Across the States

The premiere state-focused policy podcast

About the show

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.

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  • 36: Trying to Take a Pay Cut for COVID-19 w/ Cheyenne, WY City Councilman Dicky Shanor

    May 12th, 2020  |  12 mins 30 secs

    When we increase government spending, it’s a good idea to decrease spending somewhere else – especially during a pandemic. On the podcast to discuss how Cheyenne, WY is working to do just that is City Councilman Dicky Shanor, who recently introduced a resolution to reduce the salaries of him, his fellow council members and the mayor. Also joining the conversation is Councilman Jon Russell, National Director of the American City County Exchange (ACCE), a sister organization of ALEC.

  • 35: Debate: National Popular Vote vs. Electoral College

    May 8th, 2020  |  28 mins 11 secs

    In this very special edition of Across the States, our podcast studio is transformed into a virtual debate stage. The topic? Electoral College vs. National Popular Vote. Listen in as Trent England, Executive Director of Save Our States and Ray Haynes, National Spokesperson for National Popular Vote make the case for each.

  • 34: Home Schooling and COVID-19 w/ the Home School Legal Defense Association

    May 5th, 2020  |  17 mins 19 secs

    Home schooling has quickly become the reality for every family across the states, and the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) has been well-versed in the multi-faceted schooling option long preceding the pandemic. Joining host Dan Reynolds to discuss what home schooling is – and isn’t – as well as other education polices are Scott Kaufman, ALEC Director of the Education and Workforce Development Task Force, Heather Frommack, HSLDA Program Manager for Education Consultants and Dan Beasley, HSLDA Staff Attorney.

  • 33: An Electoral College Primer w/ John Ryder

    May 1st, 2020  |  18 mins 41 secs

    The Electoral College: what does it do, why does it do it and is it a good thing? Serving as your Electoral College primer, in this episode of Across the States host Dan Reynolds is joined by John Ryder, the former General Counsel of the Republican National Committee, and Karla Jones, ALEC Director of the Federalism and International Relations Task Force to fill us in.

  • 32: Reform Occupational Licenses During COVID-19 w/ MO Rep. Grier and Shoshana Weissmann

    April 27th, 2020  |  20 mins 10 secs

    The COVID-19 pandemic has made visible many of the existing, hidden barriers to enter the workforce: barriers in front of health care professions, those paying off student loans or new to the workforce. These barriers existed before the pandemic. But it’s time to free our workforce from unnecessary shackles if we want to get America back to work. Having the right occupational licensing policies is a smart way forward during the pandemic, and a successful long term strategy for what comes next. On the podcast to discuss this is Missouri State Representative Derek Grier, R Street’s Digital Media Manager Shoshana Weissmann, and ALEC Director of the Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force Michael Slabinski.

  • 31: How a National Federalism Task Force Would Deal with COVID-19

    April 21st, 2020  |  26 mins 46 secs

    How could a National Federalism Task Force benefit the country during the COVID-19 pandemic? Dive into the answer in this episode of Across the States, where host Dan Reynolds is joined by Karla Jones, ALEC Senior Director of the Federalism and International Relations Task Force, and Former Representative Ken Ivory, the ALEC Chair to Restore Balance in Government and American Federalism professor at Utah Valley University to discuss the concept.

  • 30: How Utility Companies are Supporting Consumers during COVID-19

    April 16th, 2020  |  25 mins 58 secs

    As we fight on during the COVID-19 pandemic, the private sector has stepped up to support consumers. Utility companies are just one, but they have an important role to play. To discuss the topic, host Dan Reynolds is joined by Grant Kidwell, ALEC Director of the Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force; Laura Schepis, Senior Director of National Security at Edison Electric Institute (EEI) and David Batz, Senior Director of Cyber and Infrastructure Security at EEI.

  • 29: Legislative Response to COVID-19 w/ State Legislator of the Month Rep. Jena Powell

    April 14th, 2020  |  17 mins 23 secs

    As a COVID-19 response, many states have delayed their tax deadlines, but have done so via executive order or by a government agency’s decision. However, one bill in Ohio stands out. On this episode Dan Reynolds is joined by the April 2020 ALEC-FreedomWorks State Legislator of the Month, OH Rep. Jena Powell, to discuss the bill she sponsored with fellow ALEC member Rep. Derek Merrin, that authorized the Ohio Tax Commissioner to extend the deadlines for personal income tax filing and payment for OH taxpayers from April to July 15, as well as rolling back licensing requirements, increasing flexibility for school choice programs and many more pro-liberty responses to the pandemic.

