Stateside News


Santa Clara County, California and the City of San Francisco last year enacted restrictions on the inclusion of toys, prizes and incentives in certain children’s meals.   In response, state legislatures in Arizona and Florida are considering legislation prohibiting local governments in their states from following suit.

In years past, local government initiatives addressing gun control, […]

By |March 29th, 2011|Blogs, Local Government|Comments Off

EPA AND THE STATES: Can’t We All Just get along?

When “Getting Along with your EPA Regional Official” is a session topic for new state environmental commissioners, you know there is a problem.  On March 28, state environmental commissioners will convene in Alexandria, Virginia for the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) Spring Meeting.   The meeting, which is always robust in policy discussions […]

By |March 24th, 2011|Blogs, Issue Management|Comments Off

State Budgets Create Virtual Groups

The Council of State Governments announced Monday that it was shifting its annual Spring Meeting (this year’s Growth & Prosperity Summit of the States) from the usual large, in-person conference to an online format.  While a dramatic move and, I am sure, disappointing to the senior staff and leadership of CSG who had to […]

By |March 3rd, 2011|Blogs, Groups, State Politics|Comments Off

Health Care In A State of Flex

In recent statements to the National Governors Association, President Obama indicated that he believes there is an opportunity for flexibility in how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is implemented.  For many of the assembled Governors, the offer of flexibility he made was not what they had requested. 

During his remarks, the President […]

By |March 1st, 2011|Blogs, Health Care|Comments Off


State lobbyists add experience, knowledge, access, historical perspective and so much more to the process of advocacy. BUT, you can do without them IF you pass this test.

By |February 17th, 2011|Blogs, Issue Management, Stateside News|1 Comment

States will chart new paths for health care reform in 2011

As Republicans sweep into state legislatures and Governors’ mansions this month, existing plans for the implementation of federal health care reform will get a second look.  Fiscal limitations, uncertainty about federal funding, and litigation that is likely to reach the United States Supreme Court all call into question how states should proceed with their […]

By |January 19th, 2011|Blogs, Health Care, Stateside News|Comments Off


In a recent interview, I was asked about dealing with all the “non traditional” lawmakers who are likely to be elected next Tuesday.   The journalist’s question concerned the “tea partiers” and “throw the bums out” iconoclasts who will go to Washington, DC and state capitols with a less-than-positive impression of government.  How does a […]

By |October 27th, 2010|Blogs, State Politics|Comments Off

Will A Republican Wave Wash Over State Legislatures and Your State Government Relations Program?

In states where one party has been in control for years, have you cultivated or ignored relationships with the minority party? If they take control, will fence-mending be necessary? You may want to request an increase in your travel budget now for next year so you can make some additional visits to your key states and attend more Groups meetings to quickly develop those relationships for 2011.

By |September 10th, 2010|Blogs, State Politics|Comments Off

What I Did At The Summer Groups Meetings (And What I Need To Do Now…)

The passing of Labor Day signals the unofficial end to summer and a recommitment to the work we neglected over the last three months while vacationing and shuttling kids to baseball and summer camps.  For state government affairs professionals, summer also meant spending a great deal of time traveling the country to attend the […]

By |September 8th, 2010|Blogs, Groups, Issue Management|Comments Off


The conventional wisdom is that money can influence elections, but do those who self-fund with large amounts of money always win their races? At least for gubernatorial races, the answer is clearly no.

By |August 4th, 2010|Blogs, State Politics|Comments Off


Proposition 14 may force a change to some coporate and trade association political giving strategies.

By |June 23rd, 2010|Blogs, State Politics|Comments Off

Are Local Governments Trendsetters?

Plastic bag bans, fast-food menu labeling requirements, and taxing of bottled water are all issues being considered in some state legislatures, and even in Congress.  But what do these issues have in common?  They all originated at the local government level.

  • San Francisco was the first local government to pass the plastic bag ban in […]
By |June 15th, 2010|Blogs, Local Government|Comments Off


An appreciation that corporate government relations and public sector sales professionals are teammates, not competitors. Each teammate has its defined role, but together, they comprise a force that helps the company grow.

By |May 24th, 2010|Blogs, Issue Management|Comments Off

Maximizing the Impact of Testimony

In his own voice, he made the testimony more personal and that is what legislators on the committee responded to.

By |April 9th, 2010|Blogs, Issue Management|Comments Off

Your “Groups” Participation Resolutions for the New Year…

We are already two weeks into the New Year and many of you – having returned to your offices from a long holiday break – are just now beginning to reflect on those resolutions you made in late December for 2010. 

Putting aside those commitments you made about losing weight, saving more money or drinking […]

By |January 14th, 2010|Blogs, Groups|Comments Off


Regardless of the importance of the SGR mission, budgets are going to influence how much you can accomplish. Consider this advice as you prioritize for 2010.

By |January 8th, 2010|Blogs, Issue Management|Comments Off

Demystifying CSG’s Suggested State Legislation Process

Few other state officials meetings or forums capture the attention – and stimulate the heart rates – of government affairs professionals as does the Council of State Governments’ Committee on Suggested State Legislation.  We pour through the Committee Dockets the minute they are released searching for those bills, or that one law, that caused […]

By |November 5th, 2009|Blogs, Groups|Comments Off


Finding the right state lobbyist for your organization is a key skill. Here is a source of information you may not have considered.

By |November 4th, 2009|Blogs, Issue Management|Comments Off


Annual state government relations program retreats or planning meetings hold great potential...if planned and executed effectively.

By |October 27th, 2009|Blogs, Issue Management|Comments Off

Piercing the “Regulatory Group” Veil

There are numerous national groups of state regulators covering every imaginable regulatory arena.  The Environmental Council of the States, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, the National Association of County Health Officials are just a few of the Regulatory Groups that meet on a regular basis to discuss national issues, advocate positions on federal […]

By |October 19th, 2009|Blogs, Groups|Comments Off


Ensuring that you have internal customers for your issue management program is Job #1.

By |October 13th, 2009|Blogs, Issue Management|Comments Off