WFD1202:       State Environmental Health Policy

 

Speaker:          Doug Farquhar, JD

 

The National Conference of State Legislatures covers legislation from the 50 states, territories, and the District of Columbia. By attending this session, you will gain a sense of state policy trends and new environmental health programs adopted in various states, which could be implemented in your jurisdiction.

This session will review the state environmental public health legislation that was introduced and enacted during the 2011 state legislative sessions, including laws on food safety (particularly the cottage food industry), water and waste water (including private well and waste water use), natural gas fracking, chemical regulations (green chemistry), and zoonotic rules. 

 

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The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) is the trade association for state legislatures, meaning both the elected officials and the staff that serves them.  NCSL is the only organization that provides an open, bipartisan, national forum for lawmakers to communicate with one another and share ideas. NCSL's tracks state legislation, policies and chaptered laws to identify legislative trends and needs of the state legislative audience.  Most substantive state policies and programs require legislative approval, funding, and oversight.  As well, the most innovative or unique state policies come from state legislatures.

 

This session will review the state environmental public health legislation that was introduced and enacted during the 2011 state legislative sessions, including laws on food safety (particularly the cottage food industry), water and waste water (including private well and waste water use), natural gas fracking, chemical regulations (green chemistry) and zoonotic rules.  NCSL covers legislation from the 50 states, territories and the District of Columbia. 

 

Legislatures also hold the purse strings in state government and determine the funding levels of state agencies and programs.  Many legislatures appropriate federal funds designated for state and local programs and make policy decisions about their use.  As in Washington, D.C., health policy initiatives at the state level require legislative approval before they become policy.  For example, many innovative health initiatives and pilot programs sponsored by private foundations or federal grants require state legislative involvement, understanding, and approval if they are to succeed in the long term.