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NCSL in the News March 2013

NCSL in the News Archives

NCSL in the News: March 2013


March 29

Fight against Internet sales tax renewed
The National Governors Association and the National Conference of State Legislatures are pushing for the authority to collect sales taxes on online purchases by residents of any state that has a sales tax. HispanicBusiness.com

Laura and John Arnold Foundation announces release of 50-state survey of laws affecting pre-trial justice
The research, which was carried out by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and funded by LJAF, provides the first comprehensive, state-by-state summaries of existing statutes related to these critical criminal justice issues. The Sacramento Bee

Plastic bag tax proposed by Louisiana lawmaker
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, placing regulations on disposable bags--both plastic and paper--can mitigate harmful impacts to oceans, rivers and lakes and relieve pressure on landfills and waste management. The Times-Picayune

Baton Rouge lawmaker proposes plastic bag tax
The National Conference of State Legislatures says municipalities have enacted bans or taxes on plastic bags, but nothing has been done statewide except in Hawaii, where all counties have banned the bags at checkouts because of environmental concerns.NCSL says lawmakers in eight states besides Louisiana have proposed bag taxes. Associated Press in fox8live.com

Nevada Assembly expels lawmaker
Expulsions of state legislators are infrequent, said Brenda Erickson, senior research analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Wall Street Journal

Should lawmakers work more than 40 days?
For their three months of work, lawmakers will each take home an annual salary of about $24,262—that includes a base salary of $17,342 plus a $173 per diem for each day of the session (Sources: National Conference of State Legislatures; Website of State Rep. Sharon Cooper, R-Marietta). MariettaPatch

New Haven Dems seek early voting test
Mauro said Connecticut needs to catch up with modern times: 32 states now allow some form of early voting, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. New Haven Independent

(Editorial) Free school lunches for all W. Va. students?
More than 35 percent of children in West Virginia are either overweight or obese, pushing the state into the Top Eight states in childhood obesity, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Charleston Daily Mail

(Column) A close look at issues facing N.H. House
These facts have been noticed by many including the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures who warned the House W&MC that the federal government will be cutting spending sooner than later including aide to states. seacoastonline.com

(Opinion) Death and taxes--the only certainty
Wyoming and California have already approved increases on gas taxes. At least 14 other states have either passed similar increases or are considering them, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Ruidiso News

March 28

Arkansas Senate overrides voter ID veto, House to vote
Arkansas is among 19 states where proposals to enact voter ID laws or strengthen existing requirements have been introduced this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Associated Press in trivalleycentral.com

Should the Senate have passed an online sales tax?
The exemption also affects state budgets; the National Conference of State Legislatures estimated that loss of sales tax revenue to online retail cost a collective $23.3 billion last year. U.S. News & World Report

Drugstore clinics: a rapidly growing option for sick people
Retail clinics are increasing in numbers and are becoming so popular that 13 states-- including neighboring Illinois and Indiana--have considered legislation to regulate them, according to a National Conference of State Legislatures report. The Detroit Free Press

States and cities with the highest travel taxes
State and local politicians would rather avoid raising taxes on locals who can boot them out of office, but they also know that tourists can still “vote with their feet” and go where taxes are lower, said Erica Michel of the National Conference of State Legislatures. Stateline

Maine seeks to change law on youth sexting
From 2009 to 2012, at least 20 states enacted laws to specifically address sexting by youths, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Morning Sentinel

$1.2M project will turn Maine State House dome from green to brown
Only nine other states have copper domes, according the National Conference of State Legislatures. pressherald.com
 

March 27

Lawmaker wants restrictions on drone aircraft in New York State
The National Conference of State Legislatures has reported more than 30 states are considering various laws restricting the use of drone aircraft. The Buffalo News

College affordability is a struggle as state aid drops, tuition rises
“A lot of groups are calling for states to figure out a long-term strategy for funding higher ed,” said Julie Bell, the education program director for the National Conference of State Legislatures. “Almost nobody thinks states are going to return to where they were." The Miami Herald and Charlotte Observer

Arkansas lawmakers advance social media privacy bills
Six states--California, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan and New Jersey--have laws that specifically preclude an employer or university from requesting social media account information from their employees or students, according to Pam Greenberg at the National Conference of State Legislatures. Arkansas Business

New Hampshire House votes to repeal 'stand your ground' law
Florida and New Hampshire are among more than 20 states that have such laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Reuters in the Baltimore Sun

New Hampshire House: require retreat before  deadly force 
Laws in at least 20 states say there is no duty to retreat from an attacker in any place the person has a legal right to be, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Associated Press in the Concord Monitor

Bill would allow in-state S.C. tuition for veterans
At least 19 states already allow veterans to pay in-state tuition, either through state law or--like neighboring Georgia--the policy of a college oversight board. Of those, at least 13 extend the benefit to dependents too, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Associated Press in heraldonline.com

Maine House Democrats pass bill to hike minimum wage
However, 23 other states are weighing legislation to increase the minimum wage, according to a Feb. 13 assessment by the National Conference of State Legislatures. pressherald.com

Line Items from PBS News Hour
The Fix drew our attention to a National Conference of State Legislatures map that compiles all of the states' voter ID laws, with a few updates on the most recent and pending bills. pbs.org

The battle over gay marriage, in three maps
A map from the National Conference of State Legislatures identifies the states with civil union and domestic partnership laws. Reposted from The Fix in The Washington Post

Boyd weighs in on election reforms in Florida
Twelve states allow unlimited campaign donations to state legislature candidates, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Herald-Tribune

Prison reforms lead to closing of facilities
Fifteen states--Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington-- have closed prisons during the past two years, according to a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures. HeraldStarOnline.com

Amendment would allow early voting in Massachusetts
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 32 states currently allow early voting and 27 have so-called "no-excuse" absentee voting. Associated Press in masslive.com

Cime Clean of Texas sees increase in synthetic drug use
according to the most recent news from the National Conference of State Legislatures, new chemical mixtures keep surfacing that fall under unregulated categories. Currently, 41 states and Puerto Rico have banned synthetic cannabinoids. prweb.com

'Parent trigger' laws get traction, despite ones already on the books
California was the first state to pass a parent-trigger law; roughly 20 states have at least considered enacting one, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. HispanicBusiness.com

Virginia links abortion, insurance through federal health insurance marketplace
As of last October, at least 17 other states had enacted legislation to restrict abortion coverage in the exchanges, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. medcitynews.com

Is GPS monitoring a misused tool?
By 2008, at least 39 states required or authorized the use of electronic monitoring to track sex offenders, according to the nonprofit National Conference of State Legislatures. The group’s report said at least 11 states, including Wisconsin, require lifetime monitoring of some offenders. Thenorthwestern.com

Maine House OKs 18-plus rule for tanning salons
The National Conference of State Legislatures says California bans the use of tanning beds for all minors under 18. Associated Press in boston.com

A little good news out of Sacramento
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, California still has the highest-paid state lawmakers in the country with compensation that dwarfs second-place New York, which pays $79,500. Daily Democrat

Accused Bensalem school employees could keep part of their pension
In Oklahoma, public worker pensions can be revoked for felony convictions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. phillyBurbs.com

Administrators armed in Colorado district
Figures compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures indicate that most states ban guns on campus, unless they are carried by peace officers, security guards or by employees who have written permission from the schools superintendent. CantonDailyLedger.com

Oregon bike advocates oppose helmet law
More than 20 states and the District of Columbia require bicycle riders of certain ages to wear helmets, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Claimsjournal.com

The country's voter ID laws, in one map
Thanks to a handy map from the National Conference of State Legislatures, you can take a look the voter identification laws in all 50 states. democraticunderground.com

Candidate suspends campaign for Plano school board race
She recently completed a fellowship for the National Conference of State Legislatures to focus on various policy issues. Dallasnews.com

March 26

Man sentenced in Seattle terror plot; Colo. parolee linked to prison chief’s death
Should the bill become law, Arkansas would join the nearly three dozen U.S. states that have similar voter ID measures, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Washington Post

(Opinion) Marriage equality vs. Supreme Court: Our view
Best outcome is a guarantee of equal rights that leaves room for states to decide the means. USA Today cites NCSL data in editorial

California Political Fundraising: New Effort Would Ban Practice While Lawmakers Work
Fifteen states currently ban campaign contributions while lawmakers are in session, though most meet far less frequently than California's full-time Legislature, according to data collected by the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Huffington Post

Arkansas governor vetoes voter photo ID bill
If the override is successful, Arkansas would join four other states with a strict photo ID requirement for voters, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Stuttgart Daily Leader

Concerns raised over reliability of state's GPS monitoring of sex offenders
By 2008, at least 39 states required or authorized the use of electronic monitoring to track sex offenders, according to the nonprofit National Conference of State Legislatures. Fond du Lac Reporter

Rallies for same-sex marriage in Harrisburg, Lancaster
According the National Conference of State Legislatures, 38 states have defined marriage as being between a man and a woman either through their state constitutions or by adopting “defense of marriage” language. fox43.com

Maine board backs ban on BPA in baby-food packaging
If the bans are adopted, Maine will join Connecticut and Vermont in banning BPA in those products, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Kennebec Journal

Google Glass already raising concerns from lawmakers
 But data from the National Conference of State Legislatures in Washington show that the scope of those laws differ by state, such as whether or not it will expand to include mobile devices, if it covers video or audio or both, and how many, if any, people being recorded need to provide their consent. Alaska Dispatch

Lawmaker wants ban on indoor tanning by youth under 18
The National Conference of State Legislatures says 33 states have some sort of regulations regarding indoor tanning by minors. Heritage

Oregon bike advocates oppose helmet law
More than 20 states and the District of Columbia require bicycle riders of certain ages to wear helmets, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. If the bill is passed, Oregon would be one of only three states requiring people to wear helmets up to the age of 18. Medford Mail Tribune

March 25

Senate includes Marketplace Fairness Act in budget resolution
Supporters of the bill -- including Amazon, Walmart, the National Governors Association and the National Conference of State Legislatures -- have described it as protecting downtown retail businesses. They said people use retail businesses as showrooms, then shop online to avoid taxes. The NCSL, which sponsored a lobby day for the bill in December, estimated that collectively states lost $23.3 billion in tax revenue last year from online purchases. Huffington Post

Minnesota's legislators: Are they underpaid?
The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), a professional organization serving both legislators and legislative staff, includes Minnesota in a group of 23 states where legislators spend about two-thirds of their time working at their jobs. ... Morgan Cullen, who tracks legislative compensation for the NCSL, says legislative pay has not kept pace with the demands of the job, particularly as the economy worsened. “Most legislators have foregone salary increases in recent years” and at least five states even reduced compensation, he says. MinnPost

States build cash reserves, raising rainy day debate
States are projected to increase cash reserves collectively by $3.4 billion to $41.4 billion in the fiscal year that for most states ends June 30, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Wall Street Journal

States eye gas tax hikes to cover budget shortfalls, transportation projects
Ben Husch, a National Conference of State Legislatures director, said "numerous states" are now moving to beef up their transportation funding stream, and "these states' bold actions may serve as a model for other states grappling with the same issues." FoxNews.com

Arkansas governor vetoes voter ID bill
Should the bill become law, Arkansas would join the nearly three dozen U.S. states that have similar voter ID measures, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Reuters

(Editorial) Enact a federal online sales tax 
The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates that $23 billion of revenue went unrealized in 2012 due to the inability to compel collection. The Denver Post

States swimming in rising fiscal cash reserves
By the end of the fiscal year this summer, state coffers are projected to be flush with a collective $41.4 billion, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Fiscal Times 

South Dakota OKs training armed teachers, more states could follow 
Many states have provisions that allow school staff with concealed carry permits to possess guns in the classroom but Lauren Heintz, a research analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures, told the New York Times that South Dakota is the first to require its state education department establish a training program for teachers and administrators who wish to carry a weapon on school campuses. outdoorlife.com

Former ethics chief would ban fundraising while California lawmakers work
Fifteen states currently ban campaign contributions while lawmakers are in session, though most meet far less frequently than California's full-time Legislature, according to data collected by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Sacramento Bee


Read more here: http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2013/03/25/2443245/former-ethics-chief-would-ban.html#storylink=cpy

Is GPS monitoring a misused tool?
By 2008, at least 39 states required or authorized the use of electronic monitoring to track sex offenders, according to the nonprofit National Conference of State Legislatures. rivertowns.net

Other voices: more effective sex ed should be the goal
Across the country, 22 states require public schools to teach sex education, and 18 of those require sex education curricula to be medically accurate and/or age appropriate, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Sioux City Journal

March 22

Alabama only state that doesn't require motorcycle license; pending bill would change that
Every other state requires a motorcycle license or a motorcycle endorsement on a regular driver’s license to operate a motorcycle, said Anne Teigen, a policy specialist with the National Conference of State Legislatures.  AL.com

Emotional arguments for and against legalizing gay marriage in R.I.
Thirty-seven states define marriage as the union of one man and one woman, but there are now nine that recognize same-sex marriage, including all the other New England states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Providence Journal

Lawmaker wants ban on indoor tanning by youth under 18
The National Conference of State Legislatures says 33 states have some sort of regulations regarding indoor tanning by minors.  Oakland Press

EDITORIAL: Enact a federal online sales tax
The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates that $23 billion of revenue went unrealized in 2012 due to the inability to compel collection.  The Daily Time

Philly Feuds with Feds over Calorie Counts on Menus
Four states -- California, Maine, Massachusetts and Oregon, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures -- have passed similar policies, but they, too, only focus on calories.  Governing

My Turn: In fact, ALEC’s influence isn’t benign
This is starkly different from the National Conference of State Legislatures, which is made up of state legislators and staff on committees where corporations do not get a vote.  Concord Monitor

Members of Longmont's LGBT community welcome civil unions
Colorado became the sixth state to allow civil unions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures' website. Nine additional states and the District of Columbia allow state-issued marriage licenses, according to the site.  Longmont Times Call

Az lawmaker: Raising contribution limits would boost transparency
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, only Colorado, Maine, Montana had lower individual contribution limits than Arizona during the 2011-12 election cycle.  Tucson Sentinel

Alabama Home Brewing Bill In Works, But For Now State Is Only To Forbid Making Beer At Home
To be fair to Alabama, 19 other states allow first cousins to get hitched too, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  The Huffington Post

