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NCSL in the News: August 2010

NCSL in the News

NCSL in the News Archive: August 2010

Aug. 31

Term limits again a ballot choice
Jennie Drage Bowser, who tracks term limits for the National Conference of State Legislatures, said limiting service for the executive branch has been more common in the past than the legislative branch. Edmond Sun (Okla.)

Veteran legislators: Long-time lawmakers say there’s still much to do
“As term limits begin to take effect, many of their impacts on the legislative institution are negative,” said the website of the National Conference of State Legislatures. Maryland Reporter

Are film production incentives worth the public cost?
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 45 states have film incentive programs of one kind or another. Blog in TBD.com (D.C.)

State associations track implementation of Health Care Reform Act
The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and National Governors Association (NGA) have dedicated web pages to tracking implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). American City and County

Kentucky pension fund in wobbly shape
The director of state services at the National Conference of State Legislatures Ron Snell said the fix is simple, but not necessarily easy. "It's a matter of making contributions and rebuilding the fund," he said. UPI News

Are state workers overpaid?
"There's a clear trend to look at retirement benefits, both pension benefits and retiree health benefits, to reduce costs so the programs are sustainable in the long haul," Ron Snell, director of state services for the National Conference of State Legislatures, said in a phone interview from the organization's Denver offices. CT Post

Standards, assessments and readiness—oh my! (Part 1)
The session was led by Jennifer Stedron, program director for the Education Program at the National Conference of State Legislatures. Early Ed Watch

First to act
Thirty-one states have taken initial steps to implement the federal health reform law, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Modern Health Care

Aug. 30

 

Key Kentucky state worker pension fund in distress
“It's a matter of making contributions and rebuilding the fund,” said Ron Snell, director of state services for the National Conference of State Legislatures. “There's no magic bullet.” Louisville Courier-Journal

Push for 'Good Samaritan' law to reduce deaths by drug overdose
Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Rhode Island are considering similar measures, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Hartford Courant in Insurance News Net

Civil unions on horizon in Illinois?
Iowa, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and the District of Columbia currently allow same-sex marriages, while New Jersey allows civil unions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.The Telegraph

5-day pill moves emergency contraception back to doctor's office
Twenty-one states have legislation that guides health professionals' actions concerning emergency contraception, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. amednews.com

Mississippi lawmakers to weigh synthetic marijuana ban
At least 10 states have adopted some form of a ban on the substance, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Clarion Ledger

Sen. Goedde named co-chair of legislative conference group
State Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d'Alene, has been named cochairman of the National Conference of State Legislatures' Education Committee. Idaho Statesman

State tax hikes go too far, Tax Foundation says
According the National Conference of State Legislatures, 33 states project budget gaps for fiscal year 2012, and 23 states for fiscal year 2013. CNN Money in Yahoo Finance

How Costa Rica is battling for gay rights
Forty-one states currently have Defense of Marriage laws, most of which have passed in the last decade, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Global Post

Should state employees work longer before retiring?
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there were at least 10 states this year that passed laws requiring newly hired public employees to work longer before they can retire.Houma Today (La.)

Virginia's smoking ban sparks ire at shopping center
Virginia is among 39 states that have passed laws barring smoking in certain indoor workplaces, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. AP in Hampton Roads

Aug. 27

Indiana lawmakers still grappling with sexting
This year, at least 16 states have introduced or are considering bills or resolutions aimed at sexting, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Chesteron Tribune. More

Representative Dennis Richardson: Facts behind revenue drop
NCSL is an excellent resource to legislators in all 50 states. When we legislators utilize the research and services provided by NCSL we gather information and ideas in an effective, efficient and economical manner, without having to “reinvent the wheel.” Oregon Catalyst. More

States deal with increase in abandoned boats
Twelve states, including Kansas, Missouri and Tennessee, have passed laws on abandoned boats in the last five years, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. USA Today in Trade Only Today. More

The push to portray N.C. as the worst
One, the NCSL report lumps together states like North Carolina that have a biennial budget with states that pass a budget every year. Carrboro Citizen. More

Nevada medical malpractice lawsuit damages cap being challenged
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, as of 2005 ten states capped recoveries specifically on medical malpractice cases and another 22 have caps that are not limited to medical malpractice. About a dozen states also have caps on punitive damages.AboutLawsuits.com. More

Aug. 26

U.S. jobless claims decline more than forecast
Congress this month passed legislation providing $26 billion in aid to state governments to prevent thousands of layoffs of teachers and other public service employees as declining tax revenue has left state and local governments with budget deficits the National Conference of State Legislatures estimates at $84 billion. Bloomberg News. More

Penalize resending racy texts, panel told
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 16 states have considered sexting laws this year. Journal Gazette. More

Governor OKs session to include 'spice' ban
At least 10 states have adopted some kind of ban on the substance, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Clarion Ledger. More

Republicans, Independents back ballot initiatives
Nationwide, 146 ballot initiatives have qualified for November's election, reports the National Conference of State Legislatures. CT Mirror. More

Gambling, lottery expansion fails
More than half of all states considered changes to their gambling laws, but just four enacted changes so far, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Spokesman Review. More

Passing the buck: New laws mean new expenses for local taxpayers
In 2005, the National Conference of State Legislatures reported that “the federal government had shifted costs totaling $51 billion to states for Fiscal Years 2004 and 2005." KENS 5. More

Abandoned boats litter waters in tough economy
Twelve states, including Kansas, Missouri and Tennessee, have passed laws on abandoned boats in the past five years, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Most streamline the process of taking title and disposing of boats when owners cannot be found. USA Today. More

Health insurance market moves ahead in California
If it becomes law as expected, the legislation would make California the first state to enact a full exchange since the national law passed, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Wall Street Journal in CME Markets. More

GAO: $10 trillon gap threatens government services
"Revenues are not growing at a fast enough rate to make up the difference," said Todd Haggerty a policy associate for the National Conference of State Legislatures. "The majority of states are not predicting a return to (2008) revenue levels until 2013 or 2014, for some even 2015." Watchdog. More

Lawmakers discuss banning teen sexting
The National Conference of State Legislatures says lawmakers in 16 states have considered sexting laws this year. WTHI-TV (Indiana). More

Indiana lawmakers still grappling with issue of teens sending racy photos by cell phone
This year, at least 16 states have introduced or are considering bills or resolutions aimed at sexting, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Republic. More

Mississippi lawmakers to weigh synthetic marijuana ban
At least 10 states have adopted some form of a ban on the substance, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Clarion Ledger. More

Gambling and lottery expansion failing across the U.S., non-starter in Idaho
More than half of all states considered changes to their gambling laws, but just four enacted changes so far, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Attempts in 17 statehouses failed, while five states’ actions are undetermined, according to the NCSL. Idaho Reporter. More

Aug. 25

$50M sought for plant
At least 10 states have adopted some form of a ban on the substance, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Cities across Mississippi, including Pearl, Ridgeland, Florence, Clinton, Morton, Hattiesburg, Southaven and Gulfport, have banned it, as have some counties. Jackson Clarion Ledger. More

Cheyenne gay couple challenges Wyo. marriage law
Jack Tweedie with the National Conference of State Legislatures in Denver said Tuesday that 45 states, including Wyoming, have either laws on the books or provisions in their constitutions that define marriage as existing only between a man and a woman. The Associated Press in the San Francisco Chronicle. More

State tax hikes could go too far
According the National Conference of State Legislatures, 33 states project budget gaps for fiscal year 2012, and 23 states for fiscal year 2013. Financial News USA. More

2010 elections: big potential for republican governor
"It looks dark for the Democrats," says Tim Storey, a political analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). "They are the victims of their own success." Storey observes that the Democrats won heavily in the legislative elections of 2006 and 2008, putting them in control of many marginal districts.edistricting wins. Politics Daily. More

Early voting comes to Maryland
Nationwide, 32 states have some form of early voting, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures. Delmarva Media Group.More

Synthetic marijuana targeted in Pa. House
At least eight states have added certain synthetic cannabinoids to the state’s statues and at least five currently have bills pending, including Pennsylvania, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures. Delaware Daily Times. More

Goedde named to NCSL education post
State Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d’Alene, has been appointed co-chairman of the education committee for the National Conference of State Legislatures, one of 12 standing committees of NCSL, the bipartisan organization serves legislators and staffs of all states with research, technical assistance and more. Spokesman Review. More

Aug. 24

Ind. study committee to consider sexting issues at Statehouse meeting
The National Conference of State Legislatures says lawmakers in 16 states have considered sexting laws this year. THe Associated Press in the Republic (IN). More

Civil unions on the horizon in Illinois?
Iowa, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and the District of Columbia currently allow same-sex marriages, while New Jersey allows civil unions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Illinois Statehouse News. More

Maine lawmaker: Voters should be required to show photo ID
"The trend is moving in that direction and this proposal would bring Maine into line with the trend," says Tom Intorcio, who tracks voter ID laws for the National Conference of State Legislatures. Maine Public Broadcasting Network. More

State tax hikes could go too far
According the National Conference of State Legislatures, 33 states project budget gaps for fiscal year 2012, and 23 states for fiscal year 2013. CNN Money.com. More

Federal legislation would create a level playing field for sales tax collection
According to National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), the legislation would help Minnesota collect approximately $455 million in FY 2012 sales tax revenue that it is owed, but under current law it would struggle to collect. Minnesota Budget Bites. More

Laws prescribe marijuana
Federal law does not recognize any such thing as medical marijuana. But 16 states now allow it, said Karmen Hanson, who tracks the issue for the National Conference of State Legislatures. 420 Magazine. More

Golden parachutes for state lawmakers?
“It’s a gradual drift,” Ron Snell, director of state services in NCSL’s Denver office, told The Nerve last week. “No state that has lacked a legislative retirement system has created one, and a few have moved away from it.” The Nerve Blog. More

Aug. 23

A review of 2010’s changes in state tax policy
According to a July 2010 report from the National Conference of State Legislatures, 41 states closed or are closing a budget gap for their FY 2011 budgets. Tax Foundation. More

Local income-tax formula shorts many cities
Indiana is among 18 states that have a local income tax, according to a 2008 report by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Indianapolis Star Tribune. More

Runoff elections allow small minority of voters to give nominees a majority of votes
Oklahoma is one of 10 states with provisions for runoff elections, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Oklahoman. More

As New Yorkers struggle, Legislature's costs soar
Part-time state legislators' annual wages of $79,500 are topped this year only by the $95,921 paid in California, whose population is almost double the 19.5 million people in New York, and $79,650 in Michigan, which has about 10 million people, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The California and Michigan legislatures are full-time.  Poughkeepsie Journal. More

Billions on the ballot
NCSL is the source for the list of ballot measures listed on the side of the story. Stateline.org. More

Blago: I'll be back
Photo source of Mitch McConnell. More

Legislature, administration reach agreement on deficit size
According to a recent survey by the National Conference of State Legislatures, 33 states anticipate shortfalls in their fiscal year 2012 spending plans. Of those, 18 states say the deficits run in excess of 10 percent of their total general fund budgets. Times Argus (VT). More

Pa. lawmakers’ hiring practices out of control
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, in 2009 Pennsylvania had the most legislative staffers in the country, 2,918. Opinion in the Times Leader. More

If women ruled the world...
“They saw that those were issues that were not being taken up before women arrived,” said Katie Ziegler, program manager for the Women’s Legislative Network, a nonpartisan clearinghouse sponsored by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Lubbock Online. More

Platinum Legislature: Taxpayers hurting, but Albany keeps running up the tab
The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) found that California's Legislature spent the most in the 2007-08 fiscal year -- $336.2 million, followed by Pennsylvania at $319.2 million and New York at $216.3 million. Ithaca Journal. More

Pawlenty urged to take Medicaid cash
The legislation will provide states $16.1 billion over time, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Pioneer Press. More

Rising costs set to change the face of US higher education
The scale of the financial problems facing public universities in the US is laid bare in a recent report by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Times Higher Education. More

Aug. 20

State owes $2.2 billion to feds for unemployment benefits
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 31 states and the Virgin Islands had borrowed $38.7 billion to pay jobless claims as of this week. The State Journal-Register (Ill.). More

Tax man spies on book purchases
The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that North Carolina's budget deficit is among the nation's worst. Editorial in the Washington Times. More

Corpus Christi 7-day film festival announces jurors
State Rep. Solomon Ortiz Jr. was born and raised in Corpus Christi. He was elected to the Texas Legislature in 2006 and is a member of the National Conference of State Legislatures Labor and Economic Development Committee. Corpus Christi Caller Times. More

Bond buyers unfazed by NJ charges
“It most likely came from one of the injured party’s,” said Steve Rauschenberger, a former President of the National Conference of State Legislatures. Watchdog.org. More
 

Aug. 19

Colorado GOP lawmakers trek to Arizona for guidance on immigration
Political action committee Americans for Legal Immigration counts 22 states, including Colorado, that are considering following Arizona's lead. The nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures says similar bills have been filed in five states. "The court's decision gave a yellow light to legislators: proceed with caution," said NCSL program director Ann Morse. The Denver Post. More

NC House and Senate candidates lay out the issues
He has also been active in the National Conference of State Legislatures, currently serving as an officer. He formerly served as the chair of a standing committee on law and public safety. Macon County News. More

Child support: The war against fathers
NCSL, in one of its recent annual conferences, offered a primer to state child support professionals. Blog, Jornal.us. More

Aug. 18

California may vote soon on its health insurance exchange
While California is at the forefront of designing its exchange, another six statesalso have begun the process, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. AIS's Health Business Daily. More

South Carolina to cover obesity surgery next year
At least six states require insurance companies to cover morbid obesity treatment, including gastric bypass surgery, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Terra.com. More

Biennial budgeting – consider with caution
The National Conference of State Legislatures noted when discussing state-level biennial budgets, “Forecasting is likely to prove more accurate in annual-budget states than in biennial-budget states, reducing the need for supplemental appropriations and special legislative sessions.” Opinion in Yankton Press & Dakotan (S.D.). More

Fla. Rep. Matt Hudson named to Executive Committee of NCSL
House Republicans announced on Tuesday that one of their own -- Rep. Matt Hudson of Naples -- had been named to the executive committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Blog in Sunshine News. More
 

Aug. 17

Reign of coal
Why must the country invest more heavily in energy research and development? A recent report from the National Conference of State Legislatures provides an answer. Editorial in iStock Analyst. More

Needed: Support for professional science master's degrees
At the state level, professional science master's degrees have been energetically supported by the National Governors Association, the National Conference of State Legislatures, and many state leaders in both legislative and executive branches. Commentary in The Chronicle of Higher Education. More

No 'rhyme' or 'reason' to Pa. lawmakers' staff
With 2,918 employees, the General Assembly has the most legislative staffers in the country, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Centre Daily (Penn.) More

Panel to focus on life sciences, medical innovation
Featured panelists include Indiana State Representative Peggy Welch, who is also the immediate past chair of the National Conference of State Legislatures Health Committee. Press Release from Inside Indiana Business. More

Gibson, 74, dies
Longtime lawmaker, secretary of Senate Gibson, a longtime resident of Brookline, died at the Levine & Dickson Hospice in North Carolina, three weeks after he was hospitalized while attending the National Conference of State Legislatures Annual Meeting in Kentucky. Brattleboro Reformer. More

Aug. 16

Incumbents' vulnerability depends on geography and status
“The election appeared to be an anti-incumbent vote for change,” Karl Kurtz writes in a blog associated with the National Conference of State Legislatures. Editorial in Gaston Gazette (N.C.). More

Public pensions: Can states opt out?
Lawmakers from around the country packed a session on modifying public pension benefits at the recent annual meeting of the National Conference of State Legislatures in Louisville. Opinion in Delaware Online. More

Can politics be removed from redistricting?
A dozen states use independent commissions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Stateline.org. More

Coalition needed to reform R.I.’s rule
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there are only 16 states that still have some form of straight-ticket voting. Providence Journal. More

Congress OKs more Medicaid funds for states
Approval of the $16.1 billion in Medicaid funding happened as states still struggle to recover from the recession, partly due to continued high unemployment, according to an analysis released Aug. 4 by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Amednews.com. More

Rates of obesity in South Carolina double since 1990
On the other hand, the National Conference of State Legislatures stated that there are at least six states that need insurance companies to deal with melancholic obesity medications to undergo gastric bypass surgery. Brand Imposter. More

Employee unions, state's negotiators far apart on contracts
A typical state government employee in an average state pays 18 percent of costs for family coverage, compared to Washington’s 12 percent, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Tacoma News Tribune. More

Congressman Rubén Hinojosa Supports...
The funding in the bill is supported by a majority of the nation’s Governors, including many Republican Governors, and by numerous organizations, including the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures. Canada Views. More

Immigration issue demands a solution
Every state that had a legislative session in the first half of this year introduced at least one bill aimed at addressing immigration, according to a recent report by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Opinion in Courier Post. More

State’s retirement plans account for 15 percent of budget deficit
At least 16 states have reduced benefits for employees or increased contributions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Lincoln Star Journal. More

State government pension facts
Eight states do not give pensions to lawmakers, according to a 2009 survey by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Lincoln Star Journal. More

A vote, but not on everything
Californians have voted on 331 citizen-initiated ballot questions in the past century, not counting those proposed by the legislature, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Opinion in The Virginian-Pilot. More

ID breaches more common than ever
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, only Alabama, Kentucky, New Mexico and South Dakota have no security breach law. Atlanta Journal Constitution. More

Kansas voter initiative plan draws agriculture groups' ire
Twenty-six states, including the four surrounding Kansas, have mechanisms allowing voters to put proposed laws or constitutional changes on the ballot, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. AP in Kansas City Star. More

South Carolina to cover obesity surgery next year
At least six states require insurance companies to cover morbid obesity treatment, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Associated Press. More

Reporting program for healthcare-associated infections difficult to implement, study finds
Establishing a program for mandatory reporting of healthcare-associated infections is a challenge for a number of states, according to an analysis from the National Conference of State Legislatures. McKnight's Long Term Care News. More
 

Aug. 13

Arizona lawsuit is latest to challenge to federal health care law
On top of that, five state legislatures have enacted or signed statutes to limit or block provisions of the health care law. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 40 states legislatures have proposed laws challenging the federal policy. FOX News. More

States' HAI reporting comes of age, leaves unanswered questions
The answers to these difficult questions may lie in a new report from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), “State Public Reporting of Healthcare-Associated infections: Lessons from the Pioneers.” Infection Control Today. More

SC to cover obesity surgery next year
At least six states require insurance companies to cover morbid obesity treatment, including gastric bypass surgery: Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, New Hampshire and Virginia, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Associated Press in MSN. More

Retirement: The pension letdown
The changes are “extraordinary, and bolder than anything I can remember,” says Ron Snell, of the National Conference of State Legislatures, who has been monitoring pensions since the 1980s. Smart Money. More

Nebraska has yet to sign up for stimulus funds to help low-income residents
Though Nebraska has missed out on an innovative subsidized employment program, there are still ways for the state to access the money, said Jack Tweedie, with the National Conference of State Legislatures. If the state's basic assistance program costs have gone up, or the earned income tax credit has gone up, "I can't think of a reason not to claim that," he said in a telephone interview Thursday. Lincoln Star. More

More Americans that forecast file claims for jobless benefits
Weaker sales and declining income tax revenue have left states with budget gaps totaling $84 billion, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Business Week. More

Reporting program for healthcare-associated infections difficult to implement, study finds
Establishing a program for mandatory reporting of healthcare-associated infections is a challenge for a number of states, according to an analysis from the National Conference of State Legislatures. McKnights Long Term Care News. More

Summerville moving on illegal immigrants ban
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, lawmakers in 44 states passed 191 state laws and adopted 128 resolutions on immigration in the first six months of this year. Five were vetoed. The Associated Press in the Spartanburg Herald JournalScientists. More

Scientists: Mississippi River could save Louisiana coast
The trip, which included state lawmakers and representatives of the National Conference of State Legislatures, sets the state for a multi-state conference on restoring wetlands sponsored by the NCSL and an October international conference "DELTAS 2010," hosted by the America's Wetlands Foundation. Shreveport Times.More

Aug. 12

U.S. jobless claims unexpectedly climb to five-month high
Weaker sales and declining income tax revenue have left states with budget gaps totaling $84 billion, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Bloomberg. More

Honey, when did the Feds take over the kids' school?
Meanwhile, the National Conference of State Legislatures opposes national standards. Opinion in The Detroit News. More

Low-cost banking important for self-sufficiency
According to a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures, check cashers are often sought out as an alternative, and an average of $40 per paycheck is charged. Column in the Coloradoan. More

Summerville, S.C., passes immigration law
About 1,000 immigrations bills have been brought up in state legislatures so far this year, CCN reported in April, citing the National Conference of State Legislatures. S.C. Post and Courier. More

A gathering in Louisville
Every year the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) holds a conference where legislators from all over the U.S. gather for updates on major policy concerns. Commentary in Falls Church News Press. More

Minn. AG Swanson warns consumers about bogus health insurance companies
Nationwide, the average premium for an individual health insurance policy went from $2,196 in 1999 to $4,824 in 2009, and the average premium for a family health insurance policy went from $5,791 in 1999 to $13,375 in 2009, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Hometown News. More

Medicaid help a potential lifeline for state breast cancer programs
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 30 states proposed or approved state budgets for FY2011 that assume Congress would approve a six-month Medicaid enhancement. Earth Times. More

State would have faced $5.6 billion shortfall in FY 2011, report finds
Next year could be a perfect storm for North Carolina budget writers, according to an analysis by the bi-partisan National Conference of State Legislatures. Lincoln Tribune. More

Fate of spent nuke waste fuels debate
State Sen. Deborah Simpson serves on the National Conference of State Legislatures’ high level waste subgroup, and sat on a panel of northeastern regional subject matter experts Tuesday. The Maine Times Record. More

House returns from recess to vote on extra Medicaid help for states
The Medicaid money is badly needed, according to an analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Medical News. More

Aug. 11

Legislators want stimulus answers
Legislators in other states received that information months ago, Michael Bird, federal affairs counsel for the National Conference of State Legislatures, said Tuesday. Charleston Gazette. More

Oregon tax hikes don't stop revenue bleeding
Last month, the National Conference of State Legislatures released a report showing Oregon and Illinois as the only states projecting shortfalls at the end of the budget year that ends next summer. Stateline.org. More

State aid
The bill is designed to help fill state budget gaps totaling $84 billion, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Bloomberg Businessweek. More

River could revive La. coast
The trip, which included state lawmakers and representatives of the National Conference of State Legislatures, sets the stage for a multi-state conference on restoring wetlands. The News Star (La.) More

