Back 

NCSL in the News January 2014

NCSL in the News | January 2014

1/4/2014

Jan. 31

iVote targets state secretary races
As battles over voting laws have become increasingly controversial and heated in recent years, more groups are turning their attention to secretaries of state, who in most cases serve as states’ election administrators. In 2013, nearly 300 election laws were passed in the states, according to research from the National Conference of State Legislatures, and eight states passed voter ID requirements last year, including strict laws in Arkansas, North Carolina and Virginia. Politico

How Can Congress Stimulate Job Creation in 2014?
Somewhat surprisingly, Amazon -- which has more than 88,000 workers -- says that it supports legislation to require online retailers to collect state and local state taxes. Why? Perhaps the one-click giant believes it can create yet another competitive advantage over its online competitors by designing a highly- efficient system for collecting and remitting those taxes. Just how much do those uncollected sales taxes come to? More than $23 billion for all states that have sales taxes, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. St Louis Post Dispatch

Voter ID laws debated across state lines
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, five different states have been involved in legal or legislative action on voter identification since February. In addition to action taken in North Carolina, Texas and Pennsylvania, the Tennessee Supreme Court heard a challenge to a voter ID law and the Arkansas legislature passed and then overrode a veto of a voter photo ID law. The Chronicle

Paid sick leave debated in Vt. legislative hearing
Advocates of a bill that would provide paid sick leave for most people who work in Vermont have high hopes that the legislation will pass despite pushback from several business associations. The only state with a paid sick leave requirement for private sector employment is Connecticut, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Boston/Associated Press

Illinois Lawmaker Takes Aim At 'Revenge Porn' Posters And Peddlers With New Proposal
New Jersey and California already have laws on the books criminalizing revenge porn. The Tribune reports similar bills are pending in 13 other states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Huffington Post

Justices urge lawmakers to embrace changes in Nevada’s juvenile justice system
The National Conference of State Legislatures presented figures to the legislative committee that 65-70 percent of the two million juveniles arrested each year have a mental health disorder. The conference said a new trend has developed that shows a steady decrease in juvenile crime beginning in 1994 when states started to adopt new policies, such as giving more discretion to juvenile courts in deciding the punishment and need for treatment. Las Vegas Sun

State lawmakers discuss limiting drone use
Iowa does not have laws concerning drone use. In 2013, 13 states enacted drone-related legislation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Quad City Times

Early-voting measure advances in Maine House
Maine is one of 27 states that already allow no-excuse absentee voting, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The conference also lists Maine as one of 32 states that already allow early, in-person voting. Portland Press Herald

Jan. 30

Small Business Reacts to Obama’s State of the Union
Small business was mentioned three times in President Obama’s State of the Union speech, and here’s reaction from advocates for Main Street. As of 2014, 21 states and D.C. have minimum wages above the federal minimum wage, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Fox News Business

Obama Should Leave The Minimum Wage Issue To States And Cities
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), 21 states have set the minimum wage higher than the federal law. Forbes

Reid: U.S. Senate to take up jobless benefits extension bill next week
The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, although 21 states have minimum wages above the federal rate. Nevada’s minimum is $7.25, and $8.25 for jobs that do not include health benefits, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Las Vegas Review

Farm bill would allow hemp cultivation in some states
Industrial hemp cultivation is legal in Colorado, Oregon, California, Kentucky, Vermont, Montana, West Virginia, North Dakota and Maine, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. USA Today

Tanning beds used by more than a third, study finds
Six states have banned indoor tanning in people under age 18. Many other states restrict tanning in minors or require parental permission. Others are considering banning the practice for teens, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. USA Today

A Kansas lawmaker wants the state to count undocumented schoolchildren
Last year, Colorado, Minnesota, New Jersey and Oregon passed laws that take an opposing approach to the issue, granting in-state tuition to unauthorized immigrant students. Now 15 states, including Kansas, have agreed to do so through legislation, according to the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures. Washington Post

Backers of private 'school choice' are pushing hard
Since 2011, 41 states have considered some sort of private school choice legislation, either to start a program or amend an existing one, education policy specialist Josh Cunningham of the National Conference of State Legislatures, said in an email Wednesday. The 23 states, plus Washington, D.C. and one Colorado school district, offer a variety of programs, including vouchers, tax credits and deductions, and education savings accounts, he said. In 13 states, voucher programs work like scholarships funded by the government for private schools. Anchorage Daily

Wyoming among states eyeing laws to ban Google Glass while driving
Wyoming is among at least seven U.S. states eyeing restrictions on the technology over concerns that drivers wearing Google Glass may pay more attention to their email or other online endeavors than the road. Other states considering measures that would ban use of wearable computers while driving are Delaware, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey, New York and West Virginia, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Reuters

Bill to guarantee paid sick leave passes House
Connecticut is the only state that requires private employers to provide paid sick leave, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. There are no federal requirements for paid sick leave. The State

Sharing, posting of teen nude photos draws investigation
Since 2009, at least 20 states and Guam have passed laws addressing sexting. according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Louisiana lawmakers passed a sexting law in 2010, the same year they addressed cyberbullying and made changes to an existing cyberstalking law. Shreveport Times

Jan. 29

Obama to Mayors, Governors and State Legislators: Raise the Minimum Wage 
As of Jan. 27, 11 states were considering legislation that would raise the state minimum wage, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures: Hawaii, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah and West Virginia. So far, 21 states and the District of Columbia already require a minimum wage above the federal standard of $7.25 per hour. Governing

Senate's on board with plan to add keno to Pa. Lottery
Senators have expressed concerns that lottery expansion could eat into profits from tavern gaming and casino gaming. But Jonathan Griffin, a gambling researcher with the National Conference of State Legislatures, pointed to Michigan and Missouri as states that haven't seen casino gambling cannibalize revenues from keno games. "Kind of indicates there's a built-in player base for keno that is not affected by traditional casinos," Griffin said. "Having a casino doesn't keep people away from playing keno. Keno appeals to a certain customer that is unaffected by casino gaming." witf

Bill to guarantee paid sick leave passes House
A bill that would guarantee paid sick time away from work for some employees in Washington state passed the House Wednesday. Connecticut is the only state that requires private employers to provide paid sick leave, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Huffington Post