  • 28: Locally Executed Solutions During COVID-19 w/ ACCE

    April 10th, 2020  |  22 mins 52 secs

    To discuss the local response efforts during COVID-19, host Dan Reynolds is joined by Jon Russell, Director of the American City County Exchange (ACCE), an ALEC sister organization working to advance free market solutions at the local level. Also joining the podcast are Billy Hewes, Mayor of Gulfport, MS and Benny Zhang, Councilman of Williamsburg, VA. From local partnership with the private sector to recommendations for local decision-makers during this unprecedented time, this episode takes a dive into the locally executed and federally supported action taking place in America’s communities.

  • 27: Civil Justice Policy Solutions for COVID-19 w/ Ronald Lampard

    April 8th, 2020  |  19 mins 41 secs

    In this episode of Across the States, host Dan Reynolds is joined by ALEC Senior Director of the Civil Justice and Criminal Justice Task Forces, Ronald Lampard to discuss COVID-19 policy solutions and how they can help civil justice and regulatory reform. Listen in on the responses to the pandemic, and how they play a part in reducing regulatory red tape, resolving potential court backlogs, limiting liability for volunteers and charitable organizations and ensuring individuals have access to information online.

  • 26: Use Virtual Learning During COVID-19 w/ K12 Inc.

    April 6th, 2020  |  23 mins 11 secs

    Following national school closures due to COVID-19, all schools have been forced to transition to remote learning. In this episode of Across the States, host Dan Reynolds is joined by Jeff Kwitowski, K12 Inc. Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy Communications; Dr. Tony Bennett, K12 Inc. Senior Vice President of Academics and External Relations, former State Superintendent in Indiana and Commissioner of Education in Florida and Scott Kauffman, Director of the ALEC Education and Workforce Development Task Force. Listen in on their discussion around how the pandemic has impacted online schools and the U.S. public education system, and what educators and policymakers should be thinking about now to rise to the challenge.

  • 25: Criminal Justice Solutions to COVID-19 w/ Ronald Lampard

    April 3rd, 2020  |  21 mins 32 secs

    How is COVID-19 impacting the criminal justice system? Host Dan Reynolds is joined by Ronald Lampard, ALEC Senior Director of the Criminal Justice and Civil Justice Task Forces, to scratch the surface on how the pandemic is affecting law enforcement personnel; fines, fees and drivers licenses and jail and prison considerations. Listen in on Lampard’s proposed policy solutions that ensure continued safety and effectiveness in our criminal justice system.

  • 24: Reforming the Jones Act w/ Colin Grabow from the Cato Institute

    March 31st, 2020  |  22 mins 34 secs

    In this episode of Across the States, host Dan Reynolds is joined by Colin Grabow, Trade Policy Analyst at the Cato Institute, and Karla Jones, Senior Director of the International Relations and Federalism Task Force at ALEC. The topic is the Jones Act: what it is, how it affects how we transport goods between states, which specific states it affects (spoiler: it’s all of them) and what this means for trade in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.

  • 23: Newt Gingrich on Getting America Back to Work

    March 27th, 2020  |  27 mins 26 secs

    On this special episode of Across the States, ALEC CEO Lisa B. Nelson speaks with Newt Gingrich in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic to discuss what needs to be done to keep the American economy running. Gingrich highlights realistic and practical steps state and local legislators can take during this time to ensure that once the curve is flattened, America gets back to work, and convening state and local elected officials and the private sector to share best practices is the start.

  • 22: Fight COVID-19 w/ State-Based Telehealth

    March 23rd, 2020  |  14 mins 56 secs

    Today’s podcast is being recorded in a completely virtual manner – we’re practicing social distancing. What if there was a virtual tool that kept you at home – that kept you social distancing – but still put you in front of a doctor for your check-ups and questions? That’s what telehealth offers and it will be such a crucial tool in combatting COVID-19. ALEC Director of the Health and Human Services Task Force Brooklyn Roberts joins the podcast with Latoya Thomas, the Director of Policy and Government Affairs for Doctor on Demand. Learn what state legislators should do to enable telehealth to combat COVID-19 and learn about the exciting organization that is Doctor on Demand.

  • 21: Market Volatility and State Solutions

    March 17th, 2020  |  19 mins 9 secs

    Host Bill Meierling sits down with ALEC EVP for Policy Jonathan Williams and ALEC Center for State Fiscal Reform Senior Director Lee Schalk to discuss the recent market volatility. The United States is currently facing this market situation because of COVID-19 and the uncertainty it brings. But market volatility also affects state pensions, state budgets, and state spending. The state that have followed ALEC principles are better prepared for volatility like we're seeing.

    Read more about the ALEC Center for State Fiscal Reform here: