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NCSL in the News: August 2011

NCSL in the News: 2011

NCSL in the News Archives

NCSL in the News: August 2011

August 31

New law means students in country illegally now have to pay out-of-state tuition
Ann Morse, director of the Immigrant Policy Project with the National Conference of State Legislatures, said legislative supporters of undocumented students often argue that the state has already made an investment in the student and should continue to do so. Indianapolis Star

Mississippi to put abortion in election spotlight
In fact, while 30 initiatives have been filed in Mississippi, only two have ever reached the ballot, both dealing with term limits. Both failed, according to Jennie Bowser of the National Conference of State Legislatures. Stateline

Area jobless rate dips below double digits
According to information provided through the National Conference of State Legislatures for the month of June, “More than 14.1 million workers are currently unemployed. The number of long-term unemployed, those jobless for 27 weeks or more, remained steady at 6.3 million.” Cleveland Daily Banner

GOP's 2010 victories failed to produce sweeping insurance regulation reforms
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 21 legislative bodies across the country flipped in favor of Republicans. And of the 37 gubernatorial elections held last year, 29 went in favor of the GOP. Insurance News Net

Congress imposes new rules for taxation and regulation of surplus lines insurers
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), as of July 29, 2011, at least 44 states and Puerto Rico have introduced legislation to comply with NRRA and 41 have enacted surplus lines legislation. Lexology

Constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage on legislature's table in September
In 2006, Arizona became the only state ever to defeat a marriage amendment at the polls, but it subsequently passed the measure in 2008, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Star News (Wilmington, NC)

August 30

Online sales tax could hit Utah companies
State Sen. Curt Bramble, R- Provo, said Utah is among a large group of states involved in the proposed adoption of the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement that was created in 1999 by the National Governor's Association and the National Conference of State Legislatures to make collecting sales tax easier. Deseret News

Doyle works for passage of act
Of the four days West Virginia Delegate John Doyle, D-Jefferson, attended the National Conference of State Legislatures' Legislative Summit 2011 in San Antonio earlier this month, he spent about two days working on the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax issue. Martinsburg, WV Journal

Kansas senators to spend time in local classrooms
The “Legislators Back to School” program is sponsored by the Trust for Representative Democracy and the National Conference of State Legislatures. Kansas City Star

DOJ Has More Questions About South Carolina's Voter ID Law
South Carolina is one of several states which passed or considered voter ID laws this year. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 14 states currently have photo voter ID laws. TPM Muckraker

Fifty percent of Americans could be obese by 2030
Currently almost one in four adults are considered obese in Utah, resulting in $393 million in annual medical costs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Salt Lake City Examiner

August 29

Alabama looking at models for drug tests for welfare applicants
TANF allows states to screen recipients, including drug testing, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Tennessee Times Daily

Voter-ID bill awaits action
Fourteen other states require or have approved laws that will require voters to show photo identification, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. AP in the Philadelphia Inquirer & Houston Chronicle

GOP using redistricting to shore up House majority
"Redistricting starts with Republicans at a peak," said Tim Storey, an elections analyst with the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures. "They hold a solid majority of seats in the House. It's hard to gain much more." Winston-Salem Journal

Political Pulse: LePage channels Jimmy Carter with zero-based budgeting
A 1995 report from the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures helps explain why. According to the report, state programs are not "amenable to such a radical annual re-examination." Sun-Journal

What other states are doing
In 1999, the National Governors Association and the National Conference of State Legislatures created the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement. Participating states must adopt legislation that conforms with terms set forth in the agreement. Technology is employed to simplify and minimize the costs for businesses to collect the tax from their out-of-state customers and pay it to states that have different tax rates, taxable items and exemptions. It also simplifies the process and reduces administrative costs for the states. Reading Eagle

Chevara Orrin tackles MLK, Obama and the long road ahead
Yet according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, unemployment in the United States is hovering around 9 percent. Winston-Salem Journal

Jon Ralston: Let's recall the recalls
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, those strictures are hardly extreme, although some states allow longer signatures-gathering periods. Reno Gazette-Journal

Gay marriage? State lawmakers wonder if votes are there
In addition to New York, the states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont and New Hampshire and the District of Columbia issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Seattle Times

Ks. concern: More fed regs, less fed money
Lawmakers from around the country serving in the National Conference of State Legislatures are keen to influence U.S. representatives and senators embarking this fall on a high-stakes debate about how best to cut $1.2 trillion in federal appropriations. Topeka Capital-Journal

Missouri expands restrictions against synthetic drugs
At least 38 states through mid-August have targeted synthetic cannabinoids, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. AP in Kansas City Star

August 26

Most referendums since 1998 give U.S. voters a chance to reject state laws
For five referendums to have qualified already for 2012 ballots is “remarkable,” said Jennie Bowser, a senior fellow at NCSL. Most organizations don’t circulate petitions until the January or February before the November vote, she said.  “I wouldn’t be surprised to see us pass 1998’s record” of six referendums, she said in a telephone interview.  Bloomberg

Hispanic college enrollment spikes, study shows
A report released this month by the National Conference of State Legislatures showed that 32 percent of Hispanics in Florida have a college degree, compared with 16 percent in Texas and California, two other states with large Latino populations.  Orlando Sentinel

Let’s recall the recalls
The Constitution says any public officer is subject to recall after six months in office, with advocates of ouster by law forced to collect signatures from 25 percent of those who voted in the last election in 60 days. According to NCSL, those strictures are hardly extreme, although some states allow longer signatures-gathering periods.  Opinion in the Las Vegas Sun

