NCSL in the News | August 2018

8/1/2018

Aug. 29

Arkansas Senate works to stream video 
The Fresno Bee
The National Conference of State Legislatures' website says the Arkansas Senate is one of nine in the country that don't provide video webcasts of their sessions in chambers.

Mothers' pot use taints breast milk, study finds 
Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette
Marijuana is legal for recreational use in nine states and Washington, D.C., and for medical use in 31 states including Arkansas, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

NDAs: double-edged swords? 
Lewiston Morning Tribune
They introduced bills in at least 16 states this year to restrict the use by private employers of non-disclosure agreements in sexual harassment cases, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Coal’s ACE in the Hole? New Rule Still Faces Headwinds 
Power Magazine
The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) says 29 states, along with Washington, D.C., and three U.S. territories, already have renewable portfolio standards that set targets for renewable generation at various percentages over the next several years.

Aug. 28

2020 Census: Congressional Seats, Federal Funds at Risk
U.S. News & World Report
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, five states (Delaware, Illinois, Michigan, New York and Rhode Island) have made moves toward creation of Complete Count Committees. Governors in six states (Alabama, California, Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky and Mississippi) have issued executive orders creating some committees.

States Limit Workplace Confidentiality Agreements
Governing
They introduced bills in at least 16 states this year to restrict the use by private employers of nondisclosure agreements in sexual harassment cases, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

Mind-altering breast milk? New pot study poses that question 
The Witchita Eagle
Marijuana is legal for recreational use in nine states and Washington, D.C., and for medical use in 31 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Ready home for future 
Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
Nearly 90 percent of people over age 65 want to stay in their homes for as long as possible, according to research by the National Conference of State Legislatures with AARP Public Policy Institute.
 
Kan. Sen. Bowers elected to lead national women’s legislative board 
Hays Post
Kansas Senator Elaine Bowers (R-Concordia, 36TH Dist.) has been elected as the President of the Executive Board of the Women’s Legislative Network of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

Rauner Signs Bill Legalizing Industrial Hemp in Illinois
Chicago Tonight
To get around the federal ban, at least 16 other states have legalized industrial hemp production for commercial purposes, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Missouri is one of 4 states that don’t allow teachers to be lawmakers 
KCUR
Missouri is one of four states where active public school teachers cannot also serve in their state legislature, according to a review of National Conference of State Legislatures Data by Education Week.

Aug. 27

John McCain's US Senate seat: What happens next?
FOX News
Arizona is one of 36 states where a governor makes an appointment to fill a U.S. Senate vacancy, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Therefore, Gov. Ducey will appoint an interim senator to fill McCain’s seat.

Georgia lawmakers eye expansion of medical marijuana law
Atlanta Business Chronicle
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 31 states ¬— including Georgia — have enacted medical marijuana and/or cannabis oil programs.

Measles case confirmed at Plano West Senior High School
Dallas Morning News
Texas is among 18 states that let families opt out of vaccines for personal or moral beliefs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

States reconsider confidential deals in workplace harassment
Daily Hampshire Gazette
They introduced bills in at least 16 states this year to restrict the use by private employers of non-disclosure agreements in sexual harassment cases, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

“Support our teachers where our concerns about teacher pay and resources must be heard — the Florida Legislature.”
Daytona Beach News-Journal
The National Conference of State Legislatures projects an average increase in Florida health insurance premiums to be 8.8 percent in 2019.

Western Pa. school districts ramping up security, technology
The Tribune Review
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which tracks state laws across the country, 71 school safety-related bills or resolutions across 32 states have been enacted since Feb. 14.

Mississippi lottery bill advances, but more work remains
The Commercial Dispatch
The National Conference of State Legislatures says the states currently without a lottery are Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada and Utah.

NYAG Underwood and Web Companies File New Briefs in Net Neutrality Case
New York Law Journal
Legislation requiring net neutrality has been introduced in 29 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures in response to the Restoring Internet Freedom Order issued Jan. 4 that ended net neutrality as federal law.
 
Women's Equality Day: It Can Still Be Hard for Women to Vote. Here's What You Should Know About Your Rights
Glamour
Voters have to show some form of I.D. in 34 states in this year’s elections, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Missouri is one of 4 states that don’t allow teachers to be lawmakers
KSMU Radio
Missouri is one of four states where active public school teachers cannot also serve in their state legislature, according to a review of National Conference of State Legislatures data by Education Week.

