NCSL in the News | April 2016

4/5/2016

April 29

'Quill' Case Challenging Nexus Law Heading to S.D. Court
Bloomberg BNA
The announcement to reporters followed an April 27 panel on Internet sales taxation at ACMA's National Catalog Forum, featuring Utah state Sen. Curtis Bramble (R), president of the National Conference of State Legislatures, and NetChoice Executive Director Steve DelBianco.
 
The felon vote
The Economist
In 38 states and Washington, DC most former felons automatically win the right to vote upon completion of their sentence, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Two states, Maine and Vermont, have no restrictions on voting by felons. The other states remove voting rights after a felon finishes probation or parole.
 
Lawmaker gets impeachment signatures against Ala. gov.
WMUR Manchester
In Alabama, articles of impeachment must be brought forward by the state House of Representatives, while the state Senate acts as jury. Most states follow a similar procedure, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
CLEAN POWER PLAN: Conservative groups claim responsibility for state budget restrictions
Environment & Energy Publishing
The debate over state environment agency budgets and the Clean Power Plan is cropping up in states with divided political control, like those with a Democratic governor and a Republican-led legislature, said Jocelyn Durkay, a policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures "That seems to encourage the debate back and forth," Durkay said.
 
Some States Seek Payday in Daily Fantasy Sports Sites
Government Technology
Only a few states are either currently tapping, or soon could be tapping, fantasy sports games for revenue — either through flat fees or income taxes. Others are likely to follow, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which tracks the issue. “I don’t think we’re going to see a whole lot this year on revenue,” said Max Behlke, manager of state-federal relations for NCSL. “I think that’s a next-year issue. This year it is regulating and legality.”
 
The policy that has thousands threatening to boycott Target
Deseret News
That's an issue that has been raised legislatively by several states. North Carolina has a law that mandates individuals use the restroom matching the gender on their birth certificates. Several other states have such proposals pending, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Related legislation was vetoed in South Dakota and failed in Mississippi, Tennessee and Virginia, according to the group.
 
States Could Not Terminate Medicaid for Juveniles in Custody Under Bill
Youth Today
Many juveniles rely on Medicaid coverage for physical and behavioral health care. The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates that as many as 70 percent of children in the juvenile justice system suffer from a mental disorder.
 
Teen vaping soars past cigarette use
Science News for Students
Worried about the rapid growth in e-cig use by teens, at least 48 U.S. states have banned the sale of vaping supplies to minors — people under the age of 18 or 19. The other states made it illegal to share vaping products with minors. These stats come from the National Conference of State Legislatures. And they show that all states are actively working to keep e-cigarettes out of the hands of minors.
 
Republican Lawmakers Get A Big Court Victory
WFAE-7
In constructing the voter identification component, and allowing voters to still cast a provisional ballot based on a set of‘ "reasonable impediments," North Carolina enacted a non-strict version of voter ID laws that a series of states have enacted as well, as defined by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

April 28

Fallin to decide fate of autism bill
Shawnee News Star
More children than ever before are being classified as having autism spectrum disorders, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), at ncsl.org.

GOP senators vote to outlaw fetal tissue sales in Michigan
Sentinel-Standard
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 23 other states have some kind of law prohibiting the sale of fetuses or fetal tissue. California and Illinois permit reimbursement for removing, storing and transporting fetal tissue for research.

Oklahoma measure pits farmers' rights against pollution fears
Western Producer
Such complaints are often brought by developers of suburbs encroaching on farming areas who try to change local ordinances in favor of their new communities, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which tracks local laws.

ESSA Shifts Power to States Mostly Run by Republicans
Education Week
Relying partially on information from the National Conference of State Legislatures as of April 20, we've put together a map that shows not just the partisan control of state legislatures and governorships, but also, where applicable, the party of state schools chiefs and how that compares to the partisan control of state government.
 
Oklahoma proposal pits farmers' rights against pollution fears
Times Record
Such complaints are often brought by developers of suburbs encroaching on farming areas who try to change local ordinances in favor of their new communities, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which tracks local laws. 
 
Politics getting dirtier as Virginia gives felons the right to vote
Albuquerque Journal
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, “In 38 states and the District of Columbia, most ex-felons automatically gain the right to vote upon the completion of their sentence.” In liberal Maine and Vermont, convicted felons may cast their ballots while in prison and are never disenfranchised.  

CAL THOMAS: Terry McAuliffe proves politics can get even dirtier
Sioux City Journal
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, "In 38 states and the District of Columbia, most ex-felons automatically gain the right to vote upon the completion of their sentence."
  
Young adults need more sex educators like Laci Green
The Daily Athenaeum
As the National Conference on State Legislature reports on their "State Policies on Sex Education in Schools" webpage, 24 states and the District of Columbia now require some form of sex education, and 33 states require students learn about HIV/AIDS.

April 27

FEATURE-Oklahoma measure pits farmers' rights against pollution fears
Reuters
All U.S. states have some form of legislation designed to protect farmers from nuisance lawsuits. Such complaints are often brought by developers of suburbs encroaching on farming areas who try to change local ordinances in favor of their new communities, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which tracks local laws. The first state to elevate the concept and enshrine a right to farm in its constitution was North Dakota in 2012, followed by Missouri two years later.

Politics getting dirtier as Virginia gives felons the right to vote
Albuquerque Journal
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, “In 38 states and the District of Columbia, most ex-felons automatically gain the right to vote upon the completion of their sentence.” In liberal Maine and Vermont, convicted felons may cast their ballots while in prison and are never disenfranchised. Most states require ex-convicts to apply to have their voting rights restored. Many factors go into the decision, including the nature of the crime. It is not always automatic
 
Pa. legislators second-highest paid in nation
The Philadelphia Tribune
According to the National Conference of State Legislators, members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly — the House and Senate — earn $85,338.65, which doesn’t include a $159 per diem allowance.
 
As ESSA Shifts Influence to States, the Map Favors GOP Power Players
Education Week
Relying partially on information from the National Conference of State Legislatures as of April 20, we've put together a map that shows not just the partisan control of…
 
Combs chosen for national panel
Hazard Herald
Combs will be one of just several state legislators to serve on a steering committee formed by the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Foundation, which is bringing together elected officials, legislative staff and the private sector as part of an initiative lasting up to 18 months.

'Breastfeeding Welcome' Signs Pop Up at Georgia Restaurants
Eater
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, all states except Idaho have laws in place to allow breastfeeding in public locations.
 
Cal Thomas: The felon vote
Salisbury Post
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, “In 38 states and the District of Columbia, most ex-felons automatically gain the right to vote upon the completion of their sentence.” 
 
107-Year-Old Woman's Struggle to Get Photo ID Prompts Concern 
ABC News
Thirty-four states have laws requiring voters to show some form of identification at the polls, and of those 34, 17 ask for a photo ID, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Online voter registration coming in 2017
Tullahoma News and Guardian
As of April 6, a total of 31 states plus the District of Columbia offer online voter registration, according to a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures. And five states within a year, including Tennessee, have moved to allow the web-based registration, said Wendy Underhill, program director for Elections and Redistricting at the group.
 
Virginia McLaurin Danced With The Obamas, But She Can't Get Photo ID
Indianapolis Recorder
Seventeen states have some sort of photo ID law in place for the 2016 elections, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Arizona Foster Care Licensing Agencies Work To Meet DCS Deadlines Federal Rules
KJZZ
Still others think that the training is coming too late, since the federal law went into effect in 2014. According to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures and a KJZZ analysis, at least 41 states already have legislation or policy putting the federal law in action by this year.
 
Some progress has been made on Missouri ethics reform, but does it go far enough?
Kansas City Star
Congress and at least 33 states have revolving-door bans in place, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
N.C. voter ID law does not infringe on minority rights, federal judge finds
Christian Science Monitor
Currently 33 US states enforce identification rules before allowing citizens to vote in person and that number is continuing to rise. For instance, West Virginia will require an ID to vote by 2018, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Felon Voting Could Lead to Cheating
Newsmax
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, "In 38 states and the District of Columbia, most ex-felons automatically gain the right to vote upon the completion of their sentence." 
 
AG opinion: Moving ahead with online voter registration is A-OK

Albany Times Union
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 31 states and the District of Columbia offer online registration as of April 6. New York is counted on that list, though NCSL notes that the system isn’t totally paperless.

April 26

107-year-old woman who danced with Obamas, has trouble obtaining photo id
CBS News
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 34 states have laws requesting or requiring voters to show some form of identifications when they go to the polls to cast ballots. Of those states, 17 ask for a photo ID in order to vote and nine of them are considered strict whereby there is little wiggle room.
 
The felon vote
Washington Times
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, “In 38 states and the District of Columbia, most ex-felons automatically gain the right to vote upon the completion of their sentence.” In liberal Maine and Vermont, convicted felons may cast their ballots while in prison and are never disenfranchised. Most states require ex-convicts to apply to have their voting rights restored. Many factors go into the decision, including the nature of the crime. It is not always automatic.
 
Cal Thomas: The felon vote
Naples Daily News
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, "In 38 states and the District of Columbia, most ex-felons automatically gain the right to vote upon the completion of their sentence." 

Disrupting the Narrative: Why Did This Institution Net a Huge Humanities Gift?
Inside Philanthropy
Responding to market demand, at least 15 states offer some type of bonus or premium for certain "high-demand degrees," according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. (Spoiler alert: 20th Century French Existentialism is not, alas, a "high-demand degree."
 
Illinois looks to rein in use of solitary confinement
Christian Science Monitor
About 82,000 inmates are in solitary on any given day, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Utah studies show cannabis extract provides relief to kids with severe epilepsy
Salt Lake Tribune
Utahns with severe epilepsy are allowed, under a law passed in 2014, to import whole-plant CBD extracts from states where medical marijuana is legal. At least 15 states have similar laws on the books, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Marijuana debate: Should voters have more say?
Barre Montpelier Times Argus
Some form of direct democracy is offered in 26 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, but not in Vermont. 

Changes sought for states holding inmates in solitary
Herald & Review
As many as 82,000 inmates are in solitary on any given day, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Vt. may lag in push to OK marijuana
Rutland Herald
Some form of direct democracy is offered in 26 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, but not in Vermont. And even some of the most ardent supporters of pot legalization in the Vermont Legislature say that’s OK with them.

April 25

Virginia Governor Makes More Than 200000 Convicted Felons Eligible to Vote
ABC News
Virginia was one of three states where felons and ex-felons permanently lost their right to vote, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. McAuliffe said that today’s decision was also part of ending racial injustices that have existed since the Virginia Constitution was enacted in 1902.
 
Chicago lawmaker seeks to limit use of solitary confinement
Chicago Sun-Times
As many as 82,000 inmates are in solitary on any given day, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Louisiana Legislature looks at statewide rules for police-worn body cameras
The Advocate
At least 31 other states have adopted legislation to guide how body cameras are used or how information from them is made available, based on figures compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures. The nonpartisan legislative tracking organization has noted a spike in increased interest over the past year. Nearly three-fourths of all state legislatures in the country considered some form of body camera legislation in 2015, the organization’s data show.

Detroit medical marijuana shops sprout like weeds near the suburbs
Crain's Detroit Business
Marijuana is illegal under federal law, but Michigan is among 24 states that allow for medical use of marijuana, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Virginia restores voting rights for 200000 felons in time for presidential election
Tyler Morning Telegraph
In 38 states and the District, most felons automatically gain the right to vote when they complete their sentence, according to the National Conference of State Legislators. In other states, an ex-con has to apply to have voting rights restored.

Early voting turnout surges in Maryland primary election
The Star Democrat
Thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia allow people to vote early, either in person or by mail, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures’ website. In states with long-established early voting, about one-third of ballots are cast by methods other than traditional, precinct-based voting, the organization reported in a 2011 newsletter.

Voting rights for 200000 felons in Virginia restored
Reading Eagle
In 38 states and the District, most felons automatically gain the right to vote when they complete their sentence, according to the National Conference of State Legislators. In other states, an ex-con has to apply to have voting rights restored. 

Drones One Step Closer to Integration in National Airspace
The National Law Review
Specifically, the National Conference of State Legislatures shows 41 states with active UAS legislation in 2016, and 23 states (Arkansas, California, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin) that have passed legislation. 
 
Council Rules Law Requiring N.J. Police Cars to Have Cameras Unconstitutional
Government Technology
Twenty-five states and the District of Columbia have police body camera laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Get drunken drivers off the road: Other view
Wisconsin Rapids Tribune
Interlocks are authorized in all states for at least some convicted drivers, but just 23 states make them mandatory for all offenders, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
State Rep. Leslie Combs chosen for national panel focused on Public-Private Partnerships
Berea Online
Rep. Combs will be one of just several state legislators to serve on a steering committee formed by the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Foundation, which is bringing together elected officials, legislative staff and the private sector as part of an initiative lasting up to 18 months.
 
It's not easy being a woman in politics
The Salinas Californian
According to the National Conference of State Legislators, the level of California’s female legislators has dropped from 31% in 2006 to 26% this year.

April 22

Make the political parties pay for their primaries
Chicago Tribune
When I put the question to an official at the National Conference of State Legislatures, which is even now conducting research on the cost of elections, he cited a report that California (with roughly three times the population of Illinois) spent $98 million to run its primary in 2008. And an analysis at the website of the nonpartisan Independent Voters Project estimated the cost of all party primaries in the U.S. in 2012 at $400 million.
  
As Driverless Cars Hit the Streets, States Weigh New Rules
Huffington Post
This year legislation to regulate autonomous vehicles was introduced in at least 14 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Eight states and the District of Columbia have already addressed how and when self-driving cars can be tested, or, in some cases, how they will be treated when they are commercially available.
 
New Legislation Puts Florida in Leadership Role for Driverless Cars
Government Technology
Today, states have provided money toward its study and allowed for general research, but stop short of allowing the vehicle to be riderless and not requiring a special license to operate, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures.

Marijuana decriminalization effort fails in Senate
Concord Monitor
Twenty states and Washington, D.C., have decriminalized marijuana, making possession of small amounts of the drug an infraction or a low-level misdemeanor as opposed to a state crime, according to the National Conference for State Legislatures.
 
Illinois weighs legalization of daily fantasy sports betting
Bloomington Pantagraph
In all, 35 states have introduced legislation addressing daily fantasy sports gambling, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Private donors and businesses are backing free community college programs
Inside Higher Ed
About 10 states have some type of bill currently pending in their legislatures for free community college programs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
State senate OKs opening financial aid pool to undocumented immigrants
Norwich Bulletin
Six states — California, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas and Washington — have changed their laws to allow undocumented students to receive state financial aid, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Professor's Perspective: It's time to update digital privacy laws
The Island Now
To circumvent social media privacy settings, some employers have gone so far as requiring applicants to reveal passwords. While 23 states have banned this practice, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, it’s still legal in New York.
  
In the House
The New Political
Ohio is one of only 10 states with a full-time legislature. The National Conference of State Legislatures classifies Ohio as having a “Green Lite” legislature, which, like those categorized as “Green,” includes a full-time legislature and a large and well-paid staff.

FL: New Law Cracks Open Florida Self-Driving Car Research
MassTransitMag.com
Today, states have provided money toward its study and allowed for general research, but stop short of allowing the vehicle to be riderless and not requiring a special license to operate, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures.
 
State looks to clarify the public's right to film police
Hawaii Tribune Herald
Nationwide, there’s been a trend among several states to clarify the public’s right to film police. Last year, about four states including Colorado and Illinois passed new laws addressing the issue, said Richard Williams of the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
House Approves Medical Marijuana for Sick Children
CT Newsjunkie
Connecticut is the only state with a medical marijuana program that doesn’t give access to minors, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Senate nears approval of wide-ranging energy bill
Equilibrio Informativo
The National Governors Association, National Conference of State Legislatures, the National League of Cities, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the National Association of State Aviation Officials each opposed the Senate provision that would pre-empt local laws.
 
N.J. law requiring police-car cameras ruled unconstitutional
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Twenty-five states and the District of Columbia have police body camera laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Financial aid for undocumented residents given nod by CT senate
The CT Mirror
Six states — California, Minnesota, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas and Washington — have changed their laws to allow undocumented students to receive state financial aid, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Utah Warns of Porn as 'Public Health Crisis'
Voice of America
A policy specialist for the National Conference of State Legislatures, Pam Greenberg, said she knew of only one state — Tennessee — that was considering a similar resolution. The resolution contends that pornography "equates violence toward women and children with sex, and pain with pleasure, which increases the demand for sex trafficking, prostitution, child sexual abuse images, and child pornography."
 
Tennessee House fails to override governor's Bible bill veto
Colorado Springs Gazette
While seven states require a three-fifths vote to override a veto, Tennessee is just one of six — Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia being the others — that require a simple majority vote to negate the governor’s action, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. That makes Haslam’s veto power one of the weakest in the nation.
 
US Senate passes bill to boost travel security after Brussels
Quadrangle Online
The National Governors Association, National Conference of State Legislatures, the National League of Cities, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the National Association of State Aviation Officials each opposed the Senate provision that would pre-empt local laws.

April 21

Hawaii looks to clarify the public's right to film police
Washington Times
Nationwide, there’s been a trend among several states to clarify the public’s right to film police. Last year, about four states including Colorado and Illinois passed new laws addressing the issue, said Richard Williams of the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
New law cracks open Florida self-driving car research
Orlando Sentinel
Nevada passed laws encouraging autonomous vehicle testing in 2011 and was followed by Florida and California the next year. Today, states have provided money toward its study and allowed for general research, but stop short of allowing the vehicle to be riderless and not requiring a special license to operate, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures.

To protest on 4/20 without getting arrested, Pittsfield man smokes real grass
Concord Monitor
Twenty states and Washington, D.C., have decriminalized marijuana – including all other New England states – making possession of small amounts of the drug an infraction or a low-level misdemeanor as opposed to a state crime, according to the National Conference for State Legislatures.

House fails to override Haslam's Bible bill veto
The Tennessean
While seven states require a three-fifths vote to override a veto, Tennessee is just one of six — Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia being the others — that require a simple majority vote to negate the governor’s action, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. That makes Haslam's veto power one of the weakest in the nation.
 
Bill seeks ban on sale of ivory, rhino horn
BurlingtonFreePress.com
In 2015, 27 bills restricting the sale of animal parts and products were under consideration in 19 states and the District of Columbia, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Washington state passed a referendum in November, and bills are now pending in Connecticut, Delaware and Hawaii.
 
Briefs: Tennessee Senate OKs guns on campuses
Politics in Minnesota
As of April 6, a total of 31 states plus the District of Columbia offer online voter registration, and at least four states have passed legislation that would allow citizens to register via the Internet, according to a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
A (sort of) public redistricting hearing
Appleton Post Crescent
The other witnesses testified on how redistricting could be done so that it would serve voters instead of parties. Those witnesses were Jay Heck from Common Cause in Wisconsin, Wendy Underhill of the National Conference of State Legislatures; Andrea Kaminski from the Wisconsin League of Women Voters; Jonathan Winburn, a University of Mississippi associate professor; and Rick Esenberg, Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty.
 
Brase: Sex ed doesn't only mean sex
Iowa State Daily
Additionally, 33 states and the District of Columbia require students to learn about HIV/AIDS, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

April 20

Senate FAA bill keeps drone policy in federal hands
USA TODAY
Last year, 45 states considered 168 drone bills, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. And 20 states approved 26 bills, according to the group.
 
Vermont bill would ban sale of ivory, rhino horn
Washington Times
Among states taking action in the last two years are California, New York and New Jersey. In 2015, 27 bills restricting the sale of animal parts and products were under consideration in 19 states and the District of Columbia, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Washington state passed a referendum in November, and bills are now pending in Connecticut, Delaware and Hawaii.

Legislature passes online voter registration bill
Washington Times
As of April 6, a total of 31 states plus the District of Columbia offer online voter registration, and at least four states have passed legislation that would allow citizens to register via the Internet, according to a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Testing Proves Volatile Part of State Legislative Mix
Education Week
Legislators across the country had proposed nearly 600 bills as of last week that would affect the way state education departments administer and use standardized tests, up from just six such bills proposed five years ago, according to an analysis by Dan Thatcher, a researcher with the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Business Groups Push for Online Sales Tax Reform
Accounting Web
A discussion draft of the bill was circulated in January 2015, drawing the ire of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). In a letter that same month to then-House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), the NCSL said Goodlatte’s draft violates the Constitution, imposes new taxes in nonsales tax states, and raises taxes on people who make purchases in higher sales tax states.

Tennessee Legislature passes online voter registration bill
Chattanooga Times Free Press
As of April 6, a total of 31 states plus the District of Columbia offer online voter registration, according to a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures. And five states within a year, including Tennessee, have moved to allow the web-based registration, said Wendy Underhill, program director for Elections and Redistricting at the group. 

Gov. Deal Quiet On Whether He'll Sign 'Campus Carry' Bill
WABE 90.1 FM
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, eight other states allow concealed carry on public college campuses. 
 
PA one signature away from legalizing medical marijuana
State of the State KS
Twenty-three states, Guam and Washington, D.C., have enacted comprehensive public medical marijuana and cannabis programs since California was first in 1996, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
  
Governor promises to sign new medical marijuana legislation
Farraguter
Beginning with California in 1996, 23 states, plus Washington, D.C., and Guam, have passed laws making cannabis a medical option for young and old alike, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

April 19

Medical marijuana legalized in Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pennsylvania joins 23 other U.S. states with comprehensive public medical marijuana programs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Lou Cannon: Donald Trump Endangers Republican Control of Statehouses
Noozhawk
“Trump is causing extreme anxiety, even dismay, among Republicans at state and congressional levels,” said Tim Storey, who analyzes politics for the National Conference of State Legislatures. Storey said there is widespread concern that Trump would have a toxic effect on Republican legislative candidates if he is the GOP presidential nominee.
 
Medical Pot Activists Fear Epilepsy Drug Could Undercut Them
KSTP.com
Karmen Hanson, the expert on marijuana policy for the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures, said the two sides are at odds. "The argument for traditional (whole-plant) medical marijuana is that people know what works for them - whether they're going to make their own concentrates or vape or combust, use flowered products, oils, you name it - so they want to protect their ability to do that," she said. "The other camp wants to see the head-to-head science, to give it more scientific validity, to elevate the products that are produced in terms of reliability and consistency."
 
John Walsh & Jimmy Wayne have a star summit
TCPalm
So far, 21 states have expanded benefits with federal support to youth up to age 21, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).
  
Medical Marijuana Now Legal in 24 States
whotv.com
Voters in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington state and D.C. have legalized the sale of marijuana for recreational use, and 20 states and D.C. have decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. However, it’s still a banned substance under federal law.
 
Purely natural: Breastfeeding in public is met with unnecessary criticism
The Daily Athenaeum
The National Conference for State Legislature published a report on its website of laws surrounding breastfeeding in the workplace and in public in December 2015. Forty-nine states, as well as Washington, D.C. and the Virgin Islands, have laws that specifically entitle women the right to nurse in public places.
 
Industrial hemp gaining traction in ag industry
Summit Daily News
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 28 states have a statute in place to regulate industrial hemp growth or research, but the crop, much like pot, is still illegal federally. 
 
