NCSL in the News | December 2016

12/1/2016

Dec. 29

The difficult path to locking hackers out of America’s elections
Politico
At least 24 states are somewhere in the process of buying election technology, said Wendy Underhill, a program director at the National Conference of State Legislatures. Much of that activity is to replace voting equipment they bought with federal money following Florida’s 2000 hanging chad debacle, which prompted many states to replace their old punch-card ballots and with paperless touch-screen machines — the ones now catching criticism as hacking risks.

Should Indiana prevent 'faithless' representatives to the Electoral ...
Indianapolis Star
Twenty-nine states already require electors to vote based on the candidate who wins the popular vote in their state or district, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. This year, seven electors voted against the winner in their respective states, the most in more than 40 years, according to the association. A majority were Democratic electors.

Legislators need an accountant, and legal counsel wouldn't hurt
Leader and Times
The National Conference of State Legislatures said attorneys made up only 10 percent of the total Kansas Legislature for the past two sessions. Most of those attorneys served in the House, while there were two practicing attorneys in the Senate: Sen. Terry Bruce, R-Hutchinson, and Sen. Jeff King, R-Independence. Bruce was defeated in the August primary and King decided not to seek re-election.

Virginia legislature behind other states on streaming
Daily Press
Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands stream them as well, according to an April breakdown from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

"Unlike California, we in Florida welcome driverless cars - no permit ...
PolitiFact
National Conference of State Legislatures, Autonomous Self Driving vehicle legislation, Dec. 16, 2016

THE BUZZ 2: Female Fervor
Planet Jackson Hole
According to the National Conference of State Legislators, in 2015, women comprised only 13.3 percent of Wyoming’s lawmakers. The only state with less female representation is Mississippi, at 13.2 percent. Nationwide, women make up just 24.4 percent of all state legislators.

UK voter ID plan provokes backlash
Columbus Dispatch
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 34 U.S. states have laws requiring that voters show some form of ID at the polls.

Dec. 28

British plan to force voters to show ID provokes a backlash
Washington Post
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 34 U.S. states have laws requiring that voters show some form of ID at the polls.

Maryland Offers I-95 as Testing Ground for Autonomous Cars
Government Technology
Nine states and the District of Columbia have enacted legislation related to autonomous vehicles, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Governors in two states have taken executive action on the issue.

Ambulance company helps raise awareness of 'Good Samaritan' law
Fox17
Thirty-seven states have enacted some form of a Good Samaritan or 911 drug immunity law since 2007, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Lawmakers Plan to Rein in Weaponized Drones
WNPR News
Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Vermont, Wisconsin, Maine, North Dakota and Virginia have laws addressing weaponization of drones, said Amanda Essex, a policy associate at the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Recent Kansas Editorials
Miami Herald
The National Conference of State Legislatures said attorneys made up only 10 percent of the total Kansas Legislature for the past two sessions. Most of those attorneys served in the House, while there were two practicing attorneys in the Senate: Sen. Terry Bruce, R-Hutchinson, and Sen. Jeff King, R-Independence. Bruce was defeated in the August primary and King decided not to seek re-election.

Ohio to start online voter registration in January
WHIO
Other states have experienced a similar cost savings in processing registrations, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Connecticut may be next to ban weaponized drones
Torrington Register Citizen
Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Vermont, Wisconsin, Maine, North Dakota and Virginia have laws addressing weaponization of drones, said Amanda Essex, a policy associate at the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Dec. 22

Maryland proposes I-95 as testing ground for driverless cars
Baltimore Sun
Nine states and the District of Columbia have enacted legislation related to autonomous vehicles, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Governors in two states have taken executive action on the issue.

Does The Will To Pass A Federal Sports Betting Law Exist Without Pro Sports Leagues’ Active Support?
Legal Sports Report
In this scenario, the leagues let such a legislative effort move forward in Congress with a wink and a nod, but don’t publicly engage on the issue. This is at least feasible, certainly. From the AGA’s memo to Trump: The casino gaming industry is building a broad coalition in support of repealing the nearly 25-year-old federal prohibition and giving states the opportunity to offer sports betting if they so choose. This position is shared by the National Basketball Association, owners across the four major sports leagues, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, National Council of State Legislatures and many others.

Pa. aims to start medical marijuana sales in 2018
Philly.com
Twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia now have medical marijuana and cannabis programs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

New chief of Ky. legislative staff brings reform
Hopkinsville Kentucky New Era
A subsequent audit by the National Conference of State Legislatures found a serious morale problem with the legisla¬tive staff — a problem it attributed to old-fashioned, informal personnel and pay policies that vested too much power with the director and stirred feelings of favoritism among staff.

Pot-funded projects up in the air for 2017 in Pueblo County
KRDO
Ohio residents voted down a measure that would have made both recreational and medicinal marijuana legal on Nov. 3. Take a look at which states currently allow marijuana for recreational and/or medicinal purposes, compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Hillary Clinton Had A Bigger 'Faithless Elector' Problem Than Trump
WebTop News
Thirty states have laws that require electors to do so, but those laws have not been fully scrutinized by the courts, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Dec. 21

The Top 5 Ways Work Changed In 2016
Fast Company
According to recent data, U.S. workers’ contributions to their employer health insurance plans are actually growing more slowly than in years past, but incomes aren’t keeping up fast enough for many employees to benefit. The average family paid more than $18,000 in health care premiums in 2016, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Most Americans Live in States Partly or Completely Under Republican Control
Voice of America
Because of the 2016 elections, Republicans will control Kentucky’s House of Representatives, and the Iowa and Minnesota Senates beginning in January. In addition, the top Democrat in the Kentucky House, Greg Stumbo, and the top Democrat in the Iowa Senate, Mike Gronstal, were both defeated for reelection. Gronstal is also the president of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).
 
Toy guns mistaken for real across U.S.
The Denver Post
Twelve states and the District and Puerto Rico have banned the guns or imposed restrictions on their use, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In the District, realistic-looking toy or air-powered guns cannot be possessed in public. In 2012, , Washington, D.C., police seized about 450 imitation guns, according to the most recent data available.