March 21

States are not pushing immigration reform
Ann Morse, who runs the National Conference of State Legislatures' immigrant policy project, said interest in immigration is still high at the state level, but there are no longer the big omnibus bills.  GOP USA

Why Alabama should end primary runoff elections
The 11 states that still hold primary runoffs are concentrated in the Deep South, including Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  AL.com

Ga. Lawmakers OK Crackdown on So-Called Pill Mills
Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, West Virginia, Texas, Louisiana, Florida and Mississippi have all recently passed laws targeting such pain clinics, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  ABC News

Lawmakers seek to end federal ban on marijuana
Seventeen other states — Colorado, Washington, Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Oregon and Vermont — and the District of Columbia have medical marijuana laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Desert Sun

More States Consider 'Parent Trigger' Laws
California was the first state to pass a parent-trigger law; roughly 20 states have at least considered enacting one, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Education Week

Editorial: Incarceration of juveniles is often not the best approach
About 65-70 percent of the 2 million youth arrested in the United States each year have some type of mental health disorder, according to a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Herald-Dispatch

Twin Cities schools look to cut spending, even as Capitol plans more funding
Education funding is a top issue for lawmakers across the country this year, according to Dan Thatcher, a policy specialist for the National Conference of State Legislatures.  "It has been a very busy last few years for the education policy world with all these things happening at once," Thatcher said. "This is a time to rethink how education is delivered."  Pioneer Press

Civil unions bill: Boulder County same-sex couples, advocates celebrate 'step in the right direction'
Colorado became the sixth state to allow civil unions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures website. Nine additional states and the District of Columbia allow state-issued marriage licenses, according to the site.  Boulder Daily Camera

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

Arizona Town of Bisbee Plans to Recognize Same-Sex Civil Unions
Although the Arizona Constitution defines a marriage between a man and a woman, it doesn’t appear to forbid same-sex civil unions, said Jack Tweedie, director of children and families program at the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Towleroad

Is This Just a New Way to Get Prayer Inside Schools?
Also, Arkansas already has a statue on the books that allows a teacher or district board of directors to have a brief period of silence at the start of each day with the participation of all students who desire to do so, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Yahoo News

Hawaii senators advance social-media privacy bill
The National Conference of State Legislatures says six states — California, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan and New Jersey — passed legislation last year preventing employers or academic institutions from accessing social media accounts.  Bloomberg Businessweek

Timeline: Gay Marriage In Law, Pop Culture And The Courts
Sources: SCOTUSblog, PBS, IMDb, Gallup, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, NPR.  North Country Public News

Climate change’s impact deserves N.D.’s study
And the Legislature’s own national advisory organization, the National Conference of State Legislatures, has stated that “in the coming decades, a changing climate is likely to affect North Dakota’s economy.” It predicts higher temperatures and worsening droughts.  Grand Forks Herald

Voter ID
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas and Tennessee require voters to present strict photo IDs.  Logan Banner

Bill would abolish Racial Justice Act, not racial justice, supporters say
North Carolina is among 33 states with the death penalty, National Conference of State Legislatures policy specialist Rich Williams said Thursday, March 14.  Lumina News

March 20

Will the Marketplace Fairness Act Succeed in 2013?
Advocates have mixed feelings about seeing the act rolled into the broader tax-reform debate in the first place since "it's still not sure thing," says Neal Osten, director of the National Conference of State Legislatures' Washington, D.C., office.  Governing

Arkansas Voter ID Bill Approved By State Senate, Headed To Mike Beebe's Desk
If it does become law, Arkansas would join the nearly three dozen states that have similar laws on the books, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Huffington Post

Under new health law, battles over who’ll do what
At least 1,795 scope of practice-related bills were introduced in states from 2011-12, and more than 144 were introduced in just the first few weeks of this year, according to a database run by the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Politico

No laws allowing weapons on campus in Florida
Arkansas will join 23 other states that allow individual colleges or universities to decide whether to ban concealed carry of weapons on campus, according to the National Conference of state Legislatures.  Independent Florida Alligator

Highlighting 'vague' law, Santa Fe mayor encourages gay marriage
Nor does it offer civil unions or domestic partnerships to same-sex couples, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  NBC News

Hawaii senators to hear social media bill
The National Conference of State Legislatures says that Hawaii is one of 29 states considering legislation related to social media privacy this year.  Tampa Bay Online

GOP looks to red states' successes for answers
More than half of the nation's legislatures -- many of them Republican-controlled -- have seen measures introduced that aim to nullify the effect of any federal ban on firearms, assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, according to data collected by the National Conference of State Legislatures.  CNN

Oregon Lawmakers Considering Bills To Regulate Use Of Drones To Ensure Privacy
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Oregon is one of more than 30 states considering regulatory action on domestic drones amid concerns that they will be used to spy on Americans.  CBS Seattle

Once-unlikely win for gun control in Colorado
Many of the more than 1,000 bills pending around the country would nullify the effect of any federal ban on firearms, assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  CNN

Bill would create online voter registration system
Stinziano said research from the National Conference of State Legislatures has indicated that Arizona has had success with its online registration system since its creation in 2002.  Daily Legal News

Maine bill would limit ammo magazines to 10 bullets
Meanwhile, several states have bills that would nullify any attempt by the federal government to outlaw high-capacity magazines or assault weapons, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Press Herald

NYC Employers Can’t Refuse to Hire the Unemployed
New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington, D.C. each have laws forbidding jobs ads that require applicants to be employed, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Lawyers.com

Should Teachers Be Armed?
Since Newtown, lawmakers in 27 states have pushed for bills that would allow people, usually staff members and sometimes volunteers, to be armed on campus, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  NBC Bay Area

Why shouldn't voters identify themselves?
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas and Tennessee require voters to present strict photo IDs.  Charleston Daily Mail

AAFP Director Touts Benefits of Team-based Care During Scope-of-Practice Forum
Filer appeared on the panel with Angela Golden, D.N.P., president of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners; Dan Hawkins, senior vice president of public policy and research for the National Association of Community Health Centers; Terie Norelli, president of the National Conference of State Legislatures; and Donna Shalala, Ph.D., former secretary of HHS.  AAFP News

March 19

Colorado governor to sign 3 gun control bills
Over half of the nation's state legislatures have had measures introduced that aim to nullify the effect of any federal ban on firearms, assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  CNN

State Leaders Reach Deal to Raise Minimum Wage
If the wage increase is approved by the Legislature, as expected, New York would join 18 other states with minimum wages above the federal minimum as of the start of this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  New York Times

It’s a hot potato in Washington, but immigration fervor cools in the states
Ann Morse, who runs the National Conference of State Legislatures’ immigrant policy project, said interest in immigration is still high at the state level, but there are no longer the big omnibus bills.  Washington Times

Online Voter Registration Bill Advances in Pa.
The National Conference of State Legislatures says 15 states have approved online voter registration and it's a hot topic elsewhere, with bills circulating in 14 states.  NBC News

Nursing advocate warns against regulating doctor supervision in primary care
Terie Norelli, speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives and president of the National Conference of State Legislatures, added that state lawmakers making decisions about these regulations need data — and the federal government should assist them in that effort.  Politico

