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NCSL in the News July 2013

NCSL in the News Archives

NCSL in the News: July 2013

July 31

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

Early high school graduation programs getting a boost
The programs often target low-income students, who face the highest barriers to access and success in college, says Michelle Camacho Liu, a former policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures. Delaware Online

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

More states restrict teen access to indoor tanning beds
See current state laws and pending legislation at the National Conference of State Legislatures site. USA Today

Iowa getting tough on recreational vehicle fees
The National Conference of State Legislatures reports California and Massachusetts have passed legislation to prevent citizens from taking advantage of Montana’s vehicle registration laws. The Gazette

Desert Sands Unified School District offers teachers $1,100 stipends
These contribution levels are a large jump from just a few years ago, but they are still about 10 percent lower than the average employee contributions in the private sector, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Desert Sun

July 30

Lois DeBerry, Legislator in Tennessee for 4 Decades, Dies at 68
Nationwide, only two other female lawmakers elected in 1972 are still serving, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. AP/New York Times

Early high school graduation programs gain traction
Oftentimes, the programs target low-income students, who face the highest barriers to access and success in college, said Michelle Camacho Liu, a former policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures. Detroit Free Press

States seek to nullify Obama efforts
Twenty states since 2010 have passed laws that either opt out of or challenge mandatory parts of Obamacare, the National Conference of State Legislatures says. And half the states have approved measures aimed knocking back the Real ID Act of 2005, which dictates Washington’s requirements for issuing driver’s licenses. Politico

Fertel Tells Congress to Act Now on Used Nuclear Fuel Legislation
From the Obama administration's Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future to state governors to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there is consensus support for consolidated storage developed in concurrence with siting one or more repositories, Fertel noted. Yahoo! Finance

Guns in schools: Arkansas district will arm 20 teachers and staff
In 2013, seven states passed legislation permitting teachers or administrators to carry guns in schools and more than 30 state legislatures introduced bills that would permit staff members to carry guns in public or private schools, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Yahoo! News

Fight rages on to raise minimum wage
Eighteen states and the District of Colombia have a minimum wage higher than the federal level of $7.25, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. WQAD

Secretary of State candidate tours county
Regionally and nationally, he is a member of the Southern Legislative Conference and the National Conference of State Legislatures. Franklin County Times

First School Created Under 'Parent Trigger' Law Opens
As of this spring, at least 25 states have considered parent-trigger policies, and seven of them have created laws establishing the policies, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Education Week

Maine Senate approves weakened gun bill, disappointing advocates
Only three states, California, Connecticut and New York, require background checks before all gun sales, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Press Herald

Despite fast food protests, Congress in no rush on minimum wage
Eighteen states and the District of Colombia have a minimum wage higher than the federal level of $7.25, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. CNN

Michigan law could lead to fewer recall elections
At least 29 states permit the recall of local officials and 19 allow them for state officials, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Petoskeynews.com

Colorado voter campaigns using computers to get signatures
But since 2009, about a dozen states, including Colorado, have implemented online voter registration laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. AP/The Republic

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

Colorado online voter system could play role in future recall elections
But since 2009, about a dozen states — including Colorado — have implemented online voter registration laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Denver Post

Lawmakers react to Tenn. Rep. Lois DeBerry's death
"As the longest-serving member of the House, her fame was greatest in her hometown but the respect she earned extended nationally among members of the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials and the Deltas. Since being elected in 1972, she always served her community in a special manner and gave so much back. She will be sorely missed by all of those she helped." — U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Memphis. AP/Kansas City Star

Colorado Recall Election Shaped By Smartphones, Online Voter System
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 17 states including Colorado have passed legislation or currently offer paperless, online voter registration as of 2013. The Huffington Post

State seeks way to ease crowding at prisons
Overall, state prison populations across the nation have dropped slightly for the past three years, though about half the states are seeing increases in inmate counts and struggling with overcrowding, said Alison Lawrence of the National Conference of State Legislatures. Lawrence said a handful of states, including Texas, Colorado and South Carolina, have succeeded in reducing prison populations by diverting more drug offenders into treatment programs instead of prison, and making other sentencing reforms. "Justice reinvestment" is a new buzz term in the corrections community, she said. Norfolk Daily News

Schapiro: Va. could be edging toward lifting fundraising ban
Virginia is among 15 states that prohibit fundraising during their legislative sessions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Fourteen states do not allow lobbyists to make donations when their legislatures are meeting. Richmond Times Dispatch

Virginia one of the best in financial education
The study reviewed financial literacy legislation summaries maintained by the National Conference of State Legislatures from 1999 to 2012 with data from the Jump$tart Coalition on Personal Finance Literacy and data from the Council for Economic Education's 2011 state survey. Loudoun Times

July 25

Marijuana politics could be heating up soon in Minnesota
Nineteen states and the District of Columbia now have medical marijuana laws on the books.... National Conference of State Legislatures: State by state medical marijuana laws. Minnesota Public Radio

U-M OKs in-state tuition for immigrant students
With a national immigration overhaul elusive, a small but growing number of states—16—have allowed in-state tuition rates for the immigrants since 2001, including14 that passed laws explicitly authorizing the moves, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Evening Sun

Personal finance educator challenges Nebraska's 'F'
The state grades are based on financial literacy legislation summaries maintained by the National Conference of State Legislatures for the last 14 years and on reports issued by the JumpStart Coalition and the Council for Economic Education. Lincoln Journal Star

Efforts to change voting laws
Sources: Justice Department (covered places); National Conference of State Legislatures (state laws). The New York Times

Same-sex marriage throughout the country (map)
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures. USA Today

Youth: stand your ground laws put us at risk
At least 21 states now have Stand Your Ground laws similar to that in Florida, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Center for Public Integrity

Stephen Kranz, partner with McDermott Will & Emery LLP, to represent Avalara at KC's tax planning webcast
Steve ... often represents companies on issues in litigation while working to address the larger tax policy questions through state legislatures, the U.S. Congress, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National Governors Association, the Multistate Tax Commission, and the Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board. auto-mobi.info

July 25

McDonald's boss: It's not just a McJob
Jeanne Mejeur, program principal with the National Conference of State Legislatures, said that minimum wage activism is cyclical.
"When there hasn't been a federal increase in several years, you'll see state legislatures start to increase the state minimum wage," she said. "That's what's happened this year, and last session." Chicago Tribune

Illegal Pennsylvania gay marriage licenses show stir in 'battleground states'
"It is unlikely that all states will adopt same-sex marriage in the foreseeable future," says Jack Tweedie, director of children and families program at the National Conference of State Legislatures in Denver. "The political solution is a state-by-state one, and it will be slow." Yahoo! News

Colorado firearm advocates push recall of gun control backers
Referendums on state legislators are rare compared with those conducted on the municipal level, according to data compiled by the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures. Bloomberg Businessweek

Fun facts on voter ID
There are, according to the NCSL, 11 states requiring photo IDs: Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Tennessee, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan, New Hampshire and South Dakota. philly.com

Revamp Capitol lobbying rules, say watchdogs
Data compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures shows most states don't have a fixed dollar amount that triggers registering as a lobbyist. NEWS10abc

Public-sector management news
To get some sense of [Alan] Rosenthal’s importance to the field, take a look at this testimonial from the National Conference of State Legislatures. Governing

Georgia news roundup
The National Conference of State Legislatures will be hosting its 39th annual legislative summit at the Georgia World Congress Center beginning Aug. 12. AP/The Marietta Daily Journal

July 24

Lawmakers to gather in GA for conference in August
The National Conference of State Legislatures will be hosting its 39th annual legislative summit at the Georgia World Congress Center beginning Aug. 12. It's billed as the largest gathering of its kind where lawmakers and staff gather to discuss topics including helping veterans find jobs and regulating drones. AP/Miami Herald

Federal program faces many misconceptions
To be fair, proposals to require drug testing for SNAP recipients were offered in only six states last year, and none passed, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Courier News

On Beacon Hill, Election Reform With A Missing Piece
Ten states and Washington D.C. have election day registration in place, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. WBUR, Boston NPR

States limit welfare, food stamp debit cards to ban 'sin' purchases
National experts agree and say that aggressive action is being taken in response. The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), a group that monitors legislative developments around the country, says that 2012 was the most active yet when it comes to EBT-related legislation, but 2013 is shaping up as another busy year. CreditCards.com

Lawmakers seek to repeal ‘stand your ground’ law
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Alabama is one of 21 states that has “stand your ground” laws. AP/Times Daily

Alan Rosenthal remembered by many in New Jersey
As William Pound, Executive Director of the National Conference of State Legislatures, would state; “He had more influence nationally over state legislatures and their operations in the last 40 or 45 years than anybody else in the country. There’s no question about it." The Examiner

July 23

Sit-in at Scott's office continues
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 22 states have laws similar to the Florida stand your ground provision. They generally eliminate a person's duty to retreat in the face of a serious threat. The Florida Current

State budget officials in Alaska for annual gathering
The National Conference of State Legislatures has its annual meeting next month in Atlanta. Kaiser Health News

Think the latest military drones are scary? Have you driven in California?
As USA Today states, “The National Conference of State Legislatures recently reported that eight states have enacted legislation to control the use of drones and 35 others have or now are considering it.” digitaltrends.com

How Hawaii's self-defense law stacks up against AG's criticism
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, more than 20 states have some form of self-defense or stand your ground laws. KITV News

Factcheck: Spitzer's false claim on licenses for immigrants
In 2008, Oregon, Michigan and Maine restricted licenses to those who could prove they were legal residents of the U.S., according to a 2008 National Conference of State Legislatures report. FactCheck in Tucson Sentinel

Do your homework on for-profit colleges (blog)
For-profit colleges have been taking the education industry by storm. In fact, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, enrollment in these institutions increased 225 percent during the past two decades. Better Businss Bureau

July 22

'Stand Your Ground' laws up to states, not Obama or Congress
In America, law enforcement and the criminal code are "traditionally done at the state and local levels, not at the federal level," Obama said.
That also applies to "stand your ground" laws, which exist in nine states. In addition, 22 states including Florida have laws stating that residents have no "duty" to retreat from a would-be attacker, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. CNN

Canned cameras shape debate
Anne Teigen, a senior policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures, said in recent years several municipalities have discontinued the use of automatic enforcement devices; they include Los Angeles, which discontinued its program in 2011. Des Moines Register

Concerns rise about growing use of domestic drones
The National Conference of State Legislatures recently reported that eight states have enacted legislation to control the use of drones and 35 others have or now are considering it. USA Today

Despite outcry, repeal of stand your ground laws in Florida and other U.S. states not likely
At least 22 states have laws similar to that in Florida, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Associated Press in the Times Colonist

Greg Stumbo, Robert Stivers attend overseas conferences
Stivers’ Scotland trip was organized by the largest and most established organization of state legislators — the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures. Louisville Courier-Journal

In Zimmerman trial, the right verdict, the wrong law
Such deadly force is allowed in those situations outside the home or car in Pennsylvania when a person has reasonable belief of imminent death or injury, and either he or she cannot retreat in safety, or the attacker displays or uses a lethal weapon, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Nurse practitioners slowly gain autonomy
The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that state legislatures considered 349 measures aimed at loosening NP licensing restrictions in 2011 and 2012. So far this year, 178 proposals have been considered. Stateline

Pepeal of 'stand your ground' U.S. state laws unlikely
Over 20 states have enacted laws similar to Florida’s, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. AP in the Japan Times

Counting the days of 2013 session
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Oregon and Washington are among the 23 states where legislators spend about two-thirds of their time on the job. StatesmanJournal.com

New law protects police dog units from suits if proper procedures followed
Laws in 14 states and the District of Columbia already provided liability exceptions for injuries caused by dogs acting under the direction of military or police, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Associated Press in GreenvilleOnline.com

Protesters stand up to 'stand your ground,' but laws likely here to stay
Eight other states have laws worded similarly, while 22 total states, including Florida, have laws stating that residents have no "duty" to retreat from a would-be attacker, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. CNN

Cases put focus on self-defense laws
It differs from that of Kentucky and Florida only in that those states use terminology that a person threatened away from home can "stand his or her ground and meet force with force" without a duty to retreat. Seven other states use such wording, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Herald-Dispatch

Money Power Retirement: There's no place like home, to age
The state grades are based on financial literacy legislation summaries maintained by National Conference of State Legislatures for the last 14 years and on reports issued by the JumpStart Coalition and the Council for Economic Education. Tulsa World

Local business owners preparing for Affordable Care Act mandates, despite delay
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 98 percent of employers with more than 200 employees offer health insurance, as do 94 percent of employers with 50 to 199 employees. Nooga.com

Wheeler to attend children's institute
The other states selected to participate in the Institute include Connecticut, Illinois, New Mexico, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Sponsors of the institute are the National Governors Association, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Casey Family Programs, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, and the National Center for State Courts. The Emporia Gazette

NAACP to hold town meeting in Sanford to discuss George Zimmerman verdict
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 22 states have laws similar to that in Florida. news4jax.com

ARTBA Tells Virginia Supreme Court to Uphold State’s P3 Enabling Law
The association, along with the National Conference of State Legislatures filed a “friend of the court” brief July 19 in the case of Elizabeth River Crossings OPCO, LLC and Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) v. Danny Meeks. ForConstructionPros.com

July 19

U-M OKs in-state tuition for immigrant students
With a national immigration overhaul elusive, a small but growing number of states — 16 — have allowed in-state tuition rates for the immigrants since 2001, including 14 that passed laws explicitly authorizing the moves, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. AP/Bloomberg

After Aurora: Has mental health care improved?
By June, “nearly every state had proposed something related to some aspect of mental health services/providers,” Karmen Hanson, program manager for the National Conference of State Legislatures, said Wednesday. MSN News

Concerns rise about growing use of domestic drones
The National Conference of State Legislatures recently reported that eight states have enacted legislation to control the use of drones and 35 others have or now are considering it. USA Today

Week in Review: Corbett looks to future as lawmakers break for summer
More than two dozen states around the country require some form of identification before voting, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Watchdog.org

'Stand your ground' laws likely here to stay
Eight other states have laws worded similarly, while 22 total states, including Florida, have laws stating that residents have no "duty" to retreat from a would-be attacker, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. WESH Orlando

Measure would make hunting and fishing a right
Thirteen states guarantee the right to hunt and fish in their constitutions, with Vermont's language dating back to 1777, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Lincoln Journal Star

SC hospitals, nursing homes sue state agency over Haley veto
Thirty-six states had some type of certificate-of-need program, as of December 2011, according to a review by the National Conference of State Legislatures. The State

July 18

4 ways immigration bill may be ‘financial catastrophe’ for states
“Potentially, we are going to create a financial catastrophe for states and localities,” said Sheri Steisel, senior federal affairs counsel and a human services expert at the National Conference of State Legislatures. “The states will end up with the cost and consequences of the federal decision-making, with very little resources to rely on to make up the difference.” USA Today/Stateline

Eyes in the sky: Concerns rising about growing use of surveillance drones
The National Conference of State Legislatures recently reported that eight states have enacted legislation to control the use of drones and 35 others have, or currently are, considering them. Port Huron Times-Herald

In conservative states, abortion pushback
In 2010, the GOP gained the majority of governorships, and one-fifth of the nation's state legislatures switched to complete Republican control, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures. CNN/KCRA

Turf War Continues Over Scope of Practice
The National Conference of State Legislatures tracked 178 scope‐of‐practice related bills proposed in 38 states and the District of Columbia through April 1 of this year. Last year, it counted 827 such bills in 29 states, with 154 enacted. MedPage Today

Losing the Virginia Way
Virginia is one of only a handful of states without a statewide ethics commission and one of even fewer in which campaign contributions are not capped, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. cjr.org

Protesters stand up to Stand Your Ground, but laws likely here to stay
Eight other states have laws worded similarly, while 22 total states, including Florida, have laws stating residents have no "duty" to retreat from a would-be attacker, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. CNN/WPTV

July 17

A legislative perspective (Opinion)
A survey cited by the National Conference of State Legislatures found that a fifth of those 65 or older reported they had been a victim of financial fraud, resulting in nearly $3 billion stolen every year. Many think this figure is actually much higher due to under-reporting. Floyd County Times (Kentucky)

Secretary of State Ruth Johnson: Michigan ready for online registration, no-reason absentee voting
As of last month, 17 states had adopted laws to allow online registration, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. mlive.com (Michigan)

Arizona Gets Good Grade for Financial Literacy
In compiling the report, researchers looked at data from sources like the National Conference of State Legislatures and the JumpStart Coalition on Personal Finance Literacy. KJZZ NPR

July 16

How Becoming Mayor Changed Rahm Emanuel on Immigration Reform
Ann Morse, who heads up research about state-level immigration policy for the National Conference of State Legislatures, emphasized the enormous budget burdens that fall on city and state governments, particularly because states are required to provide K-12 education and medical care to immigrants who are here illegally. The Atlantic

Iowa joining trend of decreasing school polling places
Just three states considered such bills in 2011, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures in Washington, D.C. None of the bills have advanced, said Wendy Underhill, senior policy specialist for the group. "The hardest job local election officials can have is finding an appropriate polling place," Underhill said. "Fixing one problem sometimes creates another." USA Today

Retirement: Staying on home turf
Almost 90 percent of people over 65 say they want to live in their home and community as long as possible, according to a report by the AARP Public Policy Institute and the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Chicago Tribune

Singer Stevie Wonder to boycott Florida, other states over controversial law
At least 22 states have a similar law, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. WCVB Boston

AAA States Beating Market for First Time Since 2008: Muni Credit
States’ combined collections this year will surpass the record of $670 billion from 2008, according to Todd Haggerty, who tracks budget issues for the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures. Bloomberg Businessweek

Champlain College Center Grades States on Personal Finance Education in High Schools
State grades are based on financial literacy legislation summaries maintained by National Conference of State Legislatures for the last 14 years and on reports issued by the JumpStart Coalition and the Council for Economic Education. StreetInsider

July 15

Performance-based funding grows in higher education
But a dozen states now tie funding to performance, four are moving in that direction, and 20 more are considering it, the National Conference of State Legislatures said. Richmond Times Dispatch

Medical marijuana for kids
Eighteen states and the District of Columbia recognize medical marijuana, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and all but two of those jurisdictions permit its use in children. The Boston Globe

States balk at lower alcohol limit for DUI
A past chairwoman of the Transportation Committee in the Indiana House of Representatives who also sits on the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), Austin said she has seen no legislative in response to the recommendation. The Hill

It's Not Just Zimmerman: Race Matters a Lot in 'Stand Your Ground' Verdicts
The nation is now embroiled in a heated debate about these laws, which are in place in at least 21 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Atlantic

Zimmerman verdict renews focus on 'stand your ground' laws
At least 22 states have a similar law, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. azcentral.com

Philly protesters rally for Trayvon Martin, call for end to ‘Castle Doctrine’
Both cases, and others, have created a new debate around “Stand Your Ground” laws, which, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, exist in some form in at least 22 states—including Pennsylvania. Philadelphia Weekly

'Stand Your Ground' Laws Receive Fresh Scrutiny In Wake of Zimmerman Verdict
At least 21 states have a similar law, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Governing

US bridges decay, while politicians focus on ribbon cutting
"When you look at how big the backlog is and how big that spending gap is, the entire stimulus package was less than what it would require to fill a single year's funding gap for just maintenance," said Jaime Rall, transportation senior policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures. NBC News/The Fiscal News

George Zimmerman Verdict Renews 'Stand Your Ground' Law Debate
At least 22 states have a similar law, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Huffington Post

Insurance mandates may be felt in new rates
Under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government allowed states to choose to keep most or all of the existing state mandates already on the books when they were putting together the list of essential benefits that plans offered by the exchange must include, said Richard Cauchi, program director for health issues at the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Day/AP

AAA States Beating Market for First Time Since 2008: Muni Credit
States’ combined collections this year will surpass the record of $670 billion from 2008, according to Todd Haggerty, who tracks budget issues for the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures. Bloomberg

Voter ID foes set for fight
Thirty states have voter ID requirements. Only 11 require photo identification cards. Georgia, Indiana, Kansas and Tennessee have “strict” photo ID requirements, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures in Denver. Times-Leader

NKU seeks to tie state funding to achieving goals
Some figures show it has some impact on graduation rates. One of the first states to adopt this 10 years ago, Pennsylvania, has seen graduation rates increase 10 percent over that time and seen it’s retention rate for Hispanic students increase by 15 percent, the National Conference of State Legislatures reports. Cincinnati.Com

Capital Beat: Early voting? No-excuse absentee ballots? Gardner’s not a fan, but N.H. to study options
Thirty-two states plus the District of Columbia offer some form of early voting, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Concord Monitor

Hill probe takes lawmakers to uncharted territory
The U.S. House has only impeached 18 federal officials, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Brenda Erickson, a policy expert with the conference, added that there have been few impeachments on the state level in recent decades. Wyoming Tribune-Eagle

Recall requires ethics, timing
Wendy Underhill, a policy specialist with The National Conference of State Legislatures, added a caution. "Opponents would say that it might give more of an edge to well-funded special-interest groups who can mount a recall," Underhill said. The Record

Redistricting Wars
Not coincidentally, Iowa also has the country’s most nonpartisan, nonpolitical redistricting process; the National Conference of State Legislatures describes it as “unlike any other state” in this regard. City Journal

The New Federalism: Unplanned, Innovative and Here to Stay
Foreign trade issues, once left almost exclusively to Washington, have become so important that they are finding permanent places on the agendas of such organizations as the National League of Cities and the National Conference of State Legislatures. Governing

Elected officials force courts into DOMA debate
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures website, 29 states define marriage in their constitutions as being between a man and a woman, six states recognize DOMA but allow civil unions, one state does not recognize DOMA and allows civil unions and 13 states plus the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex marriage. Alamogordo Daily News

Lawmakers won't let pay freeze rush pension fix
The National Conference of State Legislatures considers the Illinois General Assembly, which operates from January through May and calls special sessions as needed, a full-time legislative body. AP/Quincy Journal

Remembering A Scholar Who Reshaped States
"He had more influence nationally over state legislatures and their operations in the last 40 or 45 years than anybody else in the country," Bill Pound, the executive director of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), the Newark Star-Ledger. "There's no question about it." NPR

Ruling Due on Pennsylvania Voter-ID Law
Thirty states have laws in place that will require voters to show an ID before voting in November, up from 24 states four years ago, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Wall Street Journal

July 12

Alan Rosenthal, who reshaped legislatures, dies at 81
“He in a lot of ways was the conscience of legislatures,” said Karl Kurtz, the director of the Trust for Representative Democracy at the National Conference of State Legislatures, which itself was shaped by the recommendations in a report by Mr. Rosenthal in the 1970s. “He was always urging them to do better.” The New York Times

University funding tied to student success?
Traditionally, states subsidize schools based on how many students they enroll. But a dozen states now tie funding to performance, four are moving in that direction and another 20 are considering it, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. " The Bend Bulletin

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

(Editorial) Open doors to Olympia with remote testimony
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, several states already provide remote testimony options for citizens. Columbia Basin Herald

Using synthetic urine for drug test can get you fired
Montana is the only state in the United States that does not subscribe to at-will employment, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. lawyers.com

Remembering a scholar who reshaped states
"He had more influence nationally over state legislatures and their operations in the last 40 or 45 years than anybody else in the country," Bill Pound, the executive director of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), told the Newark Star-Ledger. "There's no question about it." Capital Public Radio

How to write a persuasive letter to a legislator
National Conference of State Legislatures: Legislatures and Citizens: Communication Between Representatives and Their Constituents listed as reference. azcentral.com

July 11

Alan Rosenthal, politically influential New Jersey academic, dies
“He had more influence nationally over state legislatures and their operations in the last 40 or 45 years than anybody else in the country," said William Pound, executive director of the National Conference of State Legislatures. "There’s no question about it." New Jersey Star-Ledger

Bill would allow for R.I. database to identify, penalize uninsured motorists
At least 26 states already have uninsured motorist databases. Of that number, eight states outside New England allow their “administrating agencies to contract the creation and administration of these databases to third-parties, agents, or vendors,” according to Anne S. Teigen, a senior policy specialist with the National Conference of State Legislatures. Providence Journal

Quinn suspends lawmakers’ pay — wins political points, risks court fight
In Illinois, 47 percent of lawmakers don’t have outside jobs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Chicago Sun-Times

Reactions to the death of Rutgers political scientist Alan Rosenthal
The Eagleton Institute says he consulted in at least 35 states to improve their legislatures’ functioning and helped develop both a research service at Eagleton and the National Conference of State Legislatures. Asbury Park Press

A Warning for Big Data, 3 Ways to Handle Citizen Feedback, and Why "Experts" Are Often Wrong
Back in December, the National Conference of State Legislatures reported that ten states (compared to just six in the previous year) were over budget in Medicaid and other public health spending. Governing

Pennsylvania attorney general won't defend gay marriage ban
Pennsylvania is one of 35 states that prohibits same-sex marriages, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures in Denver. triblive.com

Tests show few Utah welfare applicants use drugs
Utah is one of at least eight states that have passed legislation requiring testing or screening for public assistance applicants, and similar laws have been proposed in at least 29 states this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Associated Press in necn.com

U.S. politicians hold Scottish Parliament conference
Members of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) held a two-day conference at Holyrood which began on Tuesday. scotsman.com

Alan Rosenthal, former director of Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers, dies at 81
He established and directed Eagleton’s Center for State Legislative Research and Service, was instrumental in the development of the National Conference of State Legislatures, and worked closely with the State Legislative Leaders Foundation and the Council of State Governments. MyCentralJersey.com

(Blog) The legislation will not be televised
At the time of the Report Card, Open States did not include AV documentation in their assessment because the platform does not currently include this information, but this data has recently come to our attention thanks to new research by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). NCSL charted all 50 states (and D.C., Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands) to review how (and whether) they broad- and webcast floor proceedings and committee hearings. The Sunlight Foundation

July 10

Illinois governor pulls legislator pay over pension impasse
Illinois lawmakers are due to receive an annual salary of $67,836, plus $111 per day to cover expenses when the legislature is in session in 2013, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Reuters

Other view: term limits (proposed in Duluth) still are a bad idea
Term limits were sufficiently in vogue in the 1990s for 21 states to impose them on legislators’ service. None has done so since 2000. Since then, either legislatures or the courts in six of those states have lifted the limits, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Duluth News Tribune

Pros & cons of direct-to-consumer advertising
For example, pharmaceutical companies pay about $2.5 billion annually to make their companies and products household names, according to the National Conference of State legislatures. azcentral.com

U.S. politicians attend two-day Holyrood conference
Members of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) are hearing from a variety of speakers, including Holyrood MSP Humza Yousaf.
Terie Norelli, president of the NCSL, said she was looking forward to the event which promised "insight, ideas and opinions." BBC

U.S. politicians to hold conference at Holyrood
Members of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) are having a two-day gathering in Holyrood. Scotsman.com

Rep. Labrador spins immigration bill
CBO estimates that the vast majority of the 8 million would gain legal status as “Registered Provisional Immigrants,” or RPIs. And that’s just the first step toward permanent residency, as explained by the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures. FactCheck.org

July 9

Illinois governor pulls legislator pay over pension impasse
Illinois lawmakers are due to receive an annual salary of $67,836, plus $111 per day to cover expenses when the legislature is in session in 2013, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Reuters

Revised proposal still may deter welfare recipients
Eight states have passed similar drug-testing laws for aid applicants, and another 29 have introduced such bills, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Charlotte Observer

The American job market and the moonlighting Internet entrepreneur
Meanwhile, the National Conference of State Legislatures has found that the national average unemployment rate is still hovering around 7.6 percent, despite an improvement over the same period a year ago. huffingtonpost.com

Grad Students Develop Online Sex Education Curriculum for Kids in North Carolina
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), only 22 states and the District of Columbia require that public schools provide sex education, and two of these states don’t mandate HIV education. Healthline

Live blog: It's 'veto day' at the State House
Twenty-three other states are weighing legislation to increase their minimum wages, according to an assessment by the National Conference of State Legislatures on Feb. 13. pressherald.com

Daily debriefing
In the wake of high-profile campus gun violence, particularly the shooting in Newtown, Conn., over 30 state legislatures have introduced bills that permit staff members in public and private schools to carry guns, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Dartmouth

Guns in schools: districts consider arming staff, but insurers have cold feet
State legislatures are also taking up the issue, with 30 such bills being considered so far this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Associations Now

July 8

The American job market and the moonlighting Internet entrepreneur
Meanwhile, the National Conference of State Legislatures has found that the national average unemployment rate is still hovering around 7.6 percent, despite an improvement over the same period a year ago. huffingtonpost.com

New bill would help veterans claim benefits
The nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures was not aware of any states with pending legislation or laws adding check-off boxes for veterans on their state tax forms, but some states are trying to identify veterans for benefit purposes in other ways, center policy associate Alice Wheet said. Associated Press in ohio.com

Graduation rates, test scores drive higher ed funding
A dozen states now tie funding to performance, four are moving in that direction and another 20 are considering it, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Stateline in huffingtonpost.com

'Ban the Box' would eliminate past crimes from job applications
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 27 states limit or prohibit the use of criminal records in public or private employment and for licensing eligibility. Lincoln Journal Star

Guns-in-school laws causing insurance problems for school districts
The National Conference of State Legislatures reported more than 30 state legislatures introduced school-carry bills this year in the aftermath of the shootings of 20 students and six adults at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school. UPI

LePage vetoes bill to beef up Maine chemical law
Eleven states, including Maine, regulate the chemical's use in food and containers in some manner, according the National Conference of State Legislatures. pressherald.com

Gun safety: insurance companies may succeed where lawmakers failed
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, more than 30 states introduced similar bills allowing teachers to carry guns on school premises at both public and private institutions. msnbc

Major retirement benefits for married same-sex couples
Same-sex marriage is recognized in California, Connecticut, Delaware (as of July 1), Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota (effective Aug. 1), New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island (effective Aug. 1), Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In addition, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois and New Jersey recognize civil unions, according to NCSL. timesunion.com

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

Internet sales tax bill faces tough sell in House
States lost a total of $23 billion last year because they couldn't collect taxes on out-of-state sales, according to a study done for the National Conference of State Legislatures, which has lobbied for the bill. About half of that was lost from Internet sales; half from purchases made through catalogs, mail orders and telephone orders, the study said. Associated Press in wsvn.com

It's difficult to see benefits of local nudists with just the naked eye
They’re from the American Association of Nude Recreation, and they plan to show up in Atlanta next month for the National Conference of State Legislatures. yourdailyjournal.com

Advocates: Florida will have gay marriages someday
Florida is among 35 states that ban same-sex marriage. Thirteen states plus the District of Columbia allow it, and two states have no law on the subject, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Tampa Tribune

(Column) Back home but still busy (by Colorado Representative Ellen Roberts)
In mid-June, I was asked by the National Conference of State Legislatures to attend meetings in Washington, D.C., to discuss the pros and cons of proposed immigration reforms and their potential impacts on the states. cortezjournal.com

Elected officials force courts into DOMA debate
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures website, 29 states define marriage in their constitutions as being between a man and a woman, six states recognize DOMA but allow civil unions, one state does not recognize DOMA and allows civil unions and 13 states plus the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex marriage. Alamogordo Daily News

July 5

Disclosure forms reignite debate over part-time legislature
The National Conference of State Legislatures, which tracks legislative bodies across the country, says New York lawmakers do enough work to be considered full time. wgrz.com

S.C. hospitals waiting for high court's direction
Since then, 15 states have repealed their Certificate of Need programs, most recently Wisconsin in 2011. Regulations vary widely among remaining states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Associated Press in the Times and Democrat

ALEC dues may not be issue in S.D.
Lawmakers could choose between the two traditional groups, the National Conference of State Legislatures and the Council of State Government, and ALEC. ... He said the process is different for NCSL and CSG, which are national non-partisan organizations whose leaders typically rotate annually between Democrats and Republicans. The Daily Republic

Research & Commentary: State incentives for elecric vehicles
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 27 states and the District of Columbia have electric vehicle incentives for 320px-Nissan Leaf 012individuals, and 13 states currently have pending legislation regarding them. Right Side News

July 4

Couple's jobs warrant ethical considerations
Peggy Kerns, director of the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Center for Ethics in Government, said she didn’t see any inherent conflicts of interest in the relationship. However, it would be problematic if Shuren was in a position to award grants or contracts to VPIRG, Kerns said. ... Kerns also pointed to the importance of avoiding the perception of a conflict of interest. “A lot of times it’s the appearance of impropriety. If reasonable people in public think that’s too cozy of an alignment, it can be a problem.” vtdigger.org

HPV vaccine or not?
The HPV vaccine is not required in New Jersey; only Virginia and Washington, D.C., mandate the vaccine, though such legislation has been introduced in at least 24 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Courier-Post

July 3

What happens if you don't have voter ID?
Here's a look at what happens in states that require photo ID under existing laws or laws set to take effect, according to a compilation of voting requirements put together by the National Conference of State Legislatures. lowellsun.com

Supreme Court guts civil rights era voting act
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Alabama is enacting a requirement of picture identification to vote starting in 2014. The Crimson White

Pew on 'parent trigger' laws: commonly enacted, not often used
Versions of parent trigger laws have been proposed in at least 25 states and adopted by seven, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. StateImpact.npr.org

Supreme Court strikes down DOMA
According to National Conference of State Legislatures, only Colorado, Hawaii, New Jersey and Illinois recognize civil unions. Currently 13 states and the District of Columbia allow same-sex marriage. byuicomm.net

July 2

State Supreme Court to rule in Weston prayer death case
More than a dozen states have some form of legal protection for parents who choose to heal their children through prayer rather than seek conventional medical help, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Green Bay Press-Gazette

Police finding local drug smugglers step up technology
Building a hidden compartment or possessing a vehicle with one is legal in Delaware and 45 other states. Only California, Georgia, Illinois, Ohio and Utah currently ban them, said Anne Teigen, a senior policy specialist in transportation for the National Conference of State Legislatures. Courier-Post

The Benefits of Aging in Place
Almost 90% of people over 65 want to live in their home and community as long as possible, according to a report by the AARP Public Policy Institute and the National Conference of State Legislatures. A whopping 80% believe they will stay in their home until they die. Kiplinger

Cooperative Agreement Awarded to National Conference of State Legislatures
The Department of Energy (DOE) today awarded a $4.2 million, five-year cooperative agreement to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), Denver, Colorado to continue their successful partnership with DOE to provide state legislators, legislative staff, and tribal government leaders with information about policies and programs of DOE’s Office of Environmental Management (EM), Office of Indian Energy (IE), and Office of Nuclear Energy (NE). Newsroom America

July 1


New state laws take effect across nation July 1
Virginia has passed a ban preventing authorities from using drones for the next two years, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. USA Today

Parents revolt against failing schools
Versions of parent trigger laws have been proposed in at least 25 states and adopted by seven, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In real life, parent triggers have been attempted only a handful of times. USA Today

From Texas Statehouse to YouTube, a Filibuster Is a Hit
Data from the National Conference of State Legislatures indicates that all 50 states stream live audio of floor proceedings. Most also stream video, but the quality and accessibility varies widely. In some states, lack of funds has caused hardware and software upgrades to be postponed. The New York Times

Police finding local drug smugglers step up technology
Building a hidden compartment or possessing a vehicle with one is legal in Delaware and 45 other states. Only California, Georgia, Illinois, Ohio and Utah currently ban them, said Anne Teigen, a senior policy specialist in transportation for the National Conference of State Legislatures. Lansing State Journal

Neb. lawmakers to scrutinize credit, debit holds
Legislatures in at least a dozen other states have introduced bills to regulate the credit holds since 2003 but few have passed, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. AP/Bloomberg Businessweek

Insurance exchanges largely a mystery
“I don’t know a nice, neat answer,” said Dick Cauchi, a health care researcher with the National Conference of State Legislatures. “Every state is rolling this out a little differently. Certainly, Iowa is not alone in its approach, but we’ll have to wait and see what happens with all the exchanges.” The Gazette

In North Carolina, voting procedure changes loom
The Voting Rights Act changed the South by expanding black voting and black officeholders. In 1965, the 11 Southern states of the Confederacy had three black state legislators. By 2009, the number was 321 of 628 nationwide, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Los Angeles Times

Plan to expand Highway 20 in northwest Iowa stalls
Four states have enacted gas tax increases this year, or increases on their total taxes on gasoline, said Jaime Rall, a senior policy specialist for the National Conference of State Legislatures in Denver. Those states are Wyoming, Maryland, Virginia and Vermont. Des Moines Register

Michigan abortion battle heats up as Right to Life seeks signatures for insurance petition
 As of October 2012, at least 17 states had adopted "opt out" laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Five others already had laws that applied to private policies. MLive.com

Georgiana Vines: Lawmaker Harry Brooks pleased with student testing progress
The two meetings Brooks attended were the Southern Regional Education Board in New Orleans on June 22-24 and another sponsored by the National Conference of State Legislatures and hosted by the Gates Foundation to which committee chairs were invited. It was in Santa Fe, N.M., on June 6-9. Knoxville News Sentinel

Ohio 'frack tax' buried, for now
NCSL data cited. Mansfield News Journal

Their View: Elected officials force courts into DOMA debate
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures website, 29 states define marriage in their constitutions as being between a man and a woman, six states recognize DOMA but allow civil unions, one state does not recognize DOMA and allows civil unions and 13 states plus the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex marriage. Las Cruces Sun-News

Things to watch for as 2013 Legislature draws to a close
A state assessment on hospitals and long-term-care facilities cleared the Senate on a 25-5 vote, more than the 60 percent required. Almost all states (except Alaska) now use some form of provider taxes to recoup more in federal Medicaid funds, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and Oregon has been doing so for a decade. Statesman Journal
 

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