Rick Perry goes it alone
That money was equal to only 2 percent of the more than $20 billion in stimulus money Texas did accept, including cash used to cover 97 percent of the state budget's shortfall for 2010, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Salon

How accurate are counts of same-sex couples?
Same-sex marriage licenses are currently issued in six states and the District of Columbia, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Massachusetts became the first state to license same-sex marriages in 2004.  Pew Research Center

ACLU steps up fight against overzealous school Internet filters
The National Conference of State Legislatures notes that 25 states also have state laws requiring Internet filters in public schools and libraries.  Pride Source

August 25

Mississippi Republicans aim for a sweep in state
Mississippi is one of only four states holding legislative elections this year. The others are Louisiana, Virginia and New Jersey, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  The Wall Street Journal

Redistricting lawsuits in W.Va. appear likely
During the July meeting of the House of Delegates Redistricting Committee, Morgan Cullen with the National Conference of State Legislatures warned delegates that lawsuits would be unavoidable.  "Odds are, you're going to get sued," he told the committee.  Turns out, he was right.  WOWK TV

Republicans make drive to tighten state voting rules before 2012 elections
Forty-seven states have enacted 285 election-related laws this year, and 60 percent were in states with Republican governors, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Bloomberg

School funding should be inflation-adjusted
Rep. Pete Petersen represents Northeast Anchorage and Muldoon in the state House. He serves on the House Education and Early Development Finance Subcommittee and the Education Committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Opinion in the Anchorage Daily News

Perry's fundraising for governors group draws scrutiny
Texas has banned campaign fundraising during the legislative session since 1981, when a bribery scandal prompted calls for a moratorium on cash and other gifts once exchanged openly on the legislative floor. Nationwide, 28 states restrict campaign contributions during legislative sessions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Houston Chronicle

Panel decides to restrict lawmakers' travel
Earlier his month, Assemblywoman Debbie Smith, D-Sparks, paid her expenses to attend the National Conference of State Legislatures' annual meeting.  Las Vegas Review-Journal

August 24

States' bottom line improves, but can the good news last?
"Bottom line: State revenues are improving, but not enough to meet budget demands," says Corina Eckl, head of the fiscal affairs program of the National Conference of State Legislatures. "It's like getting a 5 percent raise but finding out that your rent went up by 10 percent."  Christian Science Monitor

GOP using redistricting to shore up House majority
"Redistricting starts with Republicans at a peak," said Tim Storey, an elections analyst with the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures. "They hold a solid majority of seats in the House. It's hard to gain much more."  AP in the Atlanta Journal Constitution

Hurricane Irene to test ability of U.S. states to react after budget cuts
Officials generally don’t consider costs as they prepare for a hurricane or respond to a natural disaster, said Meagan Dorsch, spokeswoman for NCSL.  “The standard approach for any state is to first assess the situation following a major disaster, respond to the need, and make any necessary budgetary changes.  This is what we have seen in places like Alabama and Missouri following their devastating tornadoes this spring.”  Bloomberg

State voter ID bill gets backing
Fourteen states ask voters to present photo IDs, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures. Seven states allow a person to cast a regular ballot if he or she can't provide ID but can meet other criteria.  Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Commission opts not to act on Redland redistricting request
The Redland community is “a true community of interest,” McGinty said during the work session, referencing a 2009 primer on redistricting law prepared by the National Conference of State Legislatures.  The Wetumpka Herald

U.S. schools switch to four-day week to save money
The rural school district joins about 120 in 21 American states that have sliced a day off the school week to save money. A growing trend over the last decade, accelerated by the U.S. recession, the four-day school week tends to crop up in smaller, rural districts, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Toronto Star

Shariah law sparks lively debate
Lawmakers in at least 13 states, including Tennessee, have filed bills that would bar judges from considering Shariah law in legal decisions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  AP in the Knoxville News Sentinel

Key lawmakers ramp up questions on conflicts of interest
According to a Nebraska Watchdog examination of a National Conference of State Legislatures report, as of two years ago 39 states banned some lawmakers from voting on issues where they have a personal or financial conflict of interest. Nebraska is not one of those 39.  Watchdog in the Missouri News Horizon

ACLU fights against school internet filters
The National Conference of State Legislatures notes that 25 states also have state laws requiring Internet filters in public schools and libraries.  Keen News Service in SFGN.com

Delegate Scott's Richmond report
This year the conference was held in San Antonio,Texas, from August 8 through August 11. I have served as member of the Education Committee for several years. In addition to serving as a member of that committee, as a result of Virginia's ongoing pension-funding issues, I spent a good deal of time trying to learn how other states were dealing with shortfalls in pension funding.  Falls Church News Press

August 23

Fracking and the road to energy independence
The National Conference of State Legislatures reported in June that since last October more than 100 bills have been introduced in 19 states relating to hydraulic fracturing.  Opinion in the Chicago Tribune

What it takes to get out the Latino vote
The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that a record 1592 pieces of immigration legislation were considered by state legislatures around the country. Examiner.com

Marriage Inequality: Federal Defense of Marriage Act undermines NY law
According to a tally kept by the National Conference of State Legislatures, 39 states now have laws defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Thirty states have defined marriage in their constitutions. Three states — Florida, California and Arizona — have constitutional amendments along the same lines as DOMA. That leaves nine states and the District of Columbia where civil unions or gay marriage are legal. Editorial in the Syracuse blog

Government jobs buoy Austin
"The fact is, government doesn't create jobs, otherwise the last two and a half years of stimulus would have worked," Perry recently told the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Bond Buyer