American Gaming Association Tries To Get Sports Betting On Trump Transition Team’s Radar
Legal Sports Report
The casino gaming industry is building a broad coalition in support of repealing the nearly 25-year-old federal prohibition and giving states the opportunity to offer sports betting if they so choose. This position is shared by the National Basketball Association, owners across the four major sports leagues, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, National Council of State Legislatures and many others. We are pleased that President-elect Trump appears to agree with this approach.

As hackers exploit the holidays, how to protect yourself online
Las Vegas Sun
For identity theft, Nevada fares better in the report, with 125 identity-theft complaints per 100,000 residents ranking 20th nationally and an average loss of $5,497 placing 14th. WalletHub compiled data from the Federal Trade Commission, Internet Crime Complaint Center and National Conference of State Legislatures for its rankings.

Gov. Kasich signs Ohio gun rights expansion bill into law
Guns.com
The new law will take effect in about 90 days and, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, will add Ohio to the list of 23 other states that allow some form of campus carry.
 
'Faithless' electors buck party line, show preference to Sanders ...
Henderson State University News
Around the country, the Electoral College is receiving more attention than at any time in recent history, due to the circumstances surrounding an election in which Clinton won the popular vote by 2.865 million and revelations since the election that both the Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have determined Russian Federation was seeking to help Trump win. No elector has ever been penalized, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
MSNBC Shows Wisconsin Protesters Having Meltdowns After Trump Vote
HiTechChronicle
"I cast my Electoral College vote for Bernie Sanders today to let those new voters who were inspired by him know that some of us did hear them, did listen to them, do respect them and understand their disappointment", Brite wrote. The last time an elector did so was in 1972, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, when an elector nominated by the Republican Party voted Libertarian.
 
Concealed carry policies approved for Kansas universities
SecurityInfoWatch
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, several states allow students to conceal carry on campus. Beginning Aug. 1, Texas law allowed its 21-year-old students to carry a concealed handgun.
 
Community reading project looking for volunteers for spring
Kern Golden Empire
A longitudinal study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation found that students who were not proficient in reading by the end of third grade were four times more likely to drop out of high school than proficient readers. In fact, 88 percent of students who failed to earn a high school diploma were struggling readers in third grade. (National Conference of State Legislatures, 2014).

Dec. 20

4 Washington State Electors Switch Votes From Clinton
ABC News
Electors are not bound by the Constitution or federal law to vote according to the popular vote of their state. Thirty states have laws that require electors to do, but those laws have not been scrutinized, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Ga. Democrats float anti-gerrymander bill
The Telegraph
About half the states have an independent redistricting commission or some kind of body that can assist the Legislature with redistricting, according to the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures.

Ohio Eyes Self-Driving Trucks, Cars Tests | Transport Topics Online ...
Transport Topics Online
According to data compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures, eight states have enacted legislation specifically allowing autonomous cars. The most recent of those was Michigan, whose governor this month signed into law a package of bills that allows self-driving vehicles on all Michigan roadways and permits ride-sharing services to use self-driving cars. 

86 people killed by police in US in last 2 years were carrying air guns, replicas or TOYS
Daily Mail
At least 12 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico have laws restricting the sale or use of imitation firearms, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, while many cities and towns have their own ordinances on lookalike guns.

What's next for the Electoral College?
Metro.us
However, there isn’t a federal law or constitutional provision that requires electors to vote for the party that nominated them. Electors have voted against their state’s decision — they’re called "faithless electors.” It’s rare, however, that they cross party lines. The last time an elector did so was in 1972, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, when an elector nominated by the Republican Party voted Libertarian.

Maine Electoral College voter defects — from Hillary Clinton to Bernie Sanders
Salon
According to the paper, Maine is one of 30 states that require electors to vote in accordance with the popular vote. Typically, the penalty for refusing to follow the requirement is a fine. No elector has ever been penalized, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Maine electors cast votes for Clinton, Trump – on 2nd try
Press Herald
Maine is one of 30 states with laws requiring electors to vote as pledged. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the consequence for violating these laws is often a fine, but no elector has ever been penalized or replaced.

Proponents of online sales tax hope to deliver revenue to NM
Taosnews
The state is estimated to have lost more than $120 million in tax revenue from online businesses in 2012, according to the most recent estimate from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Michael Moore Pleads With Electors To Spurn Trump
Opposing Views
The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) explains that, depending on where they live, electors who defy their pledge risk being expelled from the Electoral College. "Some states have passed laws that require their electors to vote as pledged," the NCSL website reads, according to ABC News. "These laws may either impose a fine on an elector who fails to vote according to the statewide or district popular vote, or may disqualify an elector who violates his or her pledge and provide a replacement elector."

Electoral College: What to Know About Today's Vote
WTNH Connecticut News
The last time an elector crossed party lines was in 1972, when an elector nominated by the Republican Party cast his ballot for the Libertarian ticket, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Concealed-carry legislation problems spotlight flaws in system
Norwalk Reflector
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, only five legislatures — Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania — commonly hold lame-duck sessions. A few others hold them occasionally, while constitutions in 38 states limit legislative-session dates.

Maine Electoral College elector says he will cast his ballot for Sanders
Press Herald
Maine is one of 30 states with laws requiring electors to vote as pledged. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the consequence for violating these laws is often a fine, but no elector has ever been penalized or replaced.

New chief of Ky legislative staff brings reform
The Courier-Journal
A subsequent audit by the National Conference of State Legislatures found a serious morale problem with the legislative staff — a problem it attributed to old-fashioned, informal personnel and pay policies that vested too much power with the director and stirred feelings of favoritism among staff.

Dec. 19

Michael Moore Appeals to GOP Electors: Go Rogue and I Will Pay Your State Fine
ABC News
As for the penalties imposed on rogue electors, The National Conference of State Legislatures writes on its website, "Some states have passed laws that require their electors to vote as pledged. These laws may either impose a fine on an elector who fails to vote according to the statewide or district popular vote, or may disqualify an elector who violates his or her pledge and provide a replacement elector." But the NCSL adds, "No elector has ever been penalized or replaced -- nor have these laws been fully vetted by the courts. The states with laws that attempt to bind the votes of presidential electors are below: According to the NCSL, 30 states have laws that attempt to bind the votes of presidential electors.

It took three years for Yahoo to tell us about its latest breach. Why does it take so long?
Washington Post
Plus, there are different notification laws in 47 states, plus D.C. and Puerto Rico, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. (The only three states that do not have data breach notification laws are Alabama, New Mexico and South Dakota.) 

