Protecting Disabled Veterans in the Workforce

By Joe Paul

As long as there has been war, veterans have been coming home. Many have injuries that make work difficult or make some careers impossible. Questions surround veterans who have sustained physical or mental injury in service of their country. Will I be able to work? How can I provide for my family? Will someone hire a veteran with injuries? Given the prevalence of these concerns, there is a federal support system in place to assist veterans.

The two laws integral to protecting veterans in the workplace are the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act. USERRA provides requirements for reemploying veterans both with and without service-related injuries, while Title I of the ADA outlines what qualifies as disabilities and accommodations. USERRA is enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Justice.

USERRA prohibits employers from discriminating against employees or applicants for employment based on their military status, including military obligations resulting from duties as part of the National Guard or Reserves. Reemployment protection for persons with or without service-related disabilities is also included.

All veterans are covered under USERRA regardless of disability status. The veteran is also protected by ADA if their disability falls under the ADA. Employers must make “reasonable efforts” to help a veteran returning to employment become qualified to perform the position they would have had if employment had not been interrupted by military service or if they sustained a disability during their military service.

Title I of the ADA, enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and applying to all workers, prohibits private, state and local government employers with 15 or more employees from discriminating against individuals based on disability. Having a disability or having a history of disability cannot factor into any aspect of employment, such as hiring, promotions, assignments, training, termination, or any other terms, conditions or privileges of employment, including questions of access to training or social events that are employer sponsored.

If a veteran is diagnosed with PTSD, or if the employer believes that the veteran may have PTSD, it is illegal for the employer to refuse to hire the veteran if they are otherwise qualified for the job. The ADA also limits the types of medical information employers can obtain and strictly prohibits disability related harassment and retaliation. Section 501 applies those standards to the federal executive branch and U.S. Postal Service, among others.

If an employer can prove that employment of a person with disabilities would cause an undue hardship, employers can propose reasonable alternatives. Generally, undue hardships come at significant difficulty or expense to the employer. The ADA National Network defines “undue hardship” as an “action requiring significant difficulty or expense” given any number of circumstances. The size, resources, nature and structure of the employer’s operation must be considered. Many, if not all, of these provisions do not apply to employers of less than 15 employees. For example: if a chair lift is requested, an employer could propose a ramp as a reasonable alternative.

Many veterans self-eliminate themselves from viable career opportunities by thinking their injuries either disqualify them for a job or that performing the job would not be possible given their injuries. The reality is that veterans are protected if they meet the ADA’s definition, and the veteran is otherwise qualified for the job. An individual with a disability is a person who (1) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; (2) has a record of such an impairment, such as a substantial limitation prior to undergoing rehabilitation; and (3) is regarded or treated by an employer as having such an impairment, even if no substantial limitation exists.

If the veteran is qualified for the job by meeting the employer’s requirements for education, training, experience, skills, licensure or other requirements, and would be successful in the position with or without accommodations, they must be considered. There are additional requirements if the employer is the recipient of federal funds.

Disabled veterans should be aware of the 2008 ADA Amendments Act which added the term “major life activities,” and defined them to include not only activities such as walking, seeing, hearing and concentrating, but also the operation of major functions of the brain and neurological system. A list of reasonable accommodations for veterans with any of these disabilities can be found on the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s website.

An impairment should not prevent or severely or significantly restrict a veteran’s performance of a major life activity to be considered substantially limiting. The determination of whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity must be made without regard to any mitigating measures, including medications or assistive devices such as prosthetic limbs, that you may use to lessen your impairment’s effects. Impairments that are episodic or in remission, such as epilepsy or PTSD, are considered disabilities if they would be substantially limiting when active.

Ranked Choice Voting: What, Where, Why & Why Not

By Jennifer Horton and Dr. Dakota Thomas

In 2022, Nevada voters approved a ballot measure to change its elections to ranked choice voting. Since this ballot measure is a citizen-initiated constitutional amendment, the measure will again require approval in 2024 to take effect. If the state votes to reapprove ranked voting, it joins a growing number of U.S. cities, counties and states in using a ranked choice voting system for elections.

What is Ranked Choice Voting?
Ranked choice voting is any system for counting votes that gives voters the option to rank their choices in order of preference. If a voter likes candidate A, but would prefer candidate B over candidate C if their favorite (candidate A) did not win, they could rank the three candidates accordingly on their ballot (A > B > C).

How do votes get counted in such a system? There are multiple methods, but the most common one is the alternative vote. During the alternative voting process, the candidate receiving a majority of first choice votes wins and the election is over. If no one wins a majority of votes, the ranked choices come into play. In the most common form of ranked voting, the last-place candidate gets eliminated (i.e., the candidate with the fewest first choice votes), and the voters who chose that candidate as their first choice have their votes reallocated to their second choice. For example, if candidate A came in last place, the vote would go to candidate B. This process continues until a candidate achieves a majority of votes.

Ranked choice voting can play out in different ways depending on the exact version of ranked voting a locality adopts. Most places utilizing ranked voting elect a single winner in a given election, while other locations use a multi-winner format of ranked voting where multiple officials are elected in a single contest, such as for a city council. Most forms of ranked voting are considered majoritarian (i.e., they try to ensure majority rule), while others are considered proportional (they focus instead on maximizing representation for different parties). Some common forms of ranked voting are explained in the table below.

