NCSL in the News | March 2016

3/1/2016

March 31

Illinois' epic budget deadlock sets dubious record
CNBC
While most states are busy planning next year's budget, Illinois now holds the dubious record for the longest budgetary foot-dragging in recent memory, according the National Conference of State Legislatures. (Until this week, Pennsylvania had tied with Kentucky, which didn't get around to approving its fiscal 2003 budget until late March of that year, according to the organization.)
 
See the Minimum Wage in All 50 States
TIME
Washington, D.C. and 29 states have rates higher than the federal minimum of $7.25, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

U.S. transgender community fights against ‘bathroom bills’
Reuters
At least 13 other states also have considered so-called bathroom bills targeting the transgender community this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 
  
A $15-