NCSL Podcasts

An Unblinking Focus on State News | LTIS Episode 23

Episode Summary

On this episode, host Tim Storey sat down with Reid Wilson, founder and editor of the state-focused Pluribus News platform, to discuss how states are tackling some of their toughest issues.

Episode Notes

Reid Wilson is the founder and editor of Pluribus News, a 10-month-old news platform that focuses on the states and the policy trends that start there. On this episode, host Tim Storey sat down with Wilson to talk about how states are tackling some of their toughest issues: broadband, infrastructure projects, housing policy and artificial intelligence.

Wilson started out his career as an assistant to Chuck Todd on the National Journal’s Hotline and also worked for years at the Washington Post and The Hill before striking out on his own last year. He is an astute observer of state policy and politics as well as how the media covers those topics. In addition to state policy, Storey and Wilson also discussed the ongoing changes in the media coverage of legislatures.


Episode Transcription

TS:      This is “Legislatures:  The Inside Storey.”  Thank you for listening. I am the host Tim Storey, the CEO of the National Conference of State Legislatures. My guest is Reid Wilson, founder and editor of Pluribus News, a 10-month-old news platform that focuses on the states and the policy trends that start in the states. Reid started out his career as assistant to Chuck Todd on National Journal’s Hotline, worked at The Washington Post and The Hill before striking on his own to start this new venture last year. Reid is an experienced and an astute observer of state policy and politics as well as how the media covers the states. We talked about how states are grappling with tough issues like broadband, infrastructure, housing, artificial intelligence and many more. We also talked about the ongoing changes in the media coverage of legislatures. 


            Reid Wilson, what a delight to have you on the show. I mean that very sincerely because you’ve done some incredible things, not the least of which is striking out and founding PluribusGot to take a little bit of coverage and you know really leveraging your experience so we are going to talk about Pluribus. We are going to talk about your history but man thanks for being on the podcast.


RW:     You got it. Thanks for having me, Tim. It’s great to see you. 


TS:      You know we do intros of people though just a tiny bit about you, but let’s do a little bit deeper dive. How long have you been in the state beat so to speak?


RW:     So, I’ve been a reporter since about 2005 – that’s closer to 20 years than I would care to admit. I feel like I was comfortable saying 15 years, but now I got to say closer to 20. So, I started out at the Hotline as people are familiar with Chuck Todd. I was his assistant – my first job out of college. I eventually went on to run the Hotline. And then I went over to The Washington Post, who hired me to run their first blog on state level politics and I mean we all saw a massive hole in the field and I think that hole persists. And so, it’s been about 12 years now that I’ve been covering the states; maybe 10 years since I’ve been covering the states. I absolutely love it. I look at all of my friends here in DC who are covering Capitol Hill and they are you know 500 people under the Capitol dome covering one story. And I get to be the one guy covering 500 stories that are happening in states. There is no shortage of amazing stories to tell, interesting interparty feuds. The contours of the big issues that dominate American politics, American life. I mean when you think about it you now Congress doesn’t do anything on the big major issues that matter. You and I are both westerners. I’m a native westerner. You are a I guess adopted westerner, but when it comes to the Colorado River, it’s like the most important story in America today and probably for the next 50 years. Who is covering it? Who is doing anything about it legislatively? It’s not Congress. It’s the states. Its places like Nevada and Colorado and Utah that are dealing with you know the shrinking Great Salt Lake and I don’t know. This one is on my mind right now so it’s a good example. The deluge comes and so how does California manage their water, which is sort of so critical to not only their growth but American economic growth. I feel like there are so many seeds that are planted in the state that end up becoming hugely important to the rest of us.


TS:      I do want to back up a little bit. Why did you go into journalism and tell everybody where you are from.


RW:     Right. So, I’m from Seattle. It was a great place to grow up. I actually just got back from there last night. And let me tell you, Seattle in August is a wonderful place. The other 11 months less so you know. It’s a little rainy up there. So, I came out to DC to go to George Washington University. I knew that I wanted to do something in politics. And I figured and my mom was a journalist and so she sort of taught me how to write. And I just learned that I am much more interested in telling other people’s stories than you know trying to craft one behind the scenes or something like that so it just seemed a natural fit. Couldn’t have gotten luckier. Couldn’t have a better profession.


