State Issues

In this section, you will find policy issues trending in the states.  NBCSL provides coverage of problems that disproportionately affect those who are disadvantaged, and gathers solutions being offered with a particular emphasis on cost-effective and evidence-based models.

Model Legislation

NBCSL has combed the nation searching for state legislation that should be replicated. You will find a synopsis of the policy problem, intended solution, and listing of applicable legislation.

Legislative Updates Archives

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The mission of The National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) is to educate its members on important policy issues. NBCSL hosts symposia throughout the year with America’s top subject matter experts as a way to accomplish this mission. Topics cover a range of current policy issues from financial literacy to healthcare reform implementation. Below, you will find information about NBCSL’s most recent symposia, aimed at providing members with concrete and sustainable policy solutions that can be implemented in their communities.


Black America’s Dialogue on Health

This symposium provides a much-needed space for policy conversations on African-American health. The 2013 conference was titled “Breaking Through Depression: What It Is, What It Looks Like, What to Do About It” and focused on depression in the African American community: what some of the major causes are, how it manifests in Black men and women, and what we can all do about it. The event is streamed live on the internet--allowing everyone to participate. Online viewers may submit questions online to be incorporated into the live discussion. Archived conference video footage can be found in the link below. The video content also includes meeting transcripts, PowerPoint presentations, hand-outs, and supplemental information.

Video and Materials Archives


Promoting Healthy Lifestyles

Supported by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Company, these symposia have allowed legislators to discuss new ideas and tackle mental and physical health problems affecting minority communities. The policy series is a part of a long-term partnership with the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL). Our 8th Annual Promoting Healthy Lifestyles symposium held in 2013 was titled “Building Healthy Communities” and addressed sickle cell anemia and other blood disorders, biologic and biosimilar medicines, cultural competency legislation, and next steps for Medicaid programs.


Standing on Common Ground

In 2012, NBCSL began a partnership with the Gill Foundation to examine timely policy issues intersecting both America’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) and African-American communities. The first policy symposium, titled, “Confronting Bullying and Hate Crimes Against LGBT Youth,” delved into understanding why bullying is a major problem and deserves a public policy response and the potential impact of extending hate crimes legislation to cover the LGBT community. The second meeting, held in 2013, focused on the School-to-Prison Pipeline, a process by which youth are pushed out of school due to excessive discipline policies.


Colloquium on African American Health

Supported by Pfizer, Inc. and a 13-year partnership with the National Medical Association, this series has allowed NBCSL members and African-American doctors from across the country to study health issues together, enabling both groups to advocate more effectively on behalf of their communities. The 2012 colloquium focused on implementation of healthcare reform at the state level.

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