Comparison of Ranked Choice Voting Systems

Ballot Counting SystemOutcomeSeats Elected at OnceCounting MethodNotable Examples
Alternative Vote (AV)Majoritarian1Candidates with fewest first preference votes are eliminated successively and their voters go to their next choices until one candidate has a majority.Alaska and Maine, Australia and Fiji, the Oscar for “Best Picture” and the Hugo Awards for Science Fiction
Two Round – Majority RunoffMajoritarian1Candidates who are not in first or second place in total votes are eliminated in the first round. The second round includes only the top two candidates.Georgia and Louisiana, France presidential elections
Two Round – Majority Plurality
Majoritarian2+Candidates who do not reach a certain threshold of votes are eliminated in the first round. The second round includes all candidates that met the threshold.France legislative elections
Preferential Block Vote or Multiple Transferable Vote (MTV)Majoritarian2+Candidates with the fewest first preference votes are eliminated successively and their voters go to their next choices until one candidate has a majority. The count is then repeated with the elected candidates removed until all seats are filled.Some local elections in Utah
Single Transferable Vote (STV)Proportional2+Candidates with fewest first preference votes are eliminated successively and their voters go to their next choices until all seats are filled.Some local elections in Massachusetts, Michigan, and California, Ireland and Malta legislative elections
Borda CountVaries with number of seats awarded at once1+Candidates with the highest rankings are elected successively until all seats are filled.Kiribati presidential nominations and Nauru legislative elections, the Major League Baseball’s Most Valuable Player (MVP), the Heisman Trophy for college football
Source: Table adapted from “Principles of Comparative Politics” by
William Roberts Clark, Matt Golder and Sona Nadenichek Golder.

What States Use Ranked Choice Voting?
As of January 2023, ranked choice voting is used in Alaska and Maine, in addition to 53 cities and counties representing roughly 11 million voters. Military and overseas voters cast ranked voting ballots during federal runoff elections in Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina. The map below shows states where ranked voting is used for at least some elections.

Note: This map only includes uses of ranked voting that result in a candidate being elected to office. Party primaries, conventions and other nominating processes are not included in this data, but some states do use ranked voting for those processes.

When and how jurisdictions utilize ranked voting varies widely. Some areas use it only for primary elections but not general elections, while others use it in general elections but not primaries. There are also other areas that use it for both. Jurisdictions can also elect to use ranked voting for electing some offices but not others. Alaska, for example, uses ranked voting only for its general elections, while its primaries use a top four system in which voters choose their top candidate. The top four candidates then go to the general election. Other locations continue to use ranked voting as a way to replace primaries entirely, consolidating primaries and general elections into a single contest. Many cities in the U.S., including Salt Lake City and other Utah cities, have implemented ranked voting as a way to consolidate nonpartisan primaries and general elections into one election.

States with ranked choice voting
Maine first adopted ranked voting in 2016 for state and federal primary elections. It was then adopted in 2018 for all general congressional elections. The state later expanded its use to presidential general elections beginning in 2020. Use of ranked voting will begin in 2024 for presidential primaries.

Alaska enacted ranked choice voting by ballot measure in 2020. Its first use came during a special election in August 2022 that resulted in Rep. Mary Peltola defeating former Alaska Gov. Sara Palin for an open U.S. congressional seat. The state uses ranked voting for all state and general elections.

In Nevada, voters recently approved a ballot measure changing the state’s elections to a system with nonpartisan primaries that allow voters to choose candidates from any party. After the primary, ranked voting occurs for general election, at which time voters can rank their top five candidates in order of preference. Implementation requires a vote of approval again in November 2024. The state will use ranked voting for state and federal elections but not presidential.

Cities with ranked choice voting
The same story is also present in the 53-plus cities utilizing ranked voting. For example, since 2009 Minneapolis has used it for 22 city offices and some park board and board of taxation seats. New York City employs its use for city primary, as well as special elections for mayor and other citywide offices. Since 2021, ranked voting has also been used in New York City to elect borough presidents and city council. In Santa Fe, New Mexico, it has been used to determine mayor, city council, and municipal judge elections since 2018.

More to come
Nine cities and the state of Nevada had ballot measures concerning ranked voting in 2022. Of these, all but two passed:

  • Nevada – approved in 2022; reapproval required in 2024 to go into effect.
  • Portland, Oregon – adopted; will begin in 2024.
  • Seattle – adopted for primary elections.
  • Evanston, Illinois – adopted; will begin in 2025.
  • Fort Collins, Colorado – adopted.
  • Ojai, California – adopted.
  • Multnomah County, Oregon – adopted.
  • Portland, Maine – adopted.
  • Clark County, Washington – failed.
  • San Juan County, Washington – failed.

Why Use Ranked Choice Voting?
Those who advocate for the adoption of ranked choice voting cite a number of possible benefits, including those detailed below:

Ensuring majority rule
Elections with more than two candidates can often result in a candidate winning with less than 50% of the vote, leading to a winner who doesn’t have a majority of support from the public. Maine voters were driven to adopt ranked voting after nine of its 11 gubernatorial elections were won with less than 50% of the vote during a 20-year period, including three governors’ races with winners who had less than 40% of votes. With ranked choice voting, if no candidate receives a majority of voters’ first choices, a process is used to reallocate voters to their next preferences until a winner gets a majority, upholding majority rule.

More choices and more influence for voters
Ranked choice voting can also give voters more choices, allowing them to vote for a viable candidate without having their vote placed used on a preferred candidate who is unlikely to win. If their first choice doesn’t win, they know their vote will count for their next most preferred choice(s). Ranked voting can enable two similar candidates to compete without fear of possibly splitting the vote. This may help reduce the spoiler effect, which is the phenomena of two similar candidates or parties losing to a very different candidate or party because voters couldn’t effectively coordinate on one choice. Currently, some candidates and parties — usually those from underrepresented groups in elected office — are pressured to stay out of races for fear of acting as a spoiler.

Ranked voting also helps ensure that voters’ preferences actually influence the outcome of an election. For example, in 2020, more than 3 million Democratic primary voters voted for a candidate who had already withdrawn from the race. In 2016, more than 5% of votes were cast for Republican candidates that had withdrawn from the primaries. These specific kinds of “wasted votes” often occur with early voting when voters fill out ballots a week or more ahead of election day. Ranked voting enables these voters to have backup candidates if their top choice drops out.

Ranked voting is an especially valuable tool for military and overseas voters who encounter a number of barriers to voting. Federal law requires states to provide these voters with ballots at least 45 days prior to elections, but runoffs require sending a new set of ballots, delaying the runoff and reducing turnout. By the time military and overseas voters receive their ballots, candidates may no longer be in the race, leading to the possibility of more “wasted votes.” Since voters can rank candidates on a single ballot with ranked voting, their vote still counts if a runoff occurs or a candidate drops out. Currently, six states use ranked voting for its overseas voters: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina.

More civility in campaigns
In ranked voting elections, candidates have an incentive to court as many voters as possible in hopes of winning. If they are not the first choice of voters, they can succeed by acquiring enough votes as the second or third choices. This can lessen the tendency to run negative campaigns involving attacks on opponents and instead encourage efforts to positively interact with as many voters as possible, even those who may not view them as a first choice. According to a survey of Republican primary voters in Virginia, the use of ranked voting resulted in a more positive congressional primary in 2022. A 2013-14 survey of voters in ranked voting and non- ranked voting cities revealed that voters in ranked voting cities were more satisfied with the tone of campaigns, and noticed less criticism and negative campaigning, than non-ranked voting city voters.

Lower cost for elections and improved turnout
By replacing primaries and runoffs with ranked voting, jurisdictions can save money and improve voter turnout. In non-ranked voting elections, when no candidate meets a necessary threshold, jurisdictions must hold a second election that costs taxpayer money. New York City saves $20 Million every time ranked voting avoids a runoff. When the two rounds of voting are consolidated into a single election, there also tends to be higher and more representative turnout. Throughout the past twenty years, federal primary runoff elections have seen a median turnout decline of 37% between the first and final rounds, whereas a 2016 study found ranked voting general elections are associated with a 10-point increase in voter turnout compared to the primary and runoff elections they replace.

Broader representation
In elections with multiple winners, proportional ranked voting enables diverse groups of voters to elect their candidates of choice. In single winner races, ranked voting promotes the representation of historically underrepresented groups, including women and people of color. In one study, researchers found that women’s representation increased in cities using proportional ranked voting during the early 1900s. It was also revealed that single-winner ranked voting has increased women’s representation in the 21st century. Another study found that cities utilizing ranked voting also have better electoral outcomes for women and people of color.

Voter support for ranked choice voting
For all the discussion from party leaders and others about whether ranked choice voting is a good idea, voters themselves express broad support for the practice and find it easy to use. After using ranked voting for the first time in 2022, 85% of Alaska voters described it as “simple.” In New York City, 95% of voters across all ethnic groups who participated in the city’s 2021 primary elections described the ranked voting ballot as “simple to complete”; nearly 80% said they understood it extremely or very well; and 77% supported using it for future elections. After using ranked voting for the first time in 2018, 94% of Santa Fe voters reported feeling either very or somewhat satisfied with the format and more than 70% supported its use in future city elections.

Why Not Use Ranked Choice Voting?
Some opponents of ranked choice voting dislike it for one of the same reasons its supporters promote it: it can weaken the far right or left wings of the two main political parties. These critics worry it could weaken the influence of the two main parties and allow more centrist candidates an easier path, thus diluting the power of very progressive or very conservative politicians and policies.

Others worry the changes to filling out a ballot could confuse or deter voters, possibly disenfranchising groups of people who aren’t aware of how to use the ranking mechanism. Another concern is the time it takes to count ranked choice ballots, which could lead to a lack of confidence in the results.

Still others take issue with specific forms of ranked choice voting, arguing that in some cases it can lead to a person winning who doesn’t have majority support. This can happen if a candidate starts off with fewer first-choice votes, and thus gets eliminated, but may perhaps have a greater number of second choice votes.

There’s also the issue of voters not using all of their ranking slots or having all of their ranked picks eliminated, which can lead to “ballot exhaustion” — a drop off in the total number of votes being counted in the later rounds of counting.

The Future of Ranked Choice Voting in the U.S.
As state and local governments continue to reconsider how best to run their elections with an eye toward issues like election security, trust in democracy, and voter access, ranked choice voting is one tool they are considering and often adopting. There are certainly many things to consider when evaluating whether to use ranked voting. Given its popularity with many voters and advantages over other systems of voting, ranked choice voting is worth a closer look.

School Psychologist Compacts: What You Should Know

By Grant Minix

Last spring, The Council of State Governments announced the selection of the National Association of School Psychologists for technical assistance on the development of an interstate compact for licensed school psychologists. The opportunity is a result of a cooperative agreement between CSG and the Department of Defense to develop interstate licensure mobility compacts.

The introduction of the Interstate Compact for School Psychologists will facilitate licensure mobility for the profession, which can improve access to services and care for school-age children. Schools are facing a national shortage of school psychologists. According to NASP, the recommended ratio of school psychologists to students is 1:500. However, the national ratio currently stands at 1:1,211. Some states are approaching ratios of 1:5,000. These shortages are especially evident in rural schools and historically underserved school districts.

The development of the Interstate Compact for School Psychologists also offers substantial benefits to military families by allowing for increased licensure portability for military spouse. Additionally, it increases portability for school psychologists providing care for military children which will increase continuity of care.

As part of the project kickoff, CSG and NASP hosted a compact kickoff meeting in August 2022. The meeting featured CSG, NASP and DOD officials outlining the need for increased licensure mobility for licensed school psychologists and the process to develop the compact. During this meeting, and as part of a larger stakeholder review and public comment process, participants were invited to ask questions regarding the project.

Following the kickoff meeting, CSG and NASP worked to identify individuals and organizations throughout the country to serve on the compact technical assistance group, including school psychologists, regulators, state legislators and individuals representing key organizations in education. The technical assistance group is tasked with providing recommendations on numerous aspects of the compact, such as state and licensee requirements to join the compact, the makeup of the compact commission and how to integrate telepractice into the compact, which all will be considered by the document writing team.

As of December 2022, CSG and NASP are in the process of assembling the document writing team and working with the technical assistance group to develop recommendations. In early 2023, the document writing team will meet write the model language for the school psychologist interstate compact. After an initial draft of the language is developed it will be shared with the technical assistance group and then released for public stakeholder review.

CSG, NASP and the working group will continue to work on the language until it is properly vetted and fully capable of meeting the needs of the profession and the public. Once the model compact language is finalized it will be released for state enactment. CSG anticipates the model language will be released for 2024 state legislative sessions. For more information on the Interstate Compact for School Psychologists, visit the compact web page or send an email to [email protected].

Physician Assistant Compacts: What You Should Know

In June 2019, a joint initiative by The Council of State Governments, Federation of State Medical Boards, American Academy of Physician Associates and the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants, was created to develop an interstate compact for the interstate practice of physician assistants (PAs). Funding support for this initiative came from the Department of Health and Human Services.

The Physician Assistant Licensure Compact (PA Compact) will facilitate the ability of licensed PAs to practice in multiple states without having to obtain an individual state professional license in each state of practice. The compact will provide for greater in-person and telehealth access to care and will significantly enhance practitioner mobility, including in times of public health emergencies. The PA Compact will also strengthen public protection by establishing a data system that facilitates information sharing and coordination on disciplinary action between participating states.

In the PA Compact licensure mobility is facilitated through a “privilege to practice” model, which allows individual licensees to seek a compact privilege in any compact member state they choose. The licensee’s application for a privilege to practice in a specific state is expedited by utilizing the compact data system to ensure the individual is eligible for that privilege by meeting the requirements in the compact.

The PA Compact includes various requirements for states to adhere to prior to enacting the model legislation. These requirements ensure there are baseline standards to be met for states to start issuing compact privileges. Some of these requirements include requiring a national exam and continuing education for all PA licensees. To obtain privileges to practice in compact member states individual licensees must also meet specific requirements laid out in the compact, such as obtaining NCCPA certification and graduating from a nationally accredited PA program.

The partner organizations met as a working group throughout the compact development process to develop the compact language. As part of the development process, the working group engaged stakeholders within the PA profession and the healthcare industry to solicit input and feedback. The working group utilized stakeholder feedback to revise the compact and respond to received concerns and suggestions.

One of the major motivations behind the desire to develop an interstate compact for physician assistants is the success of other compacts for health care professions, such as the Nurse Licensure Compact and the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact for physicians. Both compacts have been enacted in nearly 40 states. The development of interstate compacts for health care professions have been extremely popular amongst states because of their ability to strengthen state’s health care workforce and provide additional pathways to care for patients. The PA Compact working group considered and incorporated many aspects of other compacts for health care professions. While the PA Compact is similar to other compacts in how it facilitates multistate practice, each compact is unique and responds to the specific needs of the profession.

The working group approved the final version of the PA Compact in October 2022, which is being made available to states for 2023 legislative sessions. CSG and the project partners will provide educational and technical assistance for stakeholders and states interested in the compact. Supporting resources and information about the compact may be found at

Facilitating Veteran Employment: Strategies to Engage Veterans in Apprenticeships

By Rachel Wright and Mary Wurtz 

Each year, approximately 200,000 veterans transition to civilian life, but many struggle to find employment upon re-entry. Research shows that only a little more than half of U.S. veterans find a job within six months of the start of their search. Furthermore, those who do find employment are 37% more likely to experience underemployment than nonveterans.  

Efforts are being made at the state level to increase the number of veterans in registered apprenticeships, including establishing tax-credits for employers that recruit veterans, augmenting funding streams for programs that recruit veterans, designating state agencies to promote and monitor veteran participation in apprenticeship and requiring public sector contractors to establish plans and goals for recruiting veterans. 

Apprenticeship as a Tool to Help Veterans Overcome Barriers to Employment 

Registered Apprenticeships – training programs that are registered with the U.S. Department of Labor or state apprenticeship agency – provide participants with paid, on-the-job learning and tailored classroom instruction. Apprentices work one-on-one with a mentor that helps them navigate workplace culture and build strong support networks. Apprentices also earn a nationally recognized, portable credential upon completion of their program. 

Apprenticeship can help veterans overcome common barriers to employment, such as: 

Difficulty Translating Skills to the Civilian Workforce 

Veterans often face underemployment because they experience difficulty converting skills learned in the military to the civilian workforce. They also frequently lack professional networks outside of the military that can help them find a job that is consistent with their level of work experience. Apprenticeship addresses veteran underemployment by providing veterans with a clear pathway into a career that builds upon their skills and work experience without requiring a bachelor’s degree. The Department of Labor can even provide veterans with advanced standing in their program if their military training and experience is in a similar occupation.  

Lack of Support in the Workplace  

Studies show that veterans often leave their first civilian job because they encounter a lack of support and an unfamiliar work culture. Through apprenticeship, veterans receive individualized training with an experienced mentor who provides long-term support throughout the program.  

Lack of Professional Development Opportunities and Avenues for Advancement  

Many veterans may struggle to adjust to civilian work due to a lack of opportunities for professional growth and advancement – a key feature of apprenticeship programs. Through apprenticeship, veterans work one-on-one with a mentor to identify and engage in opportunities for growth. Apprenticeship also provides participants with progressive wage increases and a nationally recognized, portable credential. 

Additionally, veterans can utilize GI Bill benefits for approved apprenticeship programs, including tax-free money for books and supplies and a monthly housing allowance. 

State Strategies to Engage Veterans in Apprenticeship 

Recognizing these benefits, state policymakers have employed the following strategies to increase veterans’ access to apprenticeships:  

Establishing tax credits for employers that hire veterans as apprentices  

In South Carolina, the legislature enacted Senate Bill 0901 in June 2022. The bill provides a tax credit to any taxpayer that hires a veteran as part of a registered apprenticeship program. In the first year of employment, the employer will receive $3,000 for each eligible employee. An employer can receive this credit for three years. 

Montana offers a tax credit of $1,500 to employers for each new registered apprentice hired that is a veteran. The tax credit can be applied for the length of each apprentice’s training program or up to five years. 

Augmenting funding streams for programs that recruit minority groups – including veterans – into apprenticeships  

Michigan enacted House Bill 5783 (2022) providing $250,000 in funds to a national nonprofit program connecting military service members with skilled training and quality career opportunities in the construction industry. A portion of these grant funds must be used to help veterans transition into apprenticeship programs in the state. 

Similarly, Maryland enacted legislation establishing a Clean Energy Workforce Account to provide grants to support apprenticeship training programs. The fund set aside $750,000 for the recruitment of individuals, including veterans, to pre-apprenticeship and Registered Apprenticeships programs. 

Designating state entities that are responsible for promoting and monitoring veteran participation in apprenticeship  

To better monitor veteran participation in apprenticeship, the Colorado General Assembly enacted House Bill 21-1007 (2021) establishing the State Apprenticeship Agency and the Interagency Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship. The advisory committee was tasked with, among other things, providing annual reports to the executive director of the Department of Labor and Employment on apprenticeship data disaggregated by age, race, gender, veteran status, disability and industry. 

Similarly, California enacted Senate Bill 103 in 2018, directing the Department of Transportation to sponsor, fund or partner with apprenticeship programs engaged in specific efforts to increase participation in the construction industry among certain groups, including disabled veterans. 

Requiring public sector contractors to establish plans and goals for recruiting underserved groups – including veterans – in apprenticeships  

The Oregon legislature enacted Senate Bill 5701 (2022), requiring any company contracting with public universities to establish and execute a plan for outreach, recruitment and retention of underserved groups in “apprenticeable occupations.” Plans should have a target of having at least 15 percent of total work hours performed by women, minority individuals and/or veterans. 

Massachusetts enacted House Bill 3770 (2021) regarding construction of the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home. The bill specifies that as part of the construction project, an agreement must be made with the appropriate labor organization that facilitates the entry of interested veterans into the building and construction trades. The labor organization must designate an entity or organization to serve as a resource for preliminary orientation, apprenticeship programs and other needs to foster veteran employment opportunities. 

Apprenticeships can help veterans in their transition to civilian life by providing opportunities to earn competitive wages, refine and apply existing skill sets and engage in opportunities for professional development. States, along with the federal government, have continued to take steps to increase veteran participation in apprenticeships.  

For more information on state initiatives to further engage veterans in apprenticeship, please reach out to the education and workforce team at The Council of State Governments Center of Innovation. 

Interstate Compacts: Dentists and Dental Hygienists

By Isabel Eliassen

As society becomes more mobile, the need for workers to begin or continue careers in new states is a critical concern. This is especially true for those in state-licensed occupations. When individuals in these fields move across state boundaries, it can take months to receive an occupational license in their new state and resume practicing.

Both dentists and dental hygienists are included in this category of professions that face licensure challenges when moving across state lines. Although states have considerable similarities between education, examination and other licensure requirements for dentists and dental hygienists, acquiring a new license before a dentist or dental hygienist begins practicing in a new state can be time-consuming and costly.

This issue is especially prevalent for military families, who move between states with greater frequency than other population groups. As part of an ongoing effort by The Council of State Governments and the Department of Defense to help alleviate burdens related to interstate occupational licensure, dentists and dental hygienists will soon have an interstate licensure compact.

Interstate compacts are legislatively enacted contractual agreements between states. They allow practitioners to obtain the authority to practice in multiple states without needing to maintain multiple licenses. Interstate compacts also allow for greater public protection, as states share data about licensees and licensing concerns via a compact data system.

In September 2020, DOD and CSG started working together through a collaborative agreement to develop several new interstate licensure compacts. In March 2021, the Department of Defense selected the first round of professions to receive funding and technical assistance for compact development after a competitive application process. The selection of professions included dentists and dental hygienists. In partnership with the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA), CSG began developing the compact for dentists and dental hygienists.

The compact development team first conducted a comparison of licensing requirements across states. Using this research, CSG convened a technical assistance group made up of regulators, administrators, legislators, dentists, dental hygienists and dentistry students to outline goals for the compact. A smaller group, the document team, subsequently worked on applying the compact goals to the provisions of the legislative language in the compact, while also defining other technical aspects of the compact. The draft was made available for public comment for two months to inform further revisions of the compact. CSG is currently working to finalize changes to the document with the document team before the compact legislation is available for state adoption.

States who are interested in joining the compact will need to enact the compact through their standard legislative process. At that point, they will become a participating state. Participating states each appoint a commissioner who collectively administers the compact via a compact commission. Through the commission, the compact will continue to reflect the will of the participating states through rulemaking and other administrative policies

The compact is expected to be available for state adoption in 2023. In addition to dentists and dental hygienists, CSG is also working to develop compacts for massage therapists, cosmetologists, teachers and social workers. For more information about the Dentist and Dental Hygienist Compact visit

Slavery and Involuntary Servitude as a Punishment in the United States

By Blair Lozier

Please note that this article is based on projected results and may change with certified election results. 

The 13th amendment to the United States Constitution states reads,“…that neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for a crime, where the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction”. As of October 2022, 20 state constitutions still included language permitting enslavement or servitude (typically as criminal punishment or for debt payments). During the 2022 midterm elections, five states – Alabama, Louisiana, Oregon, Tennessee and Vermont voted on whether to remove constitutional language that allows the use of slavery and involuntary servitude. Four of these states voted to approve these ballot measures, while Louisiana did not. This article analyzes the ballot measures and results in each of these states.

Alabama approved the Recompiled Constitution Ratification Question on the ballot as a legislatively referred constitutional amendment. The updated and recompiled state constitution was drafted to:

  • Arrange it in proper articles, parts and sections.
  • Remove all racist language.
  • Delete duplicative and repealed provisions.
  • Consolidate provisions regarding economic development.
  • Arrange all local amendments by county of application.

Section 32 of Article I, which stated: “That no form of slavery shall exist in this state; and there shall not be any involuntary servitude, otherwise than for the punishment of crime, of which the party shall have been duly convicted.” was removed from the constitution by the adoption of this ballot measure. This measure received support from 76.5% of voters (as of noon on Nov. 10).

Oregon passed Measure 112 which repeals language from the state constitution that allows the use of slavery and involuntary servitude as criminal punishment and adds language that authorizes an Oregon court or a probation or parole agency to order alternatives to incarceration for a convicted individual as part of their sentencing. Voters approved removing slavery as a criminal punishment with a 55.2% majority (as of noon on Nov. 10).

Tennessee Constitutional Amendment 3 amends the state constitution to remove language that allows the use of slavery and involuntary servitude as criminal punishments and replace it with the statement, “slavery and involuntary servitude are forever prohibited.” Tennessee passed Constitutional Amendment 3 with 79.5% of the vote (as of noon on Nov. 10).

Vermont Proposal 2 repeals language stating that persons could be held as servants, slaves or apprentices with the person’s consent for the payments of debts, damages, fines or costs. The amendment adds that “Slavery and indentured servitude in any form are prohibited” to the state constitution. Vermont passed Proposal 2 with an 89% majority (as of noon on Nov. 10).