TS:      Well, you are clearly very good at it and I mean that. You know I’m not just it’s not the butter up part of the podcast. This is legit. You are a good writer and it’s very obvious and you hustle like crazy anyway. We will come back to my admiration of you. I want to ask about the field of journalism and the states. You probably recall Columbia Journalism Review does this kind of seminal analysis of the decline of state house coverage. Now in my mind, it was about 5 years ago. It was probably about 20 years ago. Does this ring a bell and what I’m getting at is you know we want this to be about legislatures right. So, this discussion. There was a documented decline in state house coverage. But now there’s sort of poor of as models in the others you know Axios and Political and those folks. Tell us a little bit about the evolution of coverage of states because you probably have seen and, in a way, you are competing with it. You are probably totally one of those frenemy things. I’m just going to speculate and pitch it to you where its competition at one level, but you need more people writing about the states. So, what do you think about?


RW:     Yeah so, a couple of things. First of all, talk to somebody who has been around state government for a long time and the guy who leaps out of my head is getting Dave Postman who was the chief of staff to J. Ensley at Washington State after he had a long career with The Seattle Times. And Postman will tell you that you know when he was covering things there were 30 reporters in the state capitol and blah, blah, blah. And now there are 5 ½. That’s not great for a state the size of Washington State that has Boeing and Weyerhaeuser and Microsoft and all of these major corporations. And you need some watchdog keeping an eye on that. And every state has the same story. I will tell you when I went to California when I was with The Washington Post, I went out there to cover one of the really scary budgets where Jerry Brown was showing you know a river of red ink and I walked into the press room with a buddy of mine from The LA Times and every seat had a little plaque in front of it for you whatever outlet that was their reserved seat. I looked around and I say to my buddy oh god where am I supposed to sit. There’s no Washington Post plaque and he said sit wherever you want. Half of these outlets don’t exist and another quarter don’t send anybody to Sacramento anymore. I thought that’s real tough and in a state, that’s got what are we up to now the fifth largest economy in the world. 


            At the same time, it is clear to me that the special interest groups are paying more attention to the states than they are to congress. If you look state by state at the amount of money that is spent on lobbying state legislators right now. At the federal level, it’s about $3.5 billion last year. In the state level, it was about $2.2 billion last year. But that’s only in 27 states that actually require the same sort of disclosure that the feds do. So, there are 23 other states that we don’t know. Do the math on that and basically interest groups are spending about as much on the states as they are on the federal government. So, somebody has got to be watching this stuff. Not all lobbyists are bad. As a matter of fact, the vast majority of them are fantastic. And everybody deserves an advocate. I mean the three professions that are listed in the Constitution, right, are, you know, legislators, lobbyists and journalists. Those are the only three so they have their role, but somebody has got to be watching them. Every one of these legislatures exist in like their own eco-system and some are very transparent and open and others are very much not. The more people we have covering them, the more accountable these legislators are and probably the better ideas they come up with and the more things spread between states and good ideas take off and bad ideas don’t. 


TS:      And it’s the old dogs too. It’s the sophisticated reporters who actually get on the beat and I feel like those folks are long gone you know who like. I want to have a career being the one dude who knows everything there is to know about state X right or dudette. I didn’t mean to make that gender specific, but legislators you know the relationship with the media is off and on. But I think the really good ones and especially when you are dealing with those seasoned, smart ones who understand the role of the lobby, who understand legislatures a lot of its nuance and stuff that you know you got to explain to people. My point is that you know legislatures if you say we need more coverage, you’re going to say oh gosh you know if all they are doing is looking for the negative story and all of that, but I don’t think that’s the case. I think that the coverage is helpful and you know working with the members and like you said about you are absolutely right and I’m glad you threw that in you know the vast majority of lobbyists are you know honorable folks who are playing inside the lines and doing everything to (inaudible). It’s the same with the legislators right. It’s maddening. You know, a national comedy show did a whole 30-minute segment on legislatures and it focused on you know the let’s say 1% of you know really bad scandalous cases and they have to. I’m not criticizing them. But most of them are out there trying to do what’s best for their folks and all of that.


            (TM):  09:11


RW:     So, the thing that I love most about my job and I do not say this in a majority sense whatsoever, there is a level of maybe naivete isn’t the right word, but there is a level of enthusiasm among state legislators that doesn’t exist among members of congress. If I go talk to state senator X about his or her bill to fix whatever, they will give me their talking points and they will not stray from them and they will go over and over and over them again. And then I call state senator Y about his or her bill to fix whatever, maybe the same thing and they are so excited and they want to tell me about it and they want to tell me where they got their idea and what they think it’s going to do. And there are not talking points because the vast majority of these legislators don’t have press people to brief them or anything. It’s just this like raw, unfiltered excitement about what they are doing. And at NCSL this year, I know you had a panel on legislative pay which is not fantastic. These people are not getting rich doing their legislating. But they are all there and they are so excited and they give their time. And I’m sure on an hourly basis, these people are being paid even worse than some minimum wage, but they are doing it for a reason. And I like that. I mean that’s the 8th grade civics nerd in me. I love that enthusiasm. 


TS:      You remind me of Alan Rosenthal a little bit. You know we loss Alan, not all the people who listen to this know Alan Rosenthal; he was a scholar. He was at Rutgers and just was completely identified with the study of legislatures. But he was not the classic political scientist who based all of his books and writing on what the data told him and you know there’s a place for that, but he was an observer right. And I have to tell you when the way you were just laying that out, I’m like man you sounded like Alan. Did you cross paths with Alan much?


RW:     I think I talked to him a few times early on covering the legislatures. 


TS:      I’m telling you there is a need for somebody like Alan in the world right now. You may want to consider that. Let me just wrap this up on the media and legislature, media in the states. Is it getting better?Do you see anything changing?


RW:     I think it is getting better. You mentioned the Axios and the Center Square and States Newsroom and people like that. I would also point to the fact that there is a pretty robust industry of hyper local hyper specialized news outlets. People like especially like the political of whatever state so the Arizona Capitol Times or The Arizona Mirror down there. … Center Maryland, Maryland Forward and Maryland Matters out in Annapolis. Name a state and there are at least one or two if not you know in a place like Maryland, three or four, so there is this robust coverage. I wish it existed as much in The Baltimore Sun as it does in Maryland Matters but we will take what we can get. So, it’s improving. The nadir is passed, but we wait for the next golden era. 


TS:      Those are great and they are must reads. I guarantee you every legislator in those places and all the key staff are tracking those things. So, PluribusHow did you come up with this?  How is it going?


RW:     So, we’ve been publishing now for 10 months. Started October 3 last year and our whole mission is to well actually you know it’s funny. I was talking to a couple of legislators about this at Indianapolis. We are sort of trying to fill the niche of NCSL when NCSL isn’t in session right. Legislators go to NCSL to get their next big idea. I want a state legislator somewhere to get their next big idea from reading about it through us. Our whole goal is to cover the trends that are happening across state lines because you know my line is always what happens in Sacramento or Albany or Austin today is going to happen in 25 states next year and federally the year after that. And just this year, I mean we can look at things like the kid’s design code legislation that came out of California that then went to Minnesota and New York and I think Connecticut did one and Utah and then Arkansas did their version and now they are creating this patchwork that congress is going to eventually have to deal with. Alright so when somebody is reading you know doing the research about how to craft the next big bill, well we are the place where you can find what people have said in the past, what’s different between California and Arkansas and Utah things like that so. Our whole mission is to cover the puzzle if you will of a legislative issue as it’s coming together across stateliness. 


TS:      Tell folks how they sign up you know what exactly they are going to get.


RW:     If you go to you sign up for our free daily newsletter. The really cool thing is legislators and legislative staffers get all of our reporting for free so they are already you know signed up as a member and just drop us a line if you’re not ah and we will take care of you. All legislators get our stuff for free because frankly we want to spread good ideas and try to do the bad ideas too. I mean we cover everything. It’s been really rewarding. We have more than 1500 legislators who already get our morning newsletter and we’re hoping that number goes up and up and up. 


TS:      I know what pluribus is, but I don’t know that I’m as geeky as you are, but you know I’m creeping up there. I’m almost sure you would beat me in a trivia but we’d make a formidable team. Pluribus tell folks what that’s all about.


RW:     Yeah so, I have been trying to think of a good name for a state-based publication for about a decade. And finally, I don’t remember where the idea came from, but the notion is on you take out a dollar bill in your wallet and it says E Pluribus Unum out of many one. So, we cover the many. We cover the pluribus. I majored in classics in college, but I took the Greek side instead of the Latin side so I’m not sure my congregation is perfect but hey you know if a company like Semaphore can change the spelling of a word, I think we can too. 


