NCSL in the News

NCSL in the News Archive: June 2010

June 30

State-by-state immigration policy changes ahead
Joining us here in Washington, D.C., in Studio 3A, is Ann Morse, director of the Immigrant Policy Project at the National Conference of State Legislatures. NPR. More

New coverage for uninsured people in poor health
"Part of the reason those 20 states deferred to the federal government was a concern about the financing," said Richard Cauchi, health program director for the National Conference of State Legislatures. "State budgets are in such tough shape." The Associated Press. More

U.S. governors head for Washington to press for Medicaid funds
“Had it not been for the federal stimulus funds, state fiscal conditions would have been much worse,” said Arturo Perez, who follows state budgets for the National Conference of State Legislatures. BusinessWeek. More

GOP lawmakers blast Quinn for Medicaid budget
The National Conference of State Legislatures has reported that 30 states have built fiscal year 2011 budgets that include the additional Medicaid money. My Fox Illinois. More

Utah voluntarily joins program to E-Verify legal status of workers
Three states - Arizona, Mississippi and Oklahoma - now require all employers to use the program, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. News Chief.com More

Health law provisions kicking in; states prepare for high-risk insurance pool implementation
Members of at least 39 state legislatures have proposed legislation to limit or oppose all or part of the federal law within its state boundaries, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. News Medical.net More

June 29

Want to know what a hospital charges? Good luck
More than 30 states, including Ohio, require hospitals to disclose at least some of their charges, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. MSNBC. More

Robert Byrd successor will be appointed. A good idea?
Of the 12 states that considered legislation to fill Senate vacancies by special election, Connecticut and Rhode Island were the only ones that passed it in 2009, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Christian Science Monitor. More

States' responses to health law mixed
Members of at least 39 state legislatures have proposed legislation to limit or oppose all or part of the federal law within its state boundaries, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Politico. More

Revenue forecasts show state is not done cutting for 2010-11
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, discussions are ongoing in the Senate regarding a scaled-down FMAP package, which has the support of several swing-vote senators. Colorado Statesman. More

Panel to seek solutions to budget hole
Representatives from Gov. Ted Strickland’s Office of Budget and Management and the National Conference of State Legislatures are scheduled to appear at a second meeting scheduled for July 7. Dayton Daily News. More

Yumul, Towai bag Civic Medal of Honor
The National Conference of State Legislatures invited them to attend the NCSL Legislative Summit in Louisville, Kentucky, on July 26 to receive their awards. Saipan Tribune. More

Ohio now 13th fattest state in the country
The bill, statewide is more than $3.3 billion a year, according to the National Council of State Legislators. Blog in Cleveland Plain Dealer. More

June 28

Congress blasts Medicaid hole in states' budgets
"It's going to be another round of difficult decisions," said Corina Eckl, head of the fiscal program at the National Conference of State Legislatures. "Most states are looking at more spending cuts." CNN Money. More

Property tax not popular, but Boise counts on it
Nationally, 38 states permit local sales taxes, although with varying degrees of leeway for the municipalities, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. American Chronicle. More

States ease food safety rules for homemade goods
"If there's a problem with food safety there a lot of people might be affected," said Doug Farquhar, the program director for agriculture for the National Conference of State Legislatures. Associate Press. More

Many Utah tobacco users stocking up as $1-per-pack increase nears
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures website, revenue generation is not the only reason for the tobacco tax increase. Standard Examiner. More

Insurance pools readied in some states
Richard Cauchi, a health policy expert at the National Conference of State Legislatures, said states were pursuing different approaches: At least 21 states, including Alaska, California, Maryland and North Carolina, have high-risk pools and will set up new programs with federal money. Some, including Massachusetts, Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania, do not have high-risk pools and will create and administer new programs with federal money. Some states, like Alabama, Minnesota and Texas, have high-risk pools but will not apply for federal money and will let the federal government run the new pools. Other states, like Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and Virginia, never had high-risk pools and will allow federal officials to run the program within their borders. New York Times. More

Is there a better way than primary runoff for NC?
North Carolina is one of only nine states - all in the South - where runoffs are used regularly in all races, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The AP in the Reflector. More

Republican filibuster of extenders bill will result in massive state layoffs
A total of 30 states had already factored the additional Medicaid money into their budgets, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Only nine states have come up with contingency plans. Most states begin their fiscal years on July 1. Blue Wave News. More

Senate vote a setback for Jackson hospital's plan
A posting on the website for the National Conference of State Legislatures said it's ``not clear when or if there will be further action'' on the bill. CBS 4 (Miami, FL). More

State panel will recommend solutions to fill multi-billion-dollar budget hole
The July 7 meeting will start at 1 p.m. and include comments from the Office of Budget and Management and the National Conference of State Legislatures. Hudson Hub Times. More

Missouri lawmakers to examine pension reform this week
Pension reform is a growing issue nationally, as hard times have hit both state budgets and pension holdings, said Ron Snell, director of state services for the National Conference of State Legislatures. Already in 2010, 12 states have enacted major changes to their pension systems. Kansas City Star. More

The final countdown: Legislature needs to share budget pain, too
It is well known that this state has the highest legislative staff head count of any state in the nation, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures. That is not a positive. Editorial in the Patriot News. More

Florida's hopes for $1B Medicaid infusion are dashed
The National Conference of State Legislatures, which has pushed for the additional Medicaid money, posted a short notice on its website Thursday night saying it is ``not clear when or if there will be further action'' on the bill. Miami Herald. More

Aid to states may be lost as jobs bill stalls
A total of 30 states had already factored the additional Medicaid money into their budgets, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Only nine states have come up with contingency plans. Most states begin their fiscal years on July 1. New York Times. More

Arizona immigration law sparks U.S.-wide followers
Gheen claims that at least 18 states may pass Arizona-style reforms, but the National Conference of State Legislature calls this more a "wish list" than a reflection of likely success. In Pennsylvania, for instance, the issue is being pushed mostly by a single lawmaker. CBC.ca. More

Health policy week in review: Medicare payment cuts delayed; new regulations; extra state Medicaid funding in limbo
Of those states, only nine have contingency plans in place if the money doesn't arrive, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Kaiser Health News. More

San Antonio passes resolution against AZ immigration law
South Carolina, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Michigan are looking at legislation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. KOLD-TV. More

17 states back tough line on migrants
South Carolina, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Michigan are looking at legislation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Sydney Morning Herald. More

Casinos now seen as source of quick cash in many states, including Massachusetts
In 2010, state legislatures are considering some 60 gambling bills, and so far, just under half have failed, and a quarter have been enacted, with the bulk still pending, according to bill tracking data compiled by the National Conference of State  egislaures. Patriot Ledger in Enterprise News. More

June 25

High court: Petitioners' names can be released
Twenty-four states have some form of ballot initiatives, according the National Conference of State Legislatures, and more than half of them supported Washington state's position in this case.  Washington Post. More

The coming redistricting battle
About a dozen states rely on independent commissions to perform redistricting, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Milwaukee Magazine. More

States more willing to repeal mandatory minimums for drugs
The session, in Annapolis, Md., was organized by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices in conjunction with the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National Center for State Courts, and the Pew Center on the States. The Crime Report. More

States getting ahead of themselves
According to a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures, places like California, Colorado, South Carolina and New York, among several others, have either passed or are considering budgets that include the money.  Capitol News Connection. More

Flynn: Liberals incensed because SBOE succeeded
Since then, Speaker Joe Straus has honored me with several important appointments: I am now a member of the Energy Council and expanded service opportunities on the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Task Force for Military and Veterans’ Affairs. Texas Insider. More

Let's get real about harsh anti-immigrant laws and their implications
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 5 other states (South Carolina, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Michigan) are looking at copycat legislation, and as per a Washington think tank, NDN, 17 other states had expressed interest in similar laws. Allvoices.com. More

Activists outside Capitol Hill push for immigration reform
Besides Arizona, the National Conference of State Legislatures says five other states are debating laws to let police ask people they stop about immigration status. KQOR Southern California Public Radio. More

What's the message when many states want an immigration law like Arizona's?
Consider that the National Conference of State Legislatures reports nearly 1,200 bills or resolutions dealing with immigrants were introduced in 45 states in the first three months of this year alone. CNN Jack Cafferty File. More

This summer's travel tax traps
Case in point: Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire all raised the tax on prepared food--which means everything from fast food to high-end restaurants--according to the 2009 State Tax Actions report by the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Forbes. More

June 24

Lawmakers across country taking immigration policy into own hands
Five states -- South Carolina, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Michigan -- are looking at Arizona-style legislation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Washington Post. More

States face less federal medicaid money, more demand
But thirty states have already "budgeted for the Medicaid funds, which would provide additional money for six months beginning Jan. 1. Of those states, only nine have contingency plans in place if the money doesn't arrive, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Kaiser Health News. More

State budgets: serious, ridiculous, ugly
Starting with the 2008 fiscal year, state governments have closed more than $300 billion in cumulative budget gaps, with another $125 billion already projected for the coming years, says Corina Eckl, fiscal-program director at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Before It's News. More

California legislators earned a pay cut
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, even if the California commission had cut pay by an additional 10 percent, lawmakers would still be making far more than their counterparts in other states. Contra Costa Times. More

Morgan says he'll continue fight for medical marijuana
The National Conference of State Legislatures says in 2009 alone, 26 states — ranging from progressive-leaning California to conservative-leaning Alabama — considered bills dealing with medical marijuana. Daily Press. More

State budget cuts not delivering sabings as expected
Collectively, the states' deficits came in at $174 billion last year; the National Conference of State Legislatures estimates the collective budget gap for 2011 at $89 billion. eGov Monitor. More

June 23

States face new pinch as stimulus ebbs
Thirty states have budgeted for the Medicaid funds, which would provide additional money for six months beginning Jan. 1. Of those states, only nine have contingency plans in place if the money doesn't arrive, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Wall Street Journal. More

State budget cuts: across the board, and at cross-purposes
Collectively, the states' deficits came in at $174 billion last year; the National Conference of State Legislatures estimates the collective budget gap for 2011 at $89 billion. Stateline.org More

Attacks on public education and growing resistance
According to a report from the National Conference of State Legislatures, the 50 states must close over half a trillion dollars in deficits by 2013, which could include laying off an estimated 100,000-300,000 teachers this year. Socialist Alternative.org More

DE cell phone ban
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, eight other states, including Maryland, New Jersey and New York, and Washington, D.C., require drivers to use hands-free devices, with Maryland's law going into effect on Oct. 1. WMDT. More

June 22

Casinos now seen as source of quick cash in many states, including Massachusetts
In 2010, state legislatures are considering some 60 gambling bills, and so far, just under half have failed, and a quarter have been enacted, with the bulk still pending, according to bill tracking data compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Patriot Ledger. More

June 21

Congress wants to send more help but not bust budget
But 30 states already have factored in the extra help in preparing their budgets for next year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Palladoim Item News, Indiana. More

State budget panel with $8 billion problem to solve will start meeting June 29
On July 7, the state Office of Budget and Management and the National Conference of State Legislatures will give separate presentations. Clevland Plain Dealer. More

States fear strain as feds curb spending
At least 29 states face serious budget problems because of the unresolved Medicaid situation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Arizona Republic. More

Employment screening: Here it comes, ready or not
Just three states now require all employers to use E-Verify, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Salt Lake Tribune. More

Hawaii waits On civil unions, gay and straight
Five U.S. states and the District of Columbia issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Time Magazine. More

Lobbyists keep working despite convictions
Connecticut bans public officials convicted of crimes in office from serving as lobbyists, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. More

As Ohio budget planning & management commission sets meetings, Medicaid, F-MAP costs loom ominous
In a media release, Sykes, a Democrat, and Jones, a Republican, set June 29 and July 7 as dates the six-member committee have given, respectively, to the Ohio Legislative Service Commission and the state's Office of Budget and Management and the National Conference of State Legislatures to come testify. The commission may schedule additional meetings should they be necessary. Examiner.com (Columbus). More

Amazing Dad: Gary Cuccia
Nationwide, 11 states have enacted laws that address teen dating violence, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, however, only three of them require awareness education for public school students. Parent Dish.com (Blog). More

Standoff over sex offenders
The issues at stake transcend the red-blue divide—it’s foremost a classic battle over states’ rights. “This law created a one-size-fits all approach to classifying, registering and, in some circumstances, sentencing sex offenders,” reads a policy statement by the National Conference of State Legislatures, which advocates on behalf of state lawmakers. “The provisions of the Adam Walsh Act were crafted without state input or consideration of current state practices.” The Crime Report. More

Romanoff: Sen. Bennet "refuses to tell us where he stands."
"Politics doesn't reward modesty, so I'll tell you this: I've been recognized as the best legislative leader in America by the National Conference of State Legislatures." Huffington Post. More

Debate heats up on the Hill over sale of public safety spectrum
Dowd said he was speaking on behalf of a range of state and local government organizations and numerous public safety groups, including the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the National Emergency Management Association, the National Governors Association, and the National Conference of State Legislatures, among others. Next Gov. More

Inside the dire financial state of the states
Starting with the 2008 fiscal year, state governments have closed more than $300 billion in cumulative budget gaps, with another $125 billion already projected for the coming years, says Corina Eckl, fiscal-program director at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Time. More

IN THE STATES: Do high risk pools tell us much about reform politics?
f you want more background reading, check out the National Conference of State Legislatures site. New America. More

Voinovich votes against extending benefits for unemployed
A report by the National Conference of State Legislatures says Ohio is not counting on the money but advocates say it will come in handy. WCPN.org. More

Government shed payrolls amid budget crunches
Earlier in the recession, state officials tried to reduce employee expenses by instituting hiring freezes or furloughs. More than half of states proposed or instituted unpaid leaves in fiscal 2010, said Todd Haggerty, policy associate at the National Conference of State Legislatures. Financial News, USA. More

June 18

Endangered species: Government worker
Earlier in the recession, state officials tried to reduce employee expenses by instituting hiring freezes or furloughs. More than half of states proposed or instituted unpaid leaves in fiscal 2010, said Todd Haggerty, policy associate at the National Conference of State Legislatures. CNN Money. More

Medical marijuana issue crops up in Idaho
Fifteen states, including Montana, Washington, Oregon and Nevada, have laws allowing medical marijuana, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Times-News Magic Valley (Idaho). More

D.C. group backs Washington state initiative to nix new state taxes on pop, candy
In addition to Washington, Colorado has increased taxes on soft drinks, and at least 13 other states have considered doing so, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Seattle Times. More

Roe says feds, BP finally 'on same page'
Nearly 40 state legislatures have proposed legislation to limit, alter or oppose mandates that would require purchasing health insurance, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Times News. More

Next Kan. budget depends on extra federal funds
A majority of states made the same decision in their fiscal 2011 budgets, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. But the exceptions include Missouri and Nebraska. Associated Press. More

Dozen state-employee pensions slashed to cut costs
"You have an almost unprecedented revenue crisis for state governments and an almost unprecedented loss in investment value," said Ron Snell, a pension expert with the National Conference of State Legislatures. "A lot of these issues came together -- it has become a flood tide of action." Scripps News. More

The other financial crisis
Starting with the 2008 fiscal year, state governments have closed more than $300 billion in cumulative budget gaps, with another $125 billion already projected for the coming years, says Corina Eckl, fiscal-program director at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Time in Yahoo News. More

States want Congress to keep extra Medicaid money flowing
Thirty states have crafted budgets for the fiscal year set to begin July 1 based on an extension of the increased payments, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures" Kaiser Health News. More

Hospital warns patients about potential infections
The National Conference of State Legislatures and the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths offer state-by-state lists of laws pertaining to hospital-acquired infections. CNN. More

Will Prop 8 ruling have an impact on other states?
"I have also seen this issue pushed aside since the recession started. States are just so focused on budgets and the shortfalls," said Christine Nelson, a program director at the National Conference of State Legislatures. "I had a legislator tell me 'Are you kidding? Our state needs money and job creation. So why in the world would we be tackling that?'" CNN. More

Still waiting for federal Medicaid funds
“We truly don’t know for sure what’s going to happen,” said Rachel Morgan, senior health policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). “Greater minds than mine will come up with a solution on this.” Politics in Minnesota. More

Senator Landske to award car show's founder's trophy
In her capacity as an Indiana Senator she has served as Assistant President Pro Tempore, Senate,Chairman: Elections Committee,Ranking member: Appointment & Claims and Tax and Fiscal Policy Committees, Member of the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission, Board of Advisors and as Co-Chair: Redistricting Committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures.  All Voices. More

June 17

The other financial crisis
Starting with the 2008 fiscal year, state governments have closed more than $300 billion in cumulative budget gaps, with another $125 billion already projected for the coming years, says Corina Eckl, fiscal-program director at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Time. More

Make funding early education a priority
That was borne out in a recent study by the National Conference of State Legislatures that showed that the Wolverine State was the sixth-worst state for early ed cuts in fiscal 2010. The Detroit News. More

States lobby for Medicaid extension, pharmacists still shut out
Thirty states have crafted budgets for the fiscal year set to begin July 1 based on an extension of the increased payments, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. My Fox Illinois. More

Georgia's medical malpractice cap of $350,000 is overturned
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 30 states have caps on damages in malpractice cases. Cortlandt Forum. More

Idaho not among states asking for more federal Medicaid money
A report by the National Conference of State Legislatures said most states have balanced their budgets assuming that Congress will approve the higher matching rates. Idaho Reporter. More

June 16

Few states change rules post-Blagojevitch
Legislators in New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania are still in session and could act on proposed changes to election law, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Associated Press. More

Massachusetts’s $150 million school bonds beat build Americas
Massachusetts in 1852 became the first state to pass compulsory school attendance laws. It was not until 1918 that every state required children to receive an education, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures website. BusinessWeek. More

Tenn. gubernatorial candidate Wamp decries reach of federal government
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, members of at least 39 state legislatures have proposed legislation to limit, alter or oppose selected federal actions, including single-payer provisions and mandates requiring purchase of health insurance. Kingsport Times News. More

Raising state revenue: The year of the punt
Oklahoma suspended tax credits for restoring historic buildings and for generating wind power. This is “a more palatable action than imposing new taxes or raising rates,” says Corina Eckl, director of fiscal affairs at the National Conference of State Legislatures. Stateline.org More

What happens if your state government shuts down?
The government shuttered non-essential operations for eight days in 2006 before coming to a budget agreement, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. CNNMoney.com More

Even states suing to block health care law plan for its implementation
Similar scenarios are playing out across the country, where every state that's actively challenging the law is at the same time taking steps to implement it, according to a Stateline.org analysis and information compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Lexington Herald Leader. More

Senate OKs ban on drivers' cell phone use
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, seven other states, including New Jersey, Maryland, New York, and Washington, D.C., require or will soon require drivers to use hands-free devices. The News Journal. More

Perdue asks for backup budget
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 30 states have proposed or passed budgets assuming they would get it. NewsObserver.com More

June 15

Immigrant succeeds here, for now
Eleven states allow in-state rates for illegal immigrants if students graduate from state high schools and have two to three years residence in the state, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.Charlotte Observer. More

Dig through new state laws for unique business stories
Check out the National Conference of State Legislatures' directory of state legislatures’ sites. NCSL’s State Legislatures magazine also will help you tune in to trends. Reynolds Center. More

Duncan courts state lawmakers on reform agenda
"Performance pay for teachers didn't fly at all with this group," said Maryland State Sen. Nancy J. King, who is a member of the National Conference of State Legislatures and sits on that organization's education committee. Blog in Education Week. More

More organizations call for allocation of D Block to public safety
Organizations also supporting allocation of the D Block to public safety include the National Governors Association, ... the National Conference of State Legislatures, ... Fire Engineering. More

June 14

State Medicaid assistance should take precedence over deficit
Despite $135 billion in federal stimulus grants over the past two years, states have had to cut nearly $75 billion in spending since 2008, and they still face shortfalls of at least $89 billion, according to the national Conference of State Legislatures. Opinion in the Syracuse Post-Standard blog. More

Senate tries to restore Medicaid to jobs bill
The provision had seemed to be enough of a done deal that at least 33 states as of late April proposed or adopted budgets that took the additional federal dollars into account, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. American Medical News. More

Bill aims to prohibit potent substances
At least 21 states have already passed laws to regulate salvia, and restrictions run the gamut from forbidding sale to minors to outright bans, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures website. The Pacific Daily News in Guampdan.com (Guam). More

Government shutdown would hit New Yorkers all over
The National Conference of State Legislatures reported that some state shutdowns, such as Tennessee’s partial shutdown in 2002, forced suspended classes at public universities and a halt to state-funded construction and issuance of driver’s licenses. The Associated Press in the Bulletin (PA). More

Benefits embattled across U.S.
"You have an almost unprecedented revenue crisis for state governments and an almost unprecedented loss in investment value," said Ron Snell, a pension expert with the National Conference of State Legislatures. "A lot of these issues came together – it has become a flood tide of action." Sacramento Bee. More

Budget: States need Medicaid help
But during the mid-term congressional elections, Congress has balked on approving more money for the states despite the fact that the National Conference of State Legislatures reports that 30 states already plugged the money into their Fiscal Year 2011 budgets. Opinion in the Jackson Clarion Ledger. More

End to federal Medicaid help would hurt Mich.
The states, counting on the money to help with a combined $89 billion in budget shortfalls for 2011, have been left reeling, the National Conference of State Legislatures says, and are stepping up pressure on Congress. Editorital in the Detroit News. More

Having planned for no federal Medicaid boost, Minnesota rests easy while other states scramble
Rachel Morgan, a senior health policy analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures, said lawmakers in Washington know the gravity of the situation for many states. In letters to their congressional delegations, governors from California to Kentucky have warned of dire consequences if funding doesn't come through. "On both sides of the aisle, people know the states need it," Morgan said. St. Paul Pioneer Press. More

Bill takes stab at Pennsylvania pension crisis
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 15 states made adjustments to their pension plans this year. Pittsburgh Tribune Review. More

North Carolina moves to raise limit on oil spill damages
North Carolina is one of at least four states that have introduced legislation in response to the April 20 explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Miami Herald. More

Pension cuts face test in Colorado, Minnesota
To replenish assets, many pensions have reduced benefits to new hires and increased contributions by employees and employers, says Ron Snell, director of the state-Services division for the National Conference of State Legislatures. Wall Street Journal. More

Washington State 911 good samaritan law to prevent ODs now in effect
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Rhode Island are considering similar measures. Stop the Drug War.com. More

Crist vetoes Fla. abortion ultrasound measure
As of May 1, the National Conference of State Legislatures reported Florida was among 14 states with specific requirements for ultrasounds as part the abortion procedure. MSNBC.com. More

HEALTH REFORM: The to-do list for creating state exchanges
Precisely because it is so daunting, a lot of preparatory technical work is going on -- the National Governors Association, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners etc etc are all helping. Blog for the New American Foundation. More

June 11

State bill would strike cap on oil spill damages
North Carolina is one of at least four states that have introduced legislation in response to the April 20 explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. News Observer. More

EDITORIAL: Ethics reform: Fix it.
These include such groups as the National Conference of State Legislatures, which provides supportive information to legislative bodies. Courier Press. More

Term limits will create rookie league in some legislatures
Nationally, 378 legislators in 14 states are term-limited this year, according to an analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures. The list includes 194 Republicans, 180 Democrats and four from other (or no) parties. Stateline.org. More

Alabama Medicaid agency looking to Congress for $197 million in aid
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 29 other states are facing a similar situation as Alabama. The Huntsville Times in the AL.com blog. More

Congress starts reconciling financial reform legislation
The state legislators, through the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL), also asked that state banking, securities and insurance regulators be added to the Financial Stability Oversight Council that would be created through the legislation. P&C National Underwriter. More

Pennsylvania governor: U.S. will fall back into recession if Congress doesn’t approve Medicaid assistance
“Thirty states reported that their budgets, both proposed and enacted, assumed that Congress would extend FMAP,” the National Conference of State Legislatures reported in April. The Daily Caller. More

Michigan's braindead approach to early education
That was borne out in a recent study by the National Conference of State Legislatures that showed that the Wolverine State was the sixth worst state for early ed cuts in fiscal 2010. We whacked funding by more than 20 percent, including child care, pre-kindergarten, home visiting and other programs. Blog in MLive.com. More

June 10

N.J. to decide on enhanced Medicaid funds
Twenty-nine other states are in the same boat, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which says the states planned to receive enhanced Medicaid funds ranging from $33.7 million in New Hampshire to $850 million in Pennsylvania and $1.78 billion in California. Philadelphia Inquirer. More

R.I. general assembly budget includes tax on prepaid cell phones
The action would affect a fast-growing segment of the cell-phone market: The number of prepaid wireless users has risen from less than 6 percent of the wireless marketplace in 2003 to more than 18 percent in 2009, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Providence Journal. More

Gov’t shutdown hits NYers all over
The National Conference of State Legislatures reported that some state shutdowns, such as Tennessee’s partial shutdown in 2002, forced suspended classes at public universities and a halt to state-funded construction and issuance of driver’s licenses. Long Island Business News. More

Smokers unfazed by Pa. tax threat
Rhode Island's is $3.46 per pack, compared with the lowest at 17 cents in Missouri, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures, which includes increases effective July 1. Pittsburgh Post Gazette. More

Legislature returns monies through savings
Since 2003, Virginia has improved its national rankings – dropping from 40th to 46th in the nation in per capita spending on its legislature, while remaining the 12th largest state in population. This data is compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Augusta Free Press. More

Bernanke begs for a double dip recession
"According to an analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures," reports Collender, "in 2011 all 50 states and Puerto Rico are facing an almost $90 billion budget gap." Salon. More

Of grizzlies, women and the language of Southern politics
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, women — on average — make up a quarter of the nation’s 50 state assemblies. At 37 percent, conservative New Hampshire has the highest ratio of female state lawmakers. Atlanta Journal Constitution. More

Nigerians and the revolt in Arizona, USA
The National Conference of State Legislatures says that bills introduced rose from 300 in 2005 to more than 1,500 bills in 2007. BusinessDay. More

Ohio lawmakers say they're ready to pick up the pace on budget work
A second meeting on July 7 would include presentations from the National Conference of State Legislatures and the National Governors Association about how other states are dealing with their budget crises, Jones' letter suggests. Plain Dealer. More

States begging Congress for $24B Medicaid bailout
In a recent survey, the National Conference of State Legislatures found that 30 states already were factoring the money into their budgets for 2011. Kansas City Star.  More

Pennsylvania governor: U.S. will fall back into recession if Congress doesn’t approve Medicaid assistance
"Thirty states reported that their budgets, both proposed and enacted, assumed that Congress would extend FMAP,” the National Conference of State Legislatures reported in April. The Daily Caller. More

June 9

Beneath budget noise in New Jersey, some consensus
At a time when many, if not most, states face their gravest budget crises since the Depression, New Jersey has the third-biggest deficit, as a percentage of revenue, trailing Illinois and Nevada, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The New York Times. More

Democrats restore state medicaid funds to jobs bill (Update1)
“Good news so far,” said Michael Bird, federal affairs counsel for the National Conference of State Legislatures. The group has been urging senators to restore the Medicaid funds. BusinessWeek. More

Medicaid formula could force another NH budget hole
The National Conference of State Legislatures has done an analysis of the FMAP extension and what happens if it isn't renewed. Examiner.com More

Report: NY lobbyists spend freely
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, New York is one of the nineteen states that place no unique limitations on lobbyists. WAMC Northeast Public Radio. More

June 8

La. Senate committee kills welfare drug testing bill
Legislatures in Nebraska, Missouri, Mississippi, Rhode Island, West Virginia, and Oklahoma considered similar legislation this year, but none of those bills gained passage, said Christine Nelson of the National Conference of State Legislatures. AP in the Daily Comet. More

Gov. Steve Beshear urges Kentucky's congressional delegation to support Medicaid extension
Michael Bird, federal affairs counsel for the National Conference of State Legislatures, said voters' growing concern about the federal deficit is the reason the extension was omitted from a $112 billion spending package. Courier-Journal. More
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SDSU students graduating with jobs
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the national unemployment rate is 9.7 percent. Tarbox said despite the current unemployment rate, it was last year’s graduating class that suffered more. The Daily Aztec. More

Medicaid bailout needed
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, states are relying on the money to close more than a fourth of the $89 billion in cumulative budget shortfalls projected for the 2011 fiscal year, which starts on July 1 in 46 states. New York Times Opinion in the News Telegram. More

Oklahoma among five states selected to participate in national public safety forum
The forum is hosted by the NGA Center for Best Practices in cooperation with the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National Center for State Courts and the Pew Center on the States. GRT Newspapers. More

Medicaid funding loss to hurt Pennsylvania
Only nine states have contingency plans to deal with loss of that federal money and Pennsylvania isn't one of them, according to the survey released this week by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Pittsburgh Tribune Review in Insurance News. More

Medicaid cut places states in budget bind
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, states are relying on the money to close more than a fourth of the $89 billion in cumulative budget shortfalls projected for fiscal 2011, which starts on July 1 in 46 states. The New York Times. More

Gregoire keeps pushing for Medicaid extension
Until Thursday, the federal jobs bill had included a $24 billion extension of FMAP funds to the states, but that provision was dropped in the House to whittle down the cost of the bill, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Tricity Herald. More

June 7

Tennessee, Georgia to forgo federal plan
At least 19 states have decided not to participate in the high-risk insurance plan,according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Times Free Press. More

N.C. budget hangs on Capitol Hill's call
North Carolina is one of more than 30 states that already approved budgets or are drawing them up expecting the additional funds, according to research from the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Sun News. More

State eyes $85M hole in budget
All sorts of advocacy groups are gearing up to urge passage of state aid. The National Governors Association and the National Conference of State Legislatures have launched lobbying efforts, and the union representing many state and local government workers has launched a radio advertising campaign. Bangor Daily News. More

Some benefits extended to same-sex partners
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, eight states and the District of Columbia allow same-sex marriage or recognize marriages from other states. Eight other states allow civil unions, or provide at least some spousal rights to domestic partners. The federal government does not recognize same-sex marriage. Federal Times. More

Congress is big player for NC budget negotiations
Now he's not sure what will happen. North Carolina is one of more than 30 states that already approved budgets or are drawing them up expecting the additional funds, according to research from the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Associated Press in the Reflector (N.C.). MoreHow will health care reform affect South Dakotans?
Young adults between the ages 19 and 29 make up 13 million of the 47 million Americans who are uninsured, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, a bipartisan research organization. Rapid City Journal. More

Medicaid: Congress needs to act
The National Conference of State Legislatures in recent days sent a notice to state lawmakers across the nation saying that the additional Medicaid dollars for the states appeared to be "on the ropes" on Capitol Hill. Opninion in the Jackson Clairon Ledger. More

Pennsylvania lawmakers have little incentive to reform
The National Conference of State Legislatures notes that only three other states - California, New York, Michigan - are full time. Editorial in the Philadelphia Inquirer. More

What you may (not) know about breast-feeding your infant could be an eye-opener
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Maryland has laws outlining private and public places as permissible for breast-feeding practices, thereby allowing nurturing to occur naturally in common areas used by the general public. Examiner. More

"Sexting" leads to child porn charges for teens
Pennsylvania's proposed reform is typical of the 20 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, that have considered new sexting laws for minors during the past two years. Five states -- Arizona, Nebraska, North Dakota, Utah and Vermont -- have already adopted changes. CBS News. More

States continue struggling with lower revenues
"Our latest report showed some glimmer of improvement in state revenues," Eckl said. "But many of these projected increases are razor thin, and it wouldn't take much to miss those projections." Courier Journal. More

Medicaid move may widen state budget hole
But New Hampshire is not alone. At least 30 states counted on money from the FMAP extension to balance their state budgets, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. New Hampshire was expecting less money than most — California, for example, planned on getting $1.5 billion. Sentinel Source. More

Medicaid funding loss to hurt Pennsylvania
Only nine states have contingency plans to deal with loss of that federal money and Pennsylvania isn't one of them, according to the survey released this week by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Pittsburgh Post Tribune. More

Majority of states rebuff attempts to repeal health reform
The NCSL's website lists 21 states as having "not passed" or "rejected" bills in 2009 or 2010 -- it excludes Delaware, Illinois, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. Med Page Today. More

June 4

Will third time be the charm for medical pot?
The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that California was the first of 14 states to legalize its use in 1996. In response, the NCSL reports on its website that "the Institute of Medicine issued a report that examined potential therapeutic uses for marijuana. The report found that: 'Scientific data indicate the potential therapeutic value of cannabinoid drugs, primarily THC, for pain relief, control of nausea and vomiting, and appetite stimulation.' . . . Further studies have found that marijuana is effective in relieving some of the symptoms of HIV/AIDS, cancer, glaucoma and multiple sclerosis." Arizona Daily Star.  More

State budgets hitting bottom
Thirty states have crafted 2011 budgets assuming that Congress will extend the extra Medicaid assistance that was part of the federal stimulus package and is set to expire at the end of December, a National Conference of State Legislatures’ report said. Stateline.org. More

Congress threatening nearly $700 million in state aid
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Massachusetts is among 30 states that budgeted for 2010-11 with FMAP money in mind. Only nine states included contingency plans if the cash does not arrive. Daily News Transcript.  More

June 3

Governors' group seeks national education standards
David Shreve, with the National Conference of State Legislatures, says the group supports uniform learning standards as long as they are voluntary and developed by state officials. But he says the process has been hijacked by federal officials, noting the role adopting the standards plays in the Race to the Top competition.
Wall Street Journal. More

Congress pulls back state aid package, leaving a $2-billion hole in California budget
Michael Bird, federal affairs counsel for the National Conference of State Legislatures, said securing the funds would be a challenge. "We've got our work cut out for us," he said. Los Angeles Times. More

As Arizona struggles to defend harsh immigration law, similar legislation spreads to four states
"The problem is we haven't dealt with federal immigration reform comprehensively since 1986, and so the entire system is broken," said Ann Morse. NPR's The Takeaway. More

Democrats’ junket draws GOP ire
The Herald yesterday detailed a bourbon-splashed four-day bash set to be hosted in Kentucky in July by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Boston Herald.  More

Lu-Anns Kentucky news review
The Boston Herald reports on an upcoming trip to the annual convention of the National Conference of State Legislatures to be held next month in Louisville. Writer Dave Wedge says, "Party-hearty Beacon Hill lawmakers are chipping in taxpayer dough to an old Kentucky hoedown where they will schmooze with lobbyists, play the ponies, swill bourbon on Churchill Downs’ 'Millionaires Row' and enjoy a private serenade by Wynonna Judd and Loretta Lynn." Lexington Herald Leader. More 

June 2

States find road and bridge money hard to come by
In fact, says Jim Reed, a transportation expert at the National Conference of State Legislatures, no state this year has increased its gasoline tax, a traditional source of transportation money. Stateline.org. More

State facing threat of $30M deficit
Until Thursday, the federal jobs bill had included a $24 billion extension of FMAP funds to the states, but that provision was dropped in the House to whittle down the cost of the bill, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The News Tribune.More

Onorato seeks legislative reforms
Pennsylvania has the largest full-time and second-most expensive legislative branch in the nation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Times Tribune. More

Fix the ethics reform loopholes
The intent was to exclude legislative support groups such as the National Conference of State Legislatures from reporting requirements. Opinion in the Indiananapolis Star Tribune. More

Medical marijuana headed back to ballot in Arizona
Medical marijuana on ballot for fourth time The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that 14 states and the District of  Columbia now have working laws allowing doctors to recommend marijuana. Yuma Sun. More

On vouchers, columnist ignores shortcomings, challenges
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 76 percent of the taxpayer funds distributed in a recent voucher program in Arizona went to students already enrolled  in private schools. Editorial Tribune-Democrat. More

State all-crimes DNA databank proposed
While 16 states collect DNA from some who commit misdemeanors, New York would become the first with a so-called all-crimes databank, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Wall Street Journal. More

State likely won't receive $340M as expected
Now, the national conference of state Legislatures is letting its members know that while the enhanced match issue is not dead, it's on life support. WSMV-TV. More

Haley officially launches Senate bid
Former Member : Kansas Attorney General’s F.A.T.A.L. Task Force which studied unsafe driver profiles ;  the National Conference of State Legislatures’ (NCSL’s). Kansas City Kansan Blog. More

June 1

Tanning salon customers will have to pay "sin tax"
And at least 12 states last year proposed soda taxes but didn't take action, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. APP.com. More

Parents want info. before ditching year-round calendar
Ashley Wallace, senior policy specialist for the National Conference of State Legislatures, said research found that in the summer, students in year-round schools learn more quickly, but during the school year, students learn more quickly in schools with a traditional calendar than students in year-round schools. St. Louis Suburban Journals. More

Stimulus bill leaves out money Conn. counts on
"There's no question that the states need that money," said Rachel Morgan, a health care policy specialist for the National Conference of State Legislatures. "They just can't agree on how they are going to pay for it." The Connecticut Mirror. More

States passing budget cuts onto local governments
States already have closed more than $174 billion in budget gaps during the 2010 fiscal year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. AP in the Lake Wylie Pilot. More

Loopholes threaten to undermine Indiana's lobby reform law
It lists various legislative support organizations, including the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National Conference of Insurance Legislators, and the National Black Caucus of State Legislatures. INDY.Star. More

Regulation of medical marijuana a struggle nationwide
In an April report, the National Conference of State Legislatures said some states without dispensary regulations are seeing a boom in these businesses, perhaps to gain a foothold before stricter regulations occur. Missoulian. More

Early childhood funding cut
only five states cut early education spending more percentage wise than Michigan in fiscal year 2010, according to a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures. WTVB. More

How HB 1804 came to pass in Oklahoma
This includes bills about refugees and human trafficking, the National Conference of State Legislatures reports. News OK. More