Electoral College: What to Know About Monday's Vote
ABC News
In most states, electors are chosen among political party activists. “Generally, the parties select members known for their loyalty and service to the party, such as party leaders, state and local elected officials and party activists,” according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Proponents of online sales tax hope to deliver revenue to NM
Santa Fe New Mexican
The state is estimated to have lost more than $120 million in tax revenue from online businesses in 2012, according to the most recent estimate from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Ohio legislature's rushed, messy lame-duck sessions generate opponents
Columbus Dispatch
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, only five legislatures — Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania — commonly hold lame-duck sessions. A few others hold them occasionally, while constitutions in 38 states limit legislative-session dates.

Trump's Infrastructure Strategy Has Produced Uneven Results in States
Governing
A key benefit of P3s comes from “leveraging the private sector’s expertise and resources,” a January report by the National Conference of State Legislatures said.

The Week in Public Finance: What the Rate Hike Means, a Legal Win for Online Sales Taxes and More
Governing
The Takeaway: By refusing to hear the case, however, the "win" remains limited to Colorado. But that could be a good thing. The National Conference of State Legislatures has said that it doesn't "feel that DMA v. Brohl was the best case to reconsider Quill."

The last-ditch push for the Electoral College to stop Trump, explained
Vox
In recent years, most states have attempted to foreclose the possibility of elector defections. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 29 of the 50 states have passed laws "binding" their electors to vote in accordance with the presidential popular vote in their state.

Electoral College: What to Know About Monday's Vote
1340 WJOL
In most states, electors are chosen among political party activists. “Generally, the parties select members known for their loyalty and service to the party, such as party leaders, state and local elected officials and party activists,” according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Dionne: Vigilance, not acquiescence, is our primary duty
Longview Daily News
The best response is that, as the National Conference of State Legislatures reports, 29 states and the District of Columbia have statutes that try to bind electors to their voters’ preference. But these cover only 15 of the 30 states Trump carried (plus an elector from Maine), and the popular vote shows that turning on Trump would not be a rejection of the public will.

Colorado Internet-tax Case Could Change Online Shopping
NewsFactor Network
So-called Amazon taxes that started in New York have not been adequate to fill the widening gap, said Mark Behlke, director of budget and tax policy for the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Time running out for health care signups in Minnesota, special session
Granite Falls Advocate Tribune
Democratic Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk and the top House Republicans, Speaker Kurt Daudt and Majority Leader Joyce Peppin, flew to the U.S. Virgin Islands earlier this week for a legislative leaders conference slated to last through Friday. A spokeswoman for Bakk said the National Conference of State Legislatures had covered all attendees' costs and that the negotiations were ongoing, though remotely.

E.J. DIONNE, JR.: Electoral College faces dilemma over Donald Trump
Sioux City Journal
The best response is that, as the National Conference of State Legislatures reports, 29 states and the District of Columbia have statutes that try to bind electors to their voters' preference. But these cover only 15 of the 30 states Trump carried (plus an elector from Maine), and the popular vote shows that turning on Trump would not be a rejection of the public will.

Incoming Kansas Senate to have no licensed attorneys
Lawrence Journal World
"That's been the national trend for the last 20 to 30 years," said Brian Weberg, director of legislative studies at the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Protesters, Trump supporters converging on Augusta for Electoral College vote
Press Herald
Maine is one of 30 states with laws requiring electors to vote as pledged. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the consequence for violating these laws is often a fine, but no elector has ever been penalized or replaced.

Electoral college votes Dec. 19: Clinton supporters bank on 'faithless electors,’ Trump, GOP confident
AL.com
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 30 states have attempted to bind the electors to their state results. State rules vary from impositions of civil penalties for faithless electors ($500 - $1,000 penalties in Oklahoma, Washington and North Carolina) to possible prosecution as a fourth-degree felony in New Mexico.

Texas lawmakers push for drug screen for welfare applicants
KTRK-TV
The Texas Tribune notes states including Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Oklahoma, North Carolina and West Virginia already have some form of screenings and drug testing requirements for TANF applicants, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. But critics have long called such proposals a waste of limited resources that unfairly singles out poor people.

Don't expect electors to reject Trump
Cincinnati.com
The National Conference of State Legislatures recently reported that in 2004, George Bush having won the most electoral votes, “a Minnesota elector, nominated by the Democratic Party, cast a vote for John Edwards, vice presidential mate of John Kerry." The only time an elector crossed party lines was “when an elector nominated by the Party voted for the 1972 Libertarian ticket consisting of presidential candidate John Hospers and vice presidential mate Tonie Nathan."

Why reproductive rights activists are nervous about a Trump ...
The Week Magazine
While they've failed to get full personhood bills passed, activists have made some progress pushing in that direction. At least 38 states have passed fetal homicide laws, which make punishments more severe for perpetrators who kill a pregnant woman, according to a count last year from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Dec. 16

Voter ID Laws: Strict Bill Passes Michigan House as Federal Court ...
Texas Insider
The legislation would make Michigan one of eight states with a strict Voter ID Law, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
In Texas, lawmakers don't mess with employers of undocumented ...
WFAA.com
Thanks to a Supreme Court ruling on Arizona’s controversial immigration law, states gained the explicit power in 2011 to require private employers to use E-Verify, and at least nine states — Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Utah — made it mandatory for most or all private sector employers, according to a tally by the National Conference of State Legislatures. How far state regulators go in enforcing the laws varies significantly.
 
Sex offender housing and mobility: New research
Journalist's Resource
The National Conference of State Legislatures monitors state legislation related to sex offenders, including residential restrictions and sentencing. Its website offers a database searchable by key word, state and year.
 
Texas Lawmakers Renew Push To Drug Test Welfare Recipients
Mintpress News
States including Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Oklahoma, North Carolina and West Virginia already have some form of screenings and drug testing requirements for TANF applicants, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. But critics have long called such proposals a waste of limited resources that unfairly singles out poor people.
 
Amid deficit, Pennsylvania government may face big changes
Indiana Gazette
“Corporate welfare” must also be considered, Reed said, as well as the Legislature’s own costs, which at more than $300 million a year is the nation’s second-most expensive, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Dec. 15

Infrastructure strategy touted by Trump has produced uneven results
PBS NewsHour
A key benefit of P3s comes from “leveraging the private sector’s expertise and resources,” a January report by the National Conference of State Legislatures said. Proponents of P3s argue that competition within the private sector promotes innovative and cost-effective solutions, which often evade public agencies. Private sector partners also assume a portion of the risk, which means taxpayers do not solely bear the burden if a project is delayed or derailed. Both prospects appeal to governors and mayors grappling with tight budgets and shrinking tax revenue to finance big public works projects.

States Not Retreating From Remote Sales Taxation
Bloomberg BNA
Max Behlke, manager of state-federal relations for the National Conference of State Legislatures, predicts that more than a dozen states will introduce economic nexus bills in 2017—and anticipates several will pass. “States are going to act next year, because they honestly don’t believe that the federal government is going to do anything,” he told Bloomberg BNA. 

The electoral college should think hard before handing Trump the presidency
Washington Post Opinion
The best response is that, as the National Conference of State Legislatures reports, 29 states and the District of Columbia have statutes that try to bind electors to their voters’ preference. But these cover only 15 of the 30 states Trump carried (plus an elector from Maine), and the popular vote shows that turning on Trump would not be a rejection of the public will.

Could a Colorado tax case raise fees for online shopping?
Christian Science Monitor
Max Behlke, director of tax and budget policy at the National Conference of State Legislatures, told The Denver Post after the ruling that it could invite more state-level changes to online tax policies, which make up a significant part of many states’ budgets.
 
Why You May Want to Rethink a PACE Loan for Energy-Efficient Home Improvements
Yahoo News
As of January 2016, PACE legislation has been authorized in 33 states and the District of Columbia, and 17 of those have active PACE programs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. However, most of these programs are specific to commercial real estate, with residential programs rare on a national scale but still fairly common in states like Florida and California.
 
Backers hopeful Texas ready to screen welfare recipients for drug use
Texas Tribune
States including Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Oklahoma, North Carolina and West Virginia already have some form of screenings and drug testing requirements for TANF applicants, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. But critics have long called such proposals a waste of limited resources that unfairly singles out poor people.
 
Gov. Kasich should sign bill giving bicyclists passing room in Ohio ...

cleveland.com
Similar local laws already are in place in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus and Toledo -- and more than half the states also have enacted such laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Ohio long has allowed bicycles to share the road with cars, but state law was unclear about how much car-passing clearance was safe; three feet makes sense. 

Young to remain on WJCC School Board despite demands for resignation
Williamsburg Yorktown Daily
To effectively remove her, the petition would need to have 230 validated signatures from voters in the WJCC Berkeley district – the district Sandra Young represents on the School Board – and then be submitted to a Williamsburg-James City County Circuit Court judge, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The Military's Impact On Hawaii
Honolulu Civil Beat
The National Conference of State Legislatures has a new report out on state policy options to sustain military installations. Why? “Recent events such as the drawdown of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, federal budget cuts and potential rounds of Base Realignment and Closure have contributed to uncertainty over the future role and sustainability of military installations,” the NCSL says in a press release.
 
Arkansas voter-ID bill up for 2nd try in new session
Arkansas Online
A total of 34 states have laws requesting or requiring voters to show some form of identification at the polls, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Arkansas is included on that list because an identification is requested but not required.
 
In Texas, lawmakers don't mess with employers of undocumented ...
KGBT-TV
Thanks to a Supreme Court ruling on Arizona’s controversial immigration law, states gained the explicit power in 2011 to require private employers to use E-Verify, and at least nine states — Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Utah — made it mandatory for most or all private sector employers, according to a tally by the National Conference of State Legislatures. How far state regulators go in enforcing the laws varies significantly.
 
GOP eyes big state government changes in lean budget year
Allentown Morning Call
"Corporate welfare" must also be considered, Reed said, as well as the Legislature's own costs, which at more than $300 million a year is the nation's second-most expensive, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Federal Appeals Court upholds Virginia voter ID law
Loudoun Times-Mirror
Virginia is among seven states with what the National Conference of State Legislatures considers to be "strict" photo ID laws because voters without identification now must cast a provisional ballot and take additional steps in order for their votes to be counted.

Dec. 14

Correction: Supreme Court-Internet Tax Story
ABC News
So-called Amazon taxes that started in New York have not been adequate to fill the widening gap, said Max Behlke, director of budget and tax policy for the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Federal appeals court upholds Virginia voter ID law
WTOP
Virginia is among seven states with what the National Conference of State Legislatures considers to be “strict” photo ID laws because voters without identification now must cast a provisional ballot and take additional steps in order for their votes to be counted.
 
Supreme Court Won't Hear Colorado Online Sales Tax Dispute
Bloomberg BNA
The National Conference of State Legislatures said in a statement that it has “long advocated for a solution to the remote sales tax collection problem.” The Supreme Court’s denial of cert “comes as the nation saw record online sales on Thanksgiving weekend,” it said.


School officials talk bus safety, seat belts
The Gleaner
Indiana lawmakers have proposed legislature that would require school districts to install seat belts in its buses, according to the Indianapolis Star. If approved, Indiana would join six states, including California and Florida, to pass seat belt laws for school buses, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Colorado internet-tax case could change online shopping
Columbia Daily Tribune
So-called Amazon taxes that started in New York have not been adequate to fill the widening gap, said Max Behlke, director of budget and tax policy for the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Donald Trump says lawsuit filed by two faithless electors in ...
Salon
These states include Alabama, Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming in addition to the District of Columbia, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Aresimowicz, Duff Attend Virgin Islands Conference
Hartford Courant
The National Conference of State Legislatures is hosting the symposium, which begins tomorrow and runs through Friday. State House and Senate leaders from across the nation will gather at the Frenchman's Reef Marriott, a beachfront resort in St. Thomas.

Dec. 13

High Court Sidesteps Fight on Online Sales Tax Rules
Wall Street Journal
The National Governors Association, the National Conference of State Legislatures and other groups urged the court to decline the case and wait for the South Dakota litigation or another chance to squarely address the Quill precedent.

Marijuana Laws, Kate DiCamillo, Graphic Novels
NPR – Here and Now
Karmen Hanson, Healthcare Policy Analyst, Program Director at the National Conference of State Legislatures

Supreme Court lets Colorado's 'Amazon tax' law stand. What’s next?
The Denver Post
A tax expert with the National Conference of State Legislatures, which tracks government trends at the statehouse level, agreed with O’Keefe and said the ruling could encourage more state-level changes to online taxation — especially since states are dependent on sales tax for a major chunk of their budgets. “Other states, which have seen their revenue decline in sales tax, would be more apt to introduce and enact legislation like Colorado’s (law),” said Max Behlke, director of tax and budget policy at the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Out Women Seek to Give Voters Bigger Voice in Electoral College
NBCNews.com
There is no federal law or constitutional provision requiring electors to vote for the party that nominated them, but in 29 states and the District of Columbia, electors from the winning party in those states are required to vote for that party's candidate, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

To Prepare for the Next Recession, States Take Stress Tests
Governing
The unusual recession and equally unusual recovery period has sent the message to budget officials that they can't afford to be caught unprepared. Since presenting Utah’s stress-testing methods at a National Conference of State Legislatures meeting, Legislative Fiscal Analyst Jonathan Ball said he’s gotten calls from Colorado, Nevada and Vermont, among others.

Bill would eliminate straight-party voting in state
Tulsa World
Ten states including Oklahoma offer straight-party voting, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The number of states offering it has been declining in recent years, according to the NCSL.

Rick Perry may be Trump's top pick for energy secretary
Philly.com
If Manchin, 69, were picked, his Senate seat would be decided by Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, West Virginia is one of 36 states where the governor makes an appointment to fill a U.S. Senate vacancy, and the appointee serves until the next regularly scheduled statewide general election.

Ken Plum: To be a delegate
Augusta Free Press
The National Conference of State Legislatures sponsors a “Legislators Back to School Day” each year as a way to promote the idea that more legislators should visit their local schools to see the good work they are doing as well as to understand the challenges that school administrators and teachers face.

Marijuana Laws, Kate DiCamillo, Graphic Novels
BYU Radio
Guest: Karmen Hanson, Healthcare Policy Analyst, Program Director at the National Conference of State Legislatures. The 2016 election was a big one for marijuana. Voters in California, Massachusetts and Nevada all passed laws allowing recreational use of marijuana. Voters in several other states passed medical marijuana use initiatives. Now, more than half of the states allow people to legally use cannabis in some form. 

Dec. 12

School Vouchers 101: What They Are, How They Work — And Do They Work?
NPR
"Do voucher students perform better than they would have in their neighborhood school?" asks Josh Cunningham, a senior education policy specialist with the National Conference of State Legislatures. "At the most I can say, 'Maybe, a little bit.' But there's not a lot of evidence that they'll have any substantial academic gains."
 
Trump win could boost movement to confer 'personhood' on ...
PBS NewsHour
While they’ve failed to get full personhood bills passed, activists have made some progress pushing in that direction. At least 38 states have passed fetal homicide laws, which make punishments more severe for perpetrators who kill a pregnant woman, according to a count last year from the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Rick Perry said to be Trump's top candidate for energy secretary
The Boston Globe
If Manchin, 69, were picked, his Senate seat would be decided by Democratic governor Earl Ray Tomblin. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, West Virginia is one of 36 states where the governor makes an appointment to fill a US Senate vacancy, and the appointee serves until the next regularly scheduled statewide general election.
 
Utah Legislature's budget czar honored
Salt Lake Tribune
The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) honored Jonathan Ball, the budget director for the Utah Legislature, with the Steven D. Gold Award at NCSL's Capitol Forum on Thursday in Washington, D.C. "Jonathan exemplifies what the Gold Award is all about," said NCSL Executive Director William Pound. "He strives to bridge the worlds of academia and government so that citizens enjoy thoughtful, informed and practical laws and programs."
 
The Trump administration could boost the 'personhood' movement among abortion activists
Business Insider
While they’ve failed to get full personhood bills passed, activists have made some progress pushing in that direction. At least 38 states have passed fetal homicide laws, which make punishments more severe for perpetrators who kill a pregnant woman, according to a count last year from the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Ohio lawmakers approve concealed carry at colleges, day cares
Fox News
Currently, 23 states allow their college and universities to decide whether to allow concealed weapons on campus, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. It reports that Utah is the only state that specifically prohibits its colleges from banning concealed carry.
 
'Everyone should have them': New law requires carbon monoxide detectors in homes sold, rented or renovated
Omaha World-Herald
As of March, Nebraska was among 30 states that had enacted laws regarding carbon monoxide detectors, according to a list maintained by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Twenty-six states required them in private dwellings. The Iowa Legislature adopted a similar requirement in April. Rules have yet to be written. The Iowa law doesn’t take effect until July 2018.
 
Will we soon see self-driving cars in NJ?
NorthJersey.com
Since 2011, eight states and the District of Columbia have passed autonomous vehicle legislation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Governors in Arizona and Massachusetts, meanwhile, have signed executive orders to support the testing and operation of self-driving cars on public roads.
 
State Law Makers See Elder Financial Abuse As Top Issue
Financial Advisor Magazine
The prediction come from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Financial Services Committee.

States Pause Medicaid Expansions Due To Possible ACA Repeal
Inside Health Policy
Seven of the 19 states that have not expanded Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act have halted their plans to do so in 2017, Jesse Cross-Call of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said. State legislators report a likely hold on plans for most other new federal waivers until they have a better understanding how the Trump administration might handle them, as well, according to a research analyst for the National Conference for State Legislatures. An estimated 11 million...
  
Snyder signs new Michigan self-driving vehicles law
The Detroit News
Michigan is one of eight states along with Washington, D.C., that have laws allowing testing of autonomous cars, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. California, Florida and Nevada have laws that allow for the “operation” beyond testing. Arizona and Massachusetts’ governors signed executive orders related to self-driving vehicles.
 
Donald Trump Isn't Yet President, and the Hamilton Electors Have One Shot to Make Sure He Never is
AlterNet
In North Carolina, Michigan and Utah, deviating from the state’s popular vote is considered an automatic resignation and the elector is replaced, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Most of the states only impose penalties, criminal or otherwise, on faithless electors after they have voted.
 
Do you know if your public school has tested its water for lead?
Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel
“Every state is talking about it in some manner,” but states are taking different approaches, said Doug Farquhar, the environmental health program director at the National Conference for State Legislatures.
 