New face of GOP: T.W. Shannon, first black speaker of OK Statehouse, moving fast
At just 34, Tahrohon Wayne Shannon is Oklahoma’s first African American Speaker of the House, its youngest ever, and the first African American Republican speaker in the country since Reconstruction, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  The Daily Caller

Sasha Bruce Youthwork Copes With Funding Cuts Amid Growing Youth Homelessness
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, homeless and runaway youth disproportionately suffer from those consequences, and “are more likely to remain homeless and be more resistant to change.”  Huffington Post

Turner Legislation Banning Sale of Synthetic Marijuana Now Law
At least 39 states have legislatively banned synthetic cannabinoids in some form, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Politicker NJ

Teens report 1 in 4 have been abused by a date
At least 19 states have laws that encourage or mandate school boards to develop curricula on teen dating violence, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Arkansas is not among them.  Arkansas Online

Republicans Win Congress as Democrats Get Most Votes
The spending and timing paid off for the Republicans, as they won control of 57 legislative chambers, up from 36 before the 2010 elections, and increased their governorships to 29 from 23, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Bloomberg

Employers and Your Social Networking Accounts
According to National Conference of State Legislatures, the social media privacy legislation has already been introduced and is currently pending in some 29 more states as of 2013.  Business 2 Community

Tarr sees missed chance on transparency
Rosenberg said the National Conference of State Legislatures had given Massachusetts a much higher rating for transparency.  Glocester Times

Tug of War Over Guns On Campus Intensifying
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, a nonpartisan group, 49 out of 50 states have concealed carry weapons laws.  Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Editorial: Make sex ed more effective
Across the country, 22 states require public schools to teach sex education, and 18 of those require sex education curricula to be medically accurate and/or age appropriate, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Lincoln Journal Star

March 18

Guns In Capitols Laws Gain Momentum In States
Eight states allow civilians to carry concealed handguns in their capitol buildings, according to Morgan Cullen, a program analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures.  The Huffington Post
 
States’ rights advocates hoist nullification banner
Lawmakers have also proposed making it a crime to carry out Obama’s federal health-care law. By Jan. 1, 20 states had enacted laws opting out or blocking parts of the law, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. More than 200 such measures have been proposed since 2010.  The Seattle Times
 
Md. Democrats: We’re passing legislation that people want
Maryland is one of 37 states whose legislature and governor’s mansion are controlled by a single party, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and it easily passes much of its most contentious legislation with little to no support from Republicans.  Washington Times
 
TSA to allow knives, but Michigan has ban
Similar laws have been put in place in California and Massachusetts, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Lansing State Journal
 
Guns in dorms: Why did Florida student stash weapons before suicide?
A handful of colleges and universities allow guns on campus, but the University of Central Florida is not one of them. Florida is one of 21 states that ban carrying a concealed weapon on college campuses, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Christian Science Monitor
 
NY seeks to use public dollars to fund campaigns
Nationwide, 14 states offer public funds to at least some candidates to state office, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Elmira Star-Gazette
 
Wisconsin public-private pay comparison mired in uncertainty
Wisconsin also has comparatively high health insurance costs, according to a 2012 study by the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Fond du Lac Reporter
 
Changing U.S. marijuana law is 'uphill sledding'
Seventeen other states have medical marijuana laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Salianas Californian
 
Tribe marries same-sex couple but state won't recognize it
In 2004, Michigan approved a constitutional amendment legally defining marriage as being between a man and a woman. Thirty-seven other states have laws or amendments similarly defining marriage, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  CNN
 
Idaho House kills teen tanning bill
Idaho's latest effort to regulate tanning comes as similar bills are being debated in 25 other states that would tighten or create new restrictions on young people tanning, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  The Olympian
 
Newspaper appeals 911 ruling in Pak case
Thirty-nine states have no restrictions on the release of 911 calls or the information in them, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Rutland Herald
 
Arkansas House Approves Bill Making Gun List Secret
Four additional states - Kansas, Kentucky, Oregon and South Carolina - recently enacted legislation keeping concealed weapons permits secret, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Arkansas Business
 
Fargo Lawmaker Heads Medical Marijuana Initiative
The National Conference of State Legislatures says Montana and 16 other states allow medical marijuana. South Dakota has rejected the idea twice.  KFGO
 
Bill would tie N.C. minimum wage to inflation
Six states — Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont and Washington — have minimum wages tied to the consumer price index, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  The Wilson Times
 
Chambers takes on Pledge requirement
Arizona and Mississippi are considering legislation this year that would require schools to offer students the opportunity to say the pledge daily, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Beatrice Daily Sun
 
Broome takes issue with Greenstein
“My recommendation, as we delve into this issue, is that maybe you should consider non-partisan, bi-partisan organizations,” Broome told Greenstein. She mentioned the National Conference of State Legislatures and the Council of State Governments.  The Advocate
 
Letter: Climate affects farming
And the Legislature’s own national advisory organization, the National Conference of State Legislatures, has stated that “in the coming decades, a changing climate is likely to affect North Dakota’s economy.”  inForum
 
Drones and privacy; Eye in sky: How much can it spy?
Lack of federal policy has led lawmakers in 30 states to introduce legislation to protect citizens' privacy while drones hover overhead, according a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Avionics Intelligence
 
Farmington Rep. Garofalo aims for smaller legislature
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Minnesota has the 21st largest population in the country and the fifth largest legislature.  Farmington Independent
 
Underfunded public pensions: A ticking time bomb
Between 2009 and last year, 44 states enacted changes to their pension systems, such as requiring higher employee contributions, making benefit formulas less generous and raising the retirement age, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Philadelphia Daily News
 
Teen dating abuse is all too common
At least 19 states have laws that encourage or mandate school boards to develop curricula on teen dating violence, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. That’s a good start, Ms. Bonomi says. But it’s hardly enough.  Toledo Blade
 
Approximately 95 bills in 33 states introduced on suspected child abuse
The National Conference of State Legislatures reports states are moving ahead of the federal government in regulating hydraulic fracturing of deep deposits of natural gas so they can be consumed.  The Daily Times
 
Maine seeks to change law on youth sexting
From 2009 to 2012, at least 20 states enacted laws to specifically address sexting by youths, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Portland Press Herald
 
New York flunking health-care navigation
Data sources used to compile the grades included the National Conference of State Legislatures and state-specific enacted legislation and state-specific sites devoted to public transparency of health care prices and quality.  Buffalo Business First
 
Bill Nemitz: Connecting to State House with bunny slippers on
Casavant is hardly the first person to see enhanced democracy in cyberspace. Brenda Erickson, a senior research analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures, has been exploring the possibilities since as far back as 1999.  Kennebec Journal
 
Growing Number of States Act To Block Federal Gun Laws
As of this week, at least 28 states had taken up consideration of gun bills this year, according to new data compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures. More than 70 bills have been put forward in all.  Reason.com
 
Nullification: Old arguments against feds get new life
Lawmakers have also proposed making it a crime to carry out Obama's federal health care law. Twenty states had enacted laws opting out or blocking parts of the law as of Jan. 1, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  GOP USA
 
Advancing the Debate: Should Teachers Carry Guns?
Eight states (Hawaii, New Hampshire, Alabama, Arizona, California, Oregon, Rhode Island and Utah) allow concealed firearms in schools, according to Lauren Heintz, an education research analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures.  Emergency Management
 