TS:      Alright so you were just at the NCSL 2023 Summit, Legislative Summit in Indianapolis, Indiana and you did something pretty cool. You I guess through a big old net out there and said I’d like to talk to legislators so how did that come about?  How many folks did you talk to?


RW:     So, I can’t believe I did this, but have you ever used one of those programs like Calendly where you basically open your calendar and somebody else can reserve a slot. Well, I did that and I sent a note to all ,7386 state legislators across the country and said, Hey sign up for a spot. Let’s chat. I want to hear what’s on your mind and low and behold people did. And so, my days were packed 9 to 5 back-to-back-to-back interviews. I was smart enough to box out 15 minutes for lunch, but that’s all I got. And it was fantastic. We met about 35 or so legislators from every corner of the country. Some from my home state of Washington down to Florida up to Maine. Several people from the Dakotas. There are some really interesting land issues happening in the Dakotas that I need to dig in more on. I heard from them. And basically, what I said was you know you tell me what’s on your mind, what’s the next big trend?  What are you thinking about when you come to these conferences and I got a ton of good answers. And I basically filled a notebook with everything that they told me and so that’s going to feed my stories for the next two or three months. I’ve got a big Google doc that all my reporters are going to be able to pull from and it’s going to be great so. 


            We had another reporter there, Sophie Quinton, my colleague who actually lives near you in Denver. She went to all of the panels so between the two of us, we got to sit down with a ton of legislators and hear what was happening in all the panels and so I feel like we did a decent job with only two people covering the whole conference. And next year, we are going to overwhelm you. We are going to come with our entire team.


            (TM):  16:57


TS:      Bring it on. What a cool idea Reid. I mean I just am constantly impressed by how you are thinking about this and how you are approaching it and how you are innovating and thinking about how to get out there. So, I guess my next question is one you talked about different states, different sizes of states. We had people there from every state except for California, legislators that is from every state except for California because they were in session and we run into every year and it’s a problem. Democrats and Republicans, I assume you had a good mix. I mean we know our numbers are about 50/50. The next obvious question is you know what was your big takeaway from these conversations?


RW:     Yeah. So, the people we sat down with were I would about equal D’s and R’s. I think we got more members of minority caucuses than majority caucuses. That’s par for the course. It’s easier to get the minority on the phone than the majority because hey we in the media are one of the few ways that they can get their message out right. My big takeaway is in past NCSL conferences that I’ve been to, I’ve heard a lot about legislators trying to catch up doing what others. You know state X did this. Now we need to do that or whatever. Last year it was all about electric school buses. God, I can’t tell you how many people in Denver I had talk to me about electric school buses and catching up with California and I heard that from West Virginia, from New York, from South Carolina or North Carolina. I can’t remember. One of the Carolinas. but everybody was hot on electric buses. This year, it felt to me like people were looking forward more towards things that nobody has tackled yet. And that’s you know broadband dollars that they are getting from the feds or the infrastructure projects that need to be tackled. A lot of which is state specific, but they are making you know they are making changes that other people can learn from. Housing policy. A lot of people talking about zoning rules. And then the big thing you know things like the design codes and dealing with technology and social media and dealing with artificial intelligence. So many people are trying to wrap their head around what AI is, what it does, what it means and really what’s the role of government for interacting with t or regulating it. And everybody is going to have a different answer, but it was pretty clear to me like the emergence of ChatGPT and those sorts of programs, they started out as a novelty and there were a couple of legislators, I’m sure you saw this who you know introduced legislation that was written by ChatGPT just to get the headline and ha, ha, ha. But the serious part of this is oh my god AI is coming. How do we deal with it. How do we use it you know well for governing purposes. How do we regulate it or speed it’s you know the American advantage in economic and technology purposes. But a lot of people are thinking about AI, how it works, what their role in regulating it is. 


TS:      AI is a great example right cause it’s just so on. I feel like we could have a session on AI and pet food and we would have 400 people show up because you could just slap the word AI on anything and you are going to get clicks or whatever. You’re going to get attendance at a session. You may and I love the fact that you tapped into that other side of it which are all these issues none of which dominate the headlines right. I mean I’m thinking about Pluribus and how you know you probably had I don’t know if you’ve done any analysis of your you know the volume of what you pick up cause you’re at some level I assume beholden to what’s getting covered right because you are filtering what you are seeing in papers right and they are going to they’ve got 1 reporter. They are going to have to cover the hot issue that people are talking about in communities which often are the really hyper controversial issues abortion, I assume, which is now in the states right. It’s got to get covered and deserves to be covered. The LGBTQ issues. Gun issues. If you had to go back and analyze all those headlines, I think you would find it disproportionately LGBT. It’s almost like you have a column you could have a chapter everyday it’s the LGBTQ issues and that. But yet, there is all of this other stuff you know that aren’t the headline issues and I feel like you are trying to get those forward more and out to readers. Is that true?