Local PA elections face low voter turnout
The Brown and White
In 33 U.S. states, not including Pennsylvania, early voting is permitted, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures. While all states permit absentee voting, 20 require an excuse, the data reads. Pennsylvania is one of them.

April 18

Connecticut Chooses to Cut Jobs Over Increased Taxes in Budget Crisis
New York Times
States typically generate just over one-third of their revenues from personal income taxes, and another third from sales taxes, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Connecticut, by comparison, relies on personal income taxes for more than half of its revenue. While the number of jobs in Connecticut has returned to pre-recession levels, lower-wage positions in finance have taken the place of high-paying jobs, according to a report by the Standard & Poor's credit ratings agency. The shift translates to lower personal income tax revenues, in a state that relies so heavily on income taxes. "That makes or breaks Connecticut," said Arturo Perez, a fiscal research analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Binny's expansion to Indiana thwarted by state liquor law changes
Chicago Tribune
At least 12 other states have some form of residency requirement for liquor store permits, according to Heather Morton, program principal of fiscal affairs for the National Conference of State Legislatures. Some states, like Pennsylvania and New Hampshire, are more directly involved and have state-operated liquor stores.
 
Donald Trump couldn't vote in 2012 Republican primary because he didn’t switch party early enough- the same mistake his kids made this election
New York Daily News
While New York requires its voters to make changes the year before an election, the other 10 states allow for switches during an election year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Why the transgender bathroom wars matter
Chicago Tribune
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 13 other states are considering similar legislation.
 
She Was Kicked Out of Court for Breastfeeding
Daily Beast
The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) has a summary of all state breastfeeding laws, a resource that all nursing mothers and perhaps Judge Peter Knight should spend an evening reviewing. Forty-nine states, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands all have laws that specifically allow women to breastfeed, be it in the privacy of their own home or in public. 
 
Gov. Wolf signs Pennsylvania medical marijuana bill into law
6abc.com
Pennsylvania is the 24th state to legalize a comprehensive medical marijuana program, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Medical pot activists fear epilepsy drug could undercut them
AP
Karmen Hanson, the expert on marijuana policy for the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures, said the two sides are at odds. “The argument for traditional (whole-plant) medical marijuana is that people know what works for them — whether they’re going to make their own concentrates or vape or combust, use flowered products, oils, you name it — so they want to protect their ability to do that,” she said. “The other camp wants to see the head-to-head science, to give it more scientific validity, to elevate the products that are produced in terms of reliability and consistency.”

Less than a fifth of PA state lawmakers are women
New Pittsburgh Courier
 Katie Ziegler, from the National Conference of State Legislatures, told NPR “It might take five or 10 points of contact for a woman to raise $1,000 whereas maybe a male candidate can call up one person and get a $1,000 check.”
 
Why you need to check if your child has a credit report
Bristol Herald Courier
 In those cases, a credit report is created and frozen. States with those laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, are: Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.
 
Takeaways from Tallahassee - The (veto) pen is mightier than the ...
SaintPetersBlog
The Council of State Governments and the National Conference of State Legislatures has organized the National Task Force on Workforce Development for People with Disabilities. Jones has been appointed to the hiring, retention and re-entry subcommittee.
 
Industrial hemp gaining traction as a crop
Capital Press
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 28 states have a statute in place to regulate industrial hemp growth or research, but the crop, much like pot, is still illegal federally.
 
Industrial hemp gaining traction in agriculture industry
WRAL.com
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 28 states have a statute in place to regulate industrial hemp growth or research, but the crop, much like pot, is still illegal federally.
 
TN state college faculty may be allowed guns on campus
WCYB
According to the National Conference of State Legislature, in 2013, 19 states introduced bills that would allow concealed carry on campuses. Two passed, one in Kansas, the other in Arkansas.
 
Snyder proposes tougher regulations for lead in water
The Detroit News
The proposal appears to be “the lowest state standard in the country,” said Doug Farquhar, program director for environmental health at the National Conference of State Legislatures.
  
6 reforms to end Illinois' perpetual budget crisis
Illinois Policy
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 43 states including Illinois require a governor’s proposed budget to be balanced, 40 states require the state legislature to pass balanced budgets, and 37 ensure that budget deficits cannot be pushed off into the next year.
 
Police Body Cameras: Debating Regulations for N.H.'s Law Enforcement Agencies
New Hampshire Public Radio
Renny Cushing, Democratic Representative from Hampton and co-sponsor of HB617 which regulates a law enforcement agency’s use of body-worn cameras. He is also a vice chair of the National Conference of State Legislatures' Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee.

April 15

As Sin Taxes Succeed and Pinch Revenue, States Double Down
Wall Street Journal
Tax changes tracked by the National Conference of State Legislatures show that states in the past five years have looked to capture an additional $1.95 billion from smokers, while passing laws estimated to cut collections for corporate and personal income taxes by a projected $2.84 billion.
 
Pennsylvania poised to OK medical pot bill
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
That signature will make Pennsylvania the 24th state with a comprehensive public medical marijuana program, according to Karmen Hanson, a health policy analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures.
  
National Briefing
New York Times
Meanwhile, in Ohio, lawmakers promised to legalize medical marijuana by the summer, before voters get a chance to decide a ballot question in the fall election. Pennsylvania would be the 24th state to legalize a comprehensive medical marijuana program, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Why the Transgender Bathroom Wars Matter
RealClearPolitics
But the controversial bathroom section—declaring that, when it came to public facilities, biological men at birth go into men’s rooms, biological women at birth go into the women’s—remained. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 13 other states are considering similar legislation.
 
Pennsylvania has legalized medical marijuana; gov to sign bill
The Cannabist
Pennsylvania would become the 24th state to legalize a comprehensive medical marijuana program, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey named Honorary Starter of Food City 500 at BMS
WJHL
He is the first GOP Senate Speaker in Tennessee in 140 years and the first from Sullivan County in over 100 years.  In 2011, Ramsey was named to the Board of Directors of National Conference of State Legislators.

Abstinence-only Education Puts Students at Risk
The Ramapo News
As of March 1, 2016, the National Conference of State Legislatures reported that there are only 24 states (and the District of Columbia) that require sex education as part of the curriculum.
 
Should men carry feminine hygiene products?
The Pioneer
In early February, the National Conference of State Legislatures reported that only 22 states and Washington D.C. require public schools to teach sex-education. However, there is no mandated curriculum, which means it varies from school to school with no clear indication of how thoroughly menstruation is taught to both boys and girls, or if it is included in sex-ed curriculums at all.

Pa. to OK medical pot; Ohio could follow soon
Leader-Telegram
Pennsylvania would become the 24th state to legalize a comprehensive medical marijuana program, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Buffalo School Board mulls problems of teen pregnancy
Buffalo News
Nationally, only about 40 percent of teen mothers finish high school, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The rate is even lower for teen moms with multiple children and those in high-poverty urban school systems that typically have lower graduation rates.
 
Espinoza, Chicoine to speak at LAFRW
Los Alamos Monitor
She serves on the Education Committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures, and as the Vice Chairwomen West for the National Conference of Hispanic Legislators.

April 14

Senate drops provision against state drone laws
USA TODAY
Last year, 45 states considered 168 drone bills, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. And 20 states approved 26 bills, according to the group… The National Governors Association, National Conference of State Legislatures, the National League of Cities, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the National Association of State Aviation Officials each opposed the Senate provision that sought to pre-empt local laws.
 
Didn't take long: New education secretary starts butting heads in nation’s capital
Washington Post
A group of organizations — including the the National Governors Association, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National Association of States Boards of Education and the two largest teachers unions in the country — just sent King a letter warning his department  “to refrain from defining terms and aspects of the new law that Congress gave communities the flexibility to determine.” (See the letter below.)
 