Louisiana Amendment 7 would have removed language from the state constitution that allows involuntary servitude as punishment for a crime and adds language to the constitution that prohibits slavery and involuntary servitude except when used as part of the lawful administration of criminal justice. Louisiana did not pass Amendment 7, with 60.9% of voters voting no to the amendment (as of noon on Nov. 10). This may be due to the legislative sponsor of Amendment 7, State Representative Edmond Jordan (D), urging voters to reject the measure as written due to the unclear and ambiguous wording of the amendment. Representative Jordan hopes to bring the amendment back next year with clearer language.

Additional Resources:

CSG will continue to provide initial results on key topics as well as more in-depth analysis in the days following the election. Find those articles on Twitter (@CSGovts) and at

A First Glance at Election Results and Trends: State Races and Ballot Measure Results

Please note that this article is based on projected results and may change with certified election results.

Polls are closed on the 2022 general election where voters in 46 states decided on 6,278 state legislative races, 36 governors and 133 statewide ballot measures. The Council of State Governments, the nation’s only nonpartisan organization serving all three branches of state government, will provide coverage and analysis of state elections with attention to state races and the impact of ballot measures. This article provides an overview of the results and trends in state races and ballot measure results based on projections made through midday Nov. 9.

States are seeing increased diversity in elected candidates.

Several races, projected by Ballotpedia, are historical firsts, expanding gender, race and age representation amongst elected officials. Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R), former press secretary for President Donald Trump, made history in Arkansas as the first female governor in Arkansas. Governor Maura Healy (D) of Massachusetts and Governor Kathy Hochul (D) of New York also made history as the first female elected governor in their respective states. Governor Healy is also the first openly lesbian governor in the US and the first openly gay governor in Massachusetts. U.S. Representative Marcy Kaptur (D) became the longest-serving female member of Congress with reelection to Ohio’s 9th District. Governor Wes Moore became the first Black governor of Maryland and his lieutenant governor, Aruna Miller (D), is the first immigrant and first Asian American to be elected to statewide office in Maryland. In Rhode Island, Chinese American Victoria Gu (D) and Japanese American Linda Ujifusa (D) became the first Asian candidates elected to the state legislature, and Shri Thanedar (D) became the first Indian American U.S. Representative for Michigan. Maxwell Frost (D) won Florida’s 10th Congressional District race, making him the first Democratic member of Congress from Gen Z and the first Afro-Cubano to head to Congress.

Partisan legislative and state control remains steady with Democrats consolidating power in some states.

So far, Democrats have consolidated power in several states – Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan and Minnesota. Previously, these states were under a divided government. No new state government trifectas have been called for Republicans yet, and no state governments that were trifectas controlled by one party have moved to divided government yet. However, these results may change as more state elections are called. Partisan legislative control remains relatively steady as election results are projected. The Democratic Party in Minnesota has consolidated legislative power from previously split control, and Michigan has flipped from Republican legislative control to Democratic control. Results have not yet been projected for six states which may change these results.

Incumbent Governors are being re-elected and the Democratic party has gained some control.

This year there are 36 governor seats up for reelection, currently, 32 of the races have been called. Seven governors did not seek reelection. Democrats have picked up two governor seats in Maryland and Massachusetts. Currently, every incumbent governor that was up for reelection has won. There are currently six newly elected governors; Maura Healy (D) Massachusetts, Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R) Arkansas, Jim Pillen (R) Nebraska, Josh Green (D) Hawaii, Josh Shapiro (D) Pennsylvania and Wes Moore (D) Maryland. Governor races that have not been confirmed yet are Alaska, Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. In the US Territories incumbent Lou Leon Guerrero (D) won reelection in Guam. Incumbent Albert Bryan (D) won reelection as governor of the US Virgin Islands while incumbent Ralph Torres (R) is facing a runoff versus Arnold I. Palacios (I).

With his win in Maryland, Wes Moore is a growing figure nationally among Democrats. Governor Ron DeSantis handedly won reelection in Florida by wide margins and continues his growth as a leader in the GOP and potential presidential candidate in 2024.  

States have passed ballot measures addressing state legislative authority, election administration and voting-related policies and state tax changes.

On the ballot this year were several possible changes to some states’ constitutional amendment processes. So far, Arizona’s Proposition 132 is too close to call. If enacted, this measure will require a 60% majority for future constitutional amendments that approve new taxes. In Arkansas, Issue 2 was defeated. This measure would have required a 60% majority for future constitutional amendments.

Some states considered changes to voting policy and election administration. Nebraska voters approved Initiative 434, requiring a photo ID for voting. Ohio passed Issue 2, prohibiting local governments from allowing anyone who does not meet the qualifications for an elector (e.g. a non-citizen) to vote in local elections. Connecticut voters approved Question 1, allowing the legislature to establish early voting. Michigan approved Proposal 2, which made several changes to voting procedures including creating a 9 day early voting period, requiring photo ID, requiring military and overseas ballots postmarked by election day to be counted, prohibiting voter intimidation and several other changes. A proposed photo ID requirement in Arizona and Nevada’s possible adoption of ranked choice voting are still too close to call.