Legislature considering hemp production for Nebraska
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, nine states – California, Colorado, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont and West Virginia – currently have laws promoting the growth and marketing of industrial hemp. Beatrice Daily Sun

Everything you want to know about the federal minimum wage proposal 
Q: How many states have a minimum wage higher than the federal one? A: Twenty-one states, plus the District of Columbia, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Dallas Morning News

Hawaii’s minority leaders push for more power for the people
The National Conference of State Legislatures reports there are now 24 states that have added the initiative process to their constitutions, the most recent being Mississippi in 1992. watchdog.org

Sharing of north Louisiana students' nude photos draws sheriff's investigation
Since 2009, at least 20 states and Guam have passed laws addressing sexting. according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. theadvertiser.com

The real state of the union: divided, and dividing
(NCSL info. detailing party make-up of state legislatures cited)
After the pomp and circumstance of the formal introduction, after the handshakes and hugs that will greet him, after the standing ovation he will receive once House Speaker John Boehner announces his presence, President Obama will almost certainly utter the line every modern president uses: The state of our union is strong. Washington Post

Questions and answer about Obama's wage plan
Relatively few Americans — less than 5 percent of hourly workers — toil for the minimum wage today. Yet President Barack Obama's push to offset years of inflation by raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour would ripple through the economy and touch the lives of millions more workers and their families. How many states have a minimum wage higher than the federal one? Twenty-one states, plus the District of Columbia, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. News Observer/Associated Press

Revenge porn ban introduced in Springfield
New Jersey and California have enacted laws to make revenge porn a criminal offense. Bills are pending in 13 other states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Chicago Tribune

From Dry to High: Your Guide to State Pot Laws
According the the National Conference of State Legislatures, nine states and D.C. have introduced legislation to legalize recreational marijuana use by adults: Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. The Daily Beast

Branstad plans to expand broadband
Nearly three-fourths of state legislatures have passed laws aimed at expanding broadband use in the past few years, according to a December 2013 survey by the National Conference of State Legislatures report. Iowa Farmer Today

Senate approves "revenge porn" ban

New Jersey was the first state to enact such a law, in 2004, with California following this fall. Similar measures have been introduced in five other states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Lancaster Online

 

Jan. 28

Metal Theft: A Rarely-Talked About Problem with a Big Price 
Lawmakers have been busy enacting a slew of legislation designed to crack down on metal theft. Indeed, 49 states already have laws on the books that address the crime. But such regulations are still on the rise, says Jocelyn Durkay, a researcher with the National Conference of State Legislatures. In 2013 alone, at least 28 states enacted 39 laws specifically targeted toward combating metal theft. Governing

NM lawmakers consider texting ban for drivers
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 41 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands ban texting by all drivers. AP/Miami Herald

Floridians to vote on medical marijuana
Twenty other states and the District of Columbia allow marijuana for the treatment of medical problems, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. CNN/WTVM

Obama Tries New Tack for Long-Term Jobless
Bills to prohibit discrimination against the unemployed haven't passed Congress or most of the two dozen state legislatures that have considered the issue, according to a list of bills compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Wall Street Journal

Fight over minimum wage hike brewing in Congress, Michigan
President Barack Obama is expected to underscore America’s economic divide tonight in his fifth State of the Union address, and Detroiter David Miller says change can’t come soon enough. Michigan is among 21 states that top the national rate, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The national rate has not risen since July 2009. Michigan’s rate hasn’t increased for more than five years. The Detroit News

Lawmakers seek to ban guns in the Capitol
According to the most recent information available from the National Conference of State Legislatures, only three states other than New Mexico allow open carry and concealed carry in their statehouses. Six other states allow concealed carry. It’s not clear who might be carrying concealed handguns at any given time during the legislative session. By law, the names of concealed carry licensees cannot be disclosed. Albuquerque Journal

Lawmakers want ban on growing hemp lifted
Calling it good for agriculture, two Republican lawmakers from Lake Havasu City are pushing to allow farmers to grow hemp without violating state marijuana laws. But the National Conference of State Legislatures reports nine states already have laws permitting the growth of industrial hemp, excluding it from their marijuana laws. Arizona Daily

Jan. 27

Florida Supreme Court OKs medical marijuana for ballot
Twenty states and the District of Columbia have decriminalized medical marijuana under state law, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Tampa Tribune

State Immigration Laws Spiked in 2013 After Lull in 2012, NCSL Report Shows
The number of immigration laws and resolutions passed by the states in 2013 was a large increase over the number passed in 2012, according to a report released Jan. 21 by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Bloomberg BNA

Republican helps medical marijuana advance in Pennsylvania
Since 1996, when California voters approved its use, 19 additional states and the District of Columbia have enacted public medical marijuana programs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Editorial: A Hidden Threat in the Farm Bill
The National Conference of State Legislatures has properly urged rejection of the amendment because it would pre-empt assorted local agricultural policies vital in protecting “our farmland, waterways, forests and most importantly, the health and welfare of our constituents.” The group warned that existing laws on invasive pests and livestock disease and standards of seed and food protection would be open to challenge, abrogating states’ rights guaranteed under the Constitution. States vary, with some requiring the labeling of farm-raised fish, the banning of specific pesticides, and cross-border protections against Dutch elm disease and other threats. NY Times

Lawmaking isn't their only job
Thirty members — 20 percent of the General Assembly — work in farming or agribusiness. That compares with a rate of about 5 percent of all state legislators in the U.S. and is nearly double the representation in other Midwest states, according to the most recent data available from the National Conference of State Legislatures. Shreveport Times

Column: Fla. Mute on Juvenile Reform in 2013
The National Conference of State Legislatures cited a number of states responding to that decision, as well as to the 2010 Graham v. Florida case, where the nation's highest court banned life-without-parole sentences for juveniles convicted of nonmurder crimes. The Ledger

Committee to 'restore Michigan's part-time Legislature' submits proposed ballot language
Michigan is one of four states with a full-time Legislature, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Another six states are near-full time, requiring lawmakers to work at least 80 percent of a full-time job. Roughly half the states in the country have "hybrid" Legislatures, where lawmakers typically do about two-thirds the work of a full-time job but earn significantly smaller salaries. Michigan Live