Aug. 24

After Centuries, Hemp Makes A Comeback At George Washington's Home
NPR
Hemp is still considered a controlled substance by the federal government, but Mount Vernon is able to grow industrial hemp because of a provision included in the federal Farm Bill passed in 2014. It allows states to harvest the crop in limited supply for research purposes only. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 38 states considered industrial hemp legislation in 2018.

Public Health vs. Private Property in War on Lead
Pew Charitable Trusts
“I think it’s obvious that if you’re going to provide them with 100 percent of the cost to fix this problem there’s no barrier to them going out and finding the highest-cost replacement that they can,” he [state Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt] said in a National Conference of State Legislatures webinar.

Attention, Shoppers: Kroger Says It Is Phasing Out Plastic Bags
Boise State Public Radio
California has a statewide ban on single-use carryout bags at grocery stores and large retail stores. Multiple cities and counties either have a ban on plastic bags or charge a small fee to use one. The National Conference of State Legislatures has a rundown of local laws.

Aug. 23

New Chicago Public Schools policies may bar students from texting teachers, coaches — and vice versa
Chicago Tribune
Districts in New Jersey and Texas must have teacher-student electronic communication policies, but no specific rules are mandated, according to an analysis conducted for the Tribune by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Treat Elected to NCSL executive committee
The Journal Record
State Sen. Greg Treat, president pro tempore-designate of the Oklahoma Senate, has been elected to serve on the 2018-2019 National Conference of State Legislatures’ Executive Committee.

Industrial hemp symposium attracting producers from Texas and Oklahoma
Southwest Farm Press
The Farm Bureau, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, National Farmers Union, and the National Conference of State Legislatures have all argued in recent years that lawmakers need to remove hemp from the same list that has relegated marijuana to an illegal controlled substance under federal drug laws, and many believe the 2018 Farm Bill may have the best chance yet to open up hemp farming to mainstream agriculture.
 
Fact check: Amazon and Apple are already in states with voter ID laws, group says
The Herald
According to the National Conference of State Legislators, 34 states have voter ID laws as of 2018. The strictest voter ID laws are in Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia, Wisconsin, Arizona, North Dakota and Ohio. 

Aug. 22

What killed coal? Technology and cheaper alternatives
CNN
More than two dozen US states have adopted standards that require utilities to use a certain amount of renewable energy, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Pregnant Colorado mom's murder sparks debate over fetal homicide laws
FOX News
Colorado is not among the 38 states with fetal homicide laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The state does, however, have penalty-enhancement laws to protect pregnant women.

Why does the Texas Legislature meet every two years? Curious Texas hits the history books
Dallas News
According to the National Conference of State Legislators, advantages to lawmakers meeting every two years include having time to create and sustain relations with their constituents, campaign for re-election and use interim commissions to study proposed legislation. Meeting every two years can also act a safeguard against unnecessary or knee-jerk legislation.

Georgia's elections system desperately needs an update—but how?
Atlanta Magazine
In addition to being one of just 14 states using totally paperless voting systems, Georgia is one of only 10 states that don’t mandate post-election audits, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, along with fellow Southern states Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

What Does Your State’s Laws Require of your Business Following a Data Breach? (INFOGRAPHIC)
Small Business Trends
The guide from Digital Guardian shows you the laws enacted by the different states in March of 2018 as announced by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).
 
RESEARCH & COMMENTARY: STATE LOTTERY WOULD BE A POOR REVENUE SOURCE FOR MISSISSIPPI
The Heartland Institute
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Mississippi is one of six states without a lottery.

RECENT EDITORIALS IN OKLAHOMA NEWSPAPERS
KRMG
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Oklahoma is one of 21 states in which felons lose their voting rights while they're incarcerated and for a time afterward, typically while on parole or probation, and then those rights are restored. 
 
Pregnant mom's murder ignites debate over Colorado laws involving unborn children
The Denver Channel
There are 38 states that have fetal homicide laws on the books, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, though Colorado is not one of them. 