At least six states proposed ballot measures changing state tax laws. In California, voters rejected Proposition 30, which would have raised taxes on those making more than $2 million to subsidize electric vehicle infrastructure and wildfire prevention. Colorado voters passed Proposition 121, lowering the income tax from 4.55% to 4.40%. West Virginia failed to pass Amendment 2, which would have allowed lawmakers to exempt property taxes on motor vehicles and personal property used by businesses. The results of Arizona’s Propositions 130 and 310, allowing lawmakers to pass a personal tax exemption and increasing sales taxes to fund fire districts, are too early to call. Massachusetts voters passed Question 1, imposing an additional 4% tax on those making over $1 million to fund education and transportation. Idaho approved the Advisory Question, which asked voters for their opinion on tax changes including additional rebates to taxpayers, reduction of the corporate tax rate and allocation of tax revenue to education.

States have passed ballot measures addressing the regulation of marijuana, abortion and enslavement.

Several state elections included ballot measures addressing marijuana, abortion and enslavement. According to the Pew Research Center, Millennials are at the forefront of the recent rise in public support for the legalization of marijuana and abortions. It is likely that these ballot measures motivated Millennials and younger generations to vote in the 2022 elections.

Before the elections, marijuana was legal in 19 states and D.C. Of those 19 states, 13 and D.C. had legalized marijuana through the ballot measure process. During the 2022 midterm elections, Maryland and Missouri passed ballot measures legalizing marijuana. Arkansas, North Dakota and South Dakota rejected ballot measures legalizing marijuana.

There were five ballot measures addressing abortion in the midterm elections. California, Michigan and Vermont voted to add “reproductive freedom” to their state constitutions, and Kentucky voted no to a constitutional amendment stating nothing in the state constitution creates a right to abortion or requires government funding for abortion. Montana results are not confirmed, but current results look like abortion rights will remain.

As of October 2022, 20 state constitutions included language permitting enslavement or servitude as criminal punishment or debt payments. During the 2-22 midterm elections, five states had ballot measures repealing such language. Alabama, Oregon, Tennessee and Vermont have voted to repeal language allowing slavery or involuntary servitude as criminal punishments. Louisiana voted not to repeal language allowing involuntary servitude as criminal punishments which may be due to confusion with the wording of the ballot measure.

CSG will continue to provide initial results on key topics as well as more in-depth analysis in the days following the election. Find those articles on Twitter (@CSGovts) and at

Pre-Apprenticeships: A Pathway for Career Success in North Carolina

By Enmanuel Gomez Antolinez

Learning and upskilling can be a life-long pursuit in the dynamic, constantly changing U.S. economy. Educational opportunities for youth and young adults with disabilities (Y&YAD) should reflect this reality. But all too often, they encounter barriers to acquiring knowledge, learning new skills and accessing general workplace experience.

Apprenticeships are an important and rapidly expanding pathway for all individuals, including Y&YAD. In the 2021 fiscal year, more than 241,000 new apprentices entered the national apprenticeship system. However, research demonstrates apprenticeships are not always accessible to everyone since they may require certain skills or experiences to enter. Pre-apprenticeships are one pathway that prepares Y&YAD for apprenticeships and makes apprenticeships more accessible by providing work-based learning, academic knowledge and professional skills. Several states, including North Carolina, are developing pre-apprenticeships specifically for Y&YAD to support them in their path to apprenticeship and full-time employment.

According to the U.S Department of Labor “pre-apprenticeships are designed to prepare individuals for entry into Registered Apprenticeship Programs (RAP) or other job opportunities.” These programs can play a valuable role in initiating career pathways for anyone, including Y&YAD. Pre-apprenticeships are available in a range of industries including health care, information technology, manufacturing, hospitality and retail.

A notable resource for policymakers is Getting Started with Pre-Apprenticeship: Partnership’s Primer, which provides detailed information on pre-apprenticeships, partnerships, program development and funding.

As outlined in the primer, pre-apprenticeships benefit both states and Y&YAD because they:

  • Have the potential to increase annual earnings and employment of workers with disabilities.
  • Are designed to give people of color, women, Y&YAD and other underrepresented populations the skills, confidence and connections they need to be successful.
  • Provide an effective workforce development strategy that results in a net benefit to society and diversifies the talent pipeline of skilled workers.
  • Provide academic knowledge and skills training tailored to specific jobs and industries for participants who face barriers to employment.

The North Carolina Career Launch is an example of a state-supported pre-apprenticeship for Y&YAD. This program provides a series of curricula that give students opportunities to gain knowledge, experience and credentials that lead to jobs in high-demand fields and a living wage. One of the North Carolina Career Launch programs within the health care industry is the Pre-Nursing Careers Vocational Rehabilitation Youth Apprenticeship. This pre-apprenticeship program provides paid on-the-job learning to high school students with disabilities as well as employment and professional development skills and work and training preparation.

In order to successfully implement these programs and provide the right support and practical skills to students with disabilities, there must be a clear relationship with vocational rehabilitation offices to pilot the program, as well as register the program statewide so it does not have to be replicated again. State agencies can collaborate to provide Y&YAD with pre-apprenticeship opportunities like the one in North Carolina.

Diverse pre-apprenticeships have the potential to support Y&YAD to access a career path that offers living wages and benefits. These jobs are an opportunity to prepare and support students for success and ensure they are prepared to be successful in their apprenticeship.

For more information about pre-apprenticeships, please visit: