175559 Using Scientific Research to assist State Legislators in environmental health policy

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 8:45 AM

Doug Farquhar, JD , Environmental Health, National Conference of State Legislatures; University of Denver, Denver, CO
Abstract Text: State legislatures, like Congress, are the policy-making branch of government. All statutes, rules, regulations, and policies in state government ultimately gain their authority from the state legislature, either directly or indirectly. No agency may act, enforce laws or regulate without express legislative authority. Yet often the public health community neglects the legislature as the means to develop needed or innovative public health policy.

Legislators, more the most part, are not public health professionals, nor are they familiar with environmental public health. Few understand the importance of a environmental public health infrastructure, nor do they rely on research from their public health schools to address problems. In most states, agency staff are prohibited from contacting or even responding to requests from legislators, forcing legislators to rely on the Governor's staff or lobbyists.

This session will introduce the audience to state legislatures, and the NCSL project to present public health research to address environmental public health policy.

Learning Objectives:
Identify environmental health concerns facing particular states Discuss the applicable research science that addresses particular environmental health concerns. Develop strategies to better utilize academic research in designing state legislative policies.

Keywords: Environmental Health, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Because I testify before state legislatures on environmental health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.