. Code Ann. § 46.2-649.4 Yes Va. Code Ann. § 46.2-341.10:1 No N/A  
West Virginia Yes W. Va. Code § 17E-1-8 No N/A No N/A  

Endnotes

1. Under 49 CFR 383.91 Group B vehicles, or Heavy Straight Vehicles, are defined as any single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 11,794 kilograms (26,001 pounds) or more, or any such vehicle towing a vehicle not in excess of 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds) GVWR. Group C vehicles, or Small Vehicles, include any single vehicle, or combination of vehicles, that meet neither the definition of Group A nor that of Group B, but that either is designed to transport 16 or more passengers or is used in the transportation of hazardous materials.

2. 49 CFR 390.5 defines a covered farm vehicle as a straight truck or articulated vehicle registered in a state as a farm vehicle, operated by the owner or operator of a farm or ranch, or a farmer’s employee or family member and used to transport agricultural commodities, livestock, machinery or supplies to or from a farm or ranch, not used as a for-hire motor carrier.


SLC Issue Brief | October 2018

The Growth of Synthetic Opioids in the South

Roger Moore, Policy Analyst

Download the full report (PDF)

The drug epidemic, driven in large part by the ongoing opioid crisis, continues to ravage tens of thousands of families and communities across the United States. The latest provisional data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, released in September 2018, estimated that more than 71,500 drug overdose deaths occurred nationally between January 2017–January 2018, an increase of 6.6 percent during the same period the previous year, and 31.4 percent higher compared to January 2015– January 2016.1 In the Southern region, drug overdoses were responsible for more than 24,000 deaths in 2017, approximately one-third of the national total.

This SLC Issue Brief reviews the rise of dangerous synthetic opioids, primarily fentanyl, and their evolving role within the broader opioid crisis afflicting the United States. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), the popularity of fentanyl and related synthetic opioids will remain unchallenged for the next several years, making it crucial for state and local leaders to understand the extent of the crisis and identify potential solutions for its mitigation.


SLC Special Series Report | October 2018

Blown Away: Wind Energy in the Southern States (Part III)

Anne Roberts Brody, Policy Analyst

Download the full report (PDF)

Wind energy production in the United States continues to grow, heralding expanded transmission capacity, lower energy prices and job growth in several sectors. This SLC Special Series exploring the myriad impacts of wind energy expansion in SLC states has examined the benefits of wind energy in the region and provided case studies from three SLC states. However, a further understanding of the full impacts of this growing industry also necessitates a discussion of its challenges. To that end, this SLC Special Series Report, the third and final installment, assesses the industry’s obstacles, particularly as they relate to military operations, impacts to avian populations and cultural perceptions.


Policy Analysis | September 2018

Poverty Statistics for Southern States

Roger Moore, Policy Analyst

Poverty is a complex and multifaceted issue, the result of socioeconomic factors often connected to history, geography and race. Studies consistently show that poverty limits access to education, nutritious foods, professional opportunities and safe, prosperous neighborhoods, all of which are critical for sustaining long and healthy livelihoods. For state and local governments, poverty can exacerbate crime, necessitate increased spending on healthcare and social safety nets, and adversely affect economic growth for decades.
 
According to statistics released by the U.S. Census Bureau in September 2018,* 42.5 million people lived in poverty in 2017, equivalent to 13.4 percent of the entire population that year. Among all groups, those identifying as American Indian and Alaska Native experienced the highest poverty rates at 25.4 percent, followed by individuals who identified as black or African American at 23.0 percent and Hispanic or Latino at 19.4 percent. Meanwhile, individuals who identified as white or Asian had the lowest poverty rates in 2017, both at 11.1 percent.

Though millions of people remain below the poverty level, there have been notable improvements in recent years. Between 2014 – 2017, the number of people nationally living in poverty decreased by 11.7 percent, a trend reflected across much of the South. During this period, 12 of the 15 states in the SLC region had statistically significant reductions in the number of people living below the poverty level, including Tennessee and Georgia, which were among the top states nationally in this category. Missouri, Arkansas, Alabama, North Carolina and South Carolina also had notable reductions in poverty levels that were close to or better than the national average.

Despite marked progress during the past few years, poverty rates across the South remain high compared to other regions. Nine of the 10 states with the highest poverty rates in 2017 were in the SLC region, including Mississippi, Louisiana, West Virginia, Kentucky, Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Tennessee. Another four states, Georgia, North Carolina, Texas and Florida, were among the top 20 nationally, followed lastly by Missouri and Virginia, which ranked 21st and 40th, respectively. All Southern states except Virginia maintained poverty rates in 2017 that were on par with, or higher than, the national average of 13.4 percent. 

Various sustained policies state and local leaders have taken to mitigate the ongoing, intractable problems surrounding poverty include allocating more funding for education, particularly for students in low-income school districts; increasing access to healthcare; providing professional development opportunities for all segments of the adult population; and investing in infrastructure that serves all communities.


* All data is approximate due to slight margins of error cited by the Census Bureau.