Aug. 21

Why does the Texas Legislature meet every two years? Curious Texas hits the history books
Dallas News
According to the National Conference of State Legislators, advantages to lawmakers meeting every two years include having time to create and sustain relations with their constituents, campaign for re-election and use interim commissions to study proposed legislation.
 
In Texas, armed ‘marshals’ and ‘guardians’ stand ready to protect students
The Bakersfield Californian
At least nine states permit the arming of school officials, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

After Gov. Scott Walker Took Office, Bills Moved Faster Through Wisconsin Legislature
Wisconsin Public Radio News
Burden also cites the sharing of information across state lines within parties as a factor for bills moving faster through the Legislature. Burden noted that model bills can come from a variety of nonpartisan sources, including the Council of State Governments and the National Conference of State Legislatures.

State Rep. Says New DNA Collection Law Solving Crimes
Eagle 99 FM
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 30 states currently have some form of state DNA collection upon arrest, as does the federal government. Indiana become one of them this year.

Aug. 20

Pioneer of modern redistricting dies at 75
The Hill
He still traveled to San Diego in December for a meeting of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), where he got a standing ovation from the self-declared redistricting nerds — Democrats and Republicans alike — who came to hear him speak.

Look what’s new on the accident investigation team: Drones
The Washington Post
At least 18 states require law enforcement agencies to get search warrants to use drones for surveillance or for conducting a search, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

A Colorado district just canceled school on Mondays to save money. It’s not the first
Miami Herald
A report by the National Conference of State Legislatures says 560 districts in 25 states have four-day school weeks, with most found in Colorado, Montana, Oklahoma and Oregon.
 
In Texas, Armed ‘Marshals’ and ‘Guardians’ Stand Ready to Protect Students
Pew Charitable Trusts
At least nine states permit the arming of school officials, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

High-profile Kentucky murder led to new domestic violence law. It’s not being used.
Lexington Herald Leader
Kentucky is one of 23 states that have some kind of law or are in the process of making a law that allows GPS monitoring of domestic violence offenders, according to the National Council on State Legislatures. 

We grew our economy the right way
Santa Fe New Mexican
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 13 states have ended their film incentive programs in recent years, often citing budget unpredictability as a reason.

To grow old in your home, renovate accordingly
The Spokesman-Review
Nearly 90 percent of people older than age 65 want to stay in their homes for as long as possible, according to research by the National Conference of State Legislatures with AARP Public Policy Institute.

Shaw named Legislator of the Year
Valdosta Daily Times
State Representative Jason Shaw was named the 2018 Legislator of the Year by the Rural Jobs Coalition during a reception in conjunction with the National Conference of State Legislatures on Tuesday, July 31, in Los Angeles, Calif. 

Sen. Thompson talks ‘Salt,’ online sales and other key economic issues following NCSL annual meeting
Okemah News Leader
The meeting was held by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), a nonpartisan organization providing information, support and other resources to legislators and staff from across the country.

Watts case raises questions about Colorado's lack of fetal homicide law
Coloradoan
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Colorado is among 12 states without such a law.

Plan to raise Arkansas' minimum wage qualifies for fall ballot
Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette
The District of Columbia's minimum wage is $13.25 per hour; Washington state's wage is $11.50; and the wages in Massachusetts and California are $11 per hour, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Lawyer says girls’ bodies were submerged in oil
The Star-Telegram
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Colorado is among 12 states without such a law.

After Gov. Scott Walker took office, bills moved faster through the Wisconsin Legislature
Channel 3000
Burden noted that model bills can come from a variety of nonpartisan sources, including the Council of State Governments and the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Aug. 17

A Colorado district just canceled school on Mondays to save money. It’s not the first
Miami Herald
A report by the National Conference of State Legislatures says 560 districts in 25 states have four-day school weeks, with most found in Colorado, Montana, Oklahoma and Oregon.

Why hasn't Chris Watts been charged with killing his unborn child?
9 News KUSA
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, a bipartisan nongovernmental organization dedicated to helping state legislatures, the debate of fetal homicide laws toes the line of the debate over abortion rights very closely.

Transportation director says school bus safest way to get to school
WDAM 7
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, eight states require seatbelts on large school buses. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says lap and/or lap/shoulder seatbelts are required for smaller buses.

Aug. 16

Harassment by lawmakers would become ethics violation under recommendation 
Courier Journal
In most cases of out-of-state trips, taxpayers pay salary and expenses of lawmakers to attend conventions of groups like the National Conference of State Legislatures, Southern Legislative Conference or other organizations of lawmakers.

Colorado School District Gives Students 4-Day Weeks
Teen Vogue
Around 560 districts in 25 states include schools with four-day weeks, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, but evidence is mixed on how the different schedule affects students' performance.

4-day school week begins for students in Colorado school district
ABC News
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 560 districts in 25 states have schools on a four-day schedule. More than half of these districts are located in four states: Colorado, Montana, Oklahoma and Oregon

Gubernatorial races in 2018 slated to be most important for next decade
News 13 Orlando
In 2018, 30 governors and about one-eighth of state legislators who will have redistricting responsibility will be elected, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Aug. 15

These state-level elections could change the balance of power in Congress for a decade
The Washington Post
In all, 29 governors and more than 800 state legislators who could have a hand in the new maps will be selected in November, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

North Dakota recreational pot measure approved for ballot
The Washington Post
Nine states and Washington, D.C., have legalized recreational marijuana, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Lawmakers wrestle with prison increases, question policies
The Spokesman Review
Senate Judiciary Chair Patti Anne Lodge, R-Huston, said she attended a National Conference of State Legislatures session last week and “this very point was brought up, that incarceration is not making us safer.”

Maryland grapples with national crisis of mental illness in jails
Baltimore Post-Examiner
Responding to a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures about mental health and the criminal justice system, Sen. Will Smith, D-Montgomery, said more effective initial encounters with people in mental health crisis and offering pretrial services are two ways in which the state and local governments need to act.

Aug. 14

Why $500K could be the highest exemption from online sales tax collections
The Bond Buyer
Massachusetts, Ohio and Tennessee already have set that threshold, which is the highest among the states that have established one, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

North Dakota recreational pot measure approved for ballot
Longview News-Journal
Nine states and Washington, D.C., have legalized recreational marijuana, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Firefighters to get better benefits in work-related cancer claims
Newbury Port News
At least 13 states -- including California, Maine, New York and Vermont -- ban flame-retardant products, while a dozen others are considering similar restrictions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
To age in place, renovate accordingly
Watertown Daily Times
Nearly 90 percent of people over age 65 want to stay in their homes for as long as possible, according to research by the National Conference of State Legislatures with AARP Public Policy Institute.
 
Another Use for Drones: Investigating Car Wrecks
Insurance Journal
At least 18 states require law enforcement agencies to get search warrants to use drones for surveillance or conducting a search, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures

Aug. 13

These state-level elections could change the balance of power in Congress for a decade
The Washington Post
In all, 30 governors and more than 800 state legislators who could have a hand in the new maps will be selected in November, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

To grow old in your home, renovate accordingly
Colorado Springs Gazette
Nearly 90 percent of people over age 65 want to stay in their homes as long as possible, says research by the National Conference of State Legislatures with the AARP Public Policy Institute.

Minnesota has fallen behind the times on disclosure laws
Minnesota Star Tribune
As stated by the National Conference of State Legislatures, “Nearly all states require legislators to disclose some income-related information about family and household members.” 

Firefighters to get better benefits
The Salem Tribune
At least 13 states — including California, Maine, New York and Vermont — ban flame-retardant products, while a dozen others are considering similar restrictions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Oklahoma sees growing number of women candidates
SF Gate
Only 14 percent of Oklahoma's House and Senate seats are filled by women, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

In These Few States, Teachers Are Not Allowed to Serve in the State Legislature
Education Week
That's according to an Education Week analysis of information collected by the National Conference of State Legislatures, which looked at state laws surrounding dual employment, the practice of holding a paid position with the state in addition to an elected office. 

Aug. 10

These state-level elections could change the balance of power in Congress for a decade 
The Washington Post
In all, 30 governors and more than 800 state legislators who could have a hand in the new maps will be selected in November, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

To grow old in your home, renovate accordingly 
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Nearly 90 percent of people over age 65 want to stay in their homes for as long as possible, according to research by the National Conference of State Legislatures with AARP Public Policy Institute.

It’s hard to manage your credit when you’ve never heard of ‘interest’ 
The Virginian-Pilot
Three other states — Arizona, Iowa and Louisiana — also added financial literacy course requirements for high school graduation this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Law requiring medical review panels for med-mal suits challenged 
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 17 states and the Virgin Islands require that medical liability or malpractice cases be heard by a screening panel before trial.

McNeely: Partisan gerrymandering a hot topic, in Texas and nationwide 
Longview News-Journal 
Half a dozen states have set up independent bodies to deal with congressional redistricting, and 13 states have set up outside commissions or other methods to deal with legislative districts, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Mass. Legislative Website Wins NCSL 2018 Online Democracy Award 
Efficient Gov
The Massachusetts State Legislature was awarded the Online Democracy Award for 2018 by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) at its annual legislative summit in Los Angeles last week.

One mother looks to change town’s law on breastfeeding in public 
ABC News Radio
Nearly 30 states, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, also have laws related to breastfeeding in the workplace, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Aug. 9

Want to ‘age in place’? Make sure your home has these 6 things. 
The Washington Post
Nearly 90 percent of people over age 65 want to stay in their homes for as long as possible, according to research by the National Conference of State Legislatures with AARP Public Policy Institute.

GOP fears steep losses in state legislatures
The Hill
In interviews at the National Conference of State Legislators' annual meetings last week, Republican leaders from purple and red states said they were worried that their members — most of whom are little-known even inside their own districts — are most vulnerable to an electoral atmosphere that even slightly benefits Democrats. 

At George Washington's Mount Vernon, a luscious crop of cannabis nears harvest time 
Grand Forks Herald
Today, 15 states still ban industrial hemp cultivation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Gary state senator elected to help lead National Conference of State Legislatures 
Kokomo Perspective
State Sen. Eddie Melton, D-Gary, last week was elected to a one-year term on the 63-member executive committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Women In La. Legislature 3rd Lowest Number In Nation 
Red River Radio
More women are running for political office in the United States than ever before.  But–according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures, Women make up about 15% of Louisiana’s State Legislature.

Despite Low Numbers, Female Lawmakers Are Impacting Louisiana's Legislature 
WWNO
That’s the third lowest percentage in the nation, according to 2018 data from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Aug. 8

Mass. Legislative Website Wins NCSL 2018 Online Democracy Award
Efficient Gov
The Massachusetts State Legislature was awarded the Online Democracy Award for 2018 by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) at its annual legislative summit in Los Angeles last week.

State lawmakers consider expanding industrial hemp market
Indianapolis Business Journal
Nineteen states, including Indiana, have established laws that provide for hemp pilot studies and production under the law's conditions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Mind the Gap: Drone Privacy Falling Through Regulatory Cracks
Bloomberg Gov
State governments recognize the FAA’s airspace authority but believe “it is imperative to preserve the authority of state governments to issue reasonable restrictions on the time, manner and place of [umanned aerial systems] operations as they relate to states’ traditional police powers,” said Ben Husch, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) infrastructure committee director.

State-Level Democrats Could Ride a Wave in November
RealClear Politics
“Democrats are going to have a wave this year,” said Tim Storey, senior political analyst for the National Conference of State Legislators. “The question is the size of it.”

It's Hard to Manage Your Credit When You've Never Heard of 'Interest'
Pew Charitable Trusts
Three other states — Arizona, Iowa and Louisiana — also added financial literacy course requirements for high school graduation this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The Black Women's Wage Gap Is Systemic, but That Doesn't Mean It Can't Change
Glamour
In fact, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, “18 states began the new year with higher minimum wages. Eight states (Alaska, Florida, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio, and South Dakota) automatically increased their rates based on the cost of living, while 10 states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington) increased their rates due to previously approved legislation or ballot initiatives.”

Another use for drones: Investigating car wrecks
GCN
At least 18 states require law enforcement agencies to get search warrants to use drones for surveillance or conducting a search, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Aug. 7

House Speaker Elected NCSL VP
Big Island NOW
House Speaker Scott K. Saiki was elected vice president of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), a bipartisan organization serving the nation’s legislatures, at the NCSL’s Legislative Summit in Los Angeles on Aug. 2, 2018.
 
D.C. Statehood: Should activists go bipartisan, or try a Democratic power grab?
The Washington Post
“We are looking to do some digital marketing, social media ads, email campaigns and to really leverage digital and mobile platforms,” said Williams in a phone interview from Los Angeles last week, where she was pitching statehood at the National Conference of State Legislatures convention. “We can engage new audiences and younger audiences,” she said.

Gerrymandering has voters incensed. How fed-up constituents are fighting back.
NBCNews.com
Currently, 13 states including California and Arizona have a commission whose job it is to draw the districts; five other states have advisory commissions, and another five states have backup commissions in case the legislature cannot agree on new maps, according to the National Council on State Legislatures.

Vote no on Proposition A, a right-to-work measure that would lower wages and hurt workers
The Kansas City Star
Twenty-eight states have adopted right-to-work laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Lawsuit seeks to knock gerrymandering issue off Missouri's November ballot
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
NCSL Information Cited.

NY Senate GOP hearings to focus on parole board, parolee voting rights
Auburn Citizen
NCSL Information Cited.

Wisconsin Residents See Democracy Decline, Reflecting National Discontent With Government
Wisconsin Public Radio
In all, 26 states have mechanisms that allow voters to propose laws through initiatives or overturn laws by popular referendum, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Aug. 6

Trump called for all voters to present photo ID, a rule critics say is unnecessary and damaging
ABC News
Wendy Underhill, of the National Conference of State Legislators’ Elections and Redistricting Program, said there’s “not a chance in the world” that states are able to pass meaningful changes to their existing identification rules before the midterms. “Most legislatures are out of session this year and by the time they come back next year whether what President Trump said this week still has power remains to be seen,” she said. And Underhill said she does not see a new trend toward stricter voter ID laws. “There is absolutely in my mind no uptick, no further trend on this from 2016 to the present,” she said. That comes in stark contrast to the period of 2011 to 2013, when Underhill said voter ID restrictions were “the hottest issue in election administration.” She points to the results of the 2010 midterm elections as the catalyst for those busy years. “The politics just changed in the 2010 election and therefore 2011 was the year we started to see lots and lots of it,” Underhill said.
“In large measure it was because Republicans gained control in many states around the nation and it had been on the Republican agenda for some length of time,” she said.

Speaker Vos selected as president-elect of National Conference of State Legislatures
WKOW
Speaker Robin Vos (R-Wis.) has become president-elect of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), a bipartisan organization serving the nation’s 7,383 state lawmakers and more than 20,000 legislative staff, at the annual Legislative Summit in Los Angeles. 

A New Effort to Bolster Child Welfare Leadership in State Legislatures
The Chronicle of Social Change
The National Conference of State Legislatures convened its first ever Child Welfare Policy Fellows group this month, an initiative aimed at raising the level of political leadership on family preservation, foster care and adoption in the state house.

P.E.I. MP Wayne Easter attends state legislatures summit
The Guardian
P.E.I. MP Wayne Easter, co-chair of the Canada-United States Inter-Parliamentary Group, was in Los Angeles recently to attend the annual National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) summit.

How do high-performing countries prepare and support teachers?
Education Dive
Gathered for the National Conference of State Legislatures’ (NCSL) annual summit, legislators and educators who also serve in their state legislature listened to Darling-Hammond, based at Stanford University in California, describe what countries such as Finland, Singapore, China and some Canadian provinces do to ensure teacher quality as well as retention.

2018 elections yielding unprecedented numbers of women candidates
AZ Central
African-Americans make up 1 percent of Arizona's Legislature, according to a 2015 National Conference of State Legislatures report comparing demographics among states.

Proposed cap for terms gets on state ballot
Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette
If approved by voters, Arkansas' legislative term limits would be the strictest in the nation, said John Mahoney, a policy specialist for the National Conference of State Legislatures.

2018 elections yielding unprecedented numbers of women candidates
Enid News & Eagle
Data provided by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Wisconsin sees democracy decline, reflecting US discontent
NBC 26
In all, 26 states have mechanisms that allow voters to propose laws through initiatives or overturn laws by popular referendum, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

Aug. 3

Lobbying fight heats up over sports betting
The Hill
"What we're asking for, MLB and the other leagues, is a very small fraction" of money, Bryan Seeley, a senior vice president of Major League Baseball, told legislators at a forum on sports betting at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) annual meeting here.