Lawmakers take no action on distracted driving
11 percent of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.  Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Admin. National Conference of State Legislatures.  Quad-City Times
 
Pro Breakfast Briefing: Health Care Workforce
Pro Health editor Joanne Kenen will moderate an 8 a.m. panel Tuesday featuring Wanda Filer, director of the American Academy of Family Physicians; Terie Norelli, president of the National Conference of State Legislatures and speaker of the house in the New Hampshire House of Representatives; and former HHS Secretary Donna Shalala, president of University of Miami.  Politico
 
Massachusetts set to lose a congressional seat
Republicans will control 25 legislatures, including Ohio, North Carolina, and Minnesota, boosting its power in statehouses by the most since 1928, the National Conference of State Legislatures says.  WPRI
 
Bill Lueders column: Are former lawmakers cashing in?
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, more than 30 states make lawmakers wait, usually a year or two, before becoming lobbyists.  Green Bay Press Gazette
 
Archuleta County Education Center “Silver Star” Celebration Fundraiser Luncheon
Before joining CLF, Ms. Ferrell led the National Center for School Engagement and the Colorado office of Homeless Youth Services; she worked as an evaluator for Search Institute, a policy analyst in school violence prevention for the National Conference of State Legislatures and a college professor.  Pagosa Daily Post

March 15

Native American artisans add touch of culture to New Mexico Capitol
Kae Warnock, a policy specialist for the National Conference of State Legislatures in Colorado, has visited capitol buildings across the nation. She says New Mexico's capitol is unique. "One of the things that's wonderful about the New Mexico capitol is that they are really embracing that artistic nature of the people of New Mexico," Warnock said. Fronteras

Indiana House updates public on legislation via text messages
This past January, Bosma hosted ‘tweet seats,’ where seats were reserved for certain members of the public to tweet during the governor’s State of the State address. It was the first event of its kind, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Fox59.com

Massachusetts House won't follow Senate in posting roll call votes
Senate Majority Leader Stanley Rosenberg said the National Conference of State Legislatures had given Massachusetts a much higher rating for transparency. The Herald News

Press Herald appeals 911 transcript ruling in Biddeford shooting
Thirty-nine states have no restrictions on the release of 911 calls or the information in them, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Portland Press Herald

Maine legislative panel opposes bill to loosen health care exapnsion requirements
Maine is one of 36 states with Certificate of Need requirements in place, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Maine Sun Journal

Alabama Democrats question GOP stance on women
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, nationally there are about 1,744 women legislators, or 24 percent. Associated Press/DailyLegal News

New York City prohibits discrimination based on employment status
The city joins other jurisdictions that have enacted laws prohibiting discrimination against the unemployed, such as New Jersey, Oregon and the District of Columbia, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures’ website. businessinsurance.com

March 14

Bills take aim at federal marijuana ban
Seventeen other states — Colorado, Washington, Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Michigan and Vermont — and the District of Columbia have medical marijuana laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. USA Today

Illinois doctors, dentists clash over who can give flu shots
The measures reflect an attempt to increase the number of people receiving vaccinations despite the shortage of health care providers, said Amy Winterfeld, a program director focusing on health at the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures, a bipartisan organization. “Can we expand to cover more people and yet at the same time make sure high-quality services are offered?” she asked. “There's a tension between the two.” Crain's Chicago Business

Lawmakers want to know if Louisiana should accept federal Medicaid expansion
But Joy Johnson Wilson, the health policy director for the National Conference of State Legislatures, told lawmakers there is no approved plan for Arkansas so far, just conversations and encouragement for the state to submit a proposal. Associated Press/houmatoday.com

Moms of murdered daughters push Nevada DNA bill
Two dozen states have laws that allow for the collection of DNA from people arrested for various qualifying crimes, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. USA Today

California bills to address expected doctor shortage
Since Feb. 10, at least 144 "scope-of-practice" bills have been proposed in 33 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Associated Press/KFSN-TV

Wisconsin bill would slow down legislators becoming lobbyists
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, more than 30 states make lawmakers wait, usually a year or two, before becoming lobbyists. Beaver Dam Daily Citizen

Voter ID measure advances in Arkansas
Democratic Governor Mike Beebe has not said whether he would sign the bill into law and have Arkansas join the nearly three dozen states that have similar laws on the books, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Reuters

Tanning bed limits under review again in Colorado
Lawmakers in 25 other states consider bills that would introduce or tighten restrictions on young people tanning, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Associated Press/9News

Michigan bill could prohibit indoor tanning under age 18
As of 2012, California and Vermont are the only states banning individuals under 18 years old from tanning salons, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The State News

States challenge federal government on issues from guns to drones
Twenty states had enacted laws opting out or blocking parts of the Affordable Care Act as of Jan. 1, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Stateline

Arkansas House approves bill making gun list secret
Four additional states--Kansas, Kentucky, Oregon and South Carolina--recently enacted legislation keeping concealed weapons permits secret, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Arkansas Business

Oil and gas extraction taxes charged by states
As Illinois lawmakers consider adopting extraction, or "severance," taxes for oil and gas produced through high-volume hydraulic fracturing, the National Conference of State Legislatures provides a list of what other states charge. Associated Press/WREX

Delaware absentee voting requirement may be eliminated
The National Conference of State Legislatures says Delaware is one of 21 states that requires an excuse to vote absentee. The conference says 27 states don't require that. WBOC

Several top Wisconsin GOP lawmakers appearing at D.C. functions 
Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos is introducing House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan Thursday afternoon at a meeting of the National Conference of State Legislatures in D.C. WTAQ

Texas State Representative Howard Maxwell appointed to NCSL Labor, Economic Development Committee
Representative Howard Maxwell (R-Dallas) was recently appointed to serve on the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Labor and Economic Development Committee by House Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge). Dallas-Hiram Patch

Colorado Republicans vow to contest civil union bill lacking religious exemptions 
Currently, nine states, plus the District of Columbia, have legalized same-sex marriage, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Christian Post

(Guest column) An innovative education for Kansas school children
According to an article by the National Conference of State Legislatures, state have implemented several versions of school choice, including vouchers. gardneredge.com

(Blog) Ethics, bipartisanship and sunshine week
In the coming months we hope to hear from the non-partisan National Conference of State Legislatures, to compare Wisconsin’s statues with other states. La Cross Tribune

NCSL to tackle key state tax policy questions
The National Conference of State Legislatures’ (NCSL) Executive Committee Task Force on State and Local Taxation has expanded its scope to include all significant tax policy issues facing the states. Mondaq

March 13

Kansas bill would allow school employees to carry guns
Officials at the National Conference of State Legislatures said other states have granted exceptions to their weapon-free school zones that might be interpreted to allow teachers to carry guns. Fresno Bee

Panel endorses pay raise for Minnesota governor, lawmakers
National Conference of State Legislatures statistics rank Minnesota legislator base pay at 17th nationally, but they also get daily allowances for meals and incidental expenses. The national median legislator base pay in 2012 was $28,000. AP/Pioneer Press

Civil unions bill passes in Colorado legislature
Colorado would become the sixth state to legalize same-sex unions but not gay marriage, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Ten other states have legalized gay marriage. (The Minnesota state legislature this week is considering legislation that would make it the 11th to approve gay marriage.) Washington Post