            (TM):  21:08


RW:     Absolutely. You know 98% of the time you hear about a state legislature in a national media outlet, it’s because they’ve done something to make Fox or MSNBC mad. But 98% of the stuff they actually do is stuff that is bipartisan and has a bigger impact on somebody’s life on a vast majority of people’s lives whether its healthcare or energy policy or workforce development which is like the underlying issue of every conversation I have. But the fact is our mission is to elevate things that matter to state legislatures and that’s not always the thing that is in the headline. Yes, we have to cover it when transgender rights issues are up there. We have to cover the abortion fights because they are news and legislatures and because the states are all doing something a little different that they might want to learn from each other on. On the other hand, the bulk of our time is spent reporting on things that matter to people’s lives that they are probably not going to read about in The Seattle Times or The Des Moines Registeror The New York Times. These changes on the kid’s design code like that’s going to have a real impact in the way that kids interact with social media at a time when society is grappling with social media’s impact on kids. And so, we need to cover that and we need to be following that and we need to make that our primary focus. And if you look at our actual stories, the original reporting that we do, I think you will find that that makes up the bulk in the majority of what we do. 


TS:      Absolutely. Mental health, Reid, you know what states are doing on mental health. What states are doing to address teacher shortage, prison guard shortage and planning for the future of transportation you know really out there kinds of stuff. You know I drop this in just about every one of these conversations. We have actually analyzed bill introductions and bill passage. I’m sorry bill passage rates over 85% of all bills are bipartisan. No one knows that. If you poll you know do politicians talk to each other. Now I think the problem is more pronounced of less civility, more partisanship, but it’s still it’s not the norm. By far not the norm. 


            Alright let’s talk about the legislative sessions that are mostly wrapped up, most of the budgets now are done and it’s what a couple left. Are you at any position now to say what was the 2023 you know what did the states do in 2023. What’s your hot take when you look across the board?


RW:     Yeah, if I had to distill it into three main points, states are tackling social media in a more serious way than they ever have before and that conversation is going to continue into next year. States are dealing with federal money that they have never seen before, especially in broadband, electric vehicle charging and things like that. And then the third issue is that undercurrent that we’ve talked about which is workforce. Christy Nome, the governor of South Dakota had a great line the other day. She said the state that has the workers is going to win the economic future. And I can’t tell you what a sea change that is from when I started covering these things. I remember sitting down with people like Rick Parry and Bob McDonald in Texas and Virginia talking about how they were competing for businesses. And now you’ve got governors and legislators competing for workers. What an incredible change and I think Nome is exactly correct. The state that is able to attract the workforce especially the next 20 years or so is going to win the economic future. 


TS:      Well, I’ll just make a quick point about the pie chart you just laid out versus the pie chart of the stories that you put in Pluribus every day. I mean I’d like you to do that pie chart. You know what were those stories and how much were the social issues and all of that versus what you just talked about. So social media I just want to just take a little detour on that. What do you think states are doing on social media?  Where is that going to go?


RW:     I think the low hanging bipartisan fruit is regulating what the media company, the social media companies do in regard to children – how they protect children’s privacy. The more contentious thing is going to be the next generation of that old debate over the fairness doctrine on radio. You know we are going to we are going to see conservative states trying to acquire all speech to be allowed or you know ban the opposite of the ban the prohibitions on certain speech. I think we are going to see liberal states mention something else. I’m not exactly sure what they are going to do. I feel like the internet is the next frontier in that fight over the fairness doctrine.


TS:      Montana is lobbying it’s almost unenforceable. They know that. So, I guess a lot of it is going to be on the enforcement element to this whole thing. Like how do you start to work on it.


RW:     Yeah. I mean attorneys general are starting to suddenly realize that they really matter. 