Previewing tonight’s Tennessee primaries
Politico
“Seven states have ballot measures this year involving election rules, such as ID requirements and easier registration, the National Conference of State Legislatures said.

Speaker Robin Vos Named President-Elect of NCSL
Patch
Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Wis.) has become president-elect of the National Conference of State Legislatures, an organization serving the nation's 7,383 state lawmakers and more than 20,000 legislative staff, at the annual Legislative Summit in Los Angeles.

Del. Ken Plum: In-Service Training
Reston Now
Another source of in-service training I have found invaluable are conferences put together by professional associations, specifically the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

State legislators across US ask Congress to legalize marijuana
KEZI TV
SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- Lawmakers from Oregon say state legislators from across the nation are urging Congress to legalize marijuana. In a joint statement, they said a directive they crafted was approved Wednesday by the National Conference of State Legislators at its annual meeting in Los Angeles. It calls on Congress to help legal cannabis businesses access banking services.

Aug. 2

On the Ballot in Some States Ahead of 2020: The Right to Vote
The Wall Street Journal
Seven states have ballot measures this year involving election rules, such as ID requirements and easier registration, the National Conference of State Legislatures said. Maine voters already approved a measure, and Michigan could join the fray if a campaign clears a signature hurdle.
 
'Strategic leadership' crucial for school improvement, says turnaround expert
Education Dive
With almost all state plans for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) now approved by the U.S. Department of Education, the question related to school improvement isn’t so much what works to help low-performing schools, but how to implement strategies in the most effective way, a panel of speakers said Tuesday on the second day of the National Conference of State Legislatures’ summit in Los Angeles.

ENew Digital Tax Bill in Wings at Congress: State Official(1)
Bloomberg BNA
Meanwhile, at its legislative summit in Los Angeles, the National Conference of State Legislatures approved a July 30 resolution to support federal legislation in this area, as long as the legislation created a framework of standards for states to follow. 

Thousands more Louisiana families eligible for child care due to one-time federal funding
The Advocate
Officials of the National Conference of State Legislatures and other groups said other states face the same dilemma.

Trump appears not to understand grocery shopping in latest push for voter ID laws
Beaumont Enterprise
From the National Conference of State Legislatures: "A total of 34 states have laws requesting or requiring voters to show some form of identification at the polls, all of which are in force in 2018... The remaining 16 states use other methods to verify the identity of voters.” 

Can schools ban children for not being up-to-date on vaccines? What you need to know.
KUTV 2 News
But unless you live in California, Mississippi, or West Virginia, as a parent with legitimate concerns, you can choose not to vaccinate your children due to medical, religious, or philosophical reasons (here’s a handy graph from the National Conference of State Legislatures that shows what exemptions are available state-by-state).

Aug. 1

Competency-based education, 529 plans get attention at NCSL
Education Dive
Flexibility in funding, accountability and assessment are necessary for implementing competency-based education (CBE) systems in K-12, leaders of two districts told state lawmakers Monday during a session at the National Conference of State Legislatures' (NCSL) annual summit in Los Angeles.

3 in 4 Texans believe benefits of vaccinating kids outweigh the perceived risks, new poll says
The Dallas Morning News
Texas is one of 18 states that allow parents to choose whether or not to vaccinate their children based on personal, moral or religious beliefs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

Virginia's Emmett Hanger named among top 10 most productive state legislators
Richmond Times-Dispatch
“I might have to brag about that at some point,” he responded with a chuckle while attending the annual summit of the National Conference of State Legislatures in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

Baker's welfare reforms get rejected on Beacon Hill
The Salem News
Massachusetts is one of 17 states, including Arkansas and Mississippi, that cap benefits for families that have additional children while on public assistance, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

North Dakota Supreme Court opinion has larger implications for Legislature
The Dickinson Press
North Dakota's is one of four state legislatures that doesn't convene every year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Massachusetts schools rank number one in the country
The MetroWest Daily News
The data come from the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Education, National Conference of State Legislatures, National Center for Educational Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. News & World Report, College Board, Ballotpedia and ACT. 

LePage wins federal OK to restart insurance program that Obamacare pushed aside
Bangor Daily News
It makes Maine the sixth state to have a reinsurance program approved in this manner, according to the National Conference for State Legislatures.