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NCSL in the News August 2013

NCSL in the News Archives

NCSL in the News: August 2013

Aug. 30

U.S. Won’t Sue to Block State Marijuana Legalization
Voters in Washington and Colorado became the first to legalize it in November. Nineteen states allow medical marijuana use, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Bloomberg

Illinois ranks low for HPV vaccine
Legislators in states including Illinois have proposed unsuccessful legislation that would make the HPV vaccine one of the mandatory shots for school attendance, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Chicago Tribune

Ohio State Senator Proposes Bill to Require Drug Testing for State Aid Recipients
At least eight states have passed legislation requiring drug testing for some recipients of state financial assistance, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, including Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Utah. ABC 6 Ohio

State to state, legislative pay differs
The National Conference of State Legislatures noted in a recent analysis that in some states, such as Wisconsin, service in the legislature is seen as basically a full-time job. Caledonia Argus

Drug Testing for Welfare Mired in Failure
Utah and Florida are among eight states that have enacted drug testing requirements for welfare recipients since 2011, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Cincinnati CityBeat

Aug. 29

States find new ways to resist health law
Texas, Florida, Alabama, Wyoming, Arizona, Oklahoma and Missouri have opted to leave at least part of the job to federal authorities, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Washington Post

Guns, gays, drugs and taxes in Colorado
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures only 36 such votes have been held in American history (almost half of them in Wisconsin). The Economist

Drug tests for welfare pushed
Since 2011, eight states have passed laws requiring drug testing or screening for public-assistance applicants, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Ohio would be the 30th state this year to introduce drug testing or screening for welfare clients. The Columbus Dispatch

Obama's Affordable Care Act Looking a Bit Unaffordable
As of August 2013, 50 percent of employers report being "somewhat prepared" to implement the provisions of the ACA, and an additional 22 percent report being "not prepared," according to a Deloitte report to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Yahoo! News/National Journal

(Opinion) Dethroning the King Amendment
These opinion-makers are joined by other heavy-hitters such as the National Conference of State Legislatures, which wrote senior congressional agricultural leaders urging them to kill King's amendment. The Huffington Post

Aug. 28

Gun Bill in Missouri Would Test Limits in Nullifying U.S. Law
Richard Cauchi, who tracks such health legislation for the National Conference of State Legislatures, said: “Since January 2011, at least 23 states have considered bills seeking to nullify the health care law; as of mid-2013 only one state, North Dakota, had a signed law. Its language states, however, that the nullification provisions ‘likely are not authorized by the United States Constitution.'” The New York Times

The state of voting rights’ fights in the states
In addition to North Carolina’s law, five others states directly affected by the Supreme Court ruling have passed laws requiring additional voter identification, according to a tally by the National Conference on State Legislatures. The Washington Post

Governors in key states buck GOP on health care
"People are seeing that they are going to have access to health care that they don't have now and that they've never had, and with the support of the subsidies, the cost is going to be significantly lower," said state Rep. Greg Wren, a Alabama Republican who's co-chairman of the National Conference of State Legislature's health care committee. AP/KTVB Idahol

(Opinion) Will this law be enforced?
During the National Conference of State Legislatures, Sebelius told them, "This is no longer a political debate. This is what we call the law." Fort Dodge Messenger

Tough decisions on possible budget cuts
A new report from the National Conference of State Legislatures shows that overall state revenues are up about 5.3 percent for 2013, helped by taxpayers who accelerated payments on their capital gains because of increases in the fiscal cliff legislation. Williamson Daily News

Daylin Leach pushes for plastic-bag fee
No state in the United States has enacted a statewide ban, fee or tax, according to a June analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Main Line Media News

Aug. 27

Maryland legislators earn better-than-average money
The 188 legislators that meet for 90 days each year in Annapolis earn a salaryof $43,500 a year, according to a Washington Post report that cites data from the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Daily Record

Young white women still embrace indoor tanning
California is one of a handful of states that has made it illegal for minors to use tanning beds, and at least 33 states regulate the industry in some way, according to National Conference of State Legislatures. Some cities restrict the use of indoor tanning salons by minors as well. Frederick News-Post

Welfare Drug Testing Catches Only 12 Users In Utah
As of April at least 29 states had seen proposals to drug test people seeking government benefits, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Huffington Post

Aug. 26

(Opinion) Don't let Congress trample Maryland's rights
We were pleased to see that the National Conference of State Legislatures agrees, sending a letter recently to leaders in Congress urging removal of the King Amendment. Baltimore Sun

School districts struggle to bolster security amid dwindling resources
Other new laws have focused on making upgrades to buildings and requiring active shooter drills. Still others, in states such as Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas, have authorized someK-12 school staff to carry firearms, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. MSN

2012-2013 data shows only 12 test positive in Utah welfare drug screening
Utah is one of at least eight states that have passed legislation requiring testing or screening for public assistance applicants. Similar laws have been proposed in at least 29 states this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Desert News

Florida Schools Open with More Armed Security
Lawmakers in every state in the nation introduced school safety legislation this year, and in at least 20 states those proposals became law, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Insurance Journal

State hospitals can handle new Medicaid patients
“Despite some of the rhetoric in Washington, the cost outlook for Medicaid is as strong as it’s been in a long time,” said federal Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, addressing the 2013 legislative summit of the National Conference of State Legislatures. News-Herald

Titus 'honored' to care for legend's desk
State Sen. Debbie Smith, D-Sparks, has become president-elect of the National Conference of State Legislatures. The bipartisan organization serves the nation’s 7,383 state lawmakers and more than 20,000 legislative staff. Las Vegas Review Journal

Required age for Illinois children starting school lowered
In Iowa, children are required to enroll in school by age six, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. WQAD

Where the North Carolina GOP got its agenda
North Carolina Republicans, for example, cut taxes by $2.8 billion over five years. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, seven other states with Republican governors – and most with GOP legislatures – also cut taxes significantly. Charlotte Observer

Armed security rises at elementary schools
Lawmakers in every state in the nation introduced school safety legislation this year, and in at least 20 states those proposals became law, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Delaware Online

Privacy takes back seat to jobs in drone debate
A model policy from the Aerospace States Association, the Council of State Governments and the National Conference of State Legislatures encourages states to consider requiring a warrant for surveillance of an individual, prohibit the re-use of video or photos collected by a drone for other investigations, and ban weapons from domestic drones. Killeen Daily Herald

(Opinion) Demographic shifts will impact government
That’s the message state policymakers got last week during a convention of the National Conference of State Legislatures meeting in Atlanta. Much has been written and said since November’s election about how demographic trends affect politics with a growing minority voter base fueling Democrats, but the policy repercussions have gotten less attention. Augusta Chronicle

Virginia still undecided on Medicaid expansion
However, when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the law last summer, it ruled that states cannot be forced to go along with the Medicaid expansion. Since then, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 21 states have decided to expand their programs, which are funded by both state and federal tax dollars. Roanoke Times

Miss. law requires cord blood from some teen moms
Megan Comlossy, health policy associate for the National Conference of State Legislatures, said she thinks Mississippi is the first state to enact a law authorizing the collection of blood from the umbilical cord — a painless procedure — to determine paternity. Courier News

