ballard-web.jpg(BLACK PR WIRE) WASHINGTON – Just in time for the new year’s state legislative sessions, the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) has released 32 policy resolutions ratified by more than 600 black state legislators.

The 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 Kansas state Rep. Barbara Ballard, NBCSL president. “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 nonprofit partners in order to effect change and 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, greatly 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.

The caucus 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 various 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; John H. Jackson, president and CEO of the Schott Foundation on Public Education, NBCSL President Ballard, and former state Rep. Tony Payton (PA).

“Improving the lives of our constituents is our number one priority, and we do this through policy action,” said state Rep. Joe Armstrong (TN), NBCSL president-elect, who chaired NBCSL’s 2013 Resolutions process.

For the 2013 Policy Resolutions visit nbcsl.org/public-policy/resolutions/item/620-2013-ratified-policy-resolutions.html. To view The Legislator visit: nbcsl.org/news-and-media/magazine.html