Poverty in the United States 2014-2017
State Population living below poverty level
2017
Poverty rate
2017
Percent change
2014-2017
United States 42,583,651 13.4 -11.7
Alabama 802,656 16.9 -11.8
Alaska 80,012 11.1 -0.8
Arizona 1,018,935 14.9 -15.0
Arkansas 478,365 16.4 -12.1
California 5,160,208 13.3 -17.6
Colorado 564,312 10.3 -10.5
Connecticut 334,128 9.6 -10.8
Delaware 126,986 13.6 11.9
Florida 2,889,506 14.0 -10.0
Georgia 1,517,702 14.9 -15.6
Hawaii 132,549 9.5 -15.4
Idaho 216,309 12.8 -9.1
Illinois 1,569,753 12.6 -13.0
Indiana 871,247 13.5 -10.6
Iowa 326,636 10.7 -11.2
Kansas 336,487 11.9 -12.1
Kentucky 744,239 17.2 -9.0
Louisiana 899,039 19.7 0.3
Maine 144,012 11.1 -21.2
Maryland 549,171 9.3 -6.9
Massachusetts 692,201 10.5 -8.6
Michigan 1,377,766 14.2 -12.2
Minnesota 517,476 9.5 -15.4
Mississippi 571,219 19.8 -8.3
Missouri 795,732 13.4 -12.4
Montana 127,777 12.5 -17.0
Nebraska 200,909 10.8 -11.6
Nevada 384,120 13.0 -10.0
New Hampshire 99,966 7.7 -15.3
New Jersey 882,673 10.0 -9.3
New Mexico 401,755 19.7 -7.9
New York 2,722,257 14.1 -11.1
North Carolina 1,471,339 14.7 -11.8
North Dakota 75,279 10.3 -8.5
Ohio 1,582,931 14.0 -11.4
Oklahoma 603,864 15.8 -3.2
Oregon 537,974 13.2 -16.5
Pennsylvania 1,548,720 12.5 -7.9
Rhode Island 118,367 11.6 -18.7
South Carolina 751,907 15.4 -10.9
South Dakota 109,099 13.0 -6.6
Tennessee 980,284 15.0 -16.3
Texas 4,076,905 14.7 -9.9
Utah 296,557 9.7 -12.8
Vermont 67,841 11.3 -7.3
Virginia 874,483 10.6 -8.3
Washington 802,159 11.0 -12.2
West Virginia 336,301 19.1 2.6
Wisconsin 639,564 11.3 -13.4
Wyoming 64,054 11.3 0.4
Poverty Rates Among Major Population Groups 2017
State Black/African American poverty rate
2017
Hispanic/Latino poverty rate
2017
White
poverty rate
2017
United States 23.0 19.4 11.1
Alabama 27.3 30.7 12.2
Arkansas 27.6 23.2 13.6
Florida 21.9 17.7 12.2
Georgia 21.5 23.4 11.0
Kentucky 25.7 25.8 16.1
Louisiana 33.1 25.1 12.5
Mississippi 31.3 21.6 12.1
Missouri 24.7 17.9 11.4
North Carolina 22.0 27.1 11.6
Oklahoma 28.5 22.7 13.4
South Carolina 24.3 26.5 11.2
Tennessee 24.2 24.5 12.7
Texas 19.0 20.7 13.9
Virginia 17.9 13.7 8.5
West Virginia 31.7 24.3 18.2

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2018


Policy Analysis | August 2018

Suicide Rates in the South

Roger Moore, Policy Analyst

In June 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report documenting the high – and growing – number of suicides across the United States. In 2016, the last year for which the CDC has comprehensive data, 45,000 people died by suicide, an increase of 25.4 percent over 1999 levels. Nevada, where deaths by suicide were down 1 percent between 1999-2016, was the only state that did not experience an increase during this period.

Seven of the 15 states in the South, including Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina and West Virginia, experienced increases in suicide rates between 1999-2016 that were higher than the national average of 25.4 percent. The remaining seven states in the region were below the average, from a high of 24.2 percent in Tennessee, to a low of 10.6 percent in Florida.

Among Southern states, Oklahoma had the highest number of deaths by suicide per capita in 2016, with 21 per 100,000, followed by West Virginia, Missouri and Arkansas, all of which were among the top 15 nationally in this category. Meanwhile, North Carolina, Mississippi and Texas had the fewest number of suicides per 100,000 in the South, with rates of 13.0, 12.7 and 12.6, respectively. The national average was 13.5 deaths by suicide per 100,000, a number surpassed by 10 states in the SLC region.

There are many factors that can cause a person to consider suicide, including relationship problems, substance abuse disorders, financial difficulties, deterioration in physical health, personal crises, legal problems and loss of housing. Additionally, approximately 46 percent of suicide cases in 2016 included individuals with known mental health conditions.

State and local leaders have multiple options at their disposal to mitigate the rise in suicides, including expanding temporary assistance to those struggling financially due to job loss or other hardship, providing mental health access in all communities, ensuring as many individuals as possible have accessible healthcare options, and encouraging schools to promote education that can help students address the many challenges they might encounter now and in the future.

Deaths by Suicide 2016
Ranking State Total Number of Suicides 2016 Suicide Rate per 100,000 People 2016 Suicide Rate Percent Change 1999-2016
1 North Dakota 140 19.0 57.6
2 Vermont 118 17.3 48.6
3 New Hampshire 244 17.2 48.3
4 Utah 620 21.8 46.5
5 Kansas 514 17.9 45.0
6 South Dakota 163 20.2 44.5
7 Idaho 351 21.4 43.2
8 Minnesota 745 13.2 40.6
9 Wyoming 144 25.2 39.0
10 South Carolina 815 15.7 38.3
11 Montana 267 25.9 38.0
12 Oklahoma 822 21.0 37.6
13 Alaska 193 25.8 37.4
14 West Virginia 362 19.3 37.1
15 Arkansas 555 18.2 36.8
16 Kentucky 756 16.8 36.6
17 Missouri 1,133 18.4 36.4
18 Iowa 451 14.6 36.2
19 Ohio 1,707 14.2 36.0
20 Massachusetts 631 8.8 35.3
21 Pennsylvania 1,970 14.7 34.3
22 Colorado 1,168 20.5 34.1
23 Rhode Island 126 11.2 34.1
24 Michigan 1,364 13.3 32.9
25 Indiana 1,034 15.4 31.9
26 Louisiana 677 14.2 29.3
27 New York 1,679 8.1 28.8
28 Oregon 772 17.8 28.2
29 Maine 226 15.9 27.4
30 Wisconsin 866 14.7 25.8
31 Tennessee 1,111 16.3 24.2
32 Illinois 1,415 10.7 22.8
33 Alabama 788 15.7 21.9
34 Connecticut 397 10.1 19.2
35 New Jersey 687 7.2 19.2
36 Texas 3,488 12.6 18.9
37 Washington 1,141 14.9 18.8
39 New Mexico 471 22.5 18.3
38 Hawaii 174 12.1 18.3
40 Mississippi 383 12.7 17.8
41 Virginia 1,166 13.2 17.4
42 Arizona 1,271 17.7 17.3
43 Georgia 1,409 13.3 16.2
44 Nebraska 246 13.1 16.2
45 California 4,294 10.5 14.8
46 North Carolina 1,373 13.0 12.7
47 Florida 3,143 14.0 10.6
48 Maryland 586 9.4 8.5
49 Delaware 119 11.5 5.9
50 Nevada 650 21.4 -1.0

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Suicide Mortality by State;
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Suicide Rates Across the U.S., 1999-2016


Policy Analysis | August 2018

Apprenticeships in the South

Roger Moore, Policy Analyst

Due to a lack of training and education among prospective employees, many businesses often have difficulty finding enough skilled workers to remain competitive in the global economy. This is particularly the case for positions that require moderate to high levels of technical knowledge, which are critical for sustained success in today’s job market.

Successful apprenticeship programs, which have proven valuable for both businesses and students, can help state and local leaders address the skills gap that exists in many industries. For businesses, apprenticeships can nurture student interest in careers related to their industry, potentially increasing the number of applicants in the future and improving employee retention and productivity. They also facilitate robust partnerships with schools, thereby ensuring that education standards include the skills and training necessary to succeed in growing industries. For students, apprenticeships offer the opportunity to apply content learned in the classroom to the workplace, allowing them to explore career options by gaining critical work experience. Apprentices also can interact with mentors who can assist them later when they are seeking career opportunities.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there were more than 530,000 active apprentices in 2017 across a wide range of industries, including construction, manufacturing, transportation, utilities, healthcare, retail and education, among many others.* Since 2014, the number of active apprentices nationally has grown by 30 percent, while the number of apprenticeship programs has increased by nearly 17 percent. During that time, more than 210,000 individuals have completed an apprenticeship program, increasing from 44,417 in 2014 to 64,021 in 2017.

In the SLC region, the number of active apprentices has significantly increased in recent years. Five of the 15 states in the South, including South Carolina, Missouri, Arkansas, Florida and North Carolina, were among the top 10 nationally in active apprentice growth rates between 2014-2017. Meanwhile, West Virginia, Texas, Georgia and Alabama ranked in the top 20 nationally, followed by Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee, all of which experienced growth greater than 30 percent.

Since 2014, 10 of the 15 Southern states also have experienced growth in the number of apprenticeship programs, led by South Carolina, with an increase of 108 percent, the highest in the nation. Kentucky was second nationally with growth close to 73 percent, followed by Arkansas and Alabama, both among the top 10 nationally, with growth in apprenticeship programs increasing by approximately 29 percent and 24 percent, respectively. North Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Louisiana, Missouri and Mississippi, likewise, experienced growth in the number of apprenticeship programs between 2014-2017.


* National figures include all 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as the U.S. Military Apprenticeship Program, which allows active duty service members to complete civilian apprenticeship requirements.


Active Apprentices 2014-2017
Ranking State Active Apprentices 2017 Active Apprentices 2014 Percentage Growth 2014-2017
1 Nebraska 9,580 1,738 451.21
2 South Carolina 17,609 4,485 292.62
3 Missouri 14,274 7,379 93.44
4 Michigan 17,731 9,352 89.60
5 California 62,694 34,901 79.63
6 Iowa 9,393 5,385 74.43
7 Arkansas 5,447 3,129 74.08
8 Florida 12,621 7,395 70.67
9 Indiana 17,323 10,154 70.60
10 North Carolina 6,124 3,636 68.43
11 Nevada 3,985 2,371 68.07
12 Massachusetts 11,154 6,748 65.29
13 Utah 3,923 2,385 64.49
14 Idaho 1,196 748 59.89
15 New Hampshire 2,403 1,522 57.88
16 West Virginia 5,487 3,534 55.26
17 Pennsylvania 16,662 10,821 53.98
18 Texas 17,473 11,364 53.76
19 Georgia 8,109 5,376 50.84
20 Alabama 4,905 3,296 48.82
21 Montana 1,650 1,111 48.51
22 Illinois 15,186 10,380 46.30
23 Hawaii 9,622 6,799 41.52
24 Washington 15,226 10,860 40.20
25 Kentucky 3,384 2,452 38.01
26 New Jersey 7,299 5,322 37.15
27 Oregon 8,808 6,510 35.30
28 Mississippi 2,073 1,560 32.88
29 Tennessee 5,948 4,517 31.68
30 Ohio 18,335 14,015 30.82
31 Vermont 1,165 905 28.73
32 Minnesota 11,618 9,126 27.31
33 Arizona 3,560 2,820 26.24
34 Colorado 5,990 4,771 25.55
35 Alaska 2,380 1,998 19.12
36 Wisconsin 10,700 9,485 12.81
37 South Dakota 715 637 12.24
38 Connecticut 5,665 5,175 9.47
39 Delaware 1,164 1,069 8.89
40 North Dakota 1,088 1,005 8.26
41 Wyoming 409 384 6.51
42 New York 16,980 16,238 4.57
43 Louisiana 3,816 3,762 1.44
44 Virginia 15,429 15,649 -1.41
45 Oklahoma 1,332 1,434 -7.11
46 New Mexico 1,530 1,711 -10.58
47 Maryland 9,090 13,435 -32.34
48 Maine 429 670 -35.97
49 Kansas 1,966 3,394 -42.07
50 Rhode Island 523 1,337 -60.88
Active Apprenticeship Programs 2014-2017
Ranking State Active Apprenticeship Programs 2017 Active Apprenticeship Programs 2014 Percentage Growth 2014-2017
1 South Carolina 964 463 108.21
2 Kentucky 204 118 72.88
3 Hawaii 118 81 45.68
4 North Dakota 88 61 44.26
5 Arizona 150 104 44.23
6 Iowa 856 626 36.74
7 New Hampshire 315 237 32.91
8 California 267 203 31.53
9 Arkansas 103 80 28.75
10 Alabama 114 92 23.91
11 Wyoming 88 76 15.79
12 North Carolina 568 491 15.68
13 Indiana 945 829 13.99
14 Texas 418 367 13.90
15 Nebraska 101 89 13.48
16 South Dakota 100 89 12.36
17 Vermont 338 302 11.92
18 Alaska 357 322 10.87
19 Idaho 133 121 9.92
20 Tennessee 348 322 8.07
21 Massachusetts 1,374 1,291 6.43
22 Louisiana 52 49 6.12
23 New York 725 685 5.84
24 Missouri 395 375 5.33
25 Ohio 968 924 4.76
26 Mississippi 96 93 3.23
27 Pennsylvania 761 744 2.28
28 Michigan 998 982 1.63
29 Delaware 313 311 0.64
30 Washington 261 262 -0.38
31 Oklahoma 99 100 -1.00
32 Connecticut 1,480 1,504 -1.60
33 Montana 592 602 -1.66
34 Wisconsin 959 992 -3.33
35 Rhode Island 484 512 -5.47
36 Florida 206 222 -7.21
37 Nevada 80 87 -8.05
38 Kansas 243 277 -12.27
39 Utah 213 243 -12.35
40 Virginia 1,930 2,220 -13.06
41 New Jersey 727 867 -16.15
42 Illinois 431 515 -16.31
43 Colorado 172 215 -20.00
44 Minnesota 194 316 -38.61
45 West Virginia 249 459 -45.75
46 New Mexico 35 66 -46.97
47 Maine 73 193 -62.18
48 Georgia 132 396 -66.67
49 Maryland 133 423 -68.56
50 Oregon N/A 440 N/A

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration


Comparative Data Report | July 2018

Adult Correctional Systems

Monique Appeaning, Fiscal Analyst/Special Projects Coordinator, Legislative Fiscal Office, Louisiana

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 2018

Education

Hank Hager, Counsel, 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 2018

Medicaid

Fiscal Analyst Zach Rau and Section Director 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)


Comparative Data Report | July 2018

Transportation

David Talley, Legislative Fiscal Analyst, Legislative Research Commission, Kentucky

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 2018

Distracted Driving Laws in SLC Member States

Roger Moore, Policy Analyst

In recent years, states across the South have enacted laws to mitigate distracted driving caused by the proliferation of cell phones and other portable electronic devices. The extent to which the laws impact drivers varies by state, though there are similarities across the region. Fourteen of 15 SLC member states, for example, prohibit all drivers from texting while driving and one, Missouri, prohibits texting by all drivers under the age of 21. Similarly, 10 of the 15 states prohibit all usage of wireless communication devices by novice drivers, generally defined as drivers under 18 years old who hold restricted licenses. Most states in the region have not implemented statewide bans on hand-held devices; however, several states have prohibited the use of hand-held devices in certain areas, such as designated school zones. Only Georgia and West Virginia have banned hand-held devices for all drivers.

Penalties vary widely across the region. Most states have implemented a tiered system whereby drivers face increasingly severe penalties for each subsequent offense. Eight states have fees that do not surpass $100 per violation, while another five states have fees that range between $100 and $300. Two states, Arkansas and Louisiana, permit fees up to $500 and $1,000, respectively, for repeat offenders.

Alabama does not have a statewide hand-held device ban for drivers. However, all drivers are prohibited from texting while driving, and novice drivers – defined as 16- and 17-year-old drivers who hold a restricted driver’s license – are prohibited from using all wireless communication devices while operating a vehicle. Drivers who violate the texting ban are subject to a $25 fine for the first offense, $50 fine for the second offense and a $75 fine for each subsequent offense. Novice drivers who use a mobile device while operating a vehicle are required to hold a restricted driver’s license for an additional six months or until they are 18 years old.

Code of Ala. § 32-5A-350; § 32-6-7.2

Arkansas has a statewide hand-held device ban for drivers under the age of 21, as well as for all drivers operating a vehicle in school zones and highway construction zones. In addition, all drivers are prohibited from texting while driving, and wireless communication devices are banned for school bus drivers and drivers under the age of 18. Drivers who violate any of the bans are subject to fines up to $250 for the first offense and up to $500 for each subsequent offense. If usage of a device results in an accident or collision, drivers are required to pay double the fine imposed.

A.C.A. § 27-51-1604; § 27-51-1609/1610; § 27-51-1504; § 27-51-1506; § 27-51-1603; § 6-19-120

Florida does not have a statewide ban on hand-held devices or any other wireless communication devices for drivers. All drivers are prohibited from texting while driving; however, law enforcement must treat texting as a secondary offense, meaning drivers only can be charged for a violation after they are stopped for a separate infraction. Drivers who violate the texting ban are subject to a $30 fine for the first offense and a $60 fine for each subsequent offense that occurs within five years of a prior infraction.

Fla. Stat. § 316.305

Georgia has a statewide hand-held device ban for all drivers operating a vehicle, effective July 1, 2018. In addition, school bus drivers and drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using all wireless communication devices while operating a vehicle. Drivers who violate the hand-held device ban are subject to a fine up to $50 for the first offense, up to $100 for the second offense and up to $150 for each subsequent offense that occurs within two years of a prior infraction. Drivers under the age of 18 who violate the ban on wireless communication devices are subject to a fine of $150.

O.C.G.A § 40-6-165; § 40-6-241

Kentucky does not have a statewide hand-held device ban for drivers. However, all drivers are prohibited from texting while driving, and drivers under the age of 18 are not allowed to use any wireless communication devices while operating a vehicle. School bus drivers also are prohibited from using wireless communication devices. Drivers who violate the bans are subject to fines of $25 for the first offense and $50 for each subsequent offense.

KRS § 189.292; § 189.294; § 189.990

Louisiana does not have a statewide hand-held device ban for drivers. However, all drivers are prohibited from texting while driving, and drivers who have been issued their first license are prohibited from using all wireless communication devices for the first year. School bus drivers and drivers under the age of 18 also are prohibited from using wireless communication devices. Drivers who violate the texting ban are subject to a fine up to $500 for the first offense and up to $1,000 for each subsequent offense. Drivers under the age of 18 who violate the ban on wireless communication devices face fines up to $250 for the first offense and up to $500 and 60-day license suspension for each subsequent offense. If usage of a device results in an accident or collision, drivers are required to pay double the fine imposed.

La. R.S. § 32:289; § 32:300.5; § 32:300.7

Mississippi does not have a statewide hand-held device ban for drivers. However, all drivers are prohibited from texting while driving, and school bus drivers are prohibited from using all wireless communication devices. Drivers who violate the texting ban are subject to a fine of $100 for each offense.

Miss. Code Ann § 63-33-1

Missouri does not have a statewide hand-held device ban for drivers. However, all drivers 21 and younger are prohibited from texting while driving. Drivers who violate the texting ban are subject to a $200 fine.

R.S.Mo § 304.820

North Carolina does not have a statewide hand-held device ban for drivers. However, all drivers are prohibited from texting while driving, and drivers under the age of 18 are banned from using all wireless communication devices while operating a vehicle. School bus drivers also are prohibited from using wireless communication devices. Drivers who violate the texting ban are subject to a fine of $100 for each offense. Meanwhile, drivers under the age of 18 who violate the ban on wireless communication devices are subject to a fine of $25.

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 20.137.3; § 20-137.4

Oklahoma has a statewide hand-held device ban for drivers with learner’s permits and intermediate licenses, and all drivers are prohibited from texting while driving. School bus and public transit drivers are prohibited from using all wireless communication devices. Drivers who violate the texting ban are subject to a fine of $100 for each offense. Those with learner’s permits and intermediate licenses may have their licenses suspended or canceled for using hand-held devices.

Okl. St. § 6-105; § 11-901c; § 11-901d

South Carolina does not have a statewide hand-held device ban for drivers. However, all drivers are prohibited from texting while driving. Drivers who violate the texting ban are subject to a fine of $25.

S.C. Code Ann. § 56-5-3890

Tennessee has a statewide hand-held device ban for all drivers in designated school zones. Additionally, all drivers are prohibited from texting while driving. School bus drivers, as well as drivers under 18 years old, are prohibited from using wireless communication devices. Drivers who violate the ban on texting and hand-held devices are subject to a fine up to $50. In addition, first-time offenders of the ban on texting must attend and complete a driver education course.

Tenn. Code Ann. § 55-8-192; § 55-8-199; § 55-8-207

Texas has a statewide hand-held device ban for drivers within school crossing zones. All drivers are prohibited from texting while driving, and drivers under the age of 18 are banned from using all wireless communication devices while operating a vehicle. School bus drivers also are prohibited from using wireless communication devices. Drivers who violate the bans on texting and hand-held devices are subject to a fine up to $100 for the first offense and up to $200 for each subsequent offense.

Tex. Transp. Code § 545.424-425; § 545.4251

Virginia does not have a statewide ban on hand-held devices for drivers. However, all drivers are prohibited from texting while driving, and drivers under the age of 18 are banned from using all wireless communication devices while operating a vehicle. School bus drivers also are prohibited from using wireless communication devices. Drivers who violate the ban on texting are subject to a fine of $125 for the first offense and $250 for each subsequent offense. Drivers under the age of 18 who violate the ban on wireless communication devices may have their license suspended for up to six months after two infractions.

Va. Code Ann. § 46.2-334.01; § 46.2-919.1 § 46.2-1078.1

West Virginia has a statewide ban on hand-held devices for all drivers operating a vehicle. In addition, drivers with learner’s permits and intermediate licenses are prohibited from operating all wireless communication devices while operating a vehicle. Drivers who violate the ban on hand-held devices are subject to a fine of $100 for the first offense, $200 for the second offense and $300 for each subsequent offense. Those with learner’s permits and intermediate licenses who violate the ban on wireless communication devices are subject to a $25 fine for the first offense, $50 for the second offense and $75 for each subsequent offense.

W. Va. Code § 17B-2-3a; § 17C-14-15

Distracted Driving Laws in SLC Member States
State Hand-Held Device Ban Wireless Communication Device Ban Texting Ban State Code(s)
Alabama No Yes, for novice drivers with restricted driver’s licenses Yes, for all drivers § 32-5A-350
§ 32-6-7.2
Arkansas Yes, for drivers under 21, as well as drivers in school and highway work zones Yes, for drivers under 18 and school bus drivers Yes, for all drivers § 27-51-1604
§ 27-51-1609/1610
§ 27-51-1504
§ 27-51-1506
§ 27-51-1603
§ 6-19-120
Florida No No Yes, for all drivers
(treated as a secondary offense)
§ 316.305
Georgia Yes, for all drivers Yes, for drivers under 18 and school bus drivers Yes, for all drivers § 40-6-165
§ 40-6-241
Kentucky No Yes, for drivers under 18 and school bus drivers Yes, for all drivers § 189.292
§ 189.294
§ 189.990
Louisiana No Yes, for drivers under 18, school bus drivers and all drivers who have been issued their first license (one-year restriction) Yes, for all drivers § 32:289
§ 32:300.5
§ 32:300.7
Mississippi No Yes, for school bus drivers Yes, for all drivers § 63-33-1
Missouri No No Yes, for drivers 21 years old and under § 304.820
North Carolina No Yes, for drivers under 18 and school bus drivers Yes, for all drivers § 20.137.3-4
Oklahoma Yes, for drivers with learner’s permits and intermediate licenses Yes, for school bus and public transit drivers Yes, for all drivers § 6-105
§ 11-901c
§ 11-901d
South Carolina No No Yes, for all drivers § 56-5-3890
Tennessee Yes, for drivers in designated school zones Yes, for drivers under 18 and school bus drivers Yes, for all drivers § 55-8-192
§ 55-8-199
§ 55-8-207
Texas Yes, for drivers in school crossing zones Yes, for drivers under 18 and school bus drivers Yes, for all drivers § 545.424-425
§ 545.4251
Virginia No Yes, for drivers under 18 and school bus drivers Yes, for all drivers § 46.2-334.01
§ 46.2-919.1
§ 46.2-1078.1
West Virginia Yes, for all drivers Yes, for drivers with learner’s permits and intermediate licenses Yes, for all drivers § 17B-2-3a
§ 17C-14-15

Policy Analysis | May 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 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 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 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 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 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
SLC Issue Brief | January 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 2018

Blown Away: Wind Energy in the Southern States (Part II)

Anne Roberts Brody, Policy Analyst

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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 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.


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SLC Issue Brief | October 2017

NAFTA Trade Data – SLC States, Canada and Mexico

Roger Moore, Policy Analyst

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).

SLC Publications (continued)


Policy Analysis | September 2017

SLC Member State Revenue Increases

Comparative Data Report | July 2017

Adult Correctional Systems

Comparative Data Report | July 2017

Medicaid

Comparative Data Report | July 2017

Education

SLC Regional Resource | June 2017

STEM Teacher Preparation and Retention in the South

SLC Special Series Report | May 2017

Blown Away: Wind Energy in Southern States (Part 1)

Policy Analysis | April 2017

Cross-State Health Insurance Policies

Policy Analysis | April 2017

Fixed-Rate Tuition Pricing

SLC Regional Resource | April 2017

Body-Worn Cameras: Laws and Policies in the South

Policy Analysis | March 2017

Human Trafficking

SLC Special Series Report | January 2017

Long-Term Care in the South (Part 1)

SLC Regional Resource | December 2016

The Case for Cuba

Policy Analysis | November 2016

Outside Legal Counsel in SLC Member States

Policy Analysis | September 2016

Autonomous Vehicle Legislation and Trends

Comparative Data Report | August 2016

Adult Correctional Systems

Comparative Data Report | July 2016

Transportation

Comparative Data Report | June 2016

Medicaid

Comparative Data Report | June 2016

Education

Policy Analysis | June 2016

Pardons in SLC Member States

SLC Regional Resource | May 2016

Spread of Zika: Impact on Southern States

Policy Analysis | January 2016

Vehicle Sales Soar to Record Levels in 2015

SLC Regional Resource | January 2016

Inland Ports and Waterways in the SLC Member States

Policy Analysis | October 2015

2015 Update on Common Core in SLC Member States

Comparative Data Report | August 2015

Adult Correctional Systems

Comparative Data Report | August 2015

Education

Comparative Data Report | July 2015

Transportation

Policy Analysis | July 2015

Public Pension Trends & Developments

Policy Analysis | June 2015

State Purchasing Regulations and Reform

Comparative Data Report | June 2015

Revenue

SLC Regional Resource | April 2015

Vapor Rising: E-Cigarettes in the SLC States

Policy Analysis | March 2015

Proposed Ridesharing Laws in the States

Policy Analysis | February 2015

How Do States Regulate Combat Sports?

SLC Regional Resource | February 2015

SLC State Efforts to Rebuild the Coastline

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

SLC Regional Resource | December 2014

Charging Forward: Net Metering Policies in SLC States

Policy Analysis | October 2014

SLC State Actions on Suspect Guardrails

Webinar | October 2014

Food Safety Modernization Act

Comparative Data Report | October 2014

Revenue

Policy Analysis | September 2014

Feral Hog Containment

Presentation | September 2014

Transportation Funding in the States

Comparative Data Report | August 2014

Medicaid

Comparative Data Report | July 2014

Corrections

Comparative Data Report | July 2014

Education

Comparative Data Report | July 2014

Transportation

SLC Issue Alert | June 2014

U.S. Agriculture Exports: Latest Trends

Policy Analysis | March 2014

Highway Trust Fund Balance

SLC Regional Resource | March 2014

A Special Condition: Medical Marijuana in SLC States

SLC Regional Resource | February 2014

Aeronautics in the SLC States: Cleared for Takeoff

SLC Regional Resource | November 2013

Tire Manufacturing: Southern States Roll to the Top

Comparative Data Report | November 2013

Revenue

Comparative Data Report | July 2013

Medicaid

Comparative Data Report | July 2013

Corrections

Comparative Data Report | July 2013

Education

SLC Regional Resource | July 2013

Workforce Development in the SLC States

Comparative Data Report | July 2013

Transportation

Policy Analysis | May 2013

The Higher Education Disconnect

Policy Analysis | March 2013

State Personal Income Trends

Policy Analysis | February 2013

State Efforts to Fund Transportation

Policy Analysis | January 2013

Fiscal and Economic Trends in the South

Policy Analysis | November 2012

Higher Education Finance Reform

Webinar | October 2012

Higher Education Finance Reform

Comparative Data Report | October 2012

Revenue

Comparative Data Report | July 2012

Medicaid

Policy Analysis | July 2012

Public Pensions: Emerging Trends

SLC Fiscal Alert | July 2012

Public Pensions: Emerging Trends

Comparative Data Report | July 2012

Transportation

Policy Analysis | June 2012

The Stafford Loan Crisis in Perspective

Policy Analysis | April 2012

Tuition Deregulation in Higher Education

Policy Analysis | March 2012

Latest State Unemployment Rates

Policy Analysis | February 2012

NCLB Waivers, Part Three

Presentation | January 2012

State Retirement Systems: Recent Trends

SLC Regional Resource | January 2012

Municipal Bonds: Trends in 2011

Presentation | November 2011

State of State Budgets

Policy Analysis | October 2011

State Revenue Trends

Policy Analysis | October 2011

NCLB Waivers, Part Two

Comparative Data Report | October 2011

Revenue

Policy Analysis | September 2011

Prospective Changes in Long-Term Care Policies

Policy Analysis | September 2011

Higher Education Performance and Accountability

Policy Analysis | August 2011

Summer Heat and Fall Sports

SLC Regional Resource | July 2011

Food Safety: Building an Integrated System

Comparative Data Report | July 2011

Corrections

Comparative Data Report | July 2011

Education

Comparative Data Report | July 2011

Transportation

Policy Analysis | June 2011

Race to the Top Round 3

Policy Analysis | June 2011

Manufacturing Jobs in the South

SLC Issue Alert | June 2011

NCLB Update: The Waiver Option

Policy Analysis | May 2011

Post-secondary Access and Affordability

Policy Analysis | May 2011

A Prescription Drug Epidemic

Policy Analysis | May 2011

Natural Gas Recovery and "Hydrofracking"

Policy Analysis | May 2011

Schools and Natural Disasters

Policy Analysis | April 2011

Changes in Teaching as a Profession

Policy Analysis | April 2011

Nuclear Safety in a Post-Fukushima World

Policy Analysis | April 2011

State Corrections Reforms

Policy Analysis | April 2011

School Choice and Charter Schools

Comparative Data Report | March 2011

Medicaid

Policy Analysis | March 2011

School Budgets Feeling the Pinch

Policy Analysis | March 2011

Changes to HOPE Scholarships

SLC Regional Resource | March 2011

State Section 529 Plans

Policy Analysis | November 2010

Economic Impact of the Great Recession

Policy Analysis | October 2010

Agricultural Land Assessments

Policy Analysis | October 2010

Permanent Property Rights Task Forces

Policy Analysis | October 2010

State Authorized Gaming

Presentation | October 2010

State Fiscal Issues

Presentation | July 2010

State Fiscal and Economic Outlook

Comparative Data Report | July 2010

Corrections

Comparative Data Report | July 2010

Education

SLC Regional Resource | July 2010

Meth: Resurgence in the South

Comparative Data Report | July 2010

Revenue

Comparative Data Report | July 2010

Transportation

SLC Regional Resource | June 2010

Creating Value: Recycling in the Southern States

SLC Special Series Report | June 2010

The Expansion of the Panama Canal and SLC State Ports

Presentation | February 2010

State Unemployment Insurance: Recent Trends

SLC Regional Resource | January 2010

Autism and Schools

Policy Analysis | January 2010

Which SLC states have drug recycling programs?

Comparative Data Report | November 2009

Corrections

Comparative Data Report | November 2009

Education

Comparative Data Report | November 2009

Revenue

Presentation | May 2009

State Fiscal and Economic Outlook

Presentation | May 2009

Fiscal Outlook for the States

Presentation | March 2009

State Retirement Systems: Recent Trends

Presentation | March 2009

Fiscal Outlook for the States

Presentation | February 2009

Economic Status of the States

SLC Issue Alert | January 2009

An HIV Epidemic?

Presentation | January 2009

Capital Access in the Black Belt

Comparative Data Report | December 2008

Medicaid

SLC Issue Alert | December 2008

Mid-Year Education Budget Reductions

Comparative Data Report | December 2008

Transportation

Comparative Data Report | November 2008

Adult Correctional Systems

Comparative Data Report | November 2008

Education

Comparative Data Report | November 2008

Revenue

Article | July 2008

Auto: The Resilient South

SLC Issue Alert | June 2008

Actuarial Estimates in Public Pensions

SLC Regional Resource | January 2008

Landfill Gas to Fuel

SLC Regional Resource | January 2008

Reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act

Comparative Data Report | November 2007

Adult Correctional Systems

Comparative Data Report | November 2007

Education

Comparative Data Report | November 2007

Medicaid

Comparative Data Report | November 2007

Revenue

SLC Regional Resource | December 2006

The Aging Inmate Population: Southern States Outlook

Presentation | November 2006

State Retirement Systems: Recent Trends

Comparative Data Report | November 2006

Adult Correctional Systems

Comparative Data Report | November 2006

Education

Comparative Data Report | November 2006

Medicaid

Comparative Data Report | November 2006

Revenue

Comparative Data Report | November 2006

Transportation

SLC Regional Resource | June 2006

2007 Farm Bill in Context (Summer 2006 Update)

SLC Regional Resource | April 2006

Farm to School

SLC Regional Resource | January 2006

State Rural Initiatives: Where the Money Comes From

Comparative Data Report | November 2005

Adult Correctional Systems

Comparative Data Report | November 2005

Education

Comparative Data Report | November 2005

Medicaid

Comparative Data Report | November 2005

Revenue

Comparative Data Report | November 2005

Transportation

SLC Regional Resource | July 2005

Rural Centers in the South

SLC Regional Resource | July 2005

2007 Farm Bill in Context

SLC Regional Resource | January 2005

The Tobacco Buyout

Comparative Data Report | November 2004

Adult Correctional Systems

Comparative Data Report | November 2004

Education

Comparative Data Report | November 2004

Medicaid

Comparative Data Report | November 2004

Revenue

Comparative Data Report | November 2004

Transportation

SLC Special Series Report | October 2004

America's Public Retirement Systems: Stresses in the System

SLC Special Series Report | October 2004

Doing the Math: Southern State School Finance Systems

Presentation | April 2004

Ports in the South

SLC Regional Resource | February 2004

Judicial Selection Methods in the Southern States

SLC Regional Resource | December 2003

A Rural Policy for the 21st Century

Comparative Data Report | November 2003

Corrections

Comparative Data Report | November 2003

Education

Comparative Data Report | November 2003

Medicaid

Comparative Data Report | November 2003

Revenue

SLC Special Series Report | November 2003

The Drive to Move South

Comparative Data Report | November 2003

Transportation

SLC Special Series Report | April 2003

Filling In the Gaps: Solving Teacher Shortages

SLC Regional Resource | February 2003

Update on Competition in the Telecommunications Industry

Presentation | December 2002

The Fiscal Crunch Confronting the South

Comparative Data Report | November 2002

Corrections

Comparative Data Report | November 2002

Education

Comparative Data Report | November 2002

Gaming

Comparative Data Report | November 2002

Medicaid

Comparative Data Report | November 2002

Revenue

Comparative Data Report | November 2002

Transportation

Presentation | September 2002

Delivering the Goods: Ports in the South

SLC Regional Resource | September 2002

Finally, the Farm Bill

SLC Special Series Report | July 2002

Unemployment Insurance In a Diminishing Economy

SLC Regional Resource | June 2002

A Review of Southern States' No-Call Registries

SLC Regional Resource | June 2002

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001

SLC Special Series Report | February 2002

Election Policies and Reform in Southern States 2001

SLC Special Series Report | February 2002

Tobacco in Transition

Comparative Data Report | November 2001

Corrections

Comparative Data Report | November 2001

Education

Comparative Data Report | November 2001

Gaming

Comparative Data Report | November 2001

Medicaid

Comparative Data Report | November 2001

Revenue

Comparative Data Report | November 2001

Transportation

SLC Regional Resource | July 2001

Contracting in Tobacco

SLC Regional Resource | May 2001

Correctional Good-Time Credits in Southern States

SLC Regional Resource | February 2001

Telecommunications Competition in Southern States

Comparative Data Report | November 2000

Corrections

Comparative Data Report | November 2000

Medicaid

SLC Regional Resource | October 2000

The War over Water

SLC Special Series Report | August 2000

Drawing the Map: Redistricting in the South

SLC Regional Resource | August 2000

International Trade and Agriculture

SLC Regional Resource | March 2000

Agriculture and Biotechnology

SLC Special Series Report | January 1999

Language Diversity in Southern Schools: The Growing Challenge

SLC Special Series Report | June 1998

The Aging Inmate Population