Research / Health & Human Services


Comparative Data Reports | August 2019

Adult Correctional Systems, Education, Medicaid and Transportation

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.

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Policy Analysis | May 2019

Vaping and Electronic Cigarette Legislation (2019)

Roger Moore, Policy Analyst

Electronic cigarette usage has surged in recent years, with increased rates among youth and young adults posing a particularly worrisome challenge for public health officials. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 4.9 million middle and high school students were users of tobacco products in 2018, an increase of 1.3 million from 2017. The increase – driven mostly by the growth of electronic cigarettes – impedes successful efforts by states in recent years to reduce youth tobacco usage. More than a quarter of high school students and about 7 percent of middle school students reported using tobacco products in 2018, with electronic cigarettes the most common among both demographics. Electronic cigarettes have benefits for adults using them as complete substitutes for regular cigarettes; however, the CDC and U.S. Surgeon General both warn they should not be used by youth, young adults, pregnant women and adults who do not smoke. U.S. health agencies acknowledge that further studies are needed to understand the long-term health effects of electronic cigarettes.1

In an effort to address concerns surrounding the rising popularity of vaping and electronic cigarette products among youth and young adults, many states across the South introduced and, in several cases, enacted related legislation in 2019. The legislation generally focuses on three areas:

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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.

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2019-2020
Chair

Senator
Katrina Shealy

South Carolina

2019-2020
Vice Chair
Representative Fredrick Love, Arkansas

Representative
Fredrick J. Love

Arkansas

Immediate
Past Chair

(former) Senator
Doug Overbey

Tennessee

Committee
Liaison
Roger Moore

Roger Moore
Policy Analyst


Ensuring the public’s general welfare and protection are among states’ most pressing concerns, with both areas constituting considerable shares of state budgets. The SLC Human Services & Public Safety Committee has a broad agenda, which takes into account the challenges states face in the areas of human services and corrections, as well as policies and programs that address them. The committee frequently undertakes assessments of pressing health issues including the national opioid crisis, organ donations and long-term care, as well as various corrections issues such as aging inmate populations, female offenders and mental health parity in prisons.

More SLC Research into Health & Human Services


Policy Analysis | April 2019

Federal Legislation on Rural Hospitals

Policy Analysis | January 2019

Medical Marijuana Laws in Southern States

Other | January 2019

Issues to Watch - 2019

SLC Issue Brief | October 2018

The Growth of Synthetic Opioids in the South

Policy Analysis | September 2018

Poverty Statistics for Southern States

Policy Analysis | August 2018

Suicide Rates in the South

SLC Regional Resource | May 2018

Opioids and Organ Donations: A Tale of Two Crises

SLC Special Series Report | December 2017

Long-Term Care in the South (Part II)

Comparative Data Reports | July 2017

Adult Correctional Systems, Education and Medicaid

Policy Analysis | April 2017

Cross-State Health Insurance Policies

SLC Special Series Report | January 2017

Long-Term Care in the South (Part 1)

SLC Regional Resource | May 2016

Spread of Zika: Impact on Southern States

SLC Regional Resource | April 2015

Vapor Rising: E-Cigarettes in the SLC States

Webinar | October 2014

Food Safety Modernization Act

SLC Regional Resource | March 2014

A Special Condition: Medical Marijuana in SLC States

Comparative Data Reports | July 2012

Medicaid, Revenue and Transportation

Policy Analysis | September 2011

Prospective Changes in Long-Term Care Policies

Policy Analysis | May 2011

A Prescription Drug Epidemic

Policy Analysis | November 2010

Economic Impact of the Great Recession

SLC Regional Resource | July 2010

Meth: Resurgence in the South

Policy Analysis | January 2010

Which SLC states have drug recycling programs?

SLC Regional Resource | January 2010

Autism and Schools

SLC Issue Alert | January 2009

An HIV Epidemic?

Comparative Data Reports | November 2007

Adult Correctional Systems, Education, Medicaid and Revenue

Comparative Data Reports | November 2000

Adult Correctional Systems and Medicaid