Recent SLC News and Updates

July 20, 2021

Thomas B. Murphy Longevity of Service Award

The Thomas B. Murphy Longevity of Service Award is presented to a legislative member of the SLC who has demonstrated a commitment to public service.

The recipient of the 2021 Thomas B. Murphy Longevity of Service Award is Senator Emmett Hanger of Virginia. Senator Hanger served in the House of Delegates from 1983 - 1992 and in the Senate from 1996 to the present. Senator Hanger has been a longstanding SLC committee member and has served as chair of the Human Services and Public Safety Committee in 2013 and 2014.

July 19, 2021

2021 Carter/Hellard Legislative Staff Award Recipient

Named in honor of the late Sam Carter, Director of Research of the South Carolina House of Representatives, and the late Vic Hellard, Jr., Director of the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission, the Carter/Hellard Legislative Staff Award is given to a staff member who has demonstrated excellence and dedication in service to state legislators in the South.

Ms. Teresa Arnold, Deputy Director for Research and Communications for the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission,was selected by the Legislative Directors Group as the 2021 recipient. Teresa was nominated by Jay Hartz, Director of the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission.

"In her 18 years with LRC, Teresa’s dedication to service and exceptional skills have allowed her to successfully take on wide a range of duties critical to the work of the Kentucky general assembly." - Jay Hartz

July 14, 2021

2021 State Transformation in Action Recognition (STAR) Recipients

The Southern Legislative Conference's State Transformation in Action (STAR) recognizes impactful, creative, effective, and transferable state government solutions. Innovative program submissions are accepted from a wide array of state agencies, departments and institutions operating within the executive, legislative and judicial governmental branches.

Congratulations to the 2021 STAR recipients! After an extensive application review and finalist presentations at the SLC 75th Anniversary Annual Meeting, this year's recipients are the Virginia Military Medics and Corpsman (MMAC) program from the Virginia Department of Veterans Services and the Virginia Housing Reform for Inmates with Serious Mental Illnesses (SMI) program from the Virginia Department of Corrections.

Virginia Military Medics and Corpsman (MMAC), Virginia Department of Veterans Services

Virginia’s Military Medics and Corpsmen program offers clinical, leadership, and non-clinical career pathways to veterans and military spouses seeking healthcare careers within the commonwealth. When they transition to the civilian workforce, veterans may struggle to translate their military healthcare experience and into civilian healthcare employment. Many are unemployed, underemployed or not working in the healthcare field. The Military Medics and Corpsmen program addresses this challenge by recruiting, reviewing, and referring candidates to healthcare employers statewide. By facilitating hiring MMAC reduces healthcare staffing shortages and supports quality patient care.

Virginia Housing Reform for Inmates with Serious Mental Illnesses (SMI), Virginia Department of Corrections

The Virginia Department of Corrections’ Secure Diversionary Treatment Program addresses a critical need to safely manage the increasing population of inmates with a Serious Mental Illness (SMI) in the criminal justice system. The program was developed to divert inmates with an SMI who are at risk of engaging in disruptive and serious incidents from a restrictive housing setting into a program where their unique needs are met and supported. By diverting these inmates into a treatment-focused environment, dedicated staff can provide opportunities for participants to manage their mental illness, improve pro-social metrics, and eventually thrive in the general population or in the community upon release.

View all STAR presentations here.

June 18, 2021

CSG COVID-19 Resources for State Leaders

The Council of State Governments COVID-19 Resources for State Leaders provides updated information on state economic recovery, interactive COVID-19 vaccination maps, state executive orders, and more.

CSG’s State Recovery Resource Center provides the organization’s ongoing analyses of the various components of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) in relation to housing and education, and other resources state leaders can use to inform state economic and civic recovery.

States across the country have submitted COVID-19 vaccination plans to be reviewed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Plans are based upon the COVID-19 Vaccination Program Interim Playbook for Jurisdiction Operations as developed by the CDC. Visit CSG’s interactive vaccination plan map to view each state’s current draft vaccination plan.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is tracking overall COVID-19 vaccine distribution and administration across the country. For state by state numbers on total number of vaccines distributed and total doses administered, please visit the CDC's COVID data tracker.

View all of CSG’s COVID-19 Resources here.

Are you a state leader with specific questions about the American Rescue Plan or other state recovery efforts? CSG Research and Policy Analysts are eager to answer your questions. Send them an email at to ask a question or request technical assistance.