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Across the States

Author: American Legislative Exchange Council

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People spend far too much time looking just at the federal government. The same is true with podcasts. Instead, the discussions hosted on Across the States focus on state issues and state solutions within state capitols, by state legislators and with state policy experts.
The American Legislative Exchange Council is the country's largest voluntary membership organization of state legislators in the United States. It acts as a forum to exchange ideas and develop state-based solutions.
94 Episodes
Small businesses and localities felt the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic. However, the small town of Bucksport, Maine, found a way through the crisis through innovative policies and neighborly compassion. Listen in as Matthew Fisher sits down with Bucksport Town Manager Susan Lessard and Penobscot County Commissioner Andre Cushing to discuss the success of Lessard’s ‘Pay It Forward’ program and how her hometown navigated the pandemic. Pay It Forward Plan: Fox Bangor Coverage of Pay It Forward: WABI Channel 5 Coverage of Pay It Forward:
The criminal justice system is no stranger to the long-time cycle of inmates in and out of prison with little hope for a second chance in society. But thanks to Kentucky Representative Kim Moser and her HB 497, the Bluegrass State could break that cycle. Listen in as Matthew Fisher sits down with Representative Moser and ALEC Policy Analyst Lourdes Bautista as they dissect the issue of recidivism and how her recently enacted bill could change the game when it comes to inmate reentry into the workforce. Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Bottom Line Article: WTQV Article on Passage of HB 497: ALEC Resolution in Favor of Reentry Programs: ALEC Model Policy for Civil Liability for Employers Hiring Ex-Offenders:
The recent detainment of journalist and activist Roman Protasevich by the Belarusian government has led to a wave of condemnation against the authoritarian Lukashenko regime. Listen in as Matthew Fisher sits down with Hanna Yahorava, Activist in the Belarus United Civic Party and Director of United Mass Media, and Karla Jones, Senior Director of the Federalism and International Relations task forces for ALEC, to discuss the recent developments in Belarus, the corruption of President Lukashenko and the suffering of the Belarusian people. Atlantic Council article on Belarusian State-Sponsored Air Piracy: AP News Article on Belarusian Election Fraud: ALEC Article on Belarus, 2020: Atlantic Council webinar on Belarusian Political Prisoners:
Politicians often treat energy and education as two separate topics. But on the local level, the two have more in common than one may think. Join Hunter Hamberlin as he sits down with Weld County Commissioner and former Colorado State Representative, Lori Saine, and Chief of Staff of the Wyoming Department of Education Dicky Shanor to discuss how oil and gas development can be a catalyst for improving America’s schools. ACCE Website: Fort Lupton Press Story on Lori Saine Election to County Commissioner:,371582
America faces many challenges that demand action. In his new book, Making Government Work, Texas State Representative Tan Parker brings together the best and brightest of public servants and policy minds to propose innovative solutions for state lawmakers. Join Representative Parker and Matthew Fisher as they discuss “Making Government Work” and how policy reforms based on federalism offer America a better future. Making Government Work: Tan Parker State Legislator of the Month: Tan Parker on the USMCA Trade Agreement:
Drones are a constant source of debate in America. But how do UAVs relate to federalism? Join Brent Skorup, Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center, and Karla Jones, Senior Director of the ALEC Task Forces on International Relations and Federalism, as they sit down with Matthew Fisher to discuss how state and local lawmakers are leading the way when it comes to managing and utilizing the emergence of drones in everyday life. Which States Are Prepared for the Drone Industry, v. 2.0 (50-state map and rankings): The FAA is preparing for delivery drones in 2021. Is your state ready? (USA Today op-ed): Drone Technology, Airspace Design, and Aerial Law in States and Cities (white paper):
Join former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich and ALEC CEO Lisa B. Nelson on a special episode of Across the State as they discuss the emergence of China as a global power. In a conversation about China’s aggressive ambitions to America’s flawed approach to Beijing in the past, find out what the United States can do to counter Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party in the future. ALEC Article on China’s Belt and Road Initiative: ALEC Article on China’s National Security Law on Hong Kong: Newt Gingrich Op-Ed in Fox News “China’s secret campaign to spy on US and buy influence is exposed”: Newt Gingrich Op-Ed in Newsweek: “The Fantasy of a Benevolent China Is Over. Fortunately, America Has Trump” Link to Purchase Newt Gingrich’s Book “Trump vs. China”:
China’s rise and determination to become the preeminent global economic and military power is one of the most complex foreign policy issues facing the United States today. On this episode of Across the States, Matthew Fisher sits down with Dr. Weifeng Zhong, Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, and Karla Jones, Senior Director of Federalism and International Relations at ALEC, to discuss current challenges between the two nations and optimal US responses. Weifeng Zhong’s previous Across the States podcast on Chinese propaganda Ambassador Bi-khim Hsiao’s presentation to the Federalism & International Relations Task Force Tsai Ing-wen’s acceptance of ALEC’s International Pioneer award at 2020 SNPS Across the States podcast with then Executive Director of the Victims of Communism Foundation discussing the Uyghurs & Hong Kong Article on China’s National Security law which was used to upend democratic institutions in Hong Kong The Economist article declaring Taiwan the most dangerous place on the planet. Weifeng Zhong’s Discourse Article on China: Mercatus Center Policy Index
The newest edition of Rich States, Poor States tells the story of the free-market ideals that build prosperous states after COVID-19 and beyond, and outlines the policy priorities that helped states stay ahead in 2020. Join report coauthor and ALEC Chief Economist Jonathan Williams and Senior Director of the ALEC Center for State Fiscal Reform Lee Schalk for a discussion on the winners and losers of the 14th Edition, and the policy priorities that can help. Rich States, Poor States 14th Edition: “New Census Report: Americans Continue to Vote with Their Feet in Favor of Economic Opportunity”, by Jonathan Williams: “A Discussion with Tennessee Leaders: Hall Tax Repeal, Right-to-Work and Economic Growth” by Lee Schalk: “The Heartland Property-Tax Rebellion”, by Jonathan Williams and Dave Trabert: “Truth-in-Taxation Laws Are Gold Standard of Property Tax Reform”, by Jonathan Williams, Lee Schalk, and John Hendrickson:
What is urban mobility? And how does it impact the growth and vitality of local economies? Jonathon Hauenschild sits down with Hunter Hamberlin to discuss the importance of urban mobility and how state and local lawmakers can navigate the hurdles and barriers to its development. Jonathon Hauenschild Profile:
The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Monday, April 26th, for Americans for Prosperity v. Becerra - a case concerning donor disclosure and the First Amendment. ALEC submitted an amicus brief to the court concerning this case in early March, bringing to light what happens when donor privacy isn’t preserved—when ideological opponents harass and intimidate people and organizations because of the causes they support. Today the report authors, former FEC Chairman and attorney Lee Goodman, Director for the ALEC Task Force on Communications and Technology Jonathon Hauenschild and Counsel and Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer Bartlett Cleland sit down to discuss the implications of this case and why ALEC chose to take a stand. ALEC AMICUS BRIEF: ALEC PRESS RELEASE: LAW AND CRIME ARTICLE: BLOOMBERG ARTICLE: PHILANTHROPHY ROUNDTABLE: Special Guest: Bartlett Cleland.
Property taxation is complicated, but thankfully change is on its way. Join Jonathan Williams, ALEC Chief Economist and Executive Vice President of Policy, and Lee Schalk, Senior Director of the ALEC Center for State Fiscal Reform, as they discuss the states enacting Truth in Taxation reforms and how lawmakers can bring the benefits to their states. More on Property Tax Reform from Jonathan Williams and Lee Schalk:
When there are challenges facing the country’s energy sector, every American feels it. Landon Stevens, Director of Policy & Advocacy at the Conservative Energy Network, and Carly Good, Manager of the ALEC Energy, Environment and Agriculture task force, join Matthew Fisher to discuss obstacles in the energy sector and the free market approach to developing America’s vast energy potential. Conservative Energy Network Website: Listen to more from the Conservative Energy Network on Across the State Here: ALEC Energy Affordability Report:
Hunter Hamberlin sits down with ALEC CEO Lisa B. Nelson, EVP of Policy Jonathan Williams and Director of the American City County Exchange (ACCE) Andre Cushing to welcome the newest state legislators to ALEC and ACCE. Whether you are new to public service or a seasoned servant leader, ACCE and ALEC have something to offer to you. Listen in to find out how. Learn More About... ALEC: ACCE:
The COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns have severely impacted business across America. But the state of Utah recently passed legislation to give businesses a major break from coronavirus regulations. Join James Czerniawksi, Policy Analyst for Tech & Innovation at Libertas, and Jonathon Hauenschild, Director of the ALEC Communications and Technology Task Force, as they discuss how state lawmakers can use regulatory sandboxes to spur innovation and growth. James Czerniawksi Profile: Jonathon Hauenschild Profile:
DESCRIPTION The federal government usually dominates the debate over surveillance and privacy. But what about the states and local authorities? James Czerniawski, Policy Analyst for Tech and Innovation at Libertas, joins Jonathon Hauenschild and Matthew Fisher to discuss the importance of privacy and how lawmakers can address the issue going forward. LINKS: James Czerniawski Profile: Libertas Website:
What is the impact of local minimum wages on small businesses and our communities? On this episode of Across the States, Hunter Hamberlin sits down with Associate Director of the ALEC Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force Skip Estes to discuss why an unwise minimum wage set by state and local authorities can backfire when it comes to creating jobs and opportunity for constituents. Skip Estes from ALEC: Skip Estes & Jonathan Williams "The Minimum Wage: Separating Myth from Fact:"
Many wondered what caused Texas Energy Crisis. On today’s episode of Across the States, Michael Jewell of the Conservative Energy Network and the Conservative Coalition Research Institute join Matthew Fisher and Carly Good to break down what happened in the Lonestar State in February and explain how state lawmakers can lead the way in delivering secure and affordable power and electricity to the people. Conservative Energy Network: Michael Jewell Profile:
The coronavirus pandemic has opened Pandora's box of questions and concerns regarding emergency powers and executive overreach on the state level. What is the role of the legislature during a crisis? How much power is too much power for a chief executive to boast? Matt Fisher sits down with Jonathon Hauenschild to discuss the dangers and inadequacies of unilateral executive authority during crises and how state legislatures can get more involved in overcoming emergencies. Jonathon Hauenschild Profile:
From lockdowns and union disputes to remote learning, the past year has tested America’s education system in unprecedented ways. This week on Across the States, Matthew Fisher sits down with Jason Bedrick of EdChoice and Andrew Handel of ALEC to discuss how lawmakers are taking the initiative to give parents and students more freedom in the classroom. Find out how EdChoice is working with statehouses to rebuild K-12 education in the United States. Jason Bedrick Profile: EdChoice Website: ALEC Education and Workforce Development Task Force:
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