Other views: Mortgage help needed and more failed stimulus
Rick Perry scored political points grandstanding against stimulus funds, however as it turned out, according to a report from the National Conference of State Legislatures, Texas relied more heavily on stimulus funding to fill its budget hole than any other state. Editorial in the Lubbock Online

Editorial: Why are Florida taxpayers subsidizing sweetheart health insurance program for Gov. Scott, state lawmakers?
The average annual premium for private-sector employees in Florida enrolled in single-coverage health insurance plans in 2009 was $1,065, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. This is the fourth highest in the nation. Editorial in the TC Palm

To cut costs, 120+ districts shift to 4-Day weeks
The National Conference of State Legislatures reported in June that since last October more than 100 bills have been introduced in 19 states relating to four-day school weeks. Education Week

Conservative media edit out government's role in Texas economy
Turns out Texas was the state that depended the most on those very stimulus funds to plug nearly 97% of its shortfall for fiscal 2010, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Media Matters

Homeless shelters face sharp cutbacks
At least 31 states have projected shortages for fiscal year 2012, a sum of more than $86 billion, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Christianity Today

August 22

As investors get bit, states feel pain
After deep revenue declines in the 2009 and 2010 fiscal years, followed by a flat 2011, states had finally expected modest revenue growth this fiscal year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Wall Street Journal

Panel set to discuss Sharia law tonight
Earlier this year, at least 13 states — including Tennessee — had legislative measures filed that would bar judges from considering Sharia law in legal decisions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Daily News Journal

Perry criticizes government while Texas job growth benefits from it
“The fact is, government doesn’t create jobs, otherwise the last 21 / 2 years of stimulus would have worked,” Perry said this month in a speech to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Washington Post

Efforts to legalize drug recycling stalled in Ill.
At least 38 states have similar programs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Houston Chronicle

Perry relies on 'Texas miracle' to advance presidential bid
“The fact is, government doesn’t create jobs, otherwise the . . . stimulus would have worked,” he said to the National Conference of State Legislatures. “Government can only create the environment that allows the private sector to create jobs. The single most important contributor
to our jobs-friendly climate here in Texas is our low-tax burden, because we know dollars do far more to create jobs and prosperity in the people’s hands than they do in the government’s.” Irish Times

How states broke the record on immigration bills in 2011
Lawmakers from all 50 states introduced a recording-breaking 1,592 bills and resolutions dealing with immigration in the first half of 2011, according to a new report from the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures. Color Lines

Bath Salts: Update on legislation and use in America
As of July 2011, 25 states had already banned the designer drugs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, with more on the way. eMax Health

Internet sales tax clears committee, supporters claim fairness is issue
While Durbin said the National Governors Association and the National Conference of State Legislatures supported his Main Street Fairness Act, the proposal faces strong opposition from groups like Americans for Tax Reform, which claims the bill “would permit a small cartel of states to reach outside of their borders to force individuals and businesses who aren’t even residents to collect taxes.” Opinion in the Boston Herald

Plan to reuse prescription drugs stuck on final hurdles
At least 38 states have such programs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and the language of the Illinois legislation was modeled on at least 21 existing laws. Chicago Tribune

Sen. Morse given award
The National Coalition for Capital hosts an annual awards ceremony during the week of the National Conference of State Legislatures Legislative Summit to recognize individuals for taking a leading role in fostering access to capital for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Democrat Herald

Two Hawaii lawmakers elected to national positions
Rep. Pono Chong was chosen by lawmakers from across the country to serve on the 2011-2012 NCSL Executive Committee, and Rep. Marilyn Lee was picked as president of the executive board of the NCSL's Women's Legislative Network. Houston Chronicle

Some want independent redistricting commission in W.Va.
Thirteen states have commissions that are primarily responsible for legislative redistricting, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Seven have these commissions for congressional redistricting. Gazette (West Virginia)

Political standing for Aug. 19, 2011
Terie Norelli: The House Minority Leader is elected to president of the National Conference of State Legislatures. Political Scoop and the Union Leader

Perry’s Texas jobs boom: The result of big government
Governor Rick Perry’s boon from government growth and federal stimulus seems an awkward truth when put alongside candidate Rick Perry’s statements. At a speech this month, the Post reports Perry told the National Conference of State Legislatures:“The fact is, government doesn’t create jobs, otherwise the last two-and-a-half years of stimulus would have worked.” The Slate

From the readers: A to Z with disrespect in the 'I'
The agency serves as the Indian Affairs Commission for the state as listed with the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Governor's Interstate Indian Council and various states'
Indian Affairs Commissions. All legislation concerning South Carolina's Native American Indian peoples is reviewed through the institute. Opinion in the T and D

Sen. Starr named VP of national group
Sen. Bruce Starr, R-Hillsboro, is the new vice president of the National Conference of State Legislatures. Statesman Journal

Web vs local: Sales tax disparity hurts Indiana businesses, costs state 200 million in lost revenue
Kenley said the Main Street Fairness Act is also supported by the National Governors Association, National Conference of State Legislatures, National Retail Federation, Retail Industry Leaders Association, International Council of Shopping Centers, and the United States Conference of Mayors as well as by state and local retail merchant groups across the country. Chesterton Tribune

Schumer seeking to extend interest-free loans to states in September
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 28 states plus the Virgin Islands have borrowed a combined $36 billion from the fund, which means other states will face the same problem New York is facing. The Hill

Ala. legislators consider welfare drug testing
The National Conference of State Legislatures says at least 32 states considered proposals this year focused on drug testing of welfare or food stamp recipients. Associated Press in the Daily Comet