Obamacare: The law of the land
During the National Conference of State Legislatures, Sebelius told them, "This is no longer a political debate. This is what we call the law." Minot Daily News

On march's anniversary, voting rights still an issue
In Alabama, Mississippi and elsewhere, Republican state officials vowed to implement similar voter identification laws that had been awaiting federal approval. Officials from the National Conference of State Legislatures anticipate more voting restrictions once lawmakers return to state capitals in 2014. USA Today/WBIR

Aug. 23

How much are your legislators paid?
The 80 members of the state Assembly and the 40 senators take home $90,526 for their service in Sacramento, according to data compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Washington Post

Conservatives Are Very Upset That Kids These Days Can’t Write in Cursive
According to figures compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures, there has been new GOP-led cursive legislation introduced this year in Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, and both Carolinas, plus an unsuccessful bill sponsored by a Democrat in Mississippi. New York Magazine

New technology, politics and prices generate uncertainty for utilities
“We used to, 20 years ago, basically ask our power companies to crush rocks and make kilowatts. Now, we expect more of them; we expect them to be risk managers,” Keough said at the four-day National Conference of State Legislatures held recently in downtown Atlanta. Atlanta Journal-Constitution/Kennebec Journal

Only 12 test positive in Utah drug screening
Utah is one of at least eight states that have passed legislation requiring testing or screening for public assistance applicants. Similar laws have been proposed in at least 29 states this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Bellingham Herald

Daylin Leach pushes for plastic-bag fee
No state in the United States has enacted a statewide ban, fee or tax, according to a June analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Mainlinemedianews.com

(Opinion) Michigan hospitals well-positioned to handle sea change
“Despite some of the rhetoric in Washington, the cost outlook for Medicaid is as strong as it’s been in a long time,” said federal Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, addressing the 2013 legislative summit of the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Voice

Clarke Insurance Agency Provides Local Businesses with Tips to Distribute Gift Certificates Legally in the Wake of the New Jersey Court Decision
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), the laws in New Jersey state that the expiration date of a gift card/certificate cannot be less than 24 months after the date of the sale. Newsday

State tries to regulate compound medications
Sixteen states passed laws this year related to compounding pharmacies, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Camarillo Acorn

Aug. 22

Pennslvania bill would tax 2 cents on each new plastic bag
No states have yet to enact such fees, but legislatures in New Jersey, New York, and Vermont are considering implementing them, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Philadelphia Inquirer

State funding upturn
A report this month from the National Conference of State Legislatures showed that state general fund spending on higher education, on average, grew more than for any major category other than Medicaid -- 5.1 percent for higher education, compared to 5.9 percent for Medicaid, and 2.5 percent for elementary/secondary education and corrections. Inside Higher Ed

Snowden to serve on National Conference of State Legislatures committee
Speaker Pro Tempore Rep. Greg Snowden of the Mississippi House of Representatives has been elected to serve on the executive committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures. yallpolitics.com

New York voter ID law will affect local citizens
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the law will take effect either January 1, 2014, or when funds for the issuance of free ID's for voting purposes have been appropriated and are available. Blytheville Courier News

Anthony Foxx, MADD lukewarm about lower blood-alcohol limit
After the NTSB’s May recommendation, only three states — Washington, South Carolina and New York — considered legislation to lower the blood-alcohol limit, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Politico

Florida lawmakers won't have special session on 'stand your ground'
Eight other states have laws worded similarly, while 22 total states, including Florida, have laws stating that residents have no "duty" to retreat from a would-be attacker, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. CNN

Remote-control aircraft spark debate on privacy issues
As of April, lawmakers in 29 states were considering legislation to clarify or regulate the use of drones, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures in Denver. TribLive.com

Plastic bags: Discourage, tax or ban them altogether?
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, no U.S. state has a plastic bag ban or tax on the books. Salon

A hyper-super PAC boosts McAuliffe in Virginia race
The only other states that do not restrict how much candidates and groups may raise and who may they receive money from are Missouri, Oregon and Utah, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. publicintegrity.org

North Carolina’s McCrory Delivers Cookies as Politics Shift
North Carolina, the last state in the South to switch to all-Republican control, is one of 37 where one party holds power in both the legislature and governor’s office, according to the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures. Bloomberg

2012 State Legislative Elections: Changes in Party Control
Data was compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Governing

State legislator group pushes for more taxes on online travel sites
Online travel sites could be facing more scrutiny, thanks to a resolution by the National Conference of State Legislatures to change the way taxes are collected from them. associationsnow.com

Rallying Cry at Heckles-Free Tampa Town Hall as Vote Approaches: “Defund Obamacare”
Neutral observers have noted that the Affordable Care Act retains the employer-based system of coverage through private health plans (see summary from National Conference of State Legislatures or the cartoon version from Kaiser Family Foundation.) FlaglerLive.com

(Commentary) Perspective: Durbin's intimidation tactics
The senator accuses ALEC of "shopping (policy) to legislators from around the country," but he shops his own legislation to members of other state policy organizations, including the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Chicago Tribune

Aug. 21

Driver's licenses for immigrants declining in N.M.
New Mexico is among 11 states with laws to allow immigrants, regardless of their immigration status, to obtain a driver's license or driving privilege card, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. AP/The State

Legislators start to talk, again, about a pay raise
One new factor this time might be the independent study that the Executive Board commissioned on the Legislature and the Legislative Research Council. Several staff members from the National Conference of State Legislatures are conducting the study, with the final report due Sept. 20. Rapid City Journal

Maine lawmakers grapple with falling gas tax revenues
About a dozen states index their gas taxes to inflation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Kennebec Journal

Politicians step forward for Kinnaird's seat
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, about 23 percent of N.C. legislators are female. The Daily Tar Heel

Democrats work to change voting laws around nation
American Values First launched last week in Atlanta during a meeting of the National Conference of State Legislatures. Washington Post/Walla Walla Union-Bulletin

U.S. regulator warns against marijuana stock scam
Eighteen states and Washington, D.C., allow the medical use of marijuana and 11 permit sales through dispensaries, according to the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures. Big News Network

Idaho unveils its attractive new health insurance exchange website
The Kaiser Family Foundation lists state-by-state progress, and the National Conference of State Legislatures has a map and summary as of February. The Pacific Northwest Inlander

(Opinion) The King amendment to the farm bill: my chicken, myself
The fate of King's amendment will be determined when Congress reconvenes in September. For now, dozens of animal rights organizations, as well as the head of the National Conference of State Legislators, are lobbying hard to kill it. Mail Tribune

Aug. 20

Privacy takes a backseat to job opportunities in the drone debate
A model policy from the Aerospace States Association, the Council of State Governments and the National Conference of State Legislatures encourages states to consider requiring a warrant for surveillance of an individual, prohibit the re-use of video or photos collected by a drone for other investigations, and ban weapons from domestic drones. Stateline/USAToday.com

State Tax Snapshot: Legislative Rate Changes Give Taxpayers a $1.3 Billion Tax Cut
State tax policies developed during the 2013 legislative session have resulted in a net $1.3 billion tax cut for taxpayers, according to a recent report by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Bloomberg BNA

N.H. bill would let some illegal immigrants get in-state tuition at public colleges, universities
Twelve states have laws allowing illegal immigrants to pay in-state prices under certain circumstances, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, including California, New York and Texas. Concord Monitor

Authors of social media bill say they will address concerns over cyber-bullying
Since last year, 14 states have moved to ban certain groups such as employers or schools from requesting that their students or workers turn over their social media accounts and passwords, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Legislation is pending in 36 others, the group reports. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

(Editorial) Oklahoma revenue growth may need to accelerate to avoid shortfalls
A report by the National Conference of State Legislatures identifies Oklahoma as one of only three states forecasting revenue increases greater than 5 percent in fiscal year 2014. The Oklahoman

West Virginia editorial roundup
A new report from the National Conference of State Legislatures shows that overall state revenues are up about 5.3 percent for 2013, helped by taxpayers who accelerated payments on their capital gains because of increases in the fiscal cliff legislation. AP/Miami Herald

NCSL Urges Congress to Act on Tax-Exempt Financing, Other Issues
The National Conference of State Legislatures is urging Congress to take action on several issues, including transporation funding, tax-exempt financing of water infrastructure, the federal deficit and online sales taxes. The Bond Buyer

Rep. Rick Hansen Tours Centers for Disease Control’s Environmental Health Laboratory
State Representative Rick Hansen (DFL – South St. Paul) participated in a tour of the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Environmental Health Laboratory last week prior to the National Conference of State Legislatures 2013 Legislative Summit in Atlanta, Georgia. Mendota Heights Patch

Web privacy bill moving forward in Wisconsin
Eight additional states passed laws this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. AP/Bloomberg Businessweek

‘Stand your ground’ bill in Ohio legislature rouses foes
At least 22 states have “stand your ground” laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Columbus Dispatch

Medical Marijuana Spawning Pump-and-Dump Scams: Finra
Eighteen states and Washington, D.C., allow the medical use of marijuana and 11 permit sales through dispensaries, according to the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures. Bloomberg

Another push begins to shrink Pennsylvania Legislature
Thirty-four states changed the size of their legislative bodies during the 1960s and 1970s, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

(Editorial) Obamacare is the law; Obama should enforce it
During the National Conference of State Legislatures, Sebelius told them, "This is no longer a political debate. This is what we call the law." Fairmont Sentinel

Forget Congress, some states show how to pass tax reform
Legislatures in 46 states are controlled by a single party. The last time there were as few truly split states was 1944, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. GovBeat/The Washington Post

Lenient sentencing for juveniles being debated High court ruling prompts changes elsewhere
Other states with new juvenile sentencing laws include Arkansas, California, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Dakota and Utah, according to data collected by the National Conference of State Legislatures this summer. AP/Republican American

Aug. 19

Walton: Gergen is right; government works in state legislatures
David Gergen told this month's legislative summit of the National Conference of State Legislatures in Atlanta that the United States was depending on state legislators and state government now that Congress is hopelessly partisan and ideological. Lincoln Journal Star

Head Start hit with worst cuts in its history
At least 30 states appropriate state funds to supplement Head Start, according to Phuonglan Nguyen, policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures. USA Today

Risser honored as 1 of 6 WWII veterans
Wisconsin state Sen. Fred Risser has been honored as one of six World War II veterans serving in a state legislature. Risser received the Civic Medal of Honor award this week from the National Conference of State Legislatures. AP/newsobserver.com

Larkin honored
State Sen. Bill Larkin, Cornwall-on-Hudson, was honored by the National Conference of State Legislatures at the Aug. 12 annual Legislative Summit in Atlanta. He was one of six World War II veteran lawmakers honored for not only their service and dedication to our country but also for currently being active in their state legislatures. Times Herald-Record

Suit in Alabama seeks to stop school choice law
Josh Cunningham, an education policy analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures, says the federal lawsuit in Alabama that alleges poor and rural students aren't being treated equally could affect other states. "It could have a tremendous impact because most of these programs are based on low-income students and students in failing schools," Cunningham says. WBUR

Ga. lawmakers eye technology to improve process
[State Representative Mike Dudgeon's] website is just one example of efforts nationally to use technology to streamline the legislative process and, in some cases, increase transparency. And state lawmakers from around the country recently shared best practices during a meeting in Atlanta of the National Conference of State Legislatures. AP/OnlineAthens.com

Experts say colleges must adapt to changes in economy, demographics
The swirl of policy choices for higher education drew the attention of state legislators from across the country this week during the convention of the National Conference of State Legislatures meeting in Atlanta. Rome News-Tribune

(Editorial) State faces tough decisions on possible budget cuts
A new report from the National Conference of State Legislatures shows that overall state revenues are up about 5.3 percent for 2013, helped by taxpayers who accelerated payments on their capital gains because of increases in the fiscal cliff legislation. The Herald-Dispatch

State legislators take stance on Farm Bill Nutrition Title, King Amendment
The National Conference of State Legislatures is urging Congress to reauthorize federal nutrition programs that were left out of the House version of the farm bill. KTIC Rural Radio

Expedia to Priceline targeted as states cry for revenue: taxes
The National Conference of State Legislatures committee studied the issue and said last week that states should consider legislation that requires the companies to remit taxes based on the full rental price paid by the user. Bloomberg Businessweek

Some police seeing more sexting complaints
From 2009 to 2012, at least 20 states and Guam have enacted bills to address youth sexting, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. USA Today

Many young, white women frequently tan indoors
Currently, 33 states limit the use of tanning beds for minors under the age of 18, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Reuters

Lawmakers taking up bill on social media privacy
Since last year, nine states - California, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, Arkansas, New Mexico and Utah - have moved to ban certain groups such as employers or schools from requesting that their students or workers turn over their social media accounts and passwords, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Legislation is pending in at least 35 states, the group reports. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Diesel: a high-mileage alternative to hybrids
Last week two popular clean-diesel vehicles were on display – not at an auto show where you would expect them, but at the 2013 National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) summit, attended by legislators and policymakers from around the U.S. Consumer Affairs

Discounted hotel prices: the tax man is coming for you
The National Conference of State Legislatures has been eyeing the discounted rates that travel sites like Priceline and Expedia charge consumers — and they saw a deal. A bad deal for states, that is. Politico

Web privacy bill moves forward in Legislature
Eight additional states passed laws this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. AP/Sheboyganpress.com

Temp jobs become way to go for many employers
Montana is the only state that doesn't employ at-will practices, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. USA Today

Bedbug infestations on the rise in Biddeford
In Illinois, the Railroad Sanitation Act requires railcars used by the public to be free of bedbugs, while Iowa only requires migrant labor camps to establish bedbug control measures, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. kjonline.com

States revisit mandatory sentencing for juveniles
States with new juvenile sentencing laws include Arkansas, California, Delaware, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming, according to data collected by the National Conference of State Legislatures this summer. TheLeafChronicle.com

(Blog) Pasty versus crispy: Too many high school girls use tanning booths
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 33 states regulate the use of tanning facilities by minors. today.com

Changing demographics affect policy
... public issues are swayed by demographics.That’s the message state policymakers got last week during a convention of the National Conference of State Legislatures meeting in Atlanta. The Florida Times-Union

Yes, you can buy a house in U.S. for $1
The Times further reported Indiana is one of 21 states that does not allow its cities to file for bankruptcy protection, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. WND Money

$1.2M in Per Diems for Pa. Lawmakers in 6 Months
According to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures, most states have some sort of expense reimbursement program for lawmakers – though Pennsylvania’s daily payments are higher than most states. Upper Southampton Patch

Americans opinions on marijuana reach tipping point
Since then, 20 other states and the District of Columbia have passed similar laws, while Colorado and Washington state have legalized it for recreational use — a move Alaska, California, Nevada and Oregon each twice rejected between 1972 and 2010, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Los Angeles Wave

Chevy Cruze Diesel Shares Stage With VW Passat TDI At 2013 National Conference of State Legislatures
A 2014 Chevy Cruze Diesel shared a display with a 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI at the 2013 National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) in Atlanta this week. gmauthority.com

Aug. 16

Utah senator Curt Bramble elected to leadership of National Conference of State Legislatures
Utah Sen. Curt Bramble was elected as the vice president of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) on Wednesday, setting him up to become president of the organization in two years. The Salt Lake Tribune

Christie backs marijuana access for sick children
Nineteen states and Washington, D.C., have enacted legislation legalizing medical marijuana, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Wall Street Journal

Legislator conferences differ on openness
Kleeb said the public should think of the conference much like those put on by other groups that bring together state legislators, like the Council of State Governments and the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Topeka Capital-Journal

North Carolina governor vetoes drug tests for welfare recipients
Similar laws regarding the testing of TANF applicants have been proposed in at least 29 states this year, and are already on the books in at least eight, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The states that have passed such laws are Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Utah, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Columbus Dispatch

(Blog) Florida hotels gain national ally in online travel battle
The National Conference of State Legislatures, a Denver, Colo.-based group that directly consults with U.S. policymakers, has now sided with hotels saying state leaders should clarify their tax laws and require online travel companies like Expedia and Orbitz to pay back taxes not charged on transactions. South Florida Business Journal

Aug. 15

Lawmakers visit Atlanta early learning program
On Wednesday, lawmakers from around the nation visited what Georgia officials call the crown jewel of Early Care and Learning Centers in the state. The lawmakers are in Atlanta for the National Conference of State Legislatures. WABE

Slowing down the summer learning slide
Most public institutions geared for kids shut down in the summer,” said Ron Fairchild, former CEO of the National Summer Learning Association and a panelist this week at the National Conference of State Legislatures meeting in Atlanta on the opportunity gap. Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Sen. Curt Bramble elected v.p. of national legislature group
Utah state Sen. Curt Bramble recently was elected vice president of the National Conference of State Legislatures, a bipartisan organization that serves the nation’s 7,383 state lawmakers and legislative staff. Desert News

Roadkill Gains Traction as a Home Menu Item
More than a dozen states have similar provisions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The New York Times

A Chance to Own a Home for $1 in a City on the Ropes
Indiana is one of 21 states that does not allow its cities to file for bankruptcy protection, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The New York Times

Critics: Farm bill will block California agricultural laws
Oregon state Sen. Bruce Starr, president-elect of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), and the Humane Society of the United States urged Congress to reject Republican Rep. Steve King’s proposal to block state and local laws that would regulate “agricultural production” in other states. citizen-times.com

Lawmakers Study Neurology Along With New Juvenile Justice Policy Ideas
“Why do most adolescents drive like they’re missing part of their brain? Because they are,” said Elizabeth Cauffman, professor of Psychology & Social Behavior and Education at the University of California, Irvine. She was speaking to a group of state lawmakers, staff and others at a forum at the National Conference of State Legislatures summit in Atlanta on Aug. 14. corrections.com

Tale of two conferences
The second national group is the state funded National Conference of State Legislatures, or NCSL. It is a place where both the NRA and the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence come to make a pitch. Capitol News Service

Tweets from Day 3of the NCSL Summit
More Tweets about the National Conference of State Legislatures, which is taking place this week at the World Congress Center. Items from Day 3: Governor Deal in a seersucker, Buzz, Hairy, Pounce, and the M&M guys make an appearance. Panel discussions on mobile technologies, tech tools, pensions, article V conventions and much, much more. Peach Pundit

Sebelius: Misinformation is Obamacare Enemy No. 1
A speech given by Department of Health and Human Services (NYSE:HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius before the National Conference of State Legislatures Health Summit in Atlanta, Georgia on Monday was meant to highlight the efforts the Obama administration was making to help states “meet the challenges” of implementing the Affordable Care Act. Wall Street Cheat Sheet

The Obvious Solution to the Transportation Funding Crisis
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx also has noticed the states' growing role in infrastructure financing. "America's governors are solving transportation challenges," he wrote in his blog, the Fast Lane, on August 6. He made it more explicit in his prepared remarks before the National Conference of State Legislatures' Transportation Summit on August 12. heartland.org

Glass-Steagall resolution pulled
Later yesterday, GOP state Sen. Catherine Cloutier yanked her resolution she had introduced at the National Conference of State Legislatures. No word why. “I know some of the people that are still for the resolution may try to bring it up on the floor on Thursday, but that would be extremely difficult,” NCSL Director Neal Osten told me. Politico

N.C. spin on voter suppression
While there are more than 30 states that have some type of identification requirement, only a handful have the “strict photo ID requirement” that McCrory signed into law, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. msnbc.com

American opinions on pot reach tipping point?
Since then, 20 other states and the District of Columbia have passed similar laws, while Colorado and Washington state have legalized it for recreational use -- a move Alaska, California, Nevada and Oregon each twice rejected between 1972 and 2010, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. CNN/WDBJ7.com

North Carolina governor vetoes drug tests for some welfare seekers
Similar laws regarding the testing of TANF applicants have been proposed in at least 29 states this year, and are already on the books in at least eight, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Reuters

(Editorial) Recalling an elected official
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures website, only 19 states provide for the recall of elected officials. Kent County News


(Opinion) UPMC, Highmark in need of intervention
Reps. Dan Frankel, D-Squirrel Hill, and Jim Christiana, R-Beaver, are co-sponsoring legislation to require hospitals such as UPMC to contract with "any willing insurer." ... I reached Mr. Frankel at the National Conference of State Legislatures in Atlanta, where he'd participated in a health care summit. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

(Editorial) Why the hysteria on Wall Street?
Bevies of bankers flocked to a hearing room at the National Conference of State Legislatures in Atlanta Aug. 12, to try to block a pro-Glass-Steagall resolution pending before that body. Executive Intelligence Review

Aug. 14

Lawmakers to address child hunger at Ga. gathering
Lawmakers who gathered in Atlanta for a national conference this week are going to stuff backpacks with food to address local child hunger. AP/Rome News-Tribune

As haze clears, are American opinions on marijuana reaching tipping point?
Since then, 20 other states and the District of Columbia have passed similar laws, while Colorado and Washington state have legalized it for recreational use -- a move Alaska, California, Nevada and Oregon each twice rejected between 1972 and 2010, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. CNN

Civil Rights Leader To Discuss Voting Rights In GA
Lowery is scheduled to join Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams and lawmakers who are visiting Atlanta for the 2013 National Conference of State Legislatures’ Annual Legislative Summit. AP/Atlanta CBS

State Officials Argue at AUVSI for Ban on Warrantless UAV Surveillance
The outcry has spurred more than 30 states to consider bills limiting the use of UAVs and, as of June, and at least nine have passed legislation, according the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). insidegnss.com

HHS chief, visiting Georgia, urges expansion
“We are very eager to continue these conversations with states around the country,’’ Sebelius said in Atlanta during a meeting of the National Conference of State Legislatures. Augusta Chronicle/Georgia Health News

Daugaard open to changes in sex trafficking laws
“We’re hoping to build those relationships,” said Dold, who was attending the National Conference of State Legislatures Legislative Summit in Atlanta, Ga. Argus Leader

Break-up-the-big-banks resolution withdrawn by Republican State Sen. Cloutier
That’s according to Politico, which heard last night that Delaware Republican State Sen. Catherine Cloutier withdrew an amendment that would seek to bring back the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act. She was going to bring it up at the National Conference of State Legislatures meeting in Atlanta, the report said. Marketwatch

Critics warn of farm bill's reach
Oregon state Sen. Bruce Starr, president-elect of the National Conference of State Legislatures, and the Humane Society of the United States urged Congress to reject Republican Rep. Steve King’s proposal to block state and local laws that would regulate “agricultural production” in other states. Statesman Journal

Glass-Steagall resolution pulled - No charges for JPM 'Whale' - Break-up-the-banks fever hits states
M.M. heard last night that Delaware GOP State Sen. Catherine Cloutier pulled her resolution supporting the re-introduction of Glass-Steagall from consideration at the National Conference of State Legislatures meeting in Atlanta. Politico

Kleeb said the public should think of the conference much like those put on by other groups that bring together state legislators, like the Council of State Governments and the National Conference of State Legislatures.

U.S. senator seeks federal review of North Carolina voting law
Ten states have already enacted laws that require photo identification to vote, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and North Carolina is among a dozen states that have considered or adopted new laws this year. Reuters

Aug. 13

Sebelius Signals Openness To State Alternatives To Medicaid Expansion
Speaking to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said she is willing to work with states experimenting with new ways to insure poor Americans. Meanwhile, outlets in Virginia and Michigan report on the debate in those states about expanding the program. Kaiser Health News

NCSL Report: States Enacted $1.3 Billion In Tax Cuts in 2013 Legislative Sessions
Tax policy actions taken in the states in 2013 legislative sessions resulted in a net tax cut of $1.3 billion, according to a report released Aug. 12 by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Bloomberg BNA

Ex-justice O'Connor urges more civics education
Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on Monday urged state lawmakers gathered for a convention in Atlanta to help improve civics education in their states' schools as a way to reduce the politicization of the country's courts. O'Connor spoke at an annual gathering of state lawmakers from around the country organized by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Education Week

Sebelius to states: You can still expand Medicaid
President Barack Obama's top health care official told a national convention of state legislators that it's not too late for states to get on board with the 2010 health care overhaul. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was among several administration officials scheduled to address the National Conference of State Legislatures on Monday. AP/Desert News

State tax collections keep going up
While Georgia’s financial situation may be improving, state lawmakers from across the country were told Monday at the National Conference of State Legislatures’ summit in Atlanta that all may not be rosy for them. Little or no final action appears likely anytime soon on the federal budget, which may mean more debt ceiling fights and automatic spending cuts ahead. And Arturo Perez, NCSL’s top fiscal analyst, said budget officials across the country are projecting slower revenue growth this year. Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Your daily jolt: In a hot monthy, cooling town hall temperatures
Former Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O'Connor speaks to the National Conference of State Legislatures in Atlanta on Monday. Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Foxx's 'cathedral test'
At a speech in Atlanta, Anthony Foxx said transportation investment is a “cathedral test” — a reference to the massive religious edifices built during the Middle Ages that sometimes required many decades to finish. “[Builders] knew they weren’t going to live to see the whole vision completed. But they also knew the vision would never be completed if they didn’t move those stones,” Foxx told the audience at the National Conference of State Legislatures, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Politico

Restaurant group hosts hunger event
The National Restaurant Association and Yum! Brands are sponsoring an anti-hunger campaign on the sidelines of the 2013 National Conference of State Legislatures legislative summit in Atlanta. State lawmakers and volunteers will be packing 1,000 backpacks of food for Atlanta-area kids. Politico

Sebelius, Foxx urge action on Obama agenda
Two of President Barack Obama's top lieutenants offered the nation's state legislators reserved-but-clear denunciations of Republican opposition they say hurts the middle class. AP/The State

The coming war over voting rights
State lawmakers from around the country crowded into a packed room Monday at the meeting of the National Conference of State Legislatures to learn more about the impact of the Supreme Court’s recent decision striking down the Voting Rights Act, as activists gear up for a new battle over the ballot box. Politico


Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/2013/08/12/2915403/sebelius-to-states-you-can-still.html#storylink=cpy

Report forecasts slow revenue growth for states
The National Conference of State Legislatures provides a detailed look at states’ fiscal outlook in a report released this week, finding most year-end balances will likely fall in fiscal year 2014. General fund revenues are projected to increase by only 1.3 percent, compared to the 5.5 percent aggregate growth states experienced in fiscal year 2013. Governing

Retail groups push states on taxes
Our good friends at POLITICO Influence report that representatives from the International Council of Shopping Centers, National Retail Federation and Retail Industry Leaders Association were in my hometown of Atlanta yesterday to discuss the Marketplace Fairness Act during the annual conference of the National Conference of State Legislatures. Politico

Break-up-the-big-banks fever hits the states
This week, the National Conference of State Legislatures will vote on a Glass-Steagall resolution introduced by Delaware Republican state Sen. Catherine Cloutier at its legislative summit in Atlanta. Politico

North Carolina governor signs tough new voting restrictions
Ten states have already enacted laws that require photo identification to vote, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and North Carolina is among a dozen states that have considered or adopted new laws this year. Reuters/Chicago Tribune

Group: states should require warrants for UAS surveillance
The ASA, an organization of state lieutenant governors, developed the UAS recommendations for state policymakers in conjunction with the Council of State Governments and the National Conference of State Legislatures. Aviation International News

Morning Education Syllabus
States’ spending on K-12 education is expected to grow by 2.5 percent during the 2014 fiscal year, a new report from the National Conference of State Legislatures shows. And spending on higher education is expected to grow too, by about 5 percent. Politico

Childcare Experts Urge Attention to Adult in Child Welfare
Approximately 200 state lawmakers, staff and advocates from across the country at a child welfare forum at the National Conference of State Legislatures 2013 summit, hosted in Atlanta this week. youthtoday.org

States pessimistic about revenues in 2014
State revenues in 2013 are up 5.3 percent from this time last year, but state officials are worried the gains will dissipate in 2014, according to a new report from the National Conference of State Legislatures. Stateline

Delaware lawmakers support all of our schools
“To work well, government requires a bond of trust between citizens and their representatives. To tear down government diminishes your ability to solve problems in the legislature. When you demean the institution, you demean yourself.” The quote comes from a pamphlet printed by the National Conference of State Legislatures and is appropriate now more than ever as serious policy discussions take place among elected officials. delawareonline.com

Just Around The Corner, A Big Change In Coverage
 Fifty-one days. That's the time left until enrollment starts on the health insurance exchange. "The clock is ticking," said Sandy Praeger, the Kansas insurance commissioner, during a health care panel Sunday at the legislative summit for the National Conference of State Legislatures, which opened in Atlanta. news-medical.net


Aug. 12

Foxx: Spending debate impedes infrastructure
Newly confirmed Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx told a national gathering of state legislators that Obama wants a new transportation bill. His comments came Monday, during the National Conference of State Legislatures convention in Atlanta. AP/Atlanta Journal Constitution

The coming war over voting rights
State lawmakers from around the country crowded into a packed room Monday at the meeting of the National Conference of State Legislatures to learn more about the impact of the Supreme Court’s recent decision striking down the Voting Rights Act as activists gear up for a new battle over the ballot box. Politico

Sibelius: Medicaid expansion no ‘bait and switch’
“No one’s health care should be determined by their zip code,” Sebelius told an audience of state lawmakers from around the country gathered in downtown Atlanta for the National Conference of State Legislatures’ annual convention. The Business Journal

Sebelius to States: You Can Still Expand Medicaid
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was among several administration officials scheduled to address the National Conference of State Legislatures on Monday. AP/13 WMAZ

Pa. lawmakers collect $1.2 million in per diems through June
According to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures, most states have some sort of expense reimbursement program for lawmakers – though Pennsylvania’s daily payments are higher than most states. Delaware County Daily Times

Why Oregon lawmakers think we need a GPS-tracking mileage tax
"The amount of revenue 'lost' is tough to calculate," Jaime Rall, a senior policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures, told MSN Autos in an email. "There are many variables, including state gas-tax rates, how many fuel-efficient vehicles are being driven in each state, how much they’re being driven, what vehicles they’re replacing and so on." MSN Money

Transportation Secretary Foxx: Tight budgets require efficient spending
“As a country, we have to be more strategic in how we make infrastructure investments,” Foxx said on the opening day of the National Conference of State Legislatures’ annual conference, meeting this year at the Georgia World Congress Center. The Business Journal

Lawmakers to gather in GA for conference
The National Conference of State Legislatures will host its 39th annual legislative summit at the Georgia World Congress Center beginning Monday. It's billed as the largest gathering of its kind, with lawmakers and staff gathering to discuss topics such as jobs for veterans and drone regulations. AP/WDEF

Putting brakes on use of drones in N.C.
More than 30 states are considering some sort of restrictions on drones, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Charlotte Observer
 
Private funds could power high-speed rail
The National Conference of State Legislatures says most public-private partnership laws apply to bridge or highway projects. None cover passenger rail service. Democrat & Chronicle

Albany, Long Buried in Paper, Resolves to Save a Small Forest
More than half of the country’s state legislatures have taken steps to go paperless or reduce paper use, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The New York Times

Aug. 9

National Conference of State Legislatures Comes to Atlanta
A 5,000-strong swarm of state lawmakers, policy wonks and special interest advocates will converge in downtown Atlanta beginning Monday for the National Conference of State Legislatures. Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Obamacare's hidden battle: insurance agents push state regulation of guides to new marketplaces 
Many states would not allow companies to pay directly for a legislator’s travel, said Peggy Kerns, director of the Center for Ethics in Government at the National Conference of State Legislatures. Ten states ban corporate gifts, she said, and about a third of all states impose a monetary limit. But Kerns said that in many states, funneling the money through a foundation would avoid a ban on companies paying for lawmakers’ travel. publicintegrity.org

Q&A: How health care law will affect people with autism
A 2009 study by the National Conference of State Legislatures ranked Pennsylvania's General Assembly second in total spending (behind California), second in per capita spending (behind Alaska) and second in spending as a percentage of government operations (behind Nevada). USA Today

Senator Lucio appointed to national partnership on hunger
Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr. (D-Brownsville) was appointed to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Foundation Hunger Partnership, a group of legislators and staff from across the country tasked with raising the visibility of, and highlighting innovative and lasting solutions to hunger in America. KVEO

(Editorial) States and feds are growing apart
The “growing schism” between states and the federal government was the subject of an article in State Legislatures, the magazine published by the National Conference of State legislatures. Lincoln Journal Star

Lowery to launch voting rights campaign
Lowery is scheduled to join Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams and lawmakers who are visiting Atlanta for the 2013 National Conference of State Legislatures' Annual Legislative Summit. AP/GBP News

Benton: Changing times in Beverly
State Rep. John Keenan will be in Atlanta this weekend attending the national Conference of State Legislatures’ Energy Policy Conference. The Salem News

Reduce the size of the Pennsylvania Legislature
A 2009 study by the National Conference of State Legislatures ranked Pennsylvania's General Assembly second in total spending (behind California), second in per capita spending (behind Alaska) and second in spending as a percentage of government operations (behind Nevada). Intelligencer Journal/Lancasteronline.com

Future of high-speed passenger rail could ride on private investment
Future of high-speed passenger rail could ride on private investmentThe National Conference of State Legislatures says most public-private partnership laws apply to bridge or highway projects. Asbury Park Press

Should states consider a vehicle miles traveled tax?
Ann Morse with the National Conference of State Legislatures says many states have enacted tuition policies for undocumented students. But Georgia’s outright ban on top schools is unique and seen only in a few states. “It’s more unusual to have a ban on access,” she says. Johnson Cithy Press

Bronx pols discuss outside gigs and assets
State lawmakers receive a base pay of $79,000 a year, according to a report by the 2012 National Conference of State Legislatures, making them some of the best paid lawmakers in the nation. However, most of them work outside jobs. Norwood News

L.A. Community College District votes to establish gun-free campuses
Twenty-two states ban the carrying of a concealed weapon on campus, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, while 19 states have introduced legislation to allow concealed carrying in some instances. Los Angeles Times

Week in review: Corbett travels up creek, with paddle
In terms of cost, the Pennsylvania General Assembly ranks second to California, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Pennsylvania Independent

Tax issues could make special session agenda
According to data maintained by the National Conference of State Legislatures, 11 other states convened special legislative sessions in 2012. So far this year, nine other states have held at least one special legislative session. Finance & Commerce

Aug. 8

Immigration laws conflict
Ann Morse with the National Conference of State Legislatures says many states have enacted tuition policies for undocumented students. But Georgia’s outright ban on top schools is unique and seen only in a few states. “It’s more unusual to have a ban on access,” she says. GBP News

Georgia weekend advisory
State lawmakers and staff from around the country will be gathering in Atlanta this week for a conference on a wide variety of issues facing states. The National Conference of State Legislatures will be hosting its 39th annual legislative summit at the Georgia World Congress Center beginning Aug. 12. The State


Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/2013/08/08/2907763/georgia-weekend-advisory.html#storylink=cpy
State officials voice support of prayer in state legislatures
Surveys conducted by The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) found that all legislative bodies had long been opening its sessions with a prayer except for the Massachusetts Senate, which had done so only occasionally. Opelika-Auburn News

Hospital settles suit over Kenny Chapman murders
The National Conference of State Legislatures says North Carolina is one of only four states that lack a “duty to warn” law that requires or urges medical professionals to warn potential targets of patient threats. Charlotte Observer/WCNC.com

School choice option to aid students with special needs
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, as of July 13 states including South Carolina had created some sort of scholarship tax credit program for private schools. At least 10 states offer private school choices to students with disabilities. Morning News

Health care officials: Lack of Medicaid expansion will put Va. jobs, hospitals at risk
“The recession had a major impact on the (Virginia) Medicaid program because of increased enrollment and declining revenues,” says the National Conference of State Legislatures. “The state largely addressed the budget problems through provider rate cuts; this has affected both hospitals and physicians, as well as managed care plans and has implications for the expansion of coverage.” timesnews.net

(Opinion) Cyberbullying needs blanket legislation
The National Conference of State Legislatures website lists three types of online misbehavior dealing with this issue: cyberstalking, cyberharassment and cyberbullying. allvoices.com

Cleaveland: Inequality in length, quality of life
In Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Kentucky and West Virginia, at least 35 percent of children are overweight or obese, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. timesfreepress.com

Aug. 7

Reader's Watchdog: Iowans question think tank's secrecy
[NCSL Executive Director Bill] Pound said his group’s bosses are Legislatures, not legislators. The group advocates for the interests of state governments before Congress and federal agencies, but only in rare instances does the National Conference of State Legislatures craft model legislation, he said, and that’s when the organization is trying to act on states’ behalf in Congress or helping on an issue in which states laws are different. “We make every effort to be bipartisan,” Pound said. “Under our bylaws, presidents rotate every year between the two parties.” The Des Moines Register

Yum! Brands takes the lead on state legislators' fight against hunger
As Atlanta-area children head back to school this August, state legislators from across the country will pack 1,000 backpacks of food for them as part of the 2013 National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Legislative Summit. fastcasual.com

States train teachers on common core
“States are at very different stages,” said Michelle Exstrom, program principal at the National Conference of State Legislatures. “Some states have fully jumped in – Kentucky being one of them. Other states are hanging back.” Stateline

The case for a sales tax rollback (column)
The National Conference of State Legislatures has estimated that Massachusetts could reap, in total, $268 million in tax revenues from online purchases. The Boston Globe

Pension and benefits, no room for mistakes
According to The National Conference of State Legislatures, “annual premiums for employer-sponsored family health coverage reached $15,745, in 2012, up 4 percent from 2010, with workers on average paying $4,316 toward the cost of their coverage. ... In 2009, the employees’ share was $3,354 for family coverage. The Telegraph

Thumbs down: arming teachers not best way to provide security (opinion)
Six states have even passed laws allowing teachers and administrators to carry weapons, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Herald-Dispatch

Filmmakers ponder Badger State options, sans tax credit
As of January 2011, when Wisconsin was considering eliminating the tax credit, 45 states and Puerto Rico had some sort of film-incentive program, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Wisconsin Reporter

Wilimgton mayor talks business and state of the city
Mayor Williams says his administration has already been in contact with organizations such as the NACCP, the National Conference of State Legislatures as well as a top selling gospel group which could all bring thousands of consumers to the city. Newsworks

Ditch the double dipping
Each state also has fuel tax — in Georgia, we pay 4 cents per gallon at the pump, and according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Cherokee Ledger-News

More money, more problems?
States can set their minimum wage higher than the federal limit, however. Eighteen states and the District of Columbia have done just that, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Wymoing Tribune Eagle

Living legends: Richard Merritt focuses on health issues
Then came a role as staff director for human resources at the National Conference of State Legislatures from 1975 to 1980. The Connection

Elections officials prep for voter bill changes
Georgia, Indiana, Kansas and Tennessee have strict photo voter ID requirements, and eight more states have passed strict photo voter ID legislation but the laws have not yet been implemented due to future effective dates or legal challenges, the National Conference of State Legislatures has stated. Lumina News

Ballots weigh on business
Voters in 38 states will consider 174 statewide ballot measures on Nov. 6, 2012, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Home Channel News

Flight attendant allegedly told breastfeeding mom to cover up
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls breastfeeding "[o]ne of the most highly effective preventive measures a mother can take to protect the health of her infant" and recommends mothers breastfeed if they are able. In order to promote this option, the federal government requires employers to allow mothers time to breastfeed, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Huffington Post

Aug. 6

Tax dollars for private school tuition gain in states
Thirteen states created or expanded tuition tax credits, private school scholarships or traditional vouchers in 2013, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. USA Today

Public pensions up 12%, earn most in 2 years as equities soar
Between 2009 and 2013, 48 states and Puerto Rico enacted pension-financing or benefit changes, said S&P, citing the National Conference of State Legislatures. BloombergBusinessweek

N.H. Medicaid commission to hear from experts
Brian Osberg of the National Governor's Association and Joy Johnson Wilson of the National Conference of State Legislatures said they'd be surprised if federal officials approved the waiver applications from those states in the next 60 days, but if they do, New Hampshire might face a less complicated path because the other states already had led the way. AP/Idaho Statesman

Colorado town takes aim at drones
At least 43 states have enacted or proposed about 100 drone-related bills and resolutions in the past year, with most aimed at regulating and restricting how they’re used, and who can use them, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Washington Examiner

Washington state turns up the dial on privacy for social media
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, since the beginning of 2013, legislation has been introduced or is pending in 36 states. law.com

How to know a medical procedure's cost in advance
Some states have terrific pricing tools, such as Minnesota and New Hampshire, but a lot of the state resources are not so great. In Ohio, for example, the prices are simply the list or "chargemaster" prices, which are the top-end rates, and thus not very useful. The National Conference of State Legislatures has a great scorecard of those resources. msn.com

(Blog) School-choice legislation wins big in states this year
 Using data from the National Conference of State Legislatures, [Elaine] Povich writes that 13 states have either created new school-choice programs or expanded their existing ones this year. Education Week

Aug. 5

Is food loophole in ethics rulse abused?
Nationally, states are opting for more reporting and better ways of letting the public get access to data, according to Peggy Kerns, director of the Center for Ethics in Government at the National Conference of State Legislatures in Denver. The News Tribune

Longtime Tenn. lawmaker Lois DeBerry dies at 68
First elected in 1972, Ms. DeBerry was the longest-serving member of the state House of Representatives. Nationwide, only two other female lawmakers elected in 1972 are still serving, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. AP/Boston.com

Number of one-party states soars
"There are some very red states and some very blue states right now. It's hard for the party out of power to be very competitive," said Tim Storey, an analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures. "Republicans are acting like Republicans and Democrats are acting like Democrats...there's not quite as much compromise." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

N.C. law grounds surveillance drones, but not all
More than 30 states were considering regulatory action on domestic drones amid concerns that they would be used to spy on Americans, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Bellingham Herald

Medical marijuana now legal in N.H., but rule-writing means delay for patients, dispensaries
As for dispensaries, 12 other states plus the District of Columbia use them to supply patients and their caregivers with marijuana, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Concord Monitor

Pushing campus carry
In 2013, at least 19 states, including Texas, introduced legislation to allow concealed carry on campus in some regard, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. mysanantonio.com

Lawsuits expected over major N.C. voting changes
More than half the states have some kind of voter ID law, and North Carolina would join them in 2016. And it would join a more exclusive club: one of just five states with what the National Conference of State Legislatures calls a “strict” photo ID law. Charlotte Observer

Online voter registration soon available in 18 states
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 12 states – Arizona, California, Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah and Washington – already offer online paperless registration. Six states – Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Virginia and West Virginia – have adopted rules allowing people to register online but haven’t yet implemented the process. Land Line Magazine

More Va. drunk drivers told to have breathalyzers
Virginia is one of 15 states that have ignition interlock provisions or laws for drunken driving offenses, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. AP/TimesDispatch.com

Black Ohio lawmakers oppose stand-your-ground bill
At least 21 states have laws similar to the one in Florida, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. AP/Youngstown Vindicator

Two secret motivators for Texas lawmakers to end gridlock and pass highway measure
Aside from getting out from under Rick Perry’s thumb and fleeing the tedium of the state Capitol, here are two big motivators for Texas lawmakers to pass a highway-funding measure:
1. The National Conference of State Legislatures meeting in Atlanta – August 12-15. The Dallas Morning News 2. The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) meeting in Chicago – August 7-9.  The Dallas Morning News

(Editorial) Senate should leave California's laws as they are
At least nine attorneys general, including Kamala Harris, are opposing Vitter's effort, as is the National Conference of State Legislatures, an important voice. The Sacramento Bee

Did your state flunk personal finance?
The grades were based on data from the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Jump$tart Coalition and the Council for Economic Education. msn.com

Short subjects for Aug. 4
Pelletier noted that the state grades are based on financial literacy legislation summaries maintained by National Conference of State Legislatures for the last 14 years and on reports issued by the JumpStart Coalition and the Council for Economic Education. Rapid City Journal

Ohio has had gun reversal since Sandy Hook
Since Newtown, more than 110 bills dealing with a variety of firearm issues have been enacted in 37 states this year, according to data compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Cincinnati Enquirer

How and when to pay your employees
Eighteen individual states have set their minimum hourly wage higher than the federal rate of $7.25, while the remaining states have either established the federal rate or have no set rate, thereby defaulting to the federal rate. A full table of states’ rates can be found on the National Conference of State Legislatures website. business2community.com

Five leaders to National  Assessment Governing Board, overseeing nation's report card
Sen. Van de Putte has held many leadership roles related to education issues. During her term as president of the National Conference of State Legislatures, education became a large focus of the organization's policy agenda. Imperial Valley News

Schools chief on arming teachers: 'We can't wait for minutes to pass'
In addition to Arkansas, six other states enacted laws allowing teachers and administrators to carry guns in school, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Today.com

Grant aims to catalyze new Kansas effort to expand access to dental services
Megan Foreman, a former health policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures, has been hired to direct the work of the coalition, Dorf Brunner said. KHI News Service

Will fast-food protests spur higher minimum wage?
The cost of living varies greatly around the country and many states have higher minimum wages than the federal rate. (Eighteen states and the District of Columbia, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.) AP/New York Post

The benefits of aging in place
Almost 90% of people over 65 want to live in their home and community as long as possible, according to a report by the AARP Public Policy Institute and the National Conference of State Legislatures. Kiplinger

Aug. 2

Texas State Legislature meets for its third special session
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), only 10 states have truly full-time state legislators, where they estimate that legislators spend 80% or more of their time on legislative business, including session, constituent services, interim committee work, and election campaigns. Washington Times

U.S. Unemployment Rate is Stalled at More Than 7 Percent
But the National Conference of State Legislatures in its spring report said while most states are no longer teetering on the edge of economic calamity, there is still “a dose of uncertainty, as states continue to plod their way through an extended economic recovery.” CNN/The Skanner

Mississippi law requires cord blood from some teen moms
Megan Comlossy, health policy associate for the National Conference of State Legislatures, said she thinks Mississippi is the first state to enact a law authorizing the collection of blood from the umbilical cord — a painless procedure — to determine paternity. AP/Register-Guard

N.C. Voter Laws Would Remain More Liberal Than In Many States
Traditionally blue states such as New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut don’t allow either early voting or no-excuse absentee voting, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Carolina Journal

GOP governors try to keep their hold on battleground states
The map below from the National Conference of State Legislatures shows the party affiliation of all 50 governors (Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee recently switch from independent -- coded green on the map -- to Democrat). Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Where did stomach virus outbreak come from? Consumers, food safety advocates seek answers on cyclospora
Responsibility for disclosing the names of businesses involved general falls to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration because their authority crosses state lines, said Doug Farquhar, a program director with the National Conference of State Legislatures. Farquhar said most states have laws that prohibit the disclosure of businesses that are affected by a foodborne illness. "In some cases, states go 'rogue' and release the names without FDA approval, in the name of public safety," Farquhar said. "But for the most part, states prefer to let the FDA release the names and take the heat." New York Daily News

Aug. 1

State gas tax could be replaced by mileage tax
"Per-mile charges are the most high-profile and discussed possible alternative to the gas tax," said Jaime Rall, a transportation policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures. "There's no question about it: States want to know if this is going to be a viable way to fund transportation into the future." USA Today

Salad-tied parasite outbreak widespread, source not pegged
Responsibility for disclosing the names of businesses involved general falls to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration because their authority crosses state lines, said Doug Farquhar, a program director with the National Conference of State Legislatures. Farquhar said most states have laws that prohibit the disclosure of businesses that are affected by a foodborne illness. State Journal-Register/AP

Quinn signs medical marijuana bill into law
The Democratic governor’s signature adds Illinois to a growing list of 19 other states and the District of Columbia that have made marijuana legal in some form, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. wgnradio.com

Jubilant same-sex couples wed at midnight
Seven more states allow civil unions between same-sex couples, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, but six of those have laws against gay marriage. WMTW ABC Maine

‘Standing’ Provision Will Help N.C. Fight Lawsuits
Jon Griffin, policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures, said no other state has enacted standing-to-intervene laws this year. He said Montana’s Legal Review issued a note on draft House legislation that was proposed this year. He said the review “discusses the legality of the bill, and finally concludes that the bill’s ‘statutory authorization of legislator standing and the ability to intervene may raise potential constitutional conformity issues with the Judicial Branch’s power to determine a litigant’s ability to bring a specific cause of action or to intervene in a cause of action before a court.” Carolina Journal
 

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