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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  • 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:

  • 20: Improving Safety for Foster Children w/ Gen Justice

    March 12th, 2020  |  16 mins 14 secs

    Darcy Olsen, Founder and President of Gen Justice, sits down with Across the States host Dan Reynolds to discuss the organization’s work in improving safety for more than 35,000 foster children. Gen Justice seeks to give abused and abandoned foster children something they lack—an advocate and a voice. Gen Justice reforms include requiring kids to be quickly moved from government care to permanent homes and, in addition, the organization has built a network of attorneys to provide free legal help when bureaucratic failures trap kids in the foster system.

    Learn more about Gen Justice:

    ALEC Model Relative Search Act:
    ALEC Model Family Stability Act.
    Darcy Olsen with AZ Governor Dough Ducey at the 2019 ALEC States and Nation Policy Summit:
    Gen Justice Wins Inaugural Peterson Prize at the ALEC States & Nation Policy Summit:

  • 19: Understanding the Drug Crisis: A New Perspective

    March 5th, 2020  |  26 mins 49 secs

    Christina Dent is the founder of End It for Good, a conservative nonprofit that offers alternatives to the Drug War. Dent sits down with host Dan Reynolds to discuss the organization’s approach to solving America’s drug crisis – beginning by challenging the way we understand the core of the crisis itself.

  • 18: From Autonomous Vehicles to Licensing Reform in Oklahoma

    February 27th, 2020  |  11 mins 26 secs

    In this episode of Across the States, Oklahoma Senator and February’s ALEC-FreedomWorks State Legislator of the Month Micheal Bergstrom discusses his work on policies, such as autonomous vehicles to occupational licensing. This month, Senator Bergstrom introduced Senate Bill 1678, the Occupational License Review Act, which ensures that occupational license regulation keeps people safe while also improving the workforce.

    Read Senate Bill 1678 here:

  • 17: Trying to Reform Taxes in North Dakota

    February 20th, 2020  |  23 mins 9 secs

    This episode of Across the States features North Dakota Representatives Vicky Steiner and Craig Headland, who filed House Bill 1530 in 2019 to repeal the state personal income tax. While this bill didn’t pass, the story is one other state legislators should consider when attempting to move the ball forward on sound tax policies. They are joined by ALEC Executive Vice President for Policy, Jonathan Williams.

  • 16: The Presidency, States, and Federalism

    February 13th, 2020  |  21 mins 54 secs

    At the time of this posting, Presidents’ Day is right around the corner. The Constitution gives instructions and limits on power, including the President’s power. But how does the Presidency relate to the local states? Former Utah state representative Ken Ivory joins Across the States to discuss this intersection. Ivory currently serves as the Chair of the ALEC Center to Restore the Balance in Government — a research center focused on promoting federalism.

    Purchase Ivory’s book “Where’s the Line?” here:
    Or, read the digital-only version here:

    Check out the ALEC Center to Restore the Balance in Government here:

  • 15: State Energy Policy w/ Life:Powered

    February 6th, 2020  |  20 mins 34 secs

    Jason Isaac is a former Texas state representative who is now the senior manager at Life:Powered — a new policy initiative from the Texas Public Policy Foundation. He joins Dan Reynolds on Across the States with Grant Kidwell, the ALEC director of the energy, environment and agriculture task force, to discuss his time as a state legislator, and to discuss energy policies that improve the quality of life for all people.

    Learn more about Life:Powered here:

  • 14: Your Primer on State Sports Betting

    January 17th, 2020  |  17 mins 19 secs

    A 2018 Supreme Court decision freed states to allow - or disallow - sports betting on their own volition. New Jersey took advantage of this opportunity and has seen success, including an increase in government revenue. In December, Michigan just allowed sports betting. This is a growing trend in states across the country and something for which state legislators should prepare. Ronald Lampard, the Senior Director of the Criminal Justice and Civil Justice task forces at ALEC join to discuss recent trends in sports betting across the country and what this issue means for you.

  • 13: Solutions in Sumner County, TN

    January 15th, 2020  |  25 mins 38 secs
    county, education, efficient, federalism, local government, localism, tennessee

    A lot of effort and energy is spent looking at the issues in the national and state governments. Rightly so - they both need a lot of fixing. But county governments by-and-large affect your day-to-day life more than other governments and certainly more than you expected. From education to road funding, county governments are often where the rubber meets the road on these issues. Learn from Sumner County Commissioner Jeremy Mansfield about the challenges and opportunities he faces in Tennessee.

  • 12: Victims of Communism Day w/ PA Rep. Dush

    November 7th, 2019  |  16 mins 17 secs

    This podcast is part of a double-feature for Victims of Communism Day, which is on November 7 each year. Pennsylvania Representative Dush is spearheading the charge to educate those in Pennsylvania - including his fellow lawmakers - about the tragedy of communism and its true story. Dan Reynolds and Karla Jones from ALEC sit down with him to learn more about his work, and what more we should be doing.

  • 11: Victims of Communism Day w/ WV Sen. Rucker

    November 7th, 2019  |  19 mins 22 secs

    This podcast is part of a double-feature for Victims of Communism Day, which is on November 7 each year. West Virginia Senator Rucker is a first generation immigrant from Venezuela. Dan Reynolds and Karla Jones from ALEC sit down with her to learn more about her personal story with communism and socialism, and what more we should know about this issue on the Victims of Communism Day

  • 10: Adoption in the States

    October 30th, 2019  |  9 mins 14 secs

    Getting adoption right is imperative for policy makers everywhere – but it is especially important for state legislators. Felicia Curcuru is the co-founder and CEO of Binti, an organization dedicated to ensure every child is raised by a loving family. The ALEC General Counsel Bartlett Cleland was adopted and adds his own unique perspective on this issue.

  • 9: The ALEC for State Financial Officers

    October 7th, 2019  |  14 mins 19 secs

    State Financial Officers Foundation (SFOF) President Derek Kreifels, sits down with two of his board members, Seth Metcalf and Ron Crane, to discuss its priorities for state financial officers