August 19

All eyes on deficit committee
“Our members expect that there's going to be some discretionary accounts that are either going to disappear or be trimmed significantly over 10 years,” said Michael Bird, senior federal affairs director for the National Conference of State Legislatures. Bond Buyer

Illinois has rare authority over hospital closures
While bills are filed each year to eliminate certificate of need requirements, the number of states that require them has stayed around 36 because the bills have failed, said Richard Cauchi of the National Conference of State Legislatures. CNBC

Planned Parenthood to end abortions in three Arizona cities
More than half of US states require waiting periods for abortion — typically 24 hours — while a larger number require counseling beforehand, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Los Angeles Times

Around Town - Human trafficking
Sorvino discussed state, federal and international efforts being made to combat human trafficking during the National Conference of State Legislatures' Legilsative Summit. San Antonio Business Journal

State revenue rebound not seen until 2014
That is what North Carolina forecasters told the Washington, DC-based National Conference of State Legislatures in response to a recent survey. Triangle Business Journal

Rep. Marilyn Lee Elected as Officer of National Women's Network
Lee has been elected as the President of the Executive Board of the Women's Legislative Network of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Hawaii Reporter

Spaw elected NCSL staff vice-chair
Patsy Spaw, the longtime secretary of the Texas Senate, has been elected staff vice-chair of the National Conference of State Legislatures, a trade association for lawmakers across the country. Austin American-Statesman (blog)
FedTax Rebuts NetChoice and TechAmerica Misinformation Campaign on ...
In fact, the Streamlined Sales Tax Project was created by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), the National Governors Association (NGA). Sacramento Bee

Perry's Texas Growth Economy Masks Deficits While Candidate Boasts ...
“Employers fleeing the over-taxing, over-regulating and over-litigating atmosphere that has taken hold in so many other states come to Texas because we’ve cultivated a culture that rewards innovation without all the red tape,” Perry said in an Aug. 10 speech in San Antonio at a National Conference of State Legislatures meeting. Bloomberg

Rep. Condit named to 3 legislative committees
State Rep. Donnie Condit was recently appointed by Speaker of the House Kris Steele to serve on three committees for the National Conference of State Legislatures. Mcalester News Capital

Ballot Law Update: California badge requirement advances
246 laws have been proposed in 40 states affecting the initiative and referendum process, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Ballot News
 

August 18

Will Islamic law ever be a part of the US legal system?
Earlier this year, at least 13 states – including Tennessee – had legislative measures filed that would bar judges from considering Sharia law in legal decisions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Murfreesboro Post

Former waiter indicted in alleged credit card scam
According to officials with the National Conference of State Legislatures, 31 states and Puerto Rico have laws on the books that make it illegal to use scanning devices to capture someone's credit card information. Baltimore Sun

Texas and the government are chummier than you'd think
Turns out Texas was the state that depended the most on those very stimulus funds to plug nearly 97% of its shortfall for fiscal 2010, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Opinion in Christian Science Monitor

 Several Blues Plans Face Scrutiny
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 33 states and the District of Columbia have autism-treatment-related laws on the books. Atlantic Information Services, Inc.

Watson working for tax-ruling transparency
When Haslam first made public remarks this month about wanting Amazon to collect the taxes, Watson said he was in San Antonio for the legislative summit of the National Conference of State Legislatures. Missouri News Horizon

College must be accessible to Latinos
According to a report by Michelle Camacho Liu, who tracks postsecondary educational trends for the National Conference of State Legislatures, by 2018, 63 percent of the jobs in the United States will require a postsecondary degree. Opinoin in Greeley Tribune

College student organizes picnic to encourage acceptance
According to a recent report by the National Conference of State Legislatures, legislators in every state and Puerto Rico introduced a record number of bills or resolutions relating to immigrants or refugees in the first six months of 2011. Thousand Oaks Acorn

Gudgeon in High Dudgeon
At a recent panel on extended producer responsibility at the National Conference of State Legislatures, a representative from PhRMA maintained that the levels of these compounds in waterways was barely detectable. OnEarth Magazine (blog)

Sen. Starr is new NCSL vice president
Bruce Starr, R-Hillsboro, is the new vice president of the National Conference of State Legislatures. Statesman Journal (blog) 
 

August 17

ND official OKs measure to ban limits on farming
The National Conference of State Legislatures said no state has a constitutional amendment similar to what the Farm Bureau is proposing. CBS MoneyWatch.com

Lawmakers target 'bath salts'
So far, 25 states have banned the designer drugs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Omaha World-Herald

States introduce record number of immigration bills
Nearly 1,600 immigration bills have been introduced in state legislatures so far this year — an all-time record. That's according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The bipartisan group says states are scrambling for solutions to a problem the federal government hasn't successfully addressed. NPR

Texas and the government: better friends than you'd think
Turns out Texas was the state that depended the most on those very stimulus funds to plug nearly 97% of its shortfall for fiscal 2010, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Huffington Post (blog)

States grow anxious about possible downturn
Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, told a meeting of the National Conference of State Legislatures last week that he has increased the probability of another recession from 10 percent three months ago to 30 percent today. News & Observer

Alaska can't borrow, but it sure can save
Numerous members of Congress and pundits advocating for a requirement for a balanced federal budget have claimed that “every” state must balance its budget, but a report issues last fall by the National Conference of State Legislatures said that’s not true. Juneau Empire

ACLU steps up fight against overzealous school internet filters
The National Conference of State Legislatures notes that 25 states also have state laws requiring internet filters in public schools and libraries. Keen News Service

Redistricting plan remains up in the air
Doyle spent last week in San Antonio attending the National Conference of State Legislatures' 2011 Legislative Summit. Martinsburg Journal

Lottery income big for others
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the 42 states who do conduct lottery sales posted more than $53 billion in ticket sales in 2006. Wetumpka Herald

The HPV files: In emails, Perry mostly absent
In the meantime, Perry seems to have been vindicated on the question of whether he rushed into a policy other states would never embrace: The National Council of State Legislatures reports that 20 states now have some legislation regarding the vaccine. Politico (blog)
 

August 16

Breastfeeding and the law
And the federal health care law passed last year includes a provision requiring an employer to provide reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for one year after a child’s birth, according to this overview of breastfeeding laws from the National Conference of State Legislatures.Wall Street Journal (blog)

States have closed $527 billion budget gap since 2007
“If you look at how states have dealt with this, it has primarily not been through tax increases, but primarily through budget cuts or, over the last few years, through the use of federal stimulus dollars,” said Arturo Perez, director of the fiscal affairs program for the conference. “There has been a net $2.3 billion tax decrease.” Long Island Business News

Downsizing the legislature could yield many benefits
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, proposals to reduce the number of legislative seats in at least one chamber have been set forth in Connecticut, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota and Nebraska along with Pennsylvania. Patriot-News

Asian American group reaches out to law enforcement
The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that in the first half of 2011, state legislators around the country introduced 1,592 immigration bills. The Nonprofit Quarterly (blog)

Fate of Oak Forest Hospital up for vote Tuesday
While bills are filed each year to eliminate certificate of need requirements, the number of states that require them has stayed around 36 because the bills have failed, said Richard Cauchi, of the National Conference of State Legislatures. SouthtownStar

Statehouse Live: State senator who defied Brownback’s move to kill state arts funding gets award
State Sen. Roger Reitz, R-Manhattan, was the recipient of the 2011 Public Leadership in the Arts Award, which was presented by the National Conference of State Legislatures and Americans for the Arts. Lawrence Journal World

Reitz accepts public arts leadership award
Reitz received the recognition from Americans for the Arts and the National Conference of State Legislatures. Topeka Capital Journal

Abortion opponents have a new voice
GOP victories in 2010 provided Republicans with control of 21 statehouses and governorships, compared with 11 for Democrats, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. AXcess News
 

August 15

Illinois has rare authority over hospital closures
While bills are filed each year to eliminate certificate of need requirements, the number of states that require them has stayed around 36 because the bills have failed, Richard Cauchi of the National Conference of State Legislatures. CNBC

Norelli elected to lead legislative organization
State Rep. Terie Norelli, D-Portsmouth, was recently named president-elect of the National Conference of State Legislatures at the organization's annual Legislative Summit in San Antonio, Texas. Seacoastonline

Reitz accepts public arts leadership award
Reitz received the recognition from Americans for the Arts and the National Conference of State Legislatures, which is convened in San Antonio, Texas. Topkea Capital Journal

Gov. Bill Haslam 'not close to making a decision' on GOP presidential race
Ramsey, lieutenant governor and state Senate speaker, doesn't work for Haslam and met with Perry early last week while attending the National Conference of State Legislatures in Texas. When he returned, he issued a strong endorsement of Perry. Memphis Commercial Appeal

A bad year for pro-choice abortion rights supporters
This flurry of activity comes in large part as a result of GOP victories in 2010 that provided Republicans with control of 21 statehouses and governorships, compared with 11 for Democrats, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Christian Science Monitor in the Alaska Dispatch

Mizell Stewart III: Political parties more focused on ideology than creating new jobs
Add pollster Neil Newhouse, speaking this week at the National Conference of State Legislatures' annual conference in San Antonio, Texas, to the chorus of voices who suggest 2012 will be yet another "wave" election; he says the White House and the Senate may go to the Republicans and the House to the Democrats. Evansville Courier Press

Immigration a big topic in many state legislatures
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, a total of 1,592 bills were introduced in all 50 states and Puerto Rico in the 2011 legislative sessions that ended by June 30, a report by the bipartisan research organization found. Daily Herald

Concussions getting closer attention
“Head injuries are finally getting the attention they deserve,” Saenz said at the legislative summit of the National Conference of State Legislatures in San Antonio last week. Amarillo Globe News

Kiah Collier: Growing state requires revenue, Darby says
The San Angelo Republican, who was intimately involved in the budget-writing process during this year's legislative session, said he was listening to John O'Brien, the head of the Legislative Budget Board, speak at the tail end of a budget panel at the National Conference of State Legislatures' 2011 summit in San Antonio on Tuesday when O'Brien handed him the microphone. San Angelo Standard Times

National averages show Latinos outpace whites in growth but not college education
The numbers are even more stark in Colorado where 17.4 percent of Latinos have degrees compared to 51.5 percent of whites, according to the report issued Thursday by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Greeley Tribune

Rangel: Redistricting pairings, suits cloud some GOP futures
At the legislative summit of the National Conference of State Legislatures, held in San Antonio during the first four days of the week, I talked to about two dozen Texas legislators and a good number of House Republicans weren’t happy with what is in store for them. Lubbock Avalanche Journal

Solving state oil addiction, deep in the heart of Texas
Earlier this week I braved the 100-degree-plus heat in San Antonio, Texas to speak at an energy summit held as part of the National Conference of State Legislatures annual summit. Switchboard

Rick Perry throws elbow at Iowa
But of course, it was Perry who chose to make Saturday’s long-scheduled speech an announcement rather than just another news-free address, like the one he gave to the National Conference of State Legislatures on Wednesday. Politico

Progressives begin turning the tide at 2011 National Legislative Summit
NCSL's 2011 legislative summit -- taking place this week in San Antonio, Texas -- is an annual forum for determining the policy agenda on which NCSL will lobby the federal government for the following year. Huffington Post

Class gives students hands-on learning, on-the-job experience
"Research shows that successful high schools provide rigorous academic coursework, relevant learning opportunities, and meaningful relationships with instructors who are qualified to help students achieve high standards," according to an article from the National Conference of State Legislatures. Patch.com

Perry plans to kick off presidential bid in South Carolina
In an Aug. 10 speech, the governor told a National Conference of State Legislatures meeting in San Antonio that "over the last two years, 40 percent of the net new jobs created in the U.S. were created in Texas." San Francisco Chronicle

Comparing Texas' voter ID law to other states
The debate here mirrored the discussions of lawmakers in other states, said Jennifer Bowser, senior fellow at the National Conference of State Legislatures, a non-partisan group that monitors legislative bodies nationwide. Texas Tribune

Commentary: Kansas hurt by Brownback's snub of federal grant
Sandy Praeger, the Kansas insurance commissioner, spoke at a meeting of the National Conference of State Legislatures on Thursday in San Antonio. Sacramento Bee

State lawmakers return from national conference
Representative Annette Sweeney, a Republican from Alden, is part of the group returning from the international conference in San Antonio. “It’s a worldwide conference for us to be able to get together with other legislators to find out concerns in states and other countries and solutions other states and countries have encountered.” Radio Iowa

R.I. will feel impact of federal budget cuts
Michael Bird, of the National Conference of State Legislatures, this week told Stateline, a news outlet of the Pew Center on the States, that the deal essentially calls for at least another year of level, or nearly level, federal funding to states. Providence Journal

Legislators take a bike tour
With that bit of advice, 148 bicyclists from the National Conference of State Legislatures took off on the annual Bipartisan Bike Ride. They toured the missions and the new hike-and-bike trails along the Mission Reach of the San Antonio River. San Antonio Express

Ethics commission keeps complaint numbers under wraps
Tennessee is one of four states — along with Delaware, Illinois and Utah — that does not allow commissions to investigate complaints, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Missouri News Horizon

Bribery trial in Alabama yields no convictions
"Now, the commission has the tools to be very effective in these kinds of cases," said Peggy Kerns, director of the ethics center at the National Conference of State Legislatures. Wall Street Journal

Arizona court clears way for abortion restrictions
Twenty-nine states require waiting periods for abortions — typically 24 hours, while 34 states require some type of counseling beforehand, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. AP

Statehouse Live: Kansas state senator to lead NCSL
"NCSL has always been a bi-partisan organization, emphasizing civility and building relationships between Republicans and Democrats," Morris said during the group's annual legislative meeting in San Antonio. Lawrence Journal World

Struggling to climb out of the jobs hole
Over the past two years, 40% of the new jobs in the U.S. were created in Texas, Perry told attendees at the National Conference of State Legislatures summit in San Antonio Wednesday. It's one of only three states to have more jobs now than before the recession. WLKY

August 9

Legislators from Arizona to address national conference
More than 150 policy sessions are planned to discuss issues facing state governments, including shrinking budgets, health care, education and immigration. KNXV Arizona ABC

States introduced record number of immigration bills this year
State lawmakers considered a record number of immigration-related bills this year, highlighting their continued frustration with federal government inaction on immigration laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Bellingham Herald

States await fallout from federal debt downgrade, some expected to be more at risk than others
National Conference of State Legislatures federal affairs counsel Michael Bird says the more a state is tied to federal funds or federal facilities, the more concerned the rating agencies will be. AP

State deficits forecast to drop on spending cuts, revenue gains
Budget deficits in U.S. states will drop to about $12 billion in fiscal 2014 from $174 billion in 2010 as tax receipts rise and after spending cuts, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Bloomberg in the San Francisco Chronicle

Perry's busy schedule signals his political plans, aides say
On Wednesday morning, he will address the annual meeting of the National Conference of State Legislatures in San Antonio. Miami Herald

Maine could get $65M boost from requiring Internet sales tax; delegation divided on issue
The National Conference of State Legislatures, when it endorsed the legislation, said a University of Tennessee study estimates that in 2012 the states will lose $23.3 billion in uncollected taxes on Internet sales. Maine is estimated to lose $65.4 million. Bangor Daily News

In state capitals, officials take recovery into their own hands
That is the number of new laws, at a minimum, that have been passed and signed by governors since Jan. 1 that were aimed in some fashion at economic recovery, according to the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures. New York Times

August 4

Perry will preach to choir (again) at legislators' meeting
Bill Pound, NCSL executive director, added that the changes in federal-state relationships will be significant in many ways. “As the federal government pulls back, that has tremendous implications for domestic discretionary” programs and rules, Pound said. Editorial in the San Antonio News Express

Pennsylvania's successful mortgage-aid program falls to budget axe
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Pennsylvania faced a $4.2 billion budget gap in fiscal year 2012, which comprised 15 percent of its general fund. The Sun

3 arrested on raw-milk charges
It is legal for licensed dairies to sell raw milk at retail outlets in California, according to research by the National Conference of State Legislatures. LA Times

Diesel technology forum to host energy policy summit keynote luncheon for National Conference of State Legislatures August 8th in San Antonio
Both events at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) 2011 Legislative Summit will be hosted by the Diesel Technology Forum (DTF) at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, TX. Sacramento Bee

Delegate Scott's Richmond report
Every summer the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) holds its Annual Meeting in a different state. This year the Annual Meeting will be held in San Antonio, Texas, in August 7-11. Fall Church News Press