Incumbent Oregon senator draws energy from trading ideas with constituents
Senator Bruce Starr said his out-of-state travel is due to his membership in the National Conference of State Legislatures, a national, bipartisan organization dedicated to the improvement of state legislatures. Forest Grove News Times. More

Aid restores some school days in Oregon
Oregon’s share is estimated at $273 million, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Salem Register Guard. More

Laying foundation for economic recovery
The Back to School Program is sponsored by the National Conference of State Legislatures and the Trust for Representative Democracy. Opinion in Webster City News. More

Where could first cousins wed?
So where in America could a couple of lovestruck, lawbreaking relatives get hitched? Surge Desk takes a look, via the National Conference of State Legislatures. AOL News. More

Aug. 10

U.S. House set to pass state aid as lawmakers return from break
State and local governments are facing a budget gap totaling $84 billion, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, triggered primarily by weak sales and income tax revenue. Bloomberg News. More

States test whether public pension benefits given can be taken away
Interest is keen everywhere: Lawmakers from around the country packed a session on modifying public pension benefits at the recent annual meeting of the National Conference of State Legislatures in Louisville. Stateline.org. More

House expected to OK $26 billion to aid states
The Medicaid money is badly needed, according to an analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures. The federal and state governments jointly fund the program, and under the 2009 federal stimulus act, Washington was to provide extra aid through Dec. 31. Seattle Times. More

House expected to approve $26 billion in aid to states
The Medicaid money is badly needed, according to an analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures. The federal and state governments jointly fund the program, and under the 2009 federal stimulus act, Washington was to provide extra aid through Dec. 31. Miami Herald. More

Legal marijuana substitute called ‘spice’ is a growing trend in Los Angeles
Eleven states have outlawed the substance since March, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. At least four have bills pending. Daily Bruin. More

Health care battle heats up
In the past 12 months, 39 states have considered or are considering some type of legislative measure proposing to challenge, opt out or push back on federal health insurance reform, said Richard Cauchi, health program director for the National Conference of State Legislatures. Law.com. More

Blaming Bush doesn't create jobs
Photo Credit: Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi addresses the annual meeting of the National Conference of State Legislatures in Louisville, Ky., Monday, July 26, 2010. OC Register. More

NC Legislature watchdog making mark after 3 years
The National Conference of State Legislatures says 46 states have legislative program evaluation offices. WECT-TV. More

Denise Merrill
I have also been active in the National Conference of State Legislatures for many years, where I served on the national board, and Co-Chaired the Blue Ribbon Commission on Higher Education. Register Citizen. More

State workers sue Beshear to block furloughs
Faced with budget deficits, more than half of the states have ordered some or all of their employees to take unpaid furloughs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Lexington Herald Leader. More

Election-year politics has state budgets in limbo
Eighty-three percent of all legislative seats in 46 states and 37 governors' races will be decided by voters in the November elections, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. KERA. More

Loveman plays `purely empirical' game as Harrah's CEO
And as casinos open up in more states across the U.S. -- Ohio last year became the 25th state to legalize casino gambling, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and Massachusetts appears deadlocked over the details of a legalization bill -- Harrah’s, with $3 billion in cash and available credit, is poised to expand into these emerging markets. Bloomberg News. More

High NH cigarette tax yields rising sales in Maine
Mainers, especially those who live near the New Hampshire border, for years have traveled to the Granite State to buy cheap alcohol and cigarettes. Nationwide, state cigarette excise taxes range from 17 cents a pack in Missouri to $4.35 a pack in New York, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Associated Press.More

August 9

Michigan up for $600M in aid
Michigan is one of 30 states that are depending on FMAP funding to close budget gaps, according to data compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Detroit News. More

California's gay-marriage decision unlikely to shift campaign focus from economy
By now, 41 states have approved legislation defining marriage as between a man and a woman, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Washington Post. More

National group honors Rep. Watson for service
“These legislators and legislative staff not only have devoted their lives to serving their state in the legislature, but also our nation in Iraq, Afghanistan and related areas,” said William Pound, executive director of the National Conference of State Legislatures. Courier Journal. More

Aid for states is late but welcome
The Senate-passed bill totals $26 billion in aid, against pending state budget gaps of $84 billion, as tallied by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Editorial in the Detroit Free Press. More

In this election year, local races could have most lasting effect
"Political signs point to a Republican year in state legislative races this fall, and that could spell trouble for Democrats in Washington for years to come," said Tim Storey, an analyst with the non-partisan National Conference of State Legislatures. Opinion in the Statesman Journal. More

August 6

State/local job cuts accelerate
Still, states that have released forecasts for their 2012 and 2013 fiscal years face cumulative deficits estimated at $136.4 billion, according to a recent report by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Wall Street Journal Blog. More

Milwaukee teachers union seeks court order for Viagra in its health plans
The AP quotes an official with the National Conference of State Legislatures as saying state employee health plans generally don't cover those drugs. USA Today. MoreMore in the Associated Press and More in the Houston Chronicle.

Chuck Raasch: State-level battles loom large in 2010
"Political signs point to a Republican year in state legislative races this fall, and that could spell trouble for Democrats in Washington for years to come," said Tim Storey, an analyst with the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures. Opinion in the Livingston Daily. More

Senate approves $26 billion to help states retain teachers
At issue is state budget shortfalls totaling $84 billion nationwide, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, brought on by weak tax revenue and increased demand for government services by the unemployed. Bloomberg. More

Senate passes Medicaid assistance bill; House to return for vote
"Dozens of states assumed Congress would provide the additional Medicaid funding when they drew up their budgets, so a failure to approve the aid would exacerbate state shortfalls projected to total $84 billion nationwide, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures." Kaiser Health News. More

National organizations endorse clean diesel upgrade program at annual meetings
In recent weeks, DERA reauthorization has been endorsed at separate national meetings by the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National Association of Counties and the U.S. Conference of Mayors. School Transportation News. More

Senate approves $26 billion to help states retain teachers
Dozens of states assumed Congress would provide the additional Medicaid funding when they drew up their budgets, so a failure to approve the aid would exacerbate state shortfalls projected to total $84 billion nationwide, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. San Francisco Chronicle. More

Medical marijuana approved at some VA hospitals
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there are 14 states and the District of Columbia with medical marijuana laws. Daily Press. More

Senate bill would mean $600 million for N.C.
According to a report released by the National Conference of State Legislators in late July, nearly half of states reported fiscal 2011 gaps at 10 percent or more of their general fund budgets. Sun Journal. More

August 5

Senate musters the votes for aid to states
"The easy choices have essentially been made by the states," said Arturo Perez, a fiscal analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures. "We're talking about a situation where state policymakers face even more difficult decisions about how to balance their budgets if that money is not available." Los Angeles Times. More

State governments find inner entrepreneuer
As some states looked at cutting costly prison populations, Virginia's governor proposed leasing 1,000 prison slots to out-of-state inmates for an estimated $19.8 million, according to a survey by National Conference of State Legislatures. Reuters. More

State aid plan seeking $26 billion survives procedural vote in U.S. Senate
Dozens of states assumed Congress would provide the additional Medicaid funding when they drew up their budgets, so lawmakers’ failure to act would exacerbate state shortfalls projected to total $84 billion nationwide, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Bloomberg. More

Deportation fears plague locals
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, in 2005, 300 bills were introduced by state legislatures nationwide; 38 laws were enacted. Colorado Springs Independent. More

Moore chosen as president of legislators
The National Conference of State Legislatures unanimously elected Sen. Richard T. Moore (D-Uxbridge) as the 38th president of the organization. Moore served as president-elect last year. The Millbury Sutton Chronicle. More

Finding business stories in the $26 billion jobs aid package
According to this recent budget report by the National Conference of State Legislatures, many states predicated 2011 budgets on this enhanced Medicaid funding; without it many would have to cut other services to make up the gap. Reynolds Center. More

Health insurance premiums may rise when adult kids join parents’ plan
The National Conference of State Legislatures says that roughly 13 million young adults between the ages of 19 and 29 in the country lack health insurance. Insurance Corner. More

Fla. decision not to appeal in Scott case may further expose state campaign law, expert says
Florida's limit, which is the same of those of Alaska, Maine and Massachusetts, is the lowest in the country, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Palm Beach Post News. More

Gold alternative to debt and market manipulation
U.S. state governments project revenue will climb in the current fiscal year after they raised taxes and cut spending to close budget gaps of $84 billion, a report from the National Conference of State Legislatures found. Prison Planet. More

August 4

GOP targets states’ races
The states expected to lose seats are largely in the blue-state regions of the Northeast and industrial Northwest, meaning that the Democratic nominee for president will probably suffer more than the Republican nominee in 2012, said Tim Storey, a redistricting specialist with the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Boston Globe. More

Hobbs DNA saga fuels debate on taking DNA samples after an arrest, instead of convictions
Virginia is one of 23 states that automatically test people upon arrest on suspicion of certain crimes, said Rich Williams, of the National Conference of State Legislatures. Chicago Tribune. More

Baltimore to host legislature convention in 2016
This year, the group’s legislative summit was held in Louisville, Ky., and brought in 4,500 attendees. Baltimore’s 8,500 hotel rooms were key to securing the convention to hold all the visitors. Baltimore Business Journal. More

States fill gaps in absence of federal immigration reform
In the first half of this year, state legislatures introduced more than 1,000 bills and resolutions in nearly all the 50 states relating to immigrants and refugees, according to a new report from the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Xinhua. More

State Rep. Mark Maddox of Dresden wins national post with bipartisan legislative group
Tennessee State Rep. Mark Maddox has been elected vice president of the National Conference of State Legislatures. WREG. More

Legislative Report District 13
Health care was just one of the topics covered in depth at the National Conference of State Legislatures meeting in Louisville, Ky., July 25-28. West Fargo Pioneer. More

Big trouble could be on horizon for N.C. budget
Furthermore, a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures claims North Carolina has one of the largest projected budget deficits next year of any state in the county. Early estimates show that debt could easily reach $3 billion. Lexington Dispatch. More

In the News: CTU sues over teacher layoffs; states slash pre-K programs
Later in the day, Chicago Public Schools issued a statement in response to the lawsuit filed by CTU that said the CTU lawsuit "willfully ignores the state’s budget crisis. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Illinois is in worse shape than any other state. Catalyst Chicago. More

Arguments against voter ID requirement doesn’t hold water
The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) reports that in 26 states: “All voters are asked to show identification prior to voting. Superior Telegram. More

August 3

Immigration Debate: Number of City, State Bills Relating to Immigration Increase
In the first quarter of 2010 alone, state legislators in 45 states introduced 1,180 bills and resolutions relating to immigrants and refugees, up from the first quarter of 2009, when 25 states passed 35 laws and adopted 40 resolutions, according to the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures. ABC News. More

States making employees work longer for retirement benefits
A new report from the National Conference of State Legislatures found 10 states have passed laws this year to keep public-sector employees working longer. The Connecticut Mirror. More

Lawmakers’ summer study
The Health Finance Commission began work last month with a presentation by the National Conference of State Legislatures on the federal health care reform act and an update from state agencies affected by the law. The Journal Gazette. More

Half a Million Municipal Jobs Endangered
A separate report by the National Conference of State Legislatures says that the slow pace of job recovery will beleaguer local governments through 2012. California Job Journal. More

Free Health Clinic Planned For D.C. Area; University Of Kansas To Study Indian Health; Ga. Weighs Health Needs Of Older Prisoners
Thirty-five states have similar provisions for a medical release, and six relaxed them in the past three years, according to Alison Lawrence, a policy specialist with the National Conference of State Legislatures. Kaiser Health News. More

Watchdog eyes how politicians use Twitter, Facebook
Like California's current regulations, federal campaign watchdogs regulate only paid political advertising, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Bakersfield Now. More

August 2

Sales tax holidays spread to 18 states
States face a budget gap of $84 billion for fiscal year 2011, which in many states began July 1, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. USA today. More

Showdown looms on immigration bills
During the first half of 2010, almost 1,400 immigration-related bills and resolutions were introduced at the state level—close to a record set last year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Seattle Post Intelligencer. More

Calif. campaign watchdog eyes new Internet rules
Like California's current regulations, federal campaign watchdogs regulate only paid political advertising, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. San Jose Mercury News. More

Resources for health care reform
The National Conference of State Legislatures is a bipartisan organization that serves state legislators and their staff. Evansville Courier and Press. More

Pelosi `not nervous' about Dems losing elections
In this July 26, 2010 file photo, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif. addresses the annual meeting of the National Conference of State Legislatures in Louisville, Ky. The Chippewa Herald. More

Dave Heineman may not seek $1M health care reform grant
"The governor can say what he wants politically, but he should be working for what is best for Nebraskans," said Nordquist, who is chairman of a group of state senators monitoring health care reform for the the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Journal Star. More

Aging inmates burden budget in Georgia
Thirty-five states have similar provisions for a medical release, and six relaxed them in the past three years, according to Alison Lawrence, a policy specialist with the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Augusta Chronicle. More

Laurel couple joins equal-protection suit
If the plaintiffs prevail, Montana would become the 12th state to recognize domestic partnerships or civil unions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Billings Gazette. More

Pot substitutes lack controls
The Iowa Legislature subsequently banned the products, said Karmen Hanson, an analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures, which provides research for the legislators and staffs of every state and territory. The Olympian. More

Kansans New Insurance Pool Set Up With Pre-Existing Conditions
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Kansas is one of 29 states and the District of Columbia that have chosen to operate their own plans, with the federal plan having begun 1st July. Visit Bulgaria. More

 

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