Rick Perry reported to be Trump's top candidate for energy secretary
Stars and Stripes
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, West Virginia is one of 36 states where the governor makes an appointment to fill a U.S. Senate vacancy, and the appointee serves until the next regularly scheduled statewide general election.
 
Missouri to consider ending business tax slammed by Trump
Ozark Radio News
Missouri would join only two other states without corporate income taxes or another business tax if the measure becomes law, said National Conference of State Legislatures’ tax expert Mandy Rafool. She said states such as Texas, Washington and Nevada also don’t have corporate income taxes but impose other business taxes.
 
Trump's Plan To Turn Public School Money Into Private School Vouchers
OPB News
“Do voucher students perform better than they would have in their neighborhood school?” asks Josh Cunningham, a senior education policy specialist with the National Conference of State Legislatures. “At the most I can say, ‘Maybe, a little bit.’ But there’s not a lot of evidence that they’ll have any substantial academic gains.” 
 
Some Lancaster County lawmakers will increase charity donations ...
LancasterOnline
Pennsylvania lawmakers are the second-highest paid in the country. Their salary is behind only California’s $100,113 for legislators, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Delegate Fleischauer shares her experiences from tour of China
The Dominion Post
The study tour was put on by the National Conference of State Legislatures and sponsored by the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, which covered the costs. Along with Fleischauer, five legislators from Hawaii, Kentucky, New York, Minnesota and Montana joined the tour.
 
More women poised to walk the political trail that Mikulski blazed
Frederick News Post
A new study by the National Conference of State Legislatures and the Pew Charitable Trusts found that Maryland ranks high when it comes to gender parity in statehouses — 31 percent of Annapolis lawmakers are women. Just 11 states are at least 30 percent female in their state legislatures.
 
Will higher education be 'Trumped' by state lawmakers?
University World News
It holds the highest percentage of state legislative seats in nearly a century and controls every legislative chamber in the South, according to figures from the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Ohio Lawmakers Approve Concealed Carry for College Campuses
legal Insurrection
Currently, 23 states allow their college and universities to decide whether to allow concealed weapons on campus, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. It reports that Utah is the only state that specifically prohibits its colleges from banning concealed carry.
 
New law requires carbon monoxide detectors in homes sold, rented or renovated
Kwbe
As of March, Nebraska was among 30 states that had enacted laws regarding carbon monoxide detectors, according to a list maintained by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Twenty-six states required them in private dwellings. The Iowa Legislature adopted a similar requirement in April. Rules have yet to be written. The Iowa law doesn’t take effect until July 2018.
 
Ohio Will Now Allow Concealed Weapons Near Kids & On College ...
Bustle
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, should Gov. Kasich sign the bill into law, Ohio would be the 24th state to allow colleges to decide whether or not concealed weapons are allowed on campus. Concealed weapons are banned from college campuses in 17 states.
 
Ohio General Assembly approves 3-foot safe passing law protecting ..
WCPO
Upon Kasich's signature, Ohio will become the 40th state to enact some sort of safe passing legislation, although only 28 currently mandate a specific distance motorists must maintain, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Some states employ general "safe distance" requirements, while others are even more stringent than 3 feet, calling for 4-, 5- and even 6-foot cushions.

Dec. 9

Vos expands per-diem pay for state lawmakers
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Most states provide legislators with a similar benefit on top of their salaries. However, the amount that legislators can claim and the rules limiting these payments vary across the nation, according to surveys by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Departing Gronstal talks Iowa politics, his future, oatmeal
DesMoinesRegister.com
He became vice president of the National Conference of State Legislatures in 2014, president-elect in 2015 and president in 2016. He was chair of the Pottawattamie County Democratic Party from 1986 to 1988.
 
Limits on Gifts to Teachers? Alabama Struggles with Eth...
Education World
"As long as I've been here, and I've been here 10 years, teachers have not come up in any discussion about being a public employee and therefore subject to a state restriction or gift ban," said Peggy Kerns, who directs the Center for Ethics in Government at the National Conference of State Legislatures to NPR in 2011, the year that the commission first created the restrictions.
 
US students still lagging in international assessments
AFT - A Union of Professionals
Panelists praised the OECD's key findings from PISA 2015 for the United States (link is external) and a comprehensive study of improvements at the state level, "No Time to Lose: How to Build a World-Class Education System State by State (link is external)," which was compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures, as helpful tools to use moving forward. The AFT also has a page of PISA resources. 
 
Time to Shift Gears and Change the World
JD Supra
Level 5 vehicles are the safest system we can provide. States and the federal government understand the enormity of this opportunity.  According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 23 States have enacted or are pursuing autonomous vehicle legislation.

 

Dec. 8

Ikea's New Leave Policy Offers Up to 4 Months Paid for New Mothers and Fathers
ABC News
California, New Jersey, and Rhode Island are currently the only three states to offer paid family and medical leave, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Beginning in 2018, New York will also offer paid family leave. The programs in all four states are funded through employee-paid payroll taxes, and administered through the state's disability programs, according to the NCSL.
 
Strict voter ID law approved in Michigan House
The Detroit News
The legislation would make Michigan one of eight states with a strict voter ID law, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Vos expands per-diem pay for state lawmakers
Stevens Point Journal
Most states provide legislators with a similar benefit on top of their salaries. However, the amount that legislators can claim and the rules limiting these payments vary across the nation, according to surveys by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Senate majority leader wants majority party to rule interim ...
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle
Thomas’ thinking stems from a briefing two years ago by Brenda Erickson, a rules expert from the National Conference of State Legislatures, who said that rules normally trump statute.
 
Attorney: Victim will take fight against her rapist's visitation bid to high court
Boston Herald
Twelve other states and the District of Columbia deny or restrict custody or visitation if the child was conceived as a result of a rape or sexual assault, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Drug Price Transparency Before California Lawmakers Again
California Healthline
About sixteen states considered some sort of drug price transparency measures last year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Some of them, unlike the first Hernandez bill, proposed that drugmakers disclose research and development costs. Most of them failed, except for Vermont’s proposal, which was signed into law this past June.
 
NM again ranked as worst-run by 247 Wall St.
Albuquerque Journal
Female legislators: Women will make up just under one-fourth of state lawmakers nationwide next year, while New Mexico will do a little better, at nearly 30 percent, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Dec. 7

Victim fights rapist's visitation bid
Boston Herald
Twelve other states and the District of Columbia deny or restrict custody or visitation if the child was conceived as a result of a rape or sexual assault, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Does Republican success open door to amending U.S. Constitution?
The Times and Democrat
Every state except Vermont has some sort of balanced budget requirement, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The U.S. government does not, but not everyone agrees that's a problem. During recessions, for example, federal government spending can help drive the economy even if it means spending at a deficit.
 
NM again ranked as worst-run by 247 Wall St.
Albuquerque Journal
Female legislators: Women will make up just under one-fourth of state lawmakers nationwide next year, while New Mexico will do a little better, at nearly 30 percent, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Renewed push to require DNA samples for felony arrests brings together police, lawmakers
WTTV CBS4Indy
Ohio is one of 30 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, that requires a DNA sample upon certain arrests. That data is then stored in a national database.

Dec. 6

Republican success opens door to amending U.S. Constitution
Chicago Tribune
Every state except Vermont has some sort of balanced budget requirement, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The U.S. government does not, but not everyone agrees that's a problem. During recessions, for example, federal government spending can help drive the economy even if it means spending at a deficit.

Allow states to require remote sellers to collect legally owed taxes
The Hill
States have worked with Congress, directly and through the National Conference of State Legislatures and the National Governors Association, for more than 15 years, dating back to Congressman Sensenbrenner’s tenure as Chairman of the committee of jurisdiction over this issue. Congress has not acted over that long time despite the States’ good faith efforts, and thus South Dakota is well advised to appeal to the Supreme Court at Justice Kennedy’s invitation
 
GOP member of the Electoral College: I won't back Trump; he's “not...
Vox
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, about 30 of the 50 states have passed laws "binding" their electors to vote in accordance with the presidential popular vote in their state. But in most, the penalty for not doing so is only a fine, and it’s unclear whether stiffer penalties would hold up in court — it’s never been tested, and the Constitution does appear to give the electors the right to make the final call. Furthermore, there are still 20 or so states that haven’t even tried to bind their electors.
 
Campus attack reignites concealed carry debate
The Coloradoan
Colorado is among just eight states with provisions that allow concealed carry on campus, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Individual institutions in 23 states are left to decide whether to allow or ban concealed carry — Utah statute bars public colleges from banning it.
 
Should Indiana school buses have seat belts?
Indianapolis Star
If approved, Indiana would join six states, including California and Florida, to pass seat belt laws for school buses, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Rosekind, the national safety official, said he understands the policy poses a challenge.
 
New Montana lawmaker will be the youngest office holder in America
Billings Gazette
In 2015, the average age of a Montanan was 48 while the average age of a legislator was 57. Millennials held 6 percent of legislative seats that year although they accounted for 29 percent of the state population, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

State legislators drip in on D.C; conservatives hold climate summit
E&E Publishing
Tomorrow, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) meeting includes an energy policy forum that will cover nuclear waste policy, grid cyberthreats, electricity market restructuring and energy storage technologies. On Thursday, an NCSL panel will discuss the public's role in energy policy. Speakers include Miles Keogh, director of grants and research at the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners; Phillip Moeller, a former member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and senior vice president at the Edison Electric Institute; and Melissa Whited, a senior associate at Synapse Energy Economics.

Is Police Reform Possible Under Police State Trump?
Truth-Out
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 27 states enacted police reform measures last year, a trend that could continue, as police reform measures are still pending in a number of state legislatures.

Why states are in for a financial squeeze as their residents get older
Next Avenue
On the pension side, there are a variety of ways in which the states determine how much money should be taxed, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Alabama, for example, doesn’t get money from defined benefit plans [traditional pensions], while Hawaii excludes money that comes from defined contribution plans [like 401(k)s]. Pennsylvania is extreme in this instance, and excludes all income from pensions.
 
Meet Joe DeFelice, Donald Trump's Hype Man in Philly
Philadelphia magazine
[Editor’s note: Republicans are in charge of both chambers of the legislature in 32 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.]

Dec. 5

Automatic Voter Registration a 'Success' in Oregon
New York Times
Since Oregon passed its law in 2015, five other states have embraced the strategy, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The largest is California, where an estimated 6.6 million people are eligible but not registered to vote.

Second-chance law for young criminals puts violent offenders back ...
Washington Post
An expert in national expungement laws told The Post that leniency programs typically focus on first-time or juvenile offenders and apply expungement to misdemeanors or other nonviolent crimes. “It is opposite of the trend nationally,” said Anne Teigen, a program principal at the National Conference of State Legislatures in Colorado, referring to the District’s expungement of records of repeat and violent felonies.

Rauner's demands test the limits of reason
Chicago Tribune
I know that a joint task force of political scientists and researchers from the National Conference of State Legislatures found that the most noticeable change when states impose term limits is that the balance of power tends to shift away from the legislature and toward the governor's office. Their resulting report noted, "This decline in legislative power is most visible in the budget process."
 
Votes Miscounted? Your State May Not Be Able to Find Out
Governing
As recently as 2014, three states added or strengthened post-election audit requirements, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Massachusetts established audits, Virginia made permanent a pilot version of its audit program and Vermont made audits mandatory, rather than at the discretion of the Secretary of State.
 
State legislators should vote for their pay raises
Reading Eagle
Legislators aren't getting a hefty increase. However, Pennsylvania lawmakers already enjoy the second-highest salaries of any state lawmakers in the country, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Only California lawmakers, who get $100,113 annually, earn more than Pennsylvania legislators.

Bill filed to push seat belts on school buses
Northwest Arkansas News
Six states have laws to require that seat belts be installed in school buses, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, but some of those states -- such as Louisiana -- have not approved funding to implement the rule.

Don't drain the swamp Mr. President-elect, instead … fill it up
Daily Journal
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, in 16 states, lawmakers report spending about half their time working on legislative issues and are paid less than $20,000 on average. But those states that do not spend much on their legislatures pass many more bills that favor narrow business interests, such as tax cuts, that wind up draining state coffers over the long run.
 
Minnesota OKs medical pot for post-traumatic stress disorder
Minnesota Public Radio News
Currently, 16 states list PTSD as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and three others, plus Washington, D.C., give doctors "broad latitude" to recommend it for any serious conditions.
 
DC Won't Allow Concealed Carry, But Takes It Easy On Armed ...
Daily Caller
The District’s Youth Rehabilitation Act is unprecedented around the country, with no state laws resembling the legal outs the D.C. law affords young offenders. “I’ve never heard of something like this,” Anne Teigen, program principal at the National Conference of State Legislatures in Colorado, told The Washington Post. “It is opposite of the trend nationally.”

The Cult of Finland: What American Schools CAN'T Learn From International Comparisons
The 74
A recent report by the National Conference of State Legislatures says, “People everywhere have heard about Finland— this Scandinavian country of 5.3 million is a world leader in education. … The hallmark of Finland’s system is its exceptional teachers.”
 
Would Term Limits Save or Doom Our State Legislature?
Chicagomag.com
But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the end result is worse. In the wonderfully named “Coping With Term Limits: A Practical Guide” from the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Council of State Governments, and the State Legislative Leaders Foundation, the authors found that while, yes, there was lots of turnover, loss of institutional knowledge among legislators, more confrontation, and less civility, “the study did not reveal evidence that the policy produced in term-limited legislatures in any way differs from or is of poorer quality than that produced in non-term-limited legislatures.” Results on state spending don’t seem to show a trend.
 
New law seeks to tackle years old backlog of rape evidence
Newsday
So far New York joins just three states — Colorado adopted the next most recent measure in 2013 — to eliminate backlogs and submit DNA to a national database within six months of receiving the kit, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The NCSL made its Track It program a priority this year. In all, 22 states have adopted some legislation to address or audit the backlog, Alexenko said.
 
Teen continues family legacy as he prepares for his legislative session
Montana Standard
In 2015, the average age of a Montanan was 48 while the average age of a legislator was 57. Millennials held 6 percent of legislative seats that year although they accounted for 29 percent of the state population, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
On Beacon Hill: Mr. Moore, state senator, goes to Washington
Worcester Sun
 
GOP Lawmaker, 90, Says He's Not Retiring
Valley News
Doyle is tied with Texas Rep. Tom Craddick, a Republican, as the second-longest-serving state legislator behind Wisconsin Sen. Fred Risser, a Democrat, a National Conference of State Legislatures spokesman said. 
 
Roundhouse Roundup: New Mexico goes its own way
Santa Fe New Mexican
Still, things aren’t that bright for Dems in the statehouses. Before the election, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Republications controlled 30 legislatures, Democrats controlled 12 and seven legislatures were split. 
 
Trump Claims Millions Of Illegal Votes Cast In Election
AMI NewsWire
The dozen states also have some of the least restrictive voting rules in the nation. In California, Illinois, Maryland, New Mexico, Nevada and Vermont, no identification document is required to vote. And in Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Utah and Washington, identification is requested in order to vote, but no photo ID is required to cast a vote, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Dec. 2

Bills requiring more voter ID at polls clear House committee
MLive.com
State laws regarding voters requiring identification at the polls have been a hot-button topic nationwide. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 34 states have laws on the books requiring or requesting some form of voter ID, 32 of which were in place for the 2016 elections.

Minnesota OKs medical pot for post-traumatic stress disorder
Minnesota Public Radio News
Currently, 16 states list PTSD as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and three others, plus Washington, D.C., give doctors "broad latitude" to recommend it for any serious conditions.
 
Proposed constitutional amendments pertain to hunting, personal property tax, veterans' homes
Springfield News-Leader
Neither activity is outlawed under current state law. Twenty-one states including Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Kentucky and Tennessee have such guarantees into their constitution, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Marijuana's place in the bluegrass
Murray State News
In total, 28 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico legalized marijuana for medical uses, according the National Conference of State Legislatures.  
 
Is your state a fraud and identity theft hotspot?
Jacksonville Business Journal
The credit-monitoring and financial analysis site looked at data form the Federal Trade Commission, the Internet Crime Complaint Center and the National Conference of State Legislatures to figure out which states are most susceptive to identify theft and fraud.

Dec. 1

Think you dodged taxes on Cyber Monday? Think again
CNBC
States' coffers go wanting due to failures to collect levies from online purchases. The National Conference of State Legislatures estimated that states missed out on $23.3 billion in tax revenue in 2012.

See where Florida ranks for fraud and identity theft in the U.S.
Tampa Bay Business Journal
The credit monitoring and financial analysis site looked at data from the Federal Trade Commission, the Internet Crime Complaint Center and the National Conference of State Legislatures to figure out which states are most susceptible to identify theft and fraud.

Madigan nears title of longest-serving House speaker in US history
Illinois Policy
South Carolina’s Solomon Blatt is the longest known House speaker in U.S. history, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. He served a total of 33 years in that position, from 1937 to 1946 and 1951 to 1973.
 
Idaho lawmakers unlikely to repeal legislative retirement perk; set for ...
The Spokesman-Review
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Idaho’s legislative pay falls well below the national median of $21,000 a year; the highest base salary for state lawmakers is $100,113 in California, while the lowest is zero in New Mexico. Washington state lawmakers make more than $42,000 a year.
 
Study: Florida one of the worst for identity theft, fraud
The Northwest Florida Daily News
"We developed the report's methodology in conjunction with academic experts, then aggregated data from mostly government sources such as the Federal Trade Commission, Internet Crime Complaint Center and National Conference of State Legislatures," WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez said in an email interview.

Fear the walking debt
The Roundup News
Statistics say yes. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), those with a bachelor’s degree earn about 65 percent more than those who only have a high school diploma. Despite that, tuition increases are doing a splendid job of scaring away potential students.
 
Could school vouchers come to Colorado under a Trump It’s a long shot.
Denverite 
“Lawmakers used a lot of time and effort in Congress to write the Every Student Succeeds Act,” said Michelle Exstrom, a program director for the National Conference of State Legislatures. She added that many Republican lawmakers walked away happy and are likely to turn their attention to other issues, such as health care reform.

Lame duck bills would change Michigan's voter ID requirements
MLive.com
Nationally, there has been a wave of states requiring voter ID in recent years. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the pace of laws requiring voters to present ID picked up starting in 2011. Lyons said Michigan's law was patterned after Indiana's, which had been vetted through the legal system.