Legislative analyst
Assists management in the development of projects and on-going relationships with intergovernmental organizations, such as the National Governors Association (NGA) and the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). The Hill

School voucher bills flood GOP-led statehouses
As of mid-July, at least 30 states had introduced bills that would use taxpayer dollars to send children to private schools, most limited to poor or special needs children, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. AP in the GOP USA

August 3

School voucher bills flood GOP-led statehouses
As of mid-July, at least 30 states had introduced bills that would use taxpayer dollars to send children to private schools, most limited to poor or special needs children, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. That's compared with nine voucher bills in 2010, just one of which passed — a special needs voucher program in Oklahoma. The AP in FOX News

School vouchers gather strength in state legislatures
“There’s long been an interest among Republican legislators, but this year is the first time they’ve gained so many seats in so many states and gained majorities,” said Josh Cunningham of the National Conference of State Legislatures. “There was a window of opportunity to get these bills passed.” The Chronicle of Philanthropy

Pastors: Alabama immigration law will crimp outreach
These laws were part of a wave of 1,500 immigrant-related bills and resolutions proposed during the first quarter of 2011. The National Conference of State Legislatures says that is up 30 percent over last year. Christianity Today

Marion County cracks down on parents of truant students
In addition to putting a child at a higher risk of involvement in criminal activity and contributing to criminal mischief during the daytime hours, a recent report by the National Conference of State Legislatures' Task Force on School Dropout and Prevention and Recovery found that every year, one in 10 kindergarten and first grade students miss a month of school with excused and unexcused absences. WTHR

States take economic recovery into their own hands
That is the number of laws, at a minimum, that have been passed and signed by governors since Jan. 1 that were aimed in some fashion at economic recovery, according to the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures. The Tech

Budget deal could jeopardize high-speed rail, clean-water programs
Jeff Hurley, a policy specialist with the National Conference of State Legislatures, suggested federally funded clean water and drinking water programs in California also could land in the committee's sights. Contra Costa Times

State officials wait to see effects of federal spending cuts
The National Conference of State Legislatures – whose president, Richard Moore, is a Massachusetts Senate Democrat from Uxbridge – applauded the deal, arguing that its protection of Medicaid preserves a funding lifeline for states and that the bipartisan super-committee would be likely to shield states from additional financial hardship.“With everything open for debate, the likelihood of the deficit being exported to states through burdensome unfunded mandates or cost shifts could potentially be diminished,” Moore and Sen. Stephen Morris, president of the Kansas Senate and president-elect of the NCSL, wrote in a Monday letter on the eve of the bill’s passage. Herald News

ND amendment would protect farmers, ranchers against burdensome livestock rules, advocate says
Scott Hendrick, an agricultural policy specialist for the National Conference of State Legislatures in Denver, said he knew of no other state with a law or constitutional amendment similar to what the North Dakota Farm Bureau is proposing. The Republic

Lawmakers introduce online sales tax bill
Organizations like the National Conference of State Legislatures and the National Governors Association, which helped create the streamlines sales tax board, are also backing the legislation. Sales tax is a serious revenue source for states, comprising 32 percent of their total tax collections, second only to income tax as a revenue source. Governing Blog

August 2

Uncertainty lingers for Texas, other states with federal deficit deal
We know we're going to get cut," said Jeff Hurley , policy specialist for the National Conference of State Legislatures. Austin American Statesman

Progress on Beacon Hill
Using my experience as a former associate director of FEMA and my position as president of the National Conference of State Legislatures, I successfully lobbied the White House and FEMA to grant public assistance funding for Southbridge and Sturbridge after they were initially denied help. Worcester Telegram

School voucher bills flood GOP-led statehouses
As of mid-July, at least 30 states had introduced bills that would use taxpayer dollars to send children to private schools, most limited to poor or special needs children, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. AP in KMPH, News 9&10, WEAR-TV, ABC6

U.S. Debt-Ceiling agreement leaves states preparing for more cuts ahead
The consequences of the budget-cutting agreement for states aren’t immediately clear, said Michael Bird, who tracks federal affairs for the National Conference of State Legislatures. “Everything ultimately is on the table,” he said. “If everything is on the table, from our perspective, the likelihood of cost shifts, new unfunded mandates and essentially an exporting of the federal deficit to the states is diminished. It isn’t eliminated.”  Bloomberg

New Pa. website will let taxpayers see where their money goes
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 24 other states already offer such databases. Philadelphia Inquirer

Voucher bills back with a vengeance as GOP-controlled legislatures look to save on education
As of mid-July, at least 30 states had introduced bills that would use taxpayer dollars to send children to private schools, most limited to poor or special needs children, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. AP in the Washington Post and MSN

Suquamish Tribe approves same-sex marriage
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, six states and Washington, D.C. issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Two states recognize same-sex marriages from other states. Kitsap Sun

States struggling to assess budget damage from federal debt ceiling deal
Michael Bird, who tracks federal affairs for the National Conference of State Legislatures, said that may be averted should the compromise pass. Capitol Fax

Congress plans Monday vote on framework to avoid federal default
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, states already have been forced to make substantial cuts to close nearly $480 billion in budget gaps since the beginning of the economic downturn. California Health Line

August 1

Voter ID proposal for Ohio 'dead,' but is it really out of the picture? A closer look

What the government debt crisis means to you
Some federal funding -- payments for roads, schools and Medicaid -- flows through state governments. State officials will have to decide: "Do you want to fill in anything that you don't receive from the federal government?" says Michael Bird, senior federal affairs counsel at the National Conference of State Legislatures. Wall Street Journal

How state budgets would be affected by a default?
NCSL's Michael Bird interviewed on MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports

Some Easton police officers will collect two pensions when they retire
Georgia and Illinois both passed pension reform in 2010 that prevents state employees from collecting a second pension from the same state employer. Connecticut law states retired, pension-collecting employees can continue to work for the state for a maximum of 120 days a year. "But there's no way a state could prohibit someone from going back to work and collect a pension at a place not covered by state pension," said Ron Snell, a senior fellow at the National Conference of State Legislators in Denver. CT Post

Senate missed opportunity to save on its health plans
Only 5 percent of active state employees in the U.S. were enrolled in traditional indemnity plans as of 2009, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Philly Burbs

Arizona schools altering their schedules
More than 120 school districts nationwide use the four-day schedule, though no one tracks the number of schools, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Arizona Republic

Rainwater: No action on Group Benefits until 2013
Richard Cauchi, health program director for the National Conference of State Legislatures, said several states have components that self-manage insurance for small groups of employees, but Louisiana and Utah are singled out as having the largest numbers of employees under nonprivatized programs. "Other states have larger privatization," Cauchi said. "Sometimes it's a philosophical direction a particular governor wants to go." Shreveport Times

Special session may affect conference trip
Twelve House delegates and two senators and 16 legislative staffers are approved to travel to San Antonio for the four-day National Conference of State Legislatures' annual summit, which starts Aug. 8. Daily Mail

Debt ceiling fix could mean problems for states
States already have closed nearly $480 billion in budget gaps since the beginning of the recession, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Associated Press in the Omaha World Herald and FOX News

Charting a new course for schools?
Pennsylvania is not setting any trends in studying a four-day week. More than 120 districts in 21 states already operate on four-day weeks, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Tribune Democrat

The pension puzzle
Twenty-five state legislatures have already enacted significant retirement system changes in 2011, compared to 21 in 2010, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and other proposals to revamp public employee pension systems are pending. Commercial Appeal

VISTA: Adult day health centers face closure
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, in a median year, adult day health care services cost $15,600 ---- while a semiprivate room in a nursing home costs $67,525. North County Times

Attitude helps swing local recovery
The national unemployment recently reflected 9.2 percent reported by The National Conference of State Legislatures. The Columbian letter to the editor

Amazon.com sales-tax issue taken up by Congress
States have been working on a federal solution to the Internet sales-tax collection for more than a decade, said Neal Osten, director of the Washington office of the National Conference of State Legislatures. The LA Times in Physorg.com

Congress takes up Amazon sales tax issue
States have been working on a federal solution to the Internet sales tax question for more than a decade, said Neal Osten, director of the Washington office of the National Conference of State Legislatures. As Congress and President Obama struggle to cut the federal budget deficit and reduce support for state-run programs, collecting every dollar from the sales tax is a high priority for local leaders, he said. Los Angeles Times Sacramento Bee

Ind. could weather US default for couple months
The National Conference of State Legislatures has been telling its members to expect to receive only 60 percent of the federal money they're expecting if the U.S. defaults, said Michael Bird, NCSL federal affairs counsel. That estimate is based largely on assumptions that the Treasury Department would be forced to pay off interest on bonds first before making disbursements to all other government programs, he said. AP in Canadian Business

Florida falling behind on renewable energy development
"Of the 29 states with standards, only one would allow nuclear," said Glen Andersen, energy program director for the National Conference of State Legislatures. "That is Ohio. They have more of a clean energy standard" rather than a renewable standard. Tampa Bay.com

Washington deadlocked? States lead in cutting deficits
"In 2009, there certainly wasn't public sentiment to raise taxes, but they had no other choice," says Mandy Rafool, head of fiscal affairs at the National Conference of State Legislatures in Denver. Now, "newly elected legislators who ran on a platform of cutting spending" are in charge. Christian Science Monitor

Louisiana worker-retiree benefits talks could start in 2012
Richard Cauchi, health program director for the National Conference of State Legislatures, said several states have components that self-manage insurance for small groups of employees but Louisiana and Utah are singled out as having the largest numbers of employees under non-privatized programs. “Other states have larger privatization,” Cauchi said. “Sometimes it’s a philosophical direction a particular governor wants to go.” The Town Talk

Debt ceiling impact on Arizona looms
Jeff Hurley, a policy analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures, said states would only be able to last a few days without federal funding. After that, the lack of federal aid could do budget damage to cities and states, which are already in a delicate position from the recession. “States have been in fiscally perilous situations the last five years,” Hurley said. Tucson Sentinel and Cronkite News Service

Debt debate continues in Washington
According to an October 2010 report from the National Conference of State Legislatures, state balanced budget requirements can be categorized as consisting of one or more of the following: The governor’s proposed budget must be balanced, the enacted budget must be balanced or no deficit can be carried forward from one fiscal period into the next. Edmond Sun

Reg Wydeven column: Working the system still alive and well
In response, the National Conference of State Legislatures reported that 11 states, including Texas, have considered bills to clarify, amend or abolish adverse possession to deter people like Robinson. Post Crescent

Letter: Attitude helps swing local recovery
The national unemployment recently reflected 9.2 percent reported by The National Conference of State Legislatures. Columbian


The issue currently might be dead in Ohio, but that's not the case nationwide. As of July 13, 14 states require photo ids from voters, according to the National Conference of State Legislators. Plain DealerIn-session fundraisers questioned
"It just plain looks bad," said Peggy Kerns, a former state representative in Colorado and now director of the ethics center for the National Conference of State Legislatures. Omaha World-Herald

 

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