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NCSL in the News January 2013

NCSL in the News Archives

NCSL in the News: January 2013

Jan. 29

Christie Vetoes Bill to Raise Minimum Pay
A wage increase on the federal level last took effect in 2009, and state initiatives tend to spring up after there hasn't been any national push on the issue for several years, said Jeanne Mejeur, state labor policy expert at the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Wall Street Journal

The Era Of Mandates: President Obama's Unfortunate Legacy
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 47 states have already passed new laws about insurance coverage in the past two years in response to ObamaCare, and another 58 new mandate laws in 28 states have been added that don’t specifically mention the ACA.  Forbes

Kansas lawmakers planning extra-long spring break
ALEC's spring meeting is May 2-3 in Oklahoma City, and the National Conference of State Legislatures also is having a spring meeting May 2-4 in Denver.  Winfield Daily Courier/AP

Part-time legislature for Michigan? Local lawmakers react
Ten states, including Michigan, have legislatures that devote at least 80 percent of their time to legislative duties, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Midland Daily News

Percentage of Women in the 2013 Oregon State Legislature. How do we compare?
The Women’s Legislative Network of the National Conference of State Legislatures recently released new data about the percentages of women in state Legislatures.  Statesman Journal

Gill-Whelan Legislation to Establish Statewide Early Voting Advances
Currently, two-thirds of the states--32, plus the District of Columbia--offer some sort of early voting, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  PolitickerNJ

Vote for all three amendments
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 13 states already have this guarantee written into their constitutions. And Idaho, Kentucky and Nebraska hope to follow suit this year.  Wyoming Tribune Eagle

Indiana township 1st in state to test aid applicants for drugs
Seven states have passed laws requiring some form of drug screening before residents can receive state assistance: Arizona, Florida, Missouri, Utah, Georgia, Tennessee and Oklahoma. The National Conference of State Legislatures said at least 28 other states put forward similar legislation in 2012.  Chicago Sun-Times

Handguns on campus would provoke violence
Currently, Texas is one of only 21 states that ban carrying a concealed weapon on a college campus, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  The Houstonian

Proposed Missouri gun laws could fight federal regulation
The bills put Missouri firmly in the camp of states in the process of enacting nullification-type bills. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, these types of measures have been introduced in 24 states in recent years, fighting everything from gun regulation to health care.  The Maneater

Jan. 11

More States Look For Ways to Control Gun Laws
Eight states have adopted laws in recent years that would exempt guns made in the state from federal regulation as long as they remain in the state, according to Jon Griffin of the National Conference of State Legislatures.  WLTX

Social networking protection bill one of several introduced
California, Illinois, Maryland and Michigan passed similar laws in 2012, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Two other states, New Jersey and Delaware, prohibited educational institutions from gaining access to social networks of students or applicants.  Kearney Hub

Yonts Appointed Chair of House State Government Committee
Nationally, he serves as Vice Chair of the National Conference of State Legislatures Labor and Economic Development Standing Committee and on various work groups.  SurfKY News

Will Sales Taxes Save Best Buy?
Presently, Amazon collects sales taxes in only seven states. There will be seven more by 2016. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the states that currently collect sales tax from Amazon are Kansas, Kentucky, New York, North Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Pennsylvania.  Nasdaq

Column: Ohio legislature in the red zone
Half of state legislatures now have veto-proof majorities, most of them Republican, up from 13 four years ago, according to figures compiled by the Associated Press and the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Opinion in the Beacon Journal

OPINION: The rural tax
“It’s a very popular idea to think about, but there’s no jurisdiction that has that kind of fee on all vehicles. It’s still very much experimental,” said Jaime Rall, a senior policy specialist with the National Conference of State Legislatures. “It’s one of the options on the table. Many transportation experts think it’s one of the better options, but the general public still has very real concerns about privacy and equity.”  Scottsbluff Star Herald

Drug tests run into legal issues
Medical marijuana has been legalized in 18 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Private MD

Feds Approve Some Cuts To Health Care For Low-Income In Maine
Maine was one of 10 states where spending on Medicaid and other health care programs was over budget, according to a survey of state fiscal officers released last month by the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Insurance News

New at the Colorado Legislature: iPads for all
Colorado is one of 16 states trying to cut down on paper and printing by ordering tablets for some or all lawmakers, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  San Francisco Chronicle

Jan. 10

Governors Stress Need For Certainty In State Of The States Address
The legislation is a key issue for the NGA and the National Conference of State Legislatures, which sponsored a Capitol Hill lobby day on the subject last month An NCSL report says that lost revenue from online purchases will cost states collectively $23.3 billion in 2012.  The Huffington Post

Texas Energy Boom Fuels Best Performance Since ’09: Muni Credit
The state was among just six expressing optimism about its 2013 revenue outlook, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Bloomberg

Majority Of West Virginia Teens Are Sexually Active, Don't Use Birth Control Pills: Report
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, public schools in 21 states and the District of Columbia are required to teach sex education. In addition, 33 states and the District of Columbia make it mandatory for children to receive information about HIV/AIDS.  The Huffington Post

Bill would let employees keep Facebook passwords to themselves
California, Illinois, Maryland and Michigan passed similar laws in 2012, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Two other states, New Jersey and Delaware, prohibited educational institutions from gaining access to social networks of students or applicants.  Omaha World Herald

Editorial: Annual legislative sessions could narrow budget guesswork
The comptroller’s degree of difficulty is roughly twice as high because Texas is among the 19 states that writes biennial budgets, according to a 2011 study by the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Dallas Morning News

John Baer: A stroll through Bizzarro World
Such as the fact that - while there are six new women lawmakers - the Legislature still maintains one of the nation's lowest percentages of female members: 17.8 percent, according to 2013 figures from the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Opinion in the Philadelphia Inquirer

Health Insurance Exchanges: Benefits, Challenges, Lessons
States had to declare whether they were running their own exchange by Dec. 14, 2012. And according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, as of Jan. 4, 2013, 19 states, including the District of Columbia, submitted blueprints for HIXs to the U.S.  Government Technology

Medicaid to Dominate Legislatures' 2013 Fiscal Talks
State lawmakers are gearing up for policy discussions this year for fiscal year 2014 budgets, and one of the biggest topics to impact those talks will be Medicaid, according to a report from the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Becker's Hospital Review

NC lawmakers gather for one-day organizational meeting
North Carolina is one of 14 states holding organizational sessions to begin their 2013 legislative session, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  WRAL

Jan. 9

WVU lands federal grant to study effect of US cellphone laws on driver safety, accident rates
The National Conference of State Legislatures says the District of Columbia and 10 states — California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and West Virginia —have banned handheld phone use by all drivers.  The Washington Post

Chapin: The glass ceiling in Colorado
On Wednesday, Colorado's General Assembly will once again set the benchmark for the highest percentage of women in any state legislature in the country, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Opinion in the Denver Post

Sandy storm exposes need for voting contingency plan
Other states are paying close attention, said Jennie Drage Bowser, an elections analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures. Bowser said more states are likely to consider legislation that includes election contingency plans.  USA Today

Should state drivers pay by the mile?
“It’s a very popular idea to think about, but there’s no jurisdiction that has that kind of fee on all vehicles. It’s still very much experimental,” Rall said. “It’s one of the options on the table. Many transportation experts think it’s one of the better options, but the general public still has very real concerns about privacy and equity.”  Herald Net

Federal Government Gives States More Time on Real ID
The National Conference of State Legislatures objected to giving a federal agency “permanent and ongoing authority for determining state license uses and requirements.”  Government Technology

Philly Fire Union Stages Walkout at New Station Opening
The signature drive will be mostly symbolic, because Pennsylvania has no recall elections, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Firehouse

Concord Mall apologizes in breastfeeding flap
According the National Conference of State Legislatures, Delaware is one of 45 states, along with Pennsylvania, that permits breastfeeding in any public or private location.  Daily Local News

Lawmakers Gear Up for Action on K-12 Issues
In a National Conference of State Legislatures survey of 20 state lawmakers on education committees and 39 K-12 staff members in legislatures, the new assessments tied to the Common Core State Standards were listed as the biggest challenge by the highest number of those responding.  Education Week

More than 300 college leaders voice support for tougher gun laws
Nebraska is among the 21 states that ban carrying a concealed weapon on a college campus, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Daily Nebraskan

Jan. 8

Could 2013 be the Year for Early Voting in South Carolina?
Both neighboring states allow early voting and casting absentee ballots without an excuse, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Free Times

Fewer Students Report Taking Remedial Courses; Minority Numbers Still Worrisome
About 20 states already prohibit four-year colleges from offering remedial coursework, said Brenda Bautsch, senior policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures.  National Journal

State House trading laptops for iPads
Michigan is now among at least 14 legislatures nationwide where iPads are part of daily business, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Lansing State Journal

High desert charter school first success for parent trigger law
More than 20 other states have considered a similar law and at least six others besides California have adopted one, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Los Angeles Times

NM bill would prohibit double-dipping for travel
Attorney General Gary King's office concluded that Begaye on five occasions was reimbursed for out-of-town trips by both the state and the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Alamogordo Daily News

Anti-childhood obesity program expands
About 36 percent of Alabama children are considered obese, one of the highest rates in the nation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Dothan Eagle

Surpluses Await Some States in 2013 Sessions
“What we’re talking about is oil,” says David Teal, director of the Alaska Legislature’s legislative finance division.  “Oil production and prices are difficult to project. It’s no surprise to have hundred-million dollar swings,” he said last month during a meeting of state lawmakers convened by the National Conference of State Legislatures in Washington, D.C.  Stateline

Assembly moves to restrict press interviews during floor sessions
Even with its new rules, the Assembly provides more media access than in a number of other states: A handful provide no floor access or restrict reporters to glassed-in press areas, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Sacramento Bee

Jan. 7

Uncertainty in D.C. affects N.H. budget
Jeff Hurley of the National Conference of State Legislatures said the non-defense spending cuts affecting New Hampshire individuals, businesses and governments could be $32 million this fiscal year.   Seacost Online

For NH budget writers, it's doom and gloom
"The news that we've been bringing over the past few years has been quite dire," said Jeff Hurley of the National Conference of State Legislatures, "so I apologize in advance for some of the distressing information I may provide."  New Hampshire Union Leader

N.H. budget, tax committees hearing presentations
The Finance and Ways and Means Committees will hear Monday from a series of experts, starting with Michael Bird of the National Conference of State Legislatures, speaking about the fiscal cliff.  Seacost Online

Notable laws nationally add restrictions to life in 2013
The National Conference of State Legislatures has compiled a list of laws around the country that went into effect Jan. 1. Here are others, as described by the NCSL.  Arizona Capitol Times

Rhode Island Owes Feds $200 Million for Unemployment Benefits
Rhode Island still owes the federal government nearly $200 million from loans taken out to cover unemployment benefits, according to figures released last week by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).  GoLocal Providence

Some want Legislature to meet every year
Texas is one of only four states whose legislatures convene in regular session every two years. Lawmakers in Texas meet in odd-numbered years only — as do legislators in Montana, Nevada and North Dakota — while those in the 46 other states hold legislative sessions yearly, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Longview News-Journal

NY proposal: Use casino money to fund NY campaigns
It may also be a unique way to channel gambling money. A dozen states use casino tax revenue most often for education, local governments, and the state general fund, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Sacramento Bee

Indiana universities would no longer be gun-free under proposed bill
Guns on campuses remain rare. In 2011, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Wisconsin and Mississippi both enacted laws allowing those with concealed-carry permits to bring them on campuses, with some caveats.  The Courier-Journal

U.S. Set for Biggest State-Local Jobs Boost Since 2007
The reductions would have cost states $7.5 billion for education, health-care and community-development programs, according to Federal Funds Information for States, a budget- tracking service created by the National Conference of State Legislatures, based in Denver, and the National Governors Association in Washington.  Bloomberg

State House 101
You automatically become a member of the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Concord Monitor

Del. Bell to introduce photo ID bill
Currently, 11 states require some form of photo identification, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  The Daily Progress

The Year of Single Party Control and Supermajorities
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), one party will control both chambers of the legislature in at least 43 states. Of these, 26 have unified Republican legislative control, while 18 have unified Democratic control.  Governing

Jan. 4

Ban on demanding Facebook passwords among new 2013 state laws
In all, more than 400 measures were enacted at the state level during 2012 and will become law in the new year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).  Shelby Township News

Missouri misses out on millions in uncollected Internet sales taxes
The Streamlined Sales and Use Tax was created by the National Governors Association and the National Conference of State Legislatures to simplify sales tax collection across jurisdictions that have varying tax rates, making it difficult for e-sellers to assess proper tax rates when they ship to various locations.  Bellingham Herald

Past sponsors of voter ID bills won't push measure this session
The National Conference of State Legislatures website says 11 states had voter ID laws in effect for the 2012 election. Six other states have passed photo-identification requirements for voters, which might go into effect before the 2014 election.  Santa Fe New Mexican

The Tanning Industry Fights Teen Bans
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 30 states already restrict teen tanning in some way, such as forcing salons to impose time limits or requiring patrons to don protective eyewear.  Bloomberg Businessweek

Jan. 2

More than 400 new laws take effect Tuesday
"The laws that state governments deal with are really the laws that impact people on a daily basis," said Jon Kuhl, a spokesman for the National Conference of State Legislatures, which tracks the bills. "Whether amending or updating laws or enacting brand new legislation, it was an active year."  USA Today

New laws include bear hunting, hogs
All of these practices became illegal Tuesday, and are part of a slew of new and occasionally wacky state laws coming into effect in 2013. Four hundred laws will take effect with the new year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Politico

Year's start marks arrival of range of novel statutes
Maryland's Civil Marriage Protection Act becomes law on Tuesday, bringing the number of states that have legalized same-sex marriage to nine, plus the District of Columbia, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, a bipartisan group that conducts research for state governments.  Wall Street Journal

New year rings in new laws for gays, Web privacy, bears
Lawmakers in all but four states met for regular sessions in 2012, enacting more than 400 bills that take effect New Year’s Day, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Washington Times

New laws ban sex with prisoners, hound-hunting of bobcats, more
The National Conference of State Legislatures has compiled a year-end list of some of the laws that go on the books Jan. 1.  Among the winners: California bobcats and Illinois residents who overshare on Facebook. Losers include randy police officers and sex offenders with Santa suits.  NBC News

New laws on New Year's Day, from gay marriage to ‘Caylee’s Law’
In 2009, 40,697 state laws were passed, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. But in 2012, under 30,000 went through.  Christian Science Monitor

New law bans Illinois employers from seeking social media passwords
In all, more than 400 measures were enacted at the state level during 2012 and will become law in the new year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).  Chicago Tribune

Effort to legalize online gambling may benefit from deficit debate
Meanwhile, the National Governors Association and National Conference of State Legislatures have expressed concerns that action in Congress could pre-empt state prerogatives with regard to online gambling.  The Day

Missouri misses out on millions in uncollected Internet sales taxes
The Streamlined Sales and Use Tax was created by the National Governors Association and the National Conference of State Legislatures to simplify sales tax collection across jurisdictions that have varying tax rates, making it difficult for e-sellers to assess proper tax rates when they ship to various locations.  Kansas City Star

Congress deal averting tax increase curbs risk to states
The reductions would have cost states $7.5 billion for education, health care and community development programs, according to Federal Funds Information for States, a budget- tracking service created by the National Conference of State Legislatures, based in Denver, and the National Governors Association in Washington.  Bloomberg

Social media passwords protected for NJ, Del. student
The bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures reported that the First State and Garden State joined California, Illinois, Maryland and Michigan in passing laws that prohibit companies and/or universities from asking for employees or applicants to share their personal-use Facebook, Twitter and other social media user names or passwords.  MSNBC

Facebook password laws go into effect in 6 states
For more information about the various state laws, visit the National Conference of State Legislatures.  KFOR-TV

2013 bring some interesting new laws in the US
In all, more than 400 measures were enacted at the state level during 2012 and will become law in the new year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  WFMY

Legislature faces thorny issues in 2013 session
Mississippi is one of 27 states reporting to the National Conference of State Legislatures that general fund revenue growth rates are lower than in previous recoveries.  The Meridian Star

Voter ID will be issue in this year’s session
At least 33 states have passed voter ID laws, according to research by the National Conference of State Legislatures.  The Intelligencer

Texas among 10 states facing lawsuits over education funding
Overall, 10 states have school-finance challenges working their way through the courts, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Four other states recently wrapped up legal challenges.  The Washington Post

Top 10 legislative issues to watch in 2013
Even under these models, states will be keeping an eye on the administration’s movements in the next year, as the decisions in Washington will have an impact on their residents. “Between now and October, there’s a lot that has to get done,” says Joy Wilson, senior health-care policy analyst at NCSL.  Governing

Massachusetts trails other states in voting reform efforts
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 32 states allow early voting, and 27 accommodate no-fault absentee voting that allows voters to file absentee ballots without detailed criteria. Eight states allow same-day voter registration.  Daily Hampshire Gazette

Terie Norelli, New Hampshire House Speaker, expects budget, 'common sense' to dominate
Norelli, the president of the National Conference of State Legislatures, did promise that New Hampshire lawmakers will continue to debate a range of issues, including many of the Tea Party favorites that dominated the last two years.  The Huffington Post

Kawakami, Oshiro discuss future of business on Kaua‘i
Kawakami said he was going to use a technique he learned at the Symposium for Emerging Leaders hosted by the National Conference of State Legislatures in September: He started by immediately opening the floor to questions.  The Garden Island

Gun group offers training for Utah teachers
Utah is among a few states that let people carry licensed concealed weapons into public schools without exception, the National Conference of State Legislatures says in a 2012 compendium of state gun laws.  WTNH

California's new laws serve as policy experiments
On January 1, California will go further than the federal government, by allowing these young people to receive financial aid from state universities, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Bloomberg Businessweek

Branstad relaxes strict rules on felon voting
The National Conference of State Legislatures says Kentucky, Florida and Virginia also require felons to apply to the governor to have rights restored. Most other states allow felons to automatically regain their voting rights once they complete their sentences.  Dubuque Telegraph Herald

Elected office sneaks up on greater Chattanooga area newcomers
Most American state legislatures, including Florida's, are like Tennessee's, according to Brenda Erickson, a senior research analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Chattanooga Times Free Press

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