TS:      I love that. Great wrap up and I would agree with you. I do feel like I’m going to be curious. You know, we will do this whole analysis too and we will talk about the big we usually do it in boxes of 10. You know what were the 10 big issues and of course, you know, a lot of it is just the budget. You know you almost have to decide. There is the budget and then really start to talk about the other stuff, but and this is a time when states had a lot of money. I think you know and I would add to this list tax cuts. I think it is going to be remarkable how many states in some way and some of them were symbolic, but there were a lot of tax cuts this year. And I do think the mental health issue really got attraction and then you got the fentanyl crisis which is I think we will be talking about that next year. You know, it’s August so I guess we are within chatting distance of the holiday season I hope. It feels like it’s 97 in Denver today. I’m not sure how I feel about that. Are you already thinking about next year’s session and the role of the election on legislatures?


RW:     Oh, definitely and we know that legislatures start planning for next year in these months. I mean NCSL is the kickoff to next year’s legislative sessions so we’re covering that and we are paying a lot of attention to what folks are talking about next. But you know, don’t [forget] those sessions that still haven’t gaveled out in places like California, Ohio and all the other year-round states so.


TS:      What about politics?  I mean what’s your take on the impact of the presidential non-primary contests and you know what are you hearing?  You know, I talk to all of these folks too. I know you do too. What’s your read on it, Reid?


RW:     Well, I am looking forward to seeing what happens in Virginia this year. The amount of money that Governor Youngkin is pouring into it is incredible. On the other hand, the abortion question is going to be at the heart of these elections in Virginia and it will be fascinating to see whether Republicans have solved their problem on abortion conversations or whether Dems have this schedule that they are going to take into 2024. I’m watching that very closely and it’s fortuitous that the off-year election happens just across the river where I’ve got a meeting later this afternoon so I might just go do some reporting over there.


TS:      Yeah. And you are right about the money side of it. I mean the money we are seeing now, it I used to in some little beknown for lack of attention on state elections, but I feel like that has flipped. The national money that is coming into some of these legislative races its far more sophisticated and how they spend the money is very sophisticated. I mean a little bit nationalized so what happens. I mean is this if you had to guess right now, who has the wind at their back in 2024?


RW:     Well despite what happened in 2020, it is incredibly difficult to knock off an incumbent president. It is incredibly difficult for a candidate who has lost the last 2 popular votes to come back and win one to say nothing of pending indictments. If I had to bet today, I’d put a finger on the scale for the incumbents, but then again, I think the most interesting races are the battles for house, senate, governorships, and things like that so. Anyway, we got an open governorship in Washington State so watch out there. That’s going to be a jungle primary where the top 2 vote getters anybody’s guess. 


TS:      Alright well we are going to bring this to a close. I feel like this should be like a regular segment on my podcast because we are the same stream here Reid, you and I. Maybe it’s a club of 2, but I enjoy it. How are you feeling?  I mean how are you feeling after you’ve launched Pluribus because I was going to say it was about a year so 10 months that is about what I was thinking and it sure feels like you are getting traction and you’ve found a niche and a nerve that works.


RW:     I think so. I think we are doing okay and we are getting traction among the legislators who is the community we really care about. The lobbyists who need to know what’s happening in other states, they are starting to pay attention to us. Subscriptions are going up. It’s slow going. It’s hard work. I’m not getting a lot of sleep, but it’s rewarding.


TS:      We look forward to seeing you. You’ve been you know somebody who has spoken at NCSL events and we look forward to doing that again soon and I just I think we are all you know kind of working in the same direction so I wish you just a ton of success and you know genuine gratitude for being on the podcast. Thank you, Reid.


RW:     I appreciate it, Tim. Thanks for taking the time.


            (TM):  30:15


TS:      I’ve been talking with Reid Wilson, founder and editor of Pluribus News, a 10-month-old news platform focusing on the states. Thank you for joining me and Reid on this episode of “Legislatures:  The Inside Storey” brought to you by the National Conference of State Legislatures. 


Ed:      You can check out all the podcasts from the National Conference of State Legislatures by searching for NCSL podcasts wherever you get your podcasts. Tim Storey, NCSL’s CEO hosts “Legislatures:  The Inside Storey” where he focuses on leadership and legislatures. The “Our American States” podcast dives into some of the most challenging public policy issues facing legislators. On “Across the Aisle” host Kelley Griffin tells stories of bipartisanship. Also check out our special series “Building Democracy” on the history of legislatures.