Does Iowa have too few lawyers in Legislature?
Just four state senators and 11 state representatives are attorneys, including one who recently passed the bar and another who identifies himself first as a small-business owner. That’s just 10 percent of the Legislature — well below the national average of more than 15 percent, according to data compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Des Moines Register

CA could pass nation's 1st plastic bag ban
California is one of six states considering bans, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. UT San Diego

Indiana Senate committee OKs industrial hemp bill
Allowing farmers to grow hemp in Indiana could help boost the economy and dispel myths about a crop that can be used to make everything from paper to car parts, supporters told lawmakers Friday. Kentucky passed similar legislation last year, and eight other states have done the same, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. News Sentinel/The Associated Press

University of Arizona brings rural health care program to Phoenix campus
In 2011, 19 to 33 percent of Arizona’s population lived in an area designated as a primary care health professional shortage, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Downtown Devil

Jan. 24

Idaho wildlife managers aim to lower age for big-game hunting
But most Western U.S. states, including Colorado and Montana, where big game hunting is more common, require children to be 12 or older to hunt such animals with an accompanying adult, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures. Reuters/Chicago Tribune

Committee to 'restore Michigan's part-time Legislature' submits proposed ballot language
Michigan is one of four states with a full-time Legislature, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. mlive.com

Drive underway to license undocumented residents
Immigration related bills in statehouses across the country totaled 437 in 2013, a 64 percent increase from 2012 according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Eight of those laws pertained to some form of driver privilege cards. WDDE

Government Worker Incentives Bill Getting Ironed Out
The National Conference of State Legislatures has been hired by the state to vet candidates to replace longtime LRC director Bobby Sherman. WKMS

California Lawmakers Poised for New Assault Against Plastic Bags
California joins Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington in considering bans on disposable plastic bags, while eight more states are looking at taxes and fees to reduce use, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. About 90 cities and counties in California already have passed ordinances outlawing the sacks, according to Environment California, one of several groups advocating for local and statewide bans. Bloomberg Businessweek

Vermont college students back divestment legislation
College students gathered at the Statehouse on Thursday in support of legislation that would divest the state pension fund of stocks from top fossil fuel companies. If the bill passes, Vermont would be the first state to divest its state pension fund of fossil fuel stocks. Similar legislation is pending in Massachusetts and the District of Columbia, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Burlington Free Press/Associated Press

A.B. Stoddard: Time has come for reform
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 437 separate, immigration-related laws were passed just last year. The country is well on its way to having dozens of separate systems. The Hill

Editorial: Open government
An official with the National Conference of State Legislatures told the Journal-World that Kansas would not be alone in broadcasting committee hearings, but the step had raised a number of concerns in other states. Lawrence Journal-World

Wash. lawmaker seeks to raise min. wage to $12/hr
A Washington state lawmaker has introduced a bill to increase what is already the highest state minimum wage in the nation to $12 an hour over the next three years, but the measure faces an uphill battle in a politically divided Legislature. The state is one of 11 that make such an adjustment, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. King 5/Associated Press

Capitol digest: Underage tanning, e-cigs, vets taxes
Six states regulate the use of tanning beds for minors under 18-years-old and at least 33 states regulate minors' use of tanning facilities, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. wcfcourier.com

Despite federal rulings, Ga. Republican wants drug testing for people on welfare
The National Conference of State Legislatures say nine other states have passed a drug testing requirement into law and some 29 others debated enacting it. examiner.com

Justin Bieber Can Afford a DUI. Can You?
”In December 2013, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations released model guidelines for states encouraging them to adopt ignition interlock for first-time convicted drunk drivers and establish a minimum length of time in which offenders must use the interlocks,” the National Conference of State Legislatures says. MoneyTalkNews

Jan. 23

Maine lawmakers reject password protection bill, opt for study commission 
Several high-profile cases of employers and schools demanding passwords have surfaced nationally. In response, password protection bills have been enacted in more than a dozen states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. pressherald.com

Lawmaker seeks to raise Washington minimum wage
The state is one of 11 that make such an adjustment, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Anchorage Daily News

Virginia attorney general to fight state's same-sex marriage ban
Also, more than half of the nation's state legislatures introduced measures last year that sought to sidestep any potential federal ban on firearms, assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, according to data collected by the National Conference of State Legislatures. CNN/cbsatlanta.com

South Carolina Governor Silent on Common Core Education Standards in State of State 
Last year, about 20 bills revoking the standards floated around statehouses, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. None of them passed into law. Governing

Idaho lawmakers flex muscles to protect veto
Courts have heard constitutional challenges to legislative veto in at least 11 states; Idaho is one of two where a court upheld the power. The Idaho case, Mead v. Arnell, is cited by the National Conference of State Legislatures in its summary of legislative oversight. Idaho Statesman

New Jersey Program Marks Cars for Emergency Responders 
The first state to establish a yellow dot program was Connecticut in 2002, according to Anne S. Teigen, a senior policy specialist for the National Conference of State Legislatures... Six states considered bills to create yellow dot programs through their departments of transportation in 2012, but only Tennessee enacted a law. New Jersey appears to be the second to pass a law establishing yellow dot programs, Teigen says. Governing

What states are doing to close the gender pay gap
Equal pay-related legislation was introduced in 11 states in 2013, according a summation prepared by the National Conference of State Legislatures for Stateline. Stateline/Saratogian Nation-World

Positive signs for immigration reform
Plenty of signs suggest immigration reform will move front and center in the next few weeks. Politico today also suggests that states are creating impetus for federal immigration reform. (“The National Conference of State Legislatures report, released Tuesday, documents a 64 percent increase in state-level immigration legislation; in all, 2013 saw a total of 437 laws and resolutions passed on immigration, compared to 267 in 2012.”) I wouldn’t overestimate the importance of these efforts, but it does give some Republicans cover to say federal action is needed for purposes of uniformity. Washington Post

Editorial: Prying eyes: Legislature needs to act to preserve privacy from drones
The National Conference of State Legislatures on Friday issued an update on how the various states are handling the issue. The NCSL found that 13 states have enacted 16 laws regarding UAV use. Alaska is not one of those states. Fairbank Daily

Public sector spending on lobbying Iowa state government up
The growth in lobbying isn’t unique to Iowa or the public sector, said Peggy Kerns, director of the Ethics Center at the National Conference of State Legislators. “The number of lobbyist has vastly increased in the public sector and the private sector,” Kerns said. “Issues are more complex, so they may need more lobbying to explain them. It’s just an industry that has grown. I can’t really tell you why it’s grown like that, but definitely it has.” The Gazette

East Sac County considers 4-day school week
A rural, western Iowa school district could become the second district in the state to hold classes four days a week in an effort school officials hope will reduce classroom disruptions and strengthen teacher skills. One other district in the state, the WACO school district in Wayland, Iowa, currently uses a four-day week. More than 120 districts, mostly rural, in at least 22 states employ the four-day option, according to a 2013 National Conference of State Legislatures report. Sioux City Journal

Changes to state driver licenses coming slowly
Soon after Real ID became law, 17 states passed laws restricting or banning its implementation within their borders, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Liberals and conservatives alike recoiled at the law in its early years. They objected to the law's costs, federal pre-emption of state practices and the potential threat to personal privacy. WBIR

Report: Immigration legislation increases by 64 percent nationwide in 2013
State immigration laws and resolutions increased 64 percent nationwide in 2013, according to a new report from the National Conference of State Legislatures . Overall, 45 states and the District of Columbia passed 184 laws and 253 resolutions on the topic of immigration last year. ABC 15 News

POLICY BYTES: Minimum wage laws should be a state issue
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), 21 states have set the minimum wage higher than the federal law. Eleven of those states’ minimum wage is somewhere below $8.00 an hour; eight place their wage between $8.00 and $9.00, and Washington state and now Oregon are above $9.00. Houston News

A.B. Stoddard: Time has come for reform (Opinion)
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 437 separate, immigration-related laws were passed just last year. The Hill

Jan. 22

House OKs in-state tuition for illegal residents
Fifteen states allow students who have lived illegally in the U.S. for several years to become eligible for in-state tuition if they met certain criteria, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. AP/The Bellingham Herald

PAC targets state secretary races
With voting laws increasingly front and center of state politics, a new conservative super PAC is launching to target elections for secretaries of states. Controversy over voting laws has been picking up in recent years, with 2013 seeing nearly 300 bills dealing with elections enacted in the states, according to research from the National Conference of State Legislatures. Eight states passed voter ID requirements last year, including strict laws in Arkansas, North Carolina and Virginia. Politico

Advanced Cannabis Gets $30 Million of Credit as Pot Stocks Rally
Eighteen states and the District of Columbia allow medical use of the drug, and 11 permit sales through dispensaries, according to the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures. National legalization has the potential to create a business with $35 billion to $45 billion of annual revenue, according to Bloomberg Industries. Bloomberg Businessweek

Indiana legislature bill would allow guns in parked vehicles at schools
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 19 states tried to legalize guns on campus last year. Kansas passed its law, and Arkansas approved one allowing faculty to carry firearms. Indiana Star

Legislative committee on technology plans to broaden scope
A legislative committee formed to study the impact of technology on gaming will go beyond its stated purpose and will explore other issues surrounding Nevada’s largest industry. Jonathan Griffin, a policy specialist with the National Conference of State Legislatures, told the panel at least eight states have the potential to pass online gaming laws in 2014. Las Vegas Review Journal

Lawmakers hear support for legalizing marijuana
Supporters of legalized marijuana made their long-shot pitch to Louisiana lawmakers Tuesday, saying it could generate dollars for the state treasury, provide a new cash crop for farmers, shrink the jail population and lessen pain for people with medical ailments. Twenty states have public medical marijuana programs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Colorado and Washington have passed laws allowing recreational marijuana use. Modesto Bee/Associated Press

Changes to state driver licenses coming slowly
Soon after Real ID became law, 17 states passed laws restricting or banning its implementation within their borders, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Stateline/WBIR

N.C. voting laws vs. Obama commission recommendations
The report says schools are the most efficient choice to serve as polling places. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, North Carolina requires or encourages the use of schools and other public facilities, but also allows churches to be used as polling locations. The Daily Tar Heel

A Flood of State Immigration Laws in 2013
NCSL notes that big omnibus immigration enforcement bills similar to Arizona’s SB1070 “largely disappeared” from legislative dockets in 2013, as comparable 2011 laws in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina, and Utah were quickly challenged in court. Nonprofit Quarterly

Jan. 21

States take action on immigration as Congress stalls
“We are still waiting for the federal government to fix the immigration system,” said Washington State Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos (D), the co-chair of the National Conference of State Legislatures’ immigration task force. “States are doing the best we can with the tools we have available to us. State legislators face fiscal challenges in education, health and law enforcement. To do nothing is not an option.”... All told, 437 immigration-related bills were signed into law this year, according to a tally maintained by the NCSL. The Washington Post/GovBeat

States boost immigration action
The National Conference of State Legislatures report, released Tuesday, documents a 64 percent increase in state-level immigration legislation; in all, 2013 saw a total of 437 laws and resolutions passed on immigration, compared to 267 in 2012. Politico

States Take Lead in Boosting Immigrants
"There is a move away from enforcement measures to measures that support immigrants, such as in-state tuition and driver's licenses," said Ann Morse, director of the National Conference of State Legislatures' immigration policy project. The group will release a report Tuesday about the laws and resolutions passed by states in 2013. Wall Street Journal

Advanced Cannabis Gets $30 Million of Credit as Pot Stocks Rally
Eighteen states and the District of Columbia allow medical use of the drug, and 11 permit sales through dispensaries, according to the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures. Bloomberg Businessweek

PAC targets state secretary races
Controversy over voting laws has been picking up in recent years, with 2013 seeing nearly 300 bills dealing with elections enacted in the states, according to research from the National Conference of State Legislatures. Eight states passed voter ID requirements last year, including strict laws in Arkansas, North Carolina and Virginia. Politico

DOTD taps ads as source for new revenue
Motorists may soon see an explosion of advertisements plastered on state roads, bridges and rest areas in Louisiana’s latest bid to raise cash during lean times. Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New Jersey enacted laws last year regulating sponsorships on roads, rest areas and other property, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Advocate

Lou Cannon: Obamacare Due for More Trouble as Health-Care Issues Dominate State Politics
Tim Storey, a political analyst with the National Conference of State Legislators, says the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known far and wide as Obamacare, is a “lightning rod” for controversy with a potential to dominate the 2014 midterm elections in many states. “It’s the most partisan issue I’ve seen in my 20 years at the NCSL,” Storey said. State Net Capitol Journal

Obama: There are ‘legitimate reasons’ to worry about federal overreach
There are only 13 states in which a single party does not control the governor’s mansion and both chambers of the legislature. That level of singular control among states hasn’t been achieved since the 1940s, according to the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures. Washington Post

Lawmaker meetings would be broadcast under bill
Most states provide live streaming of House and Senate proceedings, while states vary considerably on whether they broadcast committees, said Brenda Erickson, a senior research analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures. Erickson said some committee rooms in old statehouses are too small for the equipment needed, while some legislators think having a camera in the room could intimidate people who come to testify. "They don't want to disturb the process," she said. She said legislators also are wary that comments or video could be taken out of context and used against them in political races. Emporia Gazette/Associated Press

Gearing Up For Another Gas Tax Debate
Guests: Jaime Rall– transportation policy expert for the National Conference of State Legislatures, the national organization that represents the legislatures of every state. She is joining us from the NCSL headquarters in Denver, Colorado. New Hampshire Public Radio

Want To Watch State Legislative Committee Sessions? You Might Be Able To Soon 
Brenda Erickson is a senior research analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures. Erickson says most states provide live streaming of House and Senate proceedings, but states vary considerably on whether they broadcast committee meetings. KMUW Wichita Public Radio

N.H. Legislators Will Make Another Run At Raising Gas Tax 
Meanwhile, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 27 states now tax alternative fuel sources, with most dedicating all the revenue to transportation projects. Nine others have replaced the per-gallon levy with an annual fee for motorists with alternative fuel vehicles. New Hampshire Public Radio

Washington Considers Banning Teen Tanning
California, Illinois, Nevada, Texas, Vermont and Oregon ban the use of tanning beds for all minors under 18, and at least 33 states and the District of Columbia regulate the use of tanning facilities by minors, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. OPB News

Students prepare human trafficking program
Human trafficking is defined, according the National Conference of State Legislatures, as “the control and exploitation of people for profit.” newsleader.com

Jan. 20

Lawmaker meetings would be broadcast under bill
Most states provide live streaming of House and Senate proceedings, while states vary considerably on whether they broadcast committees, said Brenda Erickson, a senior research analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures. Houston Chronicle

Small telecoms aim to connect ‘every Iowan’
Nearly three-fourths of state legislatures have passed laws aimed at expanding broadband use in the past few years, according to a December 2013 survey by the National Conference of State Legislatures report. The Gazette

Florida Legislature may back in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants
Arizona, Indiana and Georgia bar undocumented students from receiving in-state tuition, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. And Alabama and South Carolina prohibit undocumented students from enrolling in public colleges and universities. Miami Herald

Missouri lawmakers shift strategies on college funding
Missouri lawmakers scrapped a proposal that would penalize university budgets for failing to meet certain performance goals and instead are planning to reward them for good performance during years the state can afford to increase higher education funding. Twelve other states have performance-based formulas in place for their colleges, and four others are in the process of transitioning to the financing model, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Kansas City Star/Associated Press

E-cigarettes: It's like the Wild West
With few boundaries from the FDA or Oregon, inhaling vaporized nicotine-laced liquids is gaining popularity and increased visibility. So far, at least 27 states have banned the sale of e-cigarettes to minors, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.Statesman Journal

Bill would put legislative committee meetings a mouse click away
Most states provide live streaming of House and Senate proceedings, while states vary considerably on whether they broadcast committees, said Brenda Erickson, a senior research analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures. Lawrence Journal

Pa. Senate plans hearing on medical marijuana bill
Twenty states and Washington, D.C., currently have some form of public medical marijuana program, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Two states have legalized it for nonmedical purposes as well. The Tribune

Reader's Watchdog: Des Moines tenants use 2009 law to sue landlords over bedbugs
A civil class-action lawsuit over bedbug infestations at two downtown Des Moines apartment complexes is having wide implications for landlords and tenants — before the legal issue is resolved. Arizona, Kansas and Texas list bedbugs as public health nuisances. Rhode Island requires commercial pesticide applicators who use restricted pesticides to kill bedbugs to carry proper certification, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Des Moines Register

Sign of times: Metal detectors coming to Connecticut Capitol
According to a survey by the National Conference of State Legislatures in January 2008, nearly half the nation’s State Capitols screened visitors with metal detectors. Capitol Police here said they made their recommendation after viewing security in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. All three states have metal detectors in their Capitol buldings, as do Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Connecticut News

Obama: There are ‘legitimate reasons’ to worry about federal overreach
There are only 13 states in which a single party does not control the governor’s mansion and both chambers of the legislature. That level of singular control among states hasn’t been achieved since the 1940s, according to the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures. The Washington Post/GovBeat

Marijuana shares jump, speculators see green
Eighteen states and Washington, D.C., allow the medical use of marijuana and 11 permit sales through dispensaries, according to the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures. New Hampshire Union Leader

Biden’s MLK Day Address: ‘Our Opponents Know the Single Most Dangerous Thing to Give Us Is the Right to Vote’
Thirty-four states have passed voter ID laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, out of a stated concern over voter fraud. theblaze.com

Jan. 19

It's time for school choice in Illinois (Opinion)
Thirteen states have authorized some form of vouchers, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Chicago Tribune

Mo. lawmakers shift strategies on college funding
Twelve other states have performance-based formulas in place for their colleges, and four others are in the process of transitioning to the financing model, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. AP/The Kansas City Star

By 2013, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 20 states and the District of Columbia have enacted medical marijuana statutes while the still extant 1970 federal law maintains that marijuana has no known medical use. - See more at: http://www.heraldnews.com/article/20140118/OPINION/140118757/2011/OPINION/?tag=2#sthash.7ErLUAP8.dpuf

Local Democrats cheer voter ID ruling
Five states — Indiana, Georgia, Kansas, Tennessee and Texas — require all voters to present photo IDs before casting ballots, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Delaware County Daily Times

Editorial: NM voter registration enters the Internet age
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, two dozen states have authorized some form of online voter registration. Last year New Mexico joined the list. Albuquerque Journal

Groups reach across state lines 
The National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) is the largest since all state elected officials and staff are automatically members, with their memberships paid for by the states, according to Jane Andrade, director of public affairs for NCSL. She said NCSL's goal is to strengthen the states and to discourage the federal government from passing unfunded mandates onto states. She said NCSL stays away from highly partisan issues, and the president of its executive committee rotates each year between a Democrat and a Republican. The Herald-Palladium

GUEST OPINION: How America went to pot?
By 2013, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 20 states and the District of Columbia have enacted medical marijuana statutes while the still extant 1970 federal law maintains that marijuana has no known medical use. The Herald News

By 2013, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 20 states and the District of Columbia have enacted medical marijuana statutes while the still extant 1970 federal law maintains that marijuana has no known medical use. - See more at: http://www.heraldnews.com/article/20140118/OPINION/140118757/2011/OPINION/?tag=2#sthash.7ErLUAP8.dpuf

Jan. 17

Tanning restrictions for teens pass the Virginia Senate; fate in House is uncertain
Eleven states ban tanning at an age younger than 18, and 26 require parental consent for teens under 18, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Washington Post/GovBeat

Sign of times: Metal detectors coming to Connecticut Capitol 
According to a survey by the National Conference of State Legislatures in 2007, about half the nation’s State Capitols  use of metal detectors. The Connecticut Mirror

Bill would OK hidden guns for teachers at school
Last year, in response to the 2012 slayings of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., more than 30 states considered proposals to arm teachers. Seven states passed related legislation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Lexington Clipper Herald

Spending bill cuts funding for jailing illegal immigrants
Susan Frederick, senior federal affairs counsel for the National Conference of State Legislatures, said she and other advocates for full funding for SCAAP reached out to members of Congress but were largely rebuffed. “The way they’ve rationalized it is by saying they just don’t have enough money to go around and that this program is no more or less important than other programs that are being cut,” she said. “But states are doing everyone a favor by keeping convicted criminals off the streets and keeping our communities safe. They’re supposed to get reimbursed for those efforts.” USA Today

Pa. Senate to Hear Medical Marijuana Bill
Twenty states and Washington, D.C., currently have some form of public medical marijuana program, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Two states have legalized it for nonmedical purposes as well. NBC 10 Philadelphia

New Push Could Help More Dreamers Afford College
A joint effort was launched in the House and Senate Thursday to encourage states to grant in-state tuition or financial aid at public colleges to young undocumented immigrants. Alabama and South Carolina go a step further by banning undocumented students from enrolling at public colleges entirely, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Huffington Post

Should the State Limit Youth Tanning?
Large numbers of teens are using indoor tanning devices, and that’s leading to skin cancer at earlier ages, according to a Minnesota Department of Health report released Tuesday. At least 33 states and Washington, DC, have some regulation limiting the use of tanning beds by minors, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Northfield Patch

King ready to play leading role on farm bill, immigration
The King amendment would block California and other states from setting animal-welfare requirements that affect egg production in Iowa and elsewhere. California's law requires farmers to provide a minimum level of cage space for hens that produce eggs for sale in the Golden State. The bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures says the King Amendment would "preempt vital state agricultural policies," including at least one Iowa law. Daily Times Herald

Maryland Lawmakers Take Up Fight to Raise Age on Smoking Ban
States such as Alaska, Alabama, and New Jersey have already banned the sale of tobacco products to anyone under the age of 19, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Afro American Newspaper

 

Jan. 16

House panel approves proposed adoption tax credit
Data from the National Conference of State Legislatures show at least 13 states offered adoption tax credits as of 2012, and another 10 offered some form of deduction. Lindsey said tax credits often cost less than paying for children to remain in foster care, but not all states have the funds to enact a tax credit. AP/Courier Press

Lawmakers Take Aim At Barack Obamacare
South Carolina lawmakers say they have found a way to stop implementation of the US Affordable Care Act (ACA) in their state, an effort that could provide a way for other Republican led legislatures looking to derail the federal program. Six states have barred their employees from helping implement the law known as Barack Obamacare, said Richard Cauchi, healthcare program director for the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures. Live Trading News

Ethics in politics? Missouri legislators will try, again, to tighten laws
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Missouri is one of six states with no limits on campaign contributions. The others are Alabama, Nebraska, Oregon, Virginia and Utah. St. Louis Post Dispatch

Voter sign-ups at MVD offices
The state’s top elections official says New Mexicans can register to vote online when doing business at a Motor Vehicle Division office. The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that two dozen states have authorized some form of online voter registration. Albuquerque Journal

Jan. 15

After flurry of changes, some states ease up
Many states have long been under single-party control, and thus are not seeing vast changes. “For states like Idaho, Wyoming, Massachusetts or Hawaii, having unified party control is nothing new — it’s an everyday, safe thing,” Karl T. Kurtz, a political scientist with the National Conference of State Legislatures. “Therefore, the majority party’s agenda is not as likely to shift from non-election to election year.” The New York Times

Nebraska lawmaker proposes veteran tax credit
The National Conference of State Legislatures says 31 states offer tax benefits to military retirees, including Iowa, Missouri, Kansas and Colorado. KOTA News

Not all sexting is alike, experts say
From 2009 to 2012, at least 20 states and Guam enacted bills targeting teenagers and sexually explicit images, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Indianapolis Star

Bill would set age limit for buying e-cigarettes
At least 27 states have prohibited their sale to minors, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Lincoln Star Herald

Think Congress is polarized? Half the states are worse.
But unlike Congress, where polarization and split party control has contributed to the lowest output in decades, states legislatures are different. That’s because all but four are controlled by a single party, according to data collected by the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures. The Washington Post/GovBeat

Bill would allow Nebraska teachers to carry handguns in schools with 24 hours' training
Seven states passed related legislation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Omaha World-Herald

NM starts limited online voter registration
The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that two dozen states have authorized some form of online voter registration. AP/newswest9.com

Ronald Fraser: Shifting views on marijuana
By 2013, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 20 states and the District of Columbia have enacted medical marijuana statutes while the still extant 1970 federal law maintains that marijuana has no known medical use. Battle Creek Enquirer

A fourth of state lawmakers are women — a stat that hasn’t changed in five years
There are exactly 5,600 male lawmakers, compared to 1,783 female lawmakers, according to a new count from the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures. Washington Post

Omnibus Spending Bill for FY-2014 Would Not Fund High Speed Rail
Ben Husch, director of the National Conference of State Legislatures' natural resources and infrastructure committee, said that honoring the amounts authorized by MAP-21 is "definitely a very good sign." The legislation would provide almost $41 billion for the federal highway program, consistent with the current transportation law —Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century, or MAP-21. It would allow $8.6 billion in state and local transit grants from the Mass Transit Account of the Highway Trust Fund, also in line with MAP- 21. The Bond Buyer

Maine Legislature considers protecting privacy of social media passwords
The bill, L.D. 1194, is sponsored by Rep. Michael McClellan, R-Raymond, who submitted it on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine. Similar password protection bills have been enacted in over a dozen states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The proposals are advanced by privacy advocates who are hoping the state-by-state strategy will lead to a comprehensive bill in Congress. Press Herald

South Carolina lawmakers say they know how to ban Obamacare
Six states have barred their employees from helping implement the law known as Obamacare, said Richard Cauchi, healthcare program director for the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures. At least eight states, including two that support the healthcare reforms, have regulated navigators, he added. Reuters

Approaches vary for strengthening Missouri's ethics laws
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Missouri is one of six states with no limits on campaign contributions. The others are Alabama, Nebraska, Oregon, Virginia and Utah. St. Louis Post Dispatch

Massachusetts Senate to consider allowing early voting
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 32 states and Washington, D.C., have early voting. The Massachusetts Senate plans to vote on Thursday on a bill that would implement early voting and online voting registration. The Republican

KS Judiciary outpaces Legislature in technological transparency
Under the Capitol dome, we have a Legislature that counts itself among only a handful of states that have failed to offer some form of live video to the general public, according to a recent survey conducted by the National Conference of State Legislatures. watchdog.org

Let Sun Shine on Virginia’s Financial Disclosure Laws
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, more than 40 states have similar ethics commissions, most with subpoena power. connectionnewspapers.com

Jan. 14

Bill would provide alternative to layoffs
Work share programs were in place in 27 states and the District of Columbia as of November, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Supporters say the programs benefit employers by allowing them to retain skilled workers when business is slow. Workers keep their jobs and benefits and collect a prorated share of the unemployment benefits they would have received if they had been laid off. Roanoke Times

California’s Humane-Chicken Law Complicates U.S. Farm Bill
The National Conference of State Legislatures said the language could trump laws against transporting firewood across state lines to protect forests and trees from pests like Dutch elm disease and Asian longhorned beetle. At least a dozen states, from New York to Oregon, have such rules. U.S. Representative Steve King of Iowa said his proposal is limited to keeping states from imposing their will on others in agriculture. Food safety and other industries would still be protected by their own laws, he said. Bloomberg

House pushes welfare reform
Welfare recipients may face drug testing in an effort being revived by Republican lawmakers. At least 10 states have passed such laws since 2011. Another 29 debated measures last year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, despite questions about the tests’ constitutionality and effectiveness. Goshen News

Jan. 13

California Bill Seeks to Regulate Homemade Guns
Lawmakers in New Jersey and New York have introduced legislation that would ban the possession of weapons made using 3-D printers, said National Conference of State Legislatures policy specialist Jon Griffin. However, while there had been talk by federal lawmakers and some state legislators of trying to restrict the posting of weapons plans on the Internet, Griffin said he knows of no such legislation being introduced and said it would likely run into free speech protections. AP/ABC News

Guns in public buildings have political firepower in Kansas
At least seven states have laws that allow people with concealed-carry licenses to take firearms into public buildings, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Two of those — Kansas and Nevada — require it unless security measures ensure that no one else can take weapons in, either. The New York Times/The Telegram

State governments develop healthy interest in wellness
Richard Cauchi, with the National Conference of State Legislatures, said that state experiences so far have underscored the importance of cash components to wellness engagement strategies. “A number of states have initiated bonus programs with conscious incentives, including cash, and those programs are described as successful in saving money and creating a healthier population,” he said. Cauchi said when a state takes steps to create changes in employee health insurance design, it can easily influence plan designs in the private sector. “In many states, the government is the major employer. Often we see that what happens within the public employee arena is picked up by the private-sector,” he said. Benefits Pro Magazine

Voucher limits a sticking point
Vouchers let parents use state and local taxpayer money dedicated to public schools on a per-pupil basis to pay tuition at private schools of their choice. The National Conference of State Legislatures says 13 states plus the District of Columbia have some form of state-funded voucher programs. The Tennessean

By week’s end, half the states will have begun their 2014 sessions
Some 1,473 lawmakers will join counterparts in 15 states who reconvened last week, according to data collected by the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures. By Wednesday, half of all state legislatures will have reconvened, with nearly 4,000 lawmakers back at work crafting policy in their respective state capitols. Washington Post

Face of a Republican: Why aren’t there more female politicians?
The National Conference of State Legislatures says women make up 17.8 percent of Pennsylvania’s state legislature, holding 45 of the 253 seats. In the 113th U.S. Congress, women hold 99, or 18.5 percent, of the 535 seats. Cumberland County has women in three of its 11 elected offices, or 27 percent. The Sentinel

California’s Humane-Chicken Act Complicates U.S. Farm Law
First, California voters said chickens need more space to live. Now California lawmakers say the state’s stores can only sell eggs next year from hens raised in roomier quarters, and that’s got producers nationwide worried the law will cut into their profits. The provision could void labeling rules for artificial sweeteners in Iowa, maple products in New Hampshire and farm-raised fish in Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana and Washington state, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which opposes the King amendment. Bloomberg

Welfare drug-testing bill gets new life in Indiana
At least 10 states have passed such laws since 2011. Another 29 debated measures last year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, despite questions about the tests’ constitutionality and effectiveness. newsandtribune.com

Jan. 10

Republican-led states rethink rejection of Medicaid expansion
With Obamacare now in effect across the country, some Republican-led states will revisit their decisions to reject an expansion of Medicaid, once again deciding whether their contempt for the Affordable Care Act outweighs the allure of additional federal money in the short term. This year, “it’s safe to say Medicaid will be an issue in many states,” said Melissa Hansen, a program principal at the National Conference of State Legislatures. Washington Times

Jan. 9

Spirit of Cooperation Frays in Fracking Debate
"Different groups maybe had different ideas of what the end-result rule would be," said Kristy Hartman, energy policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures. Twenty-four states had bills in 2013 to address the practice, either through regulations or a moratorium, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, but most either failed outright or never put anything to a vote. Illinois and California were among the exceptions, the NCSL's Harman said. AP/ABC News

Legal Pot: The Gateway Drug to State-Run Banking?
Heather Morton, who tracks financial regulation at the National Conference of State Legislatures, found bills in six state legislatures in 2010 related to the creation of state-run banks... By 2011 the number of states with bills contemplating the creation of their own banks hit 15, according to Morton’s research, before legislation eventually tapered off last year as the economy improved. Bloomberg Businessweek

Rep. Greg Wren announces retirement
I am privileged to currently serve as President of the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) and on the Executive Committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), while also serving as Chairman of NCSL's Health Reform Implementation Task Force. WSFA

LePage signs Maine bill to label genetically modified food
It appeared that industry heavyweights were initially taken aback by activists who introduced labeling legislation this year in at least 30 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. kjonline.com 

N.H. House votes to change age for juvenile crimes to 17
New Hampshire’s House voted Wednesday to give preliminary approval to treating 17-year-olds accused of crimes as juveniles instead of as adults. In the past decade, the national trend has been to increase the age and send 17-year-olds through the juvenile system, according to a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures titled “Trends in Juvenile Justice State Legislation 2001-2011.” The Associated Press

New York governor announces plan for medical marijuana at hospitals
Medical marijuana is not unprecedented in the United States. Twenty states and the District of Columbia now allow it in some form -- among them Colorado, where, as of January 1, it's legal to sell marijuana to those 21 or older -- according to information compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures. (In addition, Maryland has a limited program for research.) The momentum has picked up recently, with most of these efforts taking effect over the past decade. CNN 

Pot Shares Rally 21% To 1,700% As Speculators See Green 
Eighteen states and Washington, D.C., allow the medical use of marijuana and 11 permit sales through dispensaries, according to the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures. Bloomberg/fa-mag.com

Jan. 8

Safeguards and Jitters
In 2013, according to the NCSL, a total of 270 unique bills in all states dealt with academic-content standards in some way, a number that could rise significantly this year. In 2012, the total bill count in that area was only 117. Questions about assessments are likely to dominate common-core legislation in 2014, said Daniel Thatcher, a senior policy specialist with the Denver-based NCSL who tracks legislation related to the common standards in English/language arts and mathematics that all but a handful of states have adopted. Of the 270 standards-related bills last year, 107 dealt with assessments. Two major multistate consortia are working to develop assessments tied to the standards. Education Week

Dream Act Takes Effect in New Jersey
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie ceremonially signed into law a bill to allow undocumented college students to pay in-state tuition rates, underscoring his position among national Republicans as a moderate on immigration. At least 16 states currently allow undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition at colleges, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Four states have barred the measure. Wall Street Journal

Will employers still ask for Facebook passwords in 2014?
Imagine you're a motivated college senior interviewing for your dream job. Your resume is plump, your answers are impressive and your interviewer seems engaged. In 2012, six states passed legislation preventing employers, schools or both from demanding access or passwords to social media accounts, according to information compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures. In 2013, seven more states joined their ranks, while lawmakers in 25 states without laws in place considered similar legislation. Detroit Free Press

Time to talk about the cost of unemployment
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Missouri owes somewhere north of $300 million. news-leader.com

Committee passes ban on tanning for young teens
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, no other state has specifically banned tanning for minors under 16, although 33 states have some sort of regulation on tanning for minors and five states have gone as far as completely banning minors from tanning. Indianapolis Business Journal

Christie lauds law allowing in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants
New Jersey is now among 15 states that allow undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Philadelphia Inquirer/journalgazette.net

Jan. 6

Governors, lawmakers return to capitols with eye on November
In both legislative and gubernatorial races, neither party seems to have the upper hand nationally. That is a marked change from recent election cycles, when either Democrats or Republicans have had huge early advantages, said Tim Storey, an elections expert at the National Conference of State Legislatures. "I don't know what the wave is going to be, and I don't think the legislators do either," Storey said. "They're all running scared a little." Stateline/USA Today

Jan. 2

Congress reps look back fondly on time in state legislatures
About half of the current members of Congress spent some time in their state legislatures, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. USA Today

State Laws Put Focus on Hot-Button Issues
"It's a sense that the federal minimum wage has fallen behind and should be higher," said Bill Pound, the executive director of the National Conference of State Legislatures, which advises state lawmakers. The Wall Street Journal

New Laws Take Effect Today
Jane Carroll Andrade, a spokesperson for the National Conference of State Legislatures joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to discuss some of the new state laws. NPR/Here & Now

Quiz: Test your knowledge of the new laws of 2014
More than 40,000 new laws were enacted in 2013, thousands of which took effect at the stroke of midnight, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. PBS NewsHour

New Year, New Laws — Lots of Them (Video)
NBC Nightly News

The most interesting new laws in 2014 (Video)
MSNBC

40,000 new laws take effect in 2014 (Video)
CNN

States enacted 40,000 new laws in 2013 In 2013, state legislatures passed an estimated 40,000 new laws and many of them are now taking effect.
Mark Strassmann reports on their potential impact; fetures interview with Illinois Senate President John Cullerton. CBS News

 

 


 

 

NAVIGATE

Share this: 
Fall Forum 2014
State Vote
We are the nation's most respected bipartisan organization providing states support, ideas, connections and a strong voice on Capitol Hill.

NCSL Member Toolbox

Denver

7700 East First Place
Denver, CO 80230
Tel: 303-364-7700 | Fax: 303-364-7800

Washington

444 North Capitol Street, N.W., Suite 515
Washington, D.C. 20001
Tel: 202-624-5400 | Fax: 202-737-1069

Copyright 2014 by National Conference of State Legislatures