Advancing the debate: should teachers carry guns?
Eight states (Hawaii, New Hampshire, Alabama, Arizona, California, Oregon, Rhode Island and Utah) allow concealed firearms in schools, according to Lauren Heintz, an education research analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). South Dakota's law is different from all others, though, because it specifically permits school employees -- including volunteers -- to carry guns in schools, Heintz said. Governing

Maine bill would limit ammo magazines to 10 bullets
Meanwhile, several states have bills that would nullify any attempt by the federal government to outlaw high-capacity magazines or assault weapons, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Press Herald

Legislators expand definition of 'unborn child' as it relates to homicide
Arkansas is among 38 states that have laws criminalizing the killing of a fetus, and at least 23 of those cover fetal homicide at the earliest stages of pregnancy, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. AP/Daily Siftings Herald

Should welfare recipients be required to pass drug tests?
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least seven states have passed legislation regarding drug testing or screening for public assistance applicants or recipients.  Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Utah have a screening process in place. UpNorthLive.com

S.C. Early Voting Bill Would Limit Early Voting
North Carolina and Georgia both allow early voting and casting absentee ballots without an excuse, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. All together, 32 states and the District of Columbia allow in-person early voting. Columbia Free Times

Bills in Kansas Legislature would allow school employees to carry guns
Officials at the National Conference of State Legislatures said other states have granted exceptions to their weapon-free school zones that might be interpreted to allow teachers to carry guns. Kansas City Star

Knotts: Early voting is the right choice for SC
Implementing early voting will require additional resources and increased coordination between state and local election officials, but a 10-day window is long enough to make a difference for voters and not so long that it will serve as a serious drain on public budgets. The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that the average window is 19 days. The State

March 12

Easing sequester’s burden on states
NCSL op-ed on how the Marketplace Fairness Act can help offset the federal sequestration cuts. Politico

Anthropology Mocked as U.S. Governors Push for Employable Grads
The effort to hold universities accountable for performance has been under way for two decades, said Julie Davis Bell, the Denver-based education group director for the National Conference of State Legislatures. Bloomberg Businessweek

Civil unions clear Colo. Legislature, head to gov
About a dozen states have civil unions or similar laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. AP/Philadelphia Daily News

Democratic Women's Council offers early endorsement
Further supporting Smith’s argument, South Carolina has only 18 women in its state legislature of 170 representatives and senators, the lowest percentage (10.6) of all 50 states according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Examiner

Commission to use E-Verify in new bid
Neighboring Missouri passed a law in 2008 requiring all public employers and government contractors to use the system, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, while states like South Carolina and Mississippi require all employers over a certain size to use the system. Leavenworth Times

Ark. Senate expands definition of unborn child
Arkansas is among 38 states that have laws criminalizing the killing of a fetus, and at least 23 of those cover fetal homicide at the earliest stages of pregnancy, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. AP/Stuttgart Daily Leader

Press Herald denied script of 911 calls in Biddeford shootings
Thirty-nine states have no restrictions on the release of 911 calls or the information in them, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Press Herald

March 11

South Dakota, in a First, Lets Guns in Class
But South Dakota is the only known state with a statute that specifically authorizes teachers to possess a firearm in a K-12 school, according to Lauren Heintz, a research analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures. New York Times

Public transportation ridership hits highest level since 2008
A report by the National Conference of State Legislatures in 2012 said that the affordability of transit is likely playing a role in the growth of ridership. Washington Examiner

In delegates they trust: Md. House members lead secular prayers
Several dozen legislative chambers across the country permit someone other than the official chaplain — if there is one — to deliver prayers, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Washington Post

Guns On Campus Prove Unpopular Among College Leaders Nationwide
Twenty states currently ban concealed weapons on campuses, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (Arkansas previously made a 21st, but recently passed laws to leave the decision to the individual schools). The Huffington Post

Would early voting increase turnout? Or is it just another expense?
Currently, 32 states plus Washington, D.C., have early voting, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Utica Observer-Dispatch

Utah moves to tax e-cigarettes like regular smokes
The National Conference of State Legislatures says more than 35 proposals calling for some type of regulation of electronic cigarettes have been introduced this year across the country, but Utah seems to be the only state currently proposing that they be taxed like regular tobacco. Las Vegas Sun

Colo. Immigrant Tuition Rate Gets Final House OK
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 12 other states have passed laws to allow illegal immigrants to attend college at in-state rates, including conservative strongholds such as Texas and Utah. AP

Alaska senators seek to get "smart" on crime
His office noted that 14 states have similar laws that make certain drug possession crimes a misdemeanor, while five and the District of Columbia have passed similar sentencing laws in the last three years, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Star-Herald

Illinois deal on fracking could be national model
More than 170 bills were introduced in 29 states last year to regulate oil and gas drilling, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Only 14 became law. Star-Tribune

Panel recommends pay increases for Minn. government leaders
That makes it hard for lawmakers to work a regular job for much of the year. National Conference of State Legislatures statistics rank Minnesota legislator base pay at 17th nationally, but they also get daily allowances for meals and incidental expenses. Post-Bulletin

Tax revenue still on an uneven path
That prediction, which comes from experts at both the National Conference of State Legislatures and the National Association of State Budget Officers, assumes that Washington's belt-tightening isn't too severe. Arizona Daily Sun

New Mexico Confronts Drunken Driving
According the National Conference of State Legislatures, about half the states monitor a drunken-driving offender’s alcohol consumption as part of their sentence, probation or bond, usually through an ankle bracelet. New York Times

Illegal immigrant students apply for state financial aid for first time
Only two other states -- Texas and New Mexico -- give financial aid to this group of students, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Woodland Daily Democrat

Ga. backs relaxing gun laws for mentally ill
For example, Massachusetts allows authorities to deny people a license to carry if applicants have been confined for mental health treatment, according to a survey by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Times-Leader

Utah House approves controversial states’ rights gun bill
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Utah joins Alaska, Kentucky, Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming in passing a similar measure through one legislative chamber. About two dozen states have had proposals introducing similar bills. Salt Lake Tribune

March 8

Maryland might become first to enact statewide 5-cent bag charge
Douglas Shinkle, a senior policy analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures, said momentum for such fees has been growing nationally at a time when cash-strapped states worry that the proliferation of bags in waterways will make it more difficult to comply with strict federal clean-water rules. The Washington Post

New Mexico seeks to ban alcohol sales to DWI convicts
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, about half of the states monitor a drunken driving offender’s alcohol consumption as part of their sentence, probation or bond, usually through an ankle bracelet. The New York Times

Utah moves to tax e-cigarettes like regular smokes
More than 35 proposals calling for some type of regulation of electronic cigarettes have been introduced this year in legislatures across the country, but Utah seems to be the only state currently proposing that they be taxed like regular tobacco, said Karmen Hanson, a tobacco policy analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures. Hanson is unaware of any state with a law like this on the books. Huffington Post

South Dakota law will allow guns in classrooms
There are over 20 states that also allow individual colleges or universities to decide whether to ban or allow concealed weapons on campus, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. PressTV

DiNapoli report: Beware the sequester
In March, the Federal Funds Information for States, a joint program of the National Governors Association and the National Conference of State Legislatures, estimated an impact of $436.2 million in New York State during the remainder of the 2013 federal fiscal year as the result of sequestration. The Albany Times Union

Colorado immigrant tuition rate gets final House OK
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 12 other states have passed laws to allow illegal immigrants to attend college at in-state rates, including conservative strongholds such as Texas and Utah. Associated Press/Sun Herald

Nebraska lawmakers revisit voter ID bill
Janssen, citing figures from the the National Conference of State Legislatures, said 33 states have passed voter ID laws; 16 have passed laws that request or require voters to provide photo IDs; and 17 have passed laws that require IDs, but not necessarily ones with photographs. The Lincoln Journal-Star

Former legislators kicking off new careers as Texas lobbyists
Thirty-five states make former legislators wait during a cooling off period before lobbying, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Dallas Morning News

California Dream Act: 20,000 illegal immigrant students apply for state financial aid for the first time
Only two other states -- Texas and New Mexico -- give financial aid to this group of students, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Oakland Tribune

Friday roundup of Missouri politics
Last year, an expert for the National Conference of State Legislatures listed Missouri as one of two states facing a "new flood of technical challenges" to ballot measures. St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Parent-trigger bills progress in state legislatures
At least seven states have parent-trigger laws on the books, and about 20 states have considered implementing such measures according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Education Week

Crandall set to retire from Legislature later this year
Crandall said he doesn’t plan on officially resigning his seat until later in the year because of leadership commitments he has with the National Conference of State Legislatures, a bipartisan group that provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas. Arizona Capitol Times

Tax revenue on an uneven path
To be sure, most state budgets are finally in the black again, and the 50 states collectively are expected to bring in as much this year as they did in the peak year before the recession. That prediction, which comes from experts at both the National Conference of State Legislatures and the National Association of State Budget Officers, assumes that Washington's belt-tightening isn't too severe. Stateline.org/Daily Herald

States seek to ban employers' social-media snooping
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, some 28 states are weighing legislation addressing the issue in one regard or another in 2013. Right Side News

How the GOP got a lock on the House
Republicans gained nearly 700 seats on Election Day, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, outperforming the 628-seat Democratic gains in 1974, 472-seat Republican gains of 1994, and more than doubling the 322-seat Democratic gains of 2006. Scoop

(Blog) Higher ed, lower expectations
As the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) noted in a recent report 20 years ago the United States “topped the world in the percentage of adults age 25 to 34 with college degrees. Idaho Business Review

March 7

Bill targets prescription drug abuse
What became clear in the testimony of Hollie Hendrikson, a policy specialist for the National Conference of State Legislatures, is that Nevada has a problem with prescription drugs. When it comes to the number of prescription painkillers sold and the number of prescription drug overdose deaths, Nevada's rate is about 65 percent higher than the national average. Las Vegas Review-Journal

Illinois deal on fracking could be national model
More than 170 bills were introduced in 29 states last year to regulate oil and gas drilling, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Only 14 became law. The State Journal-Register

Georgia state lawmakers debate relaxing gun laws for mentally ill
Massachusetts allows authorities to deny people a license to carry if applicants have been confined for mental health treatment, according to a survey by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Associated Press/onlineathens.com

Furthering democracy at the polls
But, as the National Conference of State Legislatures notes in a roundup of states’ election policies, officials from same-day registration states report their procedures have not resulted in increased fraud. The biggest disadvantage, according to NCSL, is the cost of implementing same-day registration. Maryland Gazette.net

Oregon lawmakers advance ban on young teen tanning
The arguments in the often drab and overcast Pacific Northwestern state mirror national discussions on the issue, as lawmakers in 25 other states consider bills that would introduce or tighten restrictions on young people tanning, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Associated Press/U.S. News

Texas lawmaker seeks to overturn abortion waiting period
Similar restrictions have been adopted in 29 other states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Associated Press/KTRK-TV Houston

New York prepares to open office devoted to immigrants
The National Conference of State Legislatures lists dozens of agencies around the country focused on immigrant and refugee outreach. Fox News Latino

Should public school money pay for religious education?
Twelve states plus Washington, D.C., have public voucher programs for students, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, offered to low-income students, special needs students or certain rural students, depending on the state. Lawyers.com

March 6

Bill would require DNA from misdemeanor convicts
If approved, Colorado would become only the second state in the nation to have such a law, according to Rich Williams, a criminal justice policy specialist with the National Conference of State Legislatures. Associated Press/San Francisco Chronicle

Will states go where Congress hasn't on gun laws?
More than half of the nation's state legislatures have had measures introduced that aim to nullify the effect of any federal ban on firearms, assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, according to data collected by the National Conference of State Legislatures. CNN

Illinois governor calls budget plan toughest in state's history
No other state systematically uses the late payment of bills to hospitals, social service agencies and others to the extent that Illinois does to balance its budget, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. WTAQ.com

Washington death penalty foes test Legislature's waters
Several other states have introduced measures this year, including Nebraska, Montana and Maryland, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Associated Press/The News Tribune

Judge could overturn Michigan same-sex marriage ban 
Currently, 37 states have laws or constitutional provisions defining marriage as between a man and a woman, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. USA Today

Groups push to allow college students to be armed
Ohio is one of 21 states that ban concealed carry at institutions of higher education, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. whiotv.com

Bill to ban texting and driving stuck in New Mexico Senate logjam
According to the website of the National Conference of State Legislatures, New Mexico is one of only six states that have no restrictions on texting while driving. The Santa Fe New Mexican

Caylee's Law bill advancing in Maryland House
“According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, as of September 19, 2012, 11 states have enacted legislation criminalizing the failure to report a missing or deceased child. Key variations among the bills include the qualifying age of the missing or deceased child, the length of time in which the child’s guardian must report the incident and the classification of the crime,” a policy note prepared by the Department of Legislative Services stated. Cumberland Times-News

College savings plans more popular than ever
A final word of caution from the National Conference of State Legislatures: Not all states have managed their college savings plans well. Financial Advisor Magazine

(Opinion) Vermont Democrats want more money in politics
Twenty-three states have such laws (to ban direct contributions to candidates) on the books, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Seven Days

March 5

Maryland next state to weigh transportation funding overhaul
The main source of highway funds in about half the states is a motor vehicle fuel tax, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Reuters

Bill bans liquor sales to DWI offenders
If the measure becomes law, New Mexico will join at least Alaska in restricting alcohol sales to some convicted drunken drivers, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Associated Press/Albuquerque Journal

S.C. Senate hearing on bill to allow carrying handguns packs Rock Hill auditorium
At least 16 states already have laws that specifically allow some form of carrying a firearm visibly in public, according to Jon Griffin, a policy associate with the National Conference of State Legislatures. Most of those 16 require some type of permit to visibly carry a weapon. The State

Washington lawmakers consider bill to abolish death penalty
Several other states have introduced measures this year, including Nebraska, Montana and Maryland, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. komonews.com

Whatever happend to S.B. 1070?
Last year, the number of proposed state immigrant bills dropped by 44 percent, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). “States waited for the Supreme Court to rule [on SB 1070],” says Ann Morse, of the NCSL, adding, “so far this year, no omnibus state enforcement bills have been introduced.” ColorLines

States tackle school safety after Sandy Hook shootings
The South Dakota bill (to allow "school sentinels" with guns) has had more success so far than measures in at least 20 other states that would allow some school employees to be armed, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Stateline

Legislation would establish statewide early voting in New Jersey
Currently, two-thirds of the states--32, plus the District of Columbia--offer some sort of early voting, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. politickernj.com

WTAMU student government address Austin about guns on campus
Article includes link to the National Conference of State Legislatures' "Guns on Campus: Overview." NewsChannel10.com

Should schools have more police--or fewer? States disagree
The National Conference of State Legislatures, a nonpartisan research group, told the Center for Public Integrity that in February it began tracking a flurry of school-security legislation in more than 20 states. Center for Public Integrity/Daily Bulletin

Chancellor: Keep guns off Georgia's college campuses
"According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, in 23 states the decision to ban or allow concealed carry weapons on campuses is made by each college or university individually--and from the calls we have made, the states are consistent in implementing policy which keeps guns in the hands of only their law enforcement..." from statement by Chancellor Hank Huckaby. Atlanta Journal Constitution

Ask Stacy: Can you help me clean up my credit history?
In addition, many states limit the ability of employers to check credit. To see what the law is where you live, see this chart from the National Conference of State Legislatures. MoneyTalksNews

March 4

Michigan Senator proposes selling ads on bridges, naming rights to public assets
The National Conference of State Legislatures identified facility naming rights, rest area concessions and shared resource agreements as possible road-funding mechanisms for states as far back as 2006. mlive.com

States wrestle with domestic use of drones
No other state besides Virginia is so close to passing a similar sweeping moratorium, according to a breakdown of drone legislation provided by the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Washington Examiner

Armed teachers: should parents have the right to know?
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Utah is one of the few states that allow teachers with valid permits to carry concealed weapons into public schools. Education Week

Publicly funded lobbying questioned in Wisconsin
Eleven states ban state agencies from using public funds to hire a lobbyist, and four other states have some restrictions on public funding of lobbying, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Wisconsin Reporter

Guns now a possibility on campus
At the time of an August 2012 article on the website for the National Conference of State Legislatures, Arkansas was among 21 states with laws on the book banning conceal and carry handguns on campus. Arkansas State University Herald

Gay marriage case to face extended hearing
Nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized gay marriage to date, while 37 states defined marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman through state law or constitutional amendment, the National Conference of State Legislatures states. Courthouse News Service

(Opinion) Three amendments on tap in Wyoming
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 13 states already have the right to fish, hunt and trap wildlife written into their constitutions. Wyoming Tribune Eagle

Kentucky Senate passes nullification bill on guns
In 2009, Montana and Tennessee enacted legislation that said guns sold within state borders are not subject to federal regulations or taxes, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Associated Press/Lex18.com

The federal sequester and the state budget
The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates the total loss to Massachusetts in FY 2013 at $115 million--significant, but only 0.3 percent of the state's budget. Watertown TAB

No Ohio push for gun insurance
Although the proposal is being considered in other states, none have enacted the requirement, in spite of repeated previous attempts, according to Jon Griffin, a policy analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Marietta Times

Texas lawmakers eye unclaimed lottery money
"It's something we've seen an increased interest in this year," said Jon Griffin, a policy associate at the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Associated Press/Star-Telegram

Traffic cameras widely disliked, but use widens
This year, lawmakers in 22 states have filed more than 100 bills dealing with traffic cameras, says Anne Teigen, a senior policy specialist with the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Arizona Daily Star

Some pushing back against arming Utah teachers
Utah is among a few states that let people carry licensed concealed weapons into public schools without exception, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Associated Press/Cache Valley Daily

Online security tips and reputation management for job-hunters
While the National Conference of State Legislatures says eight states currently restrict use of employer credit checks in the hiring process, and many more have legislation pending, you may still be asked to submit to a credit check. heraldargus.com

Donation caps for statewide candidates in Vermont could edge upward
A chart from the National Conference of State Legislatures outlines donation limits in other states. vtdigger.org

State goal: show costs at hospitals
Ohio is among at least 30 states that require some disclosure of health-care pricing, according to a report last month by the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Columbus Dispatch

Biden apologizes for not being in Selma in 1965
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 32 states have some sort of voter identification law. Those states include Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas, places that also must get Voting Rights Act clearance before enacting new laws. Fox 8 Cleveland

E-fairness proponents hope 2013 Marketplace Fairness Act will collect billions in unpaid online taxes
In Ohio, the estimated $628.6 million in unpaid online taxes is money that could have helped local municipalities pay paramedics and build roads, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Cleveland Plain Dealer

Senators oppose Cuomo's early voting proposal
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 32 states and the District of Columbia have an early voting system that allows registered voters to cast their votes in person before Election Day. auburnpub.com

The battle over gay marriage, in three maps
A map from the National Conference of State Legislatures identifies the states with civil union and domestic partnership laws. The Washington Post

As energy boom nears cities, a backlash grows
Last year, more than 150 bills were introduced in 25 states to regulate energy drilling, said Jacquelyn Pless, an analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures. Only 14, many that define whether state or local governments could regulate the procedure, became law. Associated Press/Star Tribune

Scrutiny of state pensions grows in Maine
Luke Martel, a senior policy analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures, said public pensions are a big concern in many states. ... Since 2009, Martel said, 45 states have enacted changes to retirement plans. In 32 states, the retirement age was increased; in 20 states, cost-of-living adjustments were reduced. Six states have made what Martel called fundamental changes to public pensions by phasing out the defined-benefit plan. Portland Press Herald

Climate a hot topic it the Kansas Legislature
In the last year, at least 13 states tried to delay or reduce their renewable-energy laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Kansas City Star

Illinois House OKs ban on cellphones while driving
As many as 80 percent of the more than 220 million people in the United States who subscribe to wireless services use their phones while driving, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures. Associated Press/Galesburg.com

March 1

Welfare for the rich? Private school tax credit programs expanding
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there were 14 tuition tax credit programs in 11 states as of last fall, and they are spreading. The Washington Post

Texas cigarette buying age would be highest in U.S. under bill
A few states propose raising the smoking age every year, said Karmen Hanson, a program manager at the National Conference of State Legislatures in Denver. Bloomberg Businessweek

Coastal Carolina dorm shooting raises question: Should coeds pack heat?
The remaining states split into two groups, according to a Wall Street Journal report based on data from the National Conference of State Legislatures: Some 24 states, which leave gun policy to individual universities, and 21 states that ban concealed weapons on campus. Yahoo! News

How Alabama compares with other states offering tax credits for school choice
With legislation passed Thursday, Alabama is set to join 11 other states that offer tax credits to parents whose children switch to private schools, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Everything Alabama Blog

Changes likely for sentencing of juvenile murderers
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, mandatory minimum sentences affecting juveniles exist in 26 states and in the federal system. Lincoln Journal Star

(Opinion) ‘Simple and convenient’ voting
But, as the National Conference of State Legislatures notes in a roundup of states’ election policies, officials from same-day registration states report their procedures have not resulted in increased fraud. The biggest disadvantage, according to NCSL, is the cost of implementing same-day registration. Southern Maryland News
    
House panel endorses repeal of N.H.’s 2011 ‘stand your ground’ law
Similar stand your ground laws are on the books in at least 21 states, including New Hampshire, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Concord Monitor


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