As the 2024 legislative cycle approaches, legislators across the South prepare and pre-file legislation to address emerging and relevant policy issues in their states. With its regional focus, the Southern Office of The Council of State Governments (CSG South) is uniquely positioned to identify and analyze current and emerging policy issues. CSG South’s Policy Team prepared this report, which previews issues and trends anticipated to emerge during the 2024 legislative term. State actions referenced in this report may represent appropriate policy options for Southern lawmakers to consider and, as such, may include bills or policies originating outside the CSG South region.
Current and emerging trends identified under the purview of CSG South’s six standing policy committees, which are relevant to policymakers across the South, are explored. The Agriculture and Rural Development preview discusses artificial intelligence (AI) implications for the agricultural sector, drought and water use, the rise of lab-cultured meat, and food insecurity, while the Economic Development and Transportation and Cultural Affairs preview examines issues related to economic development in the energy sector, the emergence of digital driver’s licenses, and banking issues related to the marijuana industry. In Education policy, state support for school districts with rising property insurance rates, mathematics recovery and acceleration, school choice accountability and assessments, and AI literacy are trends to watch for the 2024 legislative term, while grid expansion and modernization, fiscal impacts of extreme weather, and federal funding for hydrogen hubs are important issues in the Energy and Environment arena. The Fiscal Affairs and Government Operations preview examines challenges posed by polysubstance use disorder, a looming childcare crisis, and continued reforms to telehealth policies.
Additional information about these or other issues emerging in 2024 is available by contacting CSG South. Our policy team is available throughout the year to provide expert assistance on various policy issues important to state legislators and can leverage the organization’s resources to provide additional support to lawmakers and staff.Click here for the 2024 Issues To Watch