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The National Black Caucus of State Legislators Announces Policy Forecast for 2013 State Legislative Action
Black state legislators from across the country ratify 32 new policy resolutions to address the needs of the nation’s most under-represented and underserved -
WASHINGTON-Just in time for next year’s state legislative sessions, the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) releases 32 policy resolutions ratified by over 600 Black state legislators. These resolutions help shape NBCSL’s legislative priorities and the 2013 policy agenda for Black state legislators nationwide.
“As Black state legislators, we should be at the forefront of every policy dialogue exchanging ideas about how to improve our communities, optimize our resources, and help all of our constituents achieve the American dream,” says NBCSL President, State Representative Barbara W. Ballard (KS). “Our 2013 policy resolutions serve as a great discussion point because they offer tangible solutions.”
Passed during the NBCSL’s 36th Annual Legislative Conference, all resolutions are disseminated to state, federal, corporate, and non-profit partners in order to effect change and can serve as the basis for both state and federal legislation and action.
Resolution topics include:
• 21st Century Job Creation: Resolutions call for facilitating small business growth of minority-owned enterprises; promoting the adoption of telemedicine and Health Information Exchanges; incentivizing the development of natural gas vehicles and sustainable materials; and expanding film, television, and media production.
• Health Care Reform: Resolutions call for supporting of Medicare and Medicare Part D as a critical safety net to vulnerable populations, increasing transparency in health care coverage, improving patient access to prescription medication, and ensuring every American has access to vital healthcare treatments and services.
• Civil Rights and Equality: Resolutions call for the preservation of and expanded access to the ballot box, continued support in the restoration of voting rights, and justice for the Scottsboro Boys (in Alabama).
• Affordable Housing: Resolutions call for preserving homeownership, thwarting predatory lending, supporting foreclosure mediation, and ensuring fair and equitable distribution of inherited property.
• Education: Resolutions call for facilitating safe and supportive learning environments for all students, and reducing the high school dropout rate by raising the compulsory attendance age to 18.
NBCSL also released the December 2012 issue of its quarterly magazine, The Legislator, during the Annual Legislative Conference. With a focus on education and education reform, the current issue – targeted at state legislators and stakeholders – examines all sides of the education debate. Articles cover a range of topics, including investment in Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs); Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education; the importance of nutrition and familial support; equity for girls’ education; and overall education reform.
Featured writers include Dot Harris, Director of the Office of Economic Impact at the U.S. Department of Energy, Dr. John H. Jackson, President and CEO of the Schott Foundation on Public Education, NBCSL President, State Representative Barbara W. Ballard (KS), and Former State Representative Tony Payton (PA).
“Improving the lives of our constituents is our number one priority, and we do this through policy action,” says NBCSL President-Elect, State Representative Joe Armstrong (TN) who chaired NBCSL’s 2013 Resolutions process. “With the release of the 2013 policy resolutions and the December edition of The Legislator, we continue to provide the most up-to-date research and tools for our country’s Black state legislators to take appropriate legislative action.”