The SLC recognizes that state employees work hard, not only to provide outstanding services to their citizens, but also by striving to develop and adapt new and improved programs to make their states a better place to live. Such efforts should be recognized and rewarded, and innovative ideas should be shared among colleagues.
The SLC STAR program represents an opportunity to highlight successful programs implemented within your state, especially those that can be replicated across state lines to improve the region as a whole.
Stephanie Noble, Research and Publications Associate
Starting January 5, 2015, the Southern Legislative Conference will begin seeking applications for its State Transformation in Action Recognition (STAR). The SLC STAR program is an adaptation of the former CSG Innovations Awards Program, started in 1975 and recently transitioned to a regional level.
The SLC STAR program identifies and promotes innovative ideas and programs from the Southern region’s best problem solvers: the states themselves. The SLC welcomes applications from a wide array of state agencies, departments, and institutions operating within the executive, legislative, and judicial governmental branches. Following a review process, finalists are invited to present at the SLC annual meeting, and two exceptional programs are selected by a board of experienced policy professionals as models of efficiency and effectiveness in state governments in the Southern region.
Creativity – Does the program represent a new and creative approach to solving common problems or issues?
Effectiveness – To what extent is the program successful at addressing an issue, and how efficiently does it operate?
Impact – How far-reaching are the benefits and solutions of the program?
Transferability – From a logistical and fiscal standpoint, could the program or practice easily be transferred to other states?
Virginia | DMV Connect
In May 2012, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and Department of Corrections (DOC) launched the DMV Connect program, an innovative, low-cost approach to reducing criminal recidivism rates in the commonwealth. The program was designed to smooth prisoners’ transition back into society by ensuring they have valid state identification upon release — a necessity for finding employment, opening a bank account, obtaining housing, and applying for benefits and services. The program has since expanded and the DMV now offers similar services to other populations of limited mobility, including the elderly and disabled.
This low-cost service provides immediate benefit to populations in need and long-term benefit to society. Recidivism rates in Virginia have dropped to their lowest levels on record. Although ongoing evaluation by the DMV and DOC will determine the exact effect the DMV Connect has on recidivism, the program has proven successful.
West Virginia | Feed to Achieve
Through the Feed to Achieve Act signed into law in April 2013, West Virginia’s Feed to Achieve program addresses the three-fold problem of food insecurity as it relates to child poverty, health and education. Implemented by the Office of Child Nutrition and building on existing state and federal nutrition programs, the Feed to Achieve program seeks to provide a minimum of two nutritious meals a day to schoolchildren in West Virginia by way of innovative meal delivery systems. The program also incorporates innovative funding mechanisms, including directed donations and targeted federal grants, that enable the program to operate with negligible administrative cost, providing children with free meals.
By building on existing state and federal nutrition programs and looking to the community for support, the Feed to Achieve program provides a creative and flexible solution to a multifaceted problem. While each community is able to shape their program to suit local resources and needs, continuous data collection and evaluation by the Office of Child Nutrition shows that the program has successfully increased availability of healthy meals to children statewide.
Conservation & Land Use
Parks & Recreation
Business & Commerce
Training & Development
Children & Families