What is Shared State Legislation?
Launched in 1941, The Council of State Governments’ Shared State Legislation–or SSL–program, previously known as Suggested State Legislation, is both a member-driven process and an annual publication detailing topics of current importance to the states. The CSG SSL Committee, comprised exclusively of state officials, meets twice annually to review legislation adopted in the states. The committee then selects legislation to be included in the annual SSL volume. These volumes are published online and in print for dissemination to state leaders and staff. CSG does not promote or advocate for the enactment of state legislation, nor does it draft model legislation. Rather, the program’s goal is to facilitate the sharing of legislative ideas among CSG members.
The consideration or dissemination of such legislation by the SSL Committee does not constitute an endorsement nor will CSG advocate for the enactment of any such legislation in any member jurisdictions.
Who sits on the SSL Committee?
The SSL Committee members are all state leaders, elected or appointed; private-sector membership is strictly prohibited.
How often does the SSL Committee meet and who can attend?
The SSL Committee meets twice annually–in the spring and in conjunction with the CSG National Conference each fall. Committee work sessions are open to all registered attendees at CSG conferences.
What criteria are used by the SSL Committee?
The SSL Committee uses the following criteria for determining which pieces of legislation are included in the annual SSL volume. These criteria are also useful for members in deciding which legislation to submit for consideration.
(1) Does this bill:
a) Address a current state issue of national or regional significance;
b) Provide a benefit to bill drafters;
c) Provide a clear, innovative and practical structure and approach; and
(2) Did this legislation become law?
Legislation that addresses a single, specific topic is preferable to omnibus legislation that addresses a general topic or references many disparate parts of a state code. Occasionally, committee members will consider and adopt uniform or proposed “model” legislation from an organization, or an interstate compact. In this case, the committee strongly prefers to examine state legislation that enacts the uniform or model law or compact.
Who can submit legislation for SSL consideration?
The SSL Committee accepts legislation submissions from state officials and their staff, CSG Associates (private-sector members) and CSG staff. It will consider legislation from other sources, but only when that legislation is submitted through a state official. Other sources include public interest groups and members of the corporate community who are not CSG Associates, with similar submission requirements.
How is legislation submitted?
If the legislation meets the criteria for consideration, please follow these instructions to submit legislation for consideration by the SSL Committee.
Submissions must be made no later than eight weeks before the next scheduled SSL Committee meeting. The submission should include information about the status of the legislation, enumeration of other states with similar provisions, and any summaries or analyses of the legislation. Submissions received after this deadline will be held until the next SSL Committee meeting.
How is legislation considered by the SSL Committee?
The SSL Committee evaluates submitted bills through a combination of the SSL criteria and the members’ own experience in the area, as well as knowledge of related actions in other states. The committee then votes for one of several options as to the disposition of the submitted legislation:
· Include in the volume;
· Include as a note, which indicates that the committee believes the bill–and other similar bills addressing the topic–to be of interest to state leaders, but does not merit full inclusion;
· Defer consideration to the next meeting; or
If the SSL Committee approves an item for inclusion, then the item will be published in the next edition of SSL. While the committee considers upwards of 160 bills each year, typically fewer than 40 are ultimately approved and included in the annual volume.