Why religious freedom bills could be just the beginning of the gay marriage debate
Washington Post
We spoke to Rochelle Finzel,  director of the children and families program with the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures to get a better feel for why this seems to be taking up so much oxygen now -- and what could come next. It's important to note that Finzel and her staff don't take any positions on policy; rather they track the legislative trends related to family law. Our conversation has been edited for length and clarity.
 
The Price for Obama's Success: Voter Suppression
Huffington Post
“It’s remarkable,” Jennie Bowser, a senior fellow at the National Conference of State Legislatures, said about the proliferation of new laws. “I very rarely see one single issue come up in so many state legislatures in a single session,” she said. “This issue has historically fallen along stark partisan lines. Democrats tend to oppose voter ID, and Republicans tend to favor it. There are a lot of new Republican majorities in legislatures.” In all 33 states have passed or considered new voter ID laws.

Female politicians are losing ground in California
Los Angeles Times
Katie Ziegler of the National Conference of State Legislatures said the percentage of women being elected to legislatures nationwide has “flatlined” at about 24% over the last decade. A deficit of female candidates is the root of the problem, she said, not biased voting patterns. Women who do run for office succeed on average as often as their male counterparts, she said. Ziegler said there is plenty of academic research identifying some reasons why: Some women don’t consider themselves qualified for public office, even in cases where they are more qualified than men running; women tend not to have as strong of a financial network when it comes to raising campaign money; they often have to be recruited to run, whereas more men decide to run on their own; and women place a higher priority on their obligations at work and taking care of their families.
 
House sends medical marijuana bill to Gov. Tom Wolf
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
That signature will make Pennsylvania the 24th state with a comprehensive public medical marijuana program, according to Karmen Hanson, a health policy analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Abstinence-only Education Puts Students at Risk
The Ramapo News
While that was definitely an unconventional way of starting off our sex education class, I’m lucky to say I even had a class. As of March 1, 2016, the National Conference of State Legislatures reported that there are only 24 states (and the District of Columbia) that require sex education as part of the curriculum.
 
Mississippi Democrats introduce bill to repeal HB 1523
wivb.com
He cited an early April report by the National Conference of State Legislatures. The report shows 19 states with religious exemption laws, including Vermont and New York.

Medical marijuana bill nears governor's desk
WTAE Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania would become the 24th state to legalize a comprehensive medical marijuana program, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
  
State, Local Groups Urge Senate to Remove Section 2152 From FAA Reauthorization
Marketwired
The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), National Governors Association(NGA), U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM), National League of Cities (NLC), and the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO) today released the following statement urging Senators to adopt a bipartisan amendment included in the pending Manager's Amendment to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2016 (H.R. 636)
 
Medical marijuana bill nears Pennsylvania governor's desk
Philly.com
Pennsylvania would become the 24th state to legalize a comprehensive medical marijuana program, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

A Cuppa Coffee with Voter ID Whistleblower Todd Allbaugh
Progressive.org
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Wisconsin is one of nine states that require voters to present a photo ID. It severely restricts what forms of ID can be used, excluding out-of-state driver’s licenses and student IDs that do not include a photo, signature, and date of issuance, along with separate proof of enrollment.
  
State Senate votes for medical pot
Indiana Gazette
Wolf supports the bill, which would make Pennsylvania the 24th state to enact a comprehensive public medical marijuana program, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. He urged the House to take quick action on the proposal.
 
California bill would require drug makers to report 10% price hikes
Pharmacy Today
The California legislation seems to "have more distinct" reporting requirements for medication price increases, according to Richard Cauchi of the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Is the United States ready for raw milk?
News Target
At present, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 31 states allow for consumers to purchase raw milk directly. In many states, such as Arkansas, raw milk can be only purchased at the farm, at farmers’ markets or through a “cow-share” program, where consumers combine resources to purchase a dairy cow. 12 states, however, only allow consumers to purchase raw milk at retail stores. In the remaining 19 states, the sale of raw milk to consumers remains prohibit.
 
Dems seek to undo Mississippi LGBT law, but likely to fail
info-europa
He cited an early April report by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Its documents show about 20 states that have some form of religious accommodations law pending or on the books.

April 13

Social Conservatives Try New Tack With State-Level Efforts on Religious Freedom
Wall Street Journal
North Carolina was the first state to enact legislation restricting access to sex-segregated facilities on the basis of sex assigned at birth, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. But at least 13 other states, including Illinois, Kansas, Oklahoma and Washington, are considering similar bills, according to the nonpartisan group.
 
Home And Garden Giant Ditches Class Of Pesticides That May Harm Bees
NPR
The bill is now before Gov. Larry Hogan; his office tells us that he is currently reviewing it. Other states are also studying pollinator health and considering action, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Group of lawmakers lobby to repeal controversial House Bill 1523
WDAM-TV
"I don't think his bills going to be reconsidered now or in the future," said Gipson. "I think this is in line with what a number of states already passed." Gipson cited the National Conference of State Legislatures. Its documents show about 20 states that have some form of religious accommodations law pending or on the books.
 
Is Medical Marijuana Coming to Pennsylvania?
NBC 10 Philadelphia
Twenty-three states, Guam and Washington, D.C., have enacted comprehensive public medical marijuana and cannabis programs since California was first in 1996, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Missouri lawmakers weigh daily fantasy sports rules, taxes
Missouri Lawyers Media
Attorneys general in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Kansas so far have ruled the practice legal, while 10 others call it illegal gambling, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Medical marijuana supporters file petition
Examiner Enterprise
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 23 states have medical marijuana programs.
 
Researcher: Conservative support rises after shale booms
Prairie Business
Still, Republicans have held majorities in both chambers of the North Dakota Legislature since 1994, well before the start of the state’s Bakken oil boom, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Hawaii lawmakers ask how much marijuana is OK while driving
Bristol Herald Courier
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Colorado, Montana and Washington set the limit at 5 nanograms per millileter of blood, while Nevada and Ohio went with the lower 2 nanograms. Other states provide an exemption for medical marijuana patients.
  
Final votes may be close on medical marijuana bill
Indiana Gazette
Twenty-three states, Guam and Washington, D.C., have enacted comprehensive public medical marijuana and cannabis programs since California was first in 1996, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Senate backers hope medical marijuana bill reaches Gov. Wolf's desk this week
LancasterOnline
Twenty-three states, Guam and Washington, D.C., have enacted comprehensive public medical marijuana and cannabis programs since California was first in 1996, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Researcher: Politics changes in oil producing areas
Jamestown Sun
Still, Republicans have held majorities in both chambers of the North Dakota Legislature since 1994, well before the start of the state's Bakken oil boom, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
City of Dayton Bans Government Travel to North Carolina, Missisippi
Equilibrio Informativo
This year, more than a dozen states have considered laws that would restrict bathroom access for transgender people, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Idaho Legislature is nation's second-oldest
Post Register
The information is included in a larger demographic survey of state lawmaking bodies by theNational Conference of State Legislatures and Stateline.

April 12

See where women have the most and least political representation in the US
NPR
At the state level, where many aspiring politicians get their start, just 24.5 percent of lawmakers are women, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures... "As someone flippantly told me a male legislative candidate wakes up one morning, looks in the mirror, and says, 'I should run for the state Senate, no looking back.' And women I have worked with have told me over and over someone asked me four times before I said yes," said Katie Ziegler, who compiles data on women for the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Lawmakers seek to ensure FAA bill won't preempt local drone laws
The Hill
Both groups support Feinstein’s amendment, as does the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National Governors Association and the National Association of State Aviation Officials.
 
Univ. of N.C. System to comply with controversial 'bathroom law'
USA TODAY
With the law, North Carolina becomes the first state to require public school and university students to use only those bathrooms that match their birth certificates, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures.
 
Idaho Legislature is the second-oldest in the U.S.
Idaho Statesman 
The information is included in a larger demographic survey of state lawmaking bodies by the National Conference of State Legislatures and Stateline. The section on age is here.

New Hampshire legislator barred from bringing oxygen tank to House Chamber
WNCN
The National Conference of State Legislatures says that the average age of a lawmaker at the New Hampshire Statehouse is 66, about a full decade older than the national average. Members of the citizen Legislature are paid $200 per two-year term, plus mileage costs.
 
California bill would require drug makers to report 10 percent price hikes
STAT
This latest legislation in California, however, “appears to have more distinct” requirements for reporting price hikes than other state bills, said Richard Cauchi, Health Program Director at the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Chris Rickert: Robocalls tailor-made for bipartisan crackdown, if maybe not by politicians
Chippewa Herald
According to the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures, as of 2013, 14 other states placed various restrictions on unsolicited political robocalls.
 
States should not get broad license to discriminate
The News-Press
The National Conference of State Legislatures counts related bills in 10 states; theHuman Rights Campaign says it’s monitoring nearly 200 measures in 34 states.
 
College students flock to see Bernie Sanders, but can they vote for him?
Buffalo News
The National Conference of State Legislatures says 11 states allow voters to register on the same day as an election, with Maine’s law dating back to 1973.
 
Sex and the (Sin) City
UNLV The Rebel Yell
In fact, the National Conference of State Legislatures website reveals this startling statistic: Out of the 22 states that “require public schools teach sex education” only 19 of these require “that if provided, sex education must be medically, factually or technically accurate.”
 
Missouri Lawmakers Weigh Daily Fantasy Sports Rules, Taxes
KBIA
The National Conference of State Legislatures says neighboring Kansas is one of three states to legalize daily fantasy sports through statute.
 
Reexamining crime and punishment in Mass.
Wicked Local
I spent Saturday in Denver with legislators from across the country at a meeting about criminal justice reform convened by the National Conference of State Legislatures. The chance to hear what people are doing and thinking in other states was worth the trip.
 
State Rep. Can't Sit in Chamber Because of Medical Device
Valley News
Earlier this year, a demographic report released by Stateline and the National Conference of State Legislatures found that lawmakers average 66 years old in New Hampshire, about a full decade older than the national average.

April 11

Bruce Springsteen cancels North Carolina concert in protest against anti-LGBTI ‘bathroom laws’
ABC Online
This year, more than a dozen states have considered laws that would restrict bathroom access for transgender people, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

'Religious freedom' vs. equal rights: Our view
USA TODAY
The National Conference of State Legislatures counts related bills in 10 states; the Human Rights Campaign says it’s monitoring nearly 200 measures in 34 states. 

Alaska Considers Joining Pacific Time Zone, Killing Daylight Saving Time
CBS 
Alaska isn’t the only state considering the switch. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 13 states are considering 22 bills and resolutions on daylight saving time this year.

South Carolina is pushing a bill that would restrict transgender bathroom access
Business Insider
More than a dozen states have considered bathroom provisions this year that would restrict access for transgender people, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

New state rules to govern vape shops and electronic cigarettes
The Olympian
Karmen Hanson, a tobacco policy analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures, called Washington’s law “one of the most comprehensive legislative efforts to date” to regulate vapor products and electronic cigaretttes. 

San Francisco becomes first in United States to mandate fully paid family leave
State of the State KS
California and New Jersey provide up to six weeks of partial pay, while Rhode Island offers four, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Tennessee AG calls fantasy sports contests illegal gambling
NYSE Post
The National Conference of State Legislatures says neighboring Kansas is one of three states to legalize daily fantasy sports through statute. 

New oil springs up in Texas: cannabis oil
Midland Reporter-Telegram
Marijuana use, for medical or recreational reasons, is illegal in Texas and more than a dozen other states. It is legal in 23 states, the District of Columbia and Guam, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Chris Rickert: Robocalls tailor-made for bipartisan crackdown, if maybe not by politicians
Madison.com
According to the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures, as of 2013, 14 other states placed various restrictions on unsolicited political robocalls.

Political rhetoric over immigrants prompts new wave of legislation
Arizona Daily Star
This year, more than a dozen states have considered laws that would restrict bathroom access for transgender people, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

You need to check to see if your child has a credit report
Richmond.com
States with those laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, are Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Missouri lawmakers advance rules, taxes on daily fantasy sports
Springfield News-Leader
Attorneys general in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Kansas so far have ruled the practice legal, while 10 others call it illegal gambling, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Porn is not a Condom Tutorial: The Failure of Sex Ed in the United States
The McGill International Review
According to NCSL, the National Conference of State Legislatures, only 22 states and the District of Columbia require public schools to teach sexual education, and only 19 states require that such an education be “medically, factually or technically accurate.”

State lawmakers mull exempting breastfeeding mothers from jury duty
Maui News
So far, 17 states and Puerto Rico exempt breastfeeding mothers from jury duty or allow jury service to be postponed, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Iowa Board of Medicine to study conversion therapy ban
Dubuque Telegraph Herald
California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon and the District of Columbia have outlawed conversion therapy for minors, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Iowa’s Senate passed a ban last year along party lines, with Democrats in favor, but the bill stalled in the Republican-led House.

Public doesn't support federal takeover of drone regulation
CIO
The National Conference of State Legislatures and the National Association of State Aviation Officials are supporting an amendment to the FAA bill that would strike the agency-only regulation provision.

Which are the highest and lowest paid state legislatures?
PennLive.com
The rankings are based on a FiveThirtyEight report and data from the American Community Survey and the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Common Core was required to win Obama grants, U.S. Rep. David Jolly wrongly says
PolitiFact
Daniel Thatcher, a senior policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures, said Washington has subsequently been accused of coercing states into adopting Common Core.

Feinstein Introduces Amendment to Protect California's Ability to Oversee Drone use
YubaNet
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 26 states have enacted drone laws and 41 states have considered laws in the 2016 legislative session.

Republicans Are About To Swipe A 'Blue' Electoral Vote In Nebraska
TPM
“Nebraska is the only nonpartisan unicameral legislature in the country,” Daniel Diorio, a policy specialist in elections program at the National Conference of State Legislatures, told TPM. “So it’s no stranger to standing out among the rest.”

How pay for N.J. lawmakers compares to other 49 states
NJ.com
The National Conference of State Legislators came up for a designation for states like New Jersey, which aren't truly full or part time. Instead, it calls them "hybrids," which means they have decent-sized staffs and report spending at least "two-thirds of a full-time job being legislators

House Republicans discuss medical cannabis
Sioux City Journal
Twenty-three states have medical cannabis programs similar to the ones being proposed in Iowa, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Fire reveals archaeological site; kids in car, mom's in bar; provolone poacher
Arizona Daily Star
In the U.S., at least 19 states ban concealed weapons on college campuses, 23 states allow individual universities to decide whether to allow concealed weapons, according to a 2015 guns on campuses overview from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Bollinger County finds potential fine cheaper than insurance
Southeast Missourian
Federal law required medium-sized employers -- including local governments -- with 50 to 99 employees to offer health insurance beginning Jan. 1, 2016, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

April 8

Why the onslaught of religious freedom laws?
CNN
Since 1993, 21 states have enacted religious freedom laws and amendments modeled after the RFRA, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Ten other states are considering similar legislation, according to the conference.

Alaska Senate votes to allow concealed guns on campuses 
Washington Times
In the U.S., at least 19 states ban concealed weapons on college campuses, 23 states allow individual universities to decide whether to allow concealed weapons, according to a 2015 guns on campuses overview from the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

Bill would put Alaska into the Pacific time zone 
Washington Times
Alaska isn’t the only state considering the switch. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 13 states are considering 22 bills and resolutions on daylight saving time this year.

S.Carolina bill aims to limit transgender access to bathrooms
Daily Mail
More than a dozen states have considered bathroom provisions this year that would restrict access for transgender people, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Iowa House Republicans discuss medical cannabis expansion
Quad City Times
Twenty-three states have medical cannabis programs similar to the ones being proposed in Iowa, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Telemedicine Slated to Transform Nursing
ADVANCE 
Legislators introduced some 200 telehealth bills in 2015, according to a report from the National Conference of State Legislatures .

Why Discrimination Laws Do Damage to State Economies
Inc.com
Currently 21 states have RFRA laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. And as of September 2015, there were proposals in 17 state legislatures to enact new laws or alter language of older ones.

Voter registration, so easy you never have to leave home
College Heights Herald
As of April 6, a total of 31 states including the District of Columbia offer online registration, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

How Much Should State Legislators Get Paid?
FiveThirtyEight
Most of the time, these factors align. Some big states like California and New York have “full-time” legislatures, as classified by the the National Conference of State Legislatures; they meet for most of the year, and their legislators serve larger districts and receive relatively high salaries. 

Keep eyes on flying machines: Can Georgia land drone industry?
Marietta Daily Journal | Neighbor Newspapers
Of course, drones are best known for their use against terrorists and other enemy targets by the U.S. military in other countries. But domestically, the UAS or UAVs have numerous applications, including law enforcement, land surveillance, wildlife tracking, search and rescue operations, disaster response, border patrol and photography, per the National Conference of State Legislatures which tracks legislation. Before Georgia’s HB 779 passed, 26 states had enacted laws and another six states had adopted resolutions addressing drone issues.

Identity theft: A growing problem for all ages
The Recorder
Currently, 22 states have laws that let parents or guardians freeze a minor’s credit report, even if there hasn’t been fraud. In those cases, a credit report is created and frozen. States with those laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, are: Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.

April 7

Alabama governor refuses to talk about sex scandal, impeachment
CNN
In Alabama, articles of impeachment must be brought forward by the state House of Representatives, while the state Senate acts as jury. Most states follow a similar procedure, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Keep eyes on flying machines: Can Georgia land drone industry? 
Marietta Daily Journal
But domestically, the UAS or UAVs have numerous applications, including law enforcement, land surveillance, wildlife tracking, search and rescue operations, disaster response, border patrol and photography, per the National Conference of State Legislatures which tracks legislation. Before Georgia’s HB 779 passed, 26 states had enacted laws and another six states had adopted resolutions addressing drone issues.

Illinois considers raising age to buy tobacco products
Belleville News-Democrat
During the last year, about a dozen states have introduced legislation to raise the age to buy tobacco products, according to the National Conference of State Legislature. Bills in Mississippi and Maryland have already failed, while proposals in New Jersey, Tennessee and Rhode Island are still pending.

Guam lawmakers 'in it for themselves,' activist says
Pacific Daily News
Only California and Pennsylvania lawmakers, who are paid $97,197 and $85,338 a year, respectively, receive higher compensation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Study: High-quality universal pre-K would significantly close achievement gaps
Education Dive
The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that 450 bills with some tie to early childhood are now pending in 46 states, and a recent Education Commission of the States report showed state funding for preschool programs increased in 32 states and the District of Columbia by $755 million between 2015 and 2016.

San Francisco declared as first U.S. city to set fully paid parental leave
Lawyer Herald
Moreover, the National Conference of State Legislatures revealed that California and New Jersey provide up to six weeks of partial pay. Rhode Island also offers up to 4 weeks paid leave. 

Will NH become next state to decriminalize marijuana?
Concord Monitor
Twenty states and Washington, D.C., have decriminalized marijuana, making possession of small amounts of the drug an infraction or a low-level misdemeanor as opposed to a state crime, according to the National Conference for State Legislatures. 

Jackson City Council Denounces Mississippi’s Anti-LGBT Law
The Advocate
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the passage of HB 1523 makes Mississippi one of 22 states with religious freedom laws on the books.

April 6

How redistricting in Virginia changed part of its political landscape
The Economist
Efforts to de-politicise redistricting have had limited success. According to the National Conference of State Legislators, 15 states look to independent panels to help draw congressional lines. About 25 rely on them to determine state legislative boundaries. 

Now OK in Mississippi: Denying gays some services
USA TODAY
Ten states have passed or are considering similar bills, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Alabama representatives move to impeach governor
CNN
In Alabama, articles of impeachment must be brought forward by the state House of Representatives, while the state Senate acts as jury. Most states follow a similar procedure, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Oklahoma DNA testing bill may make it to finish line this year 
NewsOK.com
That ruling addressed a Maryland law that allowed for DNA collection if a person was charged and a judge had found probable cause that he or she committed a crime. There are now 30 states with laws that allow for “arrestee DNA” to be collected under varying circumstances, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

States, FAA Consider Ways to Prevent Mid-Air Drone Collisions
Government Technology
Another 35 states have considered legislation in 2016 as of last month, according to an analysis from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

San Francisco could become the first US city to mandate fully paid parental leave
Business Insider
California and New Jersey provide up to six weeks of partial pay, while Rhode Island offers four, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The city of Seattle provides four weeks of fully paid leave.

Wisconsin Voter ID Law Could Hurt College Students' Participation In Primary, General Elections
International Business Times
It also applies outside of Wisconsin: The National Conference of State Legislatures lists 33 voter ID laws in effect in states like Texas, Tennessee, North Dakota, Indiana and Virginia.

PAC Mobilizes to Defend Vaccine Exemptions in Texas
El Paso Herald-Post
All but two states — West Virginia and Mississippi — grant exemptions from school immunization requirements on religious grounds. Texas is among 18 that also waive requirements because of personal beliefs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Testing, ESSA's Looming Impact Are Hot Topics as State Board Members meet to discuss ESSA
Education Week
At least 60 bills have been proposed this year that would either strip or amend state boards' powers, according to Daniel Thatcher, a policy researcher at the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

PayPal cancels NC plans over discrimination law, costs 400 jobs
WSPA.com
North Carolina is the first state to require public school and university students to use only those bathrooms that match their birth certificates, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures.

Trump's Waterloo or not, here's why Wisconsin matters
MarketWatch
Walker’s spotlight allowed him to bank political capital within his party and spark a wider movement; the National Conference of State Legislators tracked more than 100 bills meant to challenge public-sector unions nationwide in the nearly immediate wake of Walker’s actions.

FAA, states mull ways to prevent mid-air drone collisions
Grand Forks Herald
Another 35 states have considered legislation in 2016 as of last month, according to an analysis from the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

Democrats turn to women to challenge Tennessee GOP
The Tennessean
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 24 percent of state legislative seats nationwide are held by women. The highest state is Colorado at 42 percent. The lowest is Louisiana at 12 percent. In Tennessee, women hold 17 percent of legislative seats.

April 5

Mayor Walsh backs raising minimum wage from $10 to $15
The Boston Globe
Massachusetts’ minimum wage rose to $10 per hour at the beginning of the year, and state law mandates that it increase to $11 per hour at the beginning of 2017. It’s part of the three-step minimum wage hike that Patrick signed into law in June 2014, when Massachusetts was on course to have the highest minimum wage of any state in the country. Today, Massachusetts and California are the only states with a $10 hourly minimum wage, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Opt-out movement aims to lure more African-American, Latino parents
Politico
States are also taking up the cause with 16 of them debating opt-out policies at some level this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Six enacted legislation last year, NCSL said. 
 
Louisiana Crisis Shows Risks of Republican Candidates' Tax Plans
Bloomberg
As states crawled out of the recession’s wreckage, 17 plus Washington, D.C., cut income taxes from 2011 to 2015, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. That includes Illinois and Delaware, which saw temporary increases end.
 
Groups to Ed. Department: Don't Go Too Far in Regulating Spending ...
Education Week
The letter was signed by National Governors Association, the Council of Chief State School Officers, the National Conference of State Legislatures… 
 
Will Alabama impeach governor?
WPTZ
Nineteen states and the District of Columbia permit the recall of state officials, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 
 
Budget crises in Louisiana, Oklahoma show risk of deep tax cut plans
Times Record
As states crawled out of the recession’s wreckage, 17 plus Washington, D.C., cut income taxes from 2011 to 2015, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

State Rep. Helen Giddings Tapped for Early Childhood Fellowship
Dallasweekly
National Conference of State Legislatures Convening Lawmakers to Solve Early Childhood Education Crisis
 
PAC Mobilizes to Defend Vaccine Exemptions in Texas
Big Country Homepage
All but two states — West Virginia and Mississippi — grant exemptions from school immunization requirements on religious grounds. Texas is among 18 that also waive requirements because of personal beliefs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

April 4

Utah's white-collar crime database could serve as national model
Fox News
The president of the National Conference of State Legislators, Bramble said a significant number of lawmakers from other regions have inquired about Utah’s law. “The premise is that it’s not a problem in any particular state; white-collar crime is a problem in every state,” Bramble told FoxNews.com.
  
Louisiana Crisis Shows Risks of Republican Candidates' Tax Plans
Bloomberg
As states crawled out of the recession’s wreckage, 17 plus Washington, D.C., cut income taxes from 2011 to 2015, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. That includes Illinois and Delaware, which saw temporary increases end. This year, Indiana has passed a cut and more are pending.
  
Minn. Senator Proposes Taxing Corporations Based in Havens
Bloomberg BNA
Jackson Brainerd, research analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures, said Minnesota bill is actually part of a trend, as at least 10 other states have introduced tax haven legislation this year. He said while only one of the bills successfully passed one house, the number may indicate states’ concerns about corporations re-incorporating themselves overseas.
  
Dayton directs state employees not to travel to North Carolina
Minneapolis Star Tribune
North Carolina is the first state to require public school and university students to use only those bathrooms that match their birth certificates, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures.
  
Barron: Power struggles, then and now
Casper Star-Tribune Online
“Granting the governor line-item budget veto authority, for example, would appear to infringe on the legislature’s appropriation authority, yet 44 states allow it. Thus, the power to control spending is shared. As a result, budgeting is an area where friction between the legislative and executive branches often occurs.” — National Conference on State Legislatures
  
Budget cuts bring rocky road for RTA
Crain's Cleveland Businesses
Ridership nationwide is up by 1%, across every socioeconomic and demographic group, while single-occupant vehicle commuting trips and highway vehicle miles have flat-lined in recent years, according to a recent study by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Sponsors of bill stress history, not religion, of Bible
Knoxville News Sentinel
After all, as a recent National Conference of State Legislatures report stated, 96 percent of Tennessee legislators identify themselves as Christian, presumably reflecting generally the religion of voters who elected them.
 
Many ex-felons don't know they can get their right to vote restored
Timesonline.com
Many of them lifted restrictions, including seven that repealed lifetime disenfranchisement for some people with felony records, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Marijuana possession possible in Pottsville?
Republican & Herald
The National Conference of State Legislatures said that 23 states, Guam and the District of Columbia allow for medical marijuana.
 
Bathroom Law In North Carolina May Do More Harm Than Good
Parent Herald
North Carolina is the first state to require public school and university students to only use bathrooms based on their birth certificates, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Vt. Senate Focuses on Ethics Bill
Valley News
Forty-two states have ethics commissions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, so Vermont is not the only state that doesn’t have one. 

Pentagon Establishes No Drone Zone for Recreational UAVs
Government Technology
Last year, 45 states considered 168 bills meant to regulate use of drones, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which documents state laws. So far, 26 states have moved to limit police use of drones, bar drone surveillance over private property, or impose other restrictions.
 
Ceremony honors Vietnam veterans
The Rolla Daily News
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, about 42 states plus Puerto Rico recognize Vietnam Veterans Day, either through legislation or resolutions, and most celebrate Vietnam Veterans Day on either March 29 or 30.
 
Giddings Tapped for Early Childhood Fellowship
Focusdailynews
 Today, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) has invited Texas State Rep. Helen Giddings (Dallas) to serve as a Fellow in the upcoming Early Learning Fellows Program from May 18th through August 8th.

Biosimilar Developments Continue at a Rapid Pace
The National Law Review
According to a recent tally by the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 10 bills related to biosimilars (either newly filed or carried over from 2015) are pending this spring, many of which are very similar to laws already in effect in other states. 
 
New Hampshire leads the way in car ownership costs
Florida Times-Union
Title fees, as reported by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Registration fees, as reported by the National Conference of State Legislatures, calculated annually.
 
California's $15 minimum wage plan: What we know
Brown County Democrat
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures , statewide minimum wages in Wyoming and Georgia are $5.15 an hour — more than $2 below the $7.25 federal requirement.
 
Bishop: Church needs legal shield to deny same-sex services
Crux: Covering all things Catholic
At least 22 states currently have proposals to address the act of performing marriages and religious exemptions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Ahead of Hash Bash, University and state policy on marijuana called into question
The Michigan Daily
Marijuana — whether used for medical or recreational purposes — is currently legal in 23 states and the District of Columbia, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

April 1

They're 400000 strong and the Pentagon sees them as an emerging threat
Los Angeles Times
Last year, 45 states considered 168 bills meant to regulate use of drones, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which documents state laws. So far, 26 states have moved to limit police use of drones, bar drone surveillance over private property, or impose other restrictions.
 
Mississippi’s religious freedom bill: Not discriminatory or ‘one of the worst’?
CNN
Before Deal dealt the bill its death blow, Georgia was one of nine states considering religious freedom restoration bills, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Virginia OK'd a bill earlier this month, and 21 states have passed similar legislation since 1993, according to the NCSL.
 
California's $15 minimum wage plan: What we know
Washington Post
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, statewide minimum wages in both Wyoming and Georgia are $5.15 an hour — more than $2 below the $7.25 federal requirement.
 
Minimum wage, equal pay bills begin advancing in La. Senate
Washington Times
Currently, 29 states have minimum wages above the federal level, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Are Autonomous Cars Even Legal?
ConsumerReports.org
But that’s not to say states aren’t busy enacting legislation related to autonomous cars. According to Anne Teigen of the National Conference of State Legislatures, 32 bills related to self-driving cars have been introduced in 2016 or are still active from last year’s carryover.
 
Correction: Uncollected Taxes story
Washington Times
In a story on March 29 about legislation that would allow Illinois municipalities to share financial data with third-party vendors, The Associated Press erroneously reported that the National Conference of State Legislatures opposed the bill. NCSL spokesman Mick Bullock said the group has no official position on the legislation.

Millennial Candidates Say It's Their Time to Run
Hartford Courant
Millennial politicians are still the exception rather than the rule. The average age of the Connecticut legislature was 56, according to a report last year by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
US transgender community fights against 'bathroom bills'
Rockdale Citizen
At least 13 other states also have considered so-called bathroom bills targeting the transgender community this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 
  
Michigan governor signs bill making social media accounts like assets
13abc Action News
The National Conference of State Legislatures says nine other states have passed laws addressing access to email, social media and other website accounts after the owner dies.
  
Millennial Candidates Say It's Their Time to Run
Hartford Courant
The average age of the Connecticut legislature was 56, according to a report last year by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
This scientist works with tissue from aborted fetuses. Congress has ...
STAT
And at least five states — Indiana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, and South Dakota — prohibit fetal tissue research outright, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Texas Tech Expects few Gun Carriers with Campus Carry Policy
Emergency Management
By the end of 2015, eight states had provisions allowing the carrying of concealed weapons on public postsecondary campuses, including Texas, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
  
NC bathroom law could be decided in Virginia
Sentinel & Enterprise
The use of public facilities by transgender people has emerged as the next most important legal issue for LBGT advocates, and North Carolina is the first state to require public school and university students to use only bathrooms that match their birth certificates, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Lawsuit challenges North Carolina anti-discrimination law just passed
Winston-Salem Chronicle
With the law, North Carolina became the first state to require public school and university students to use only those bathrooms that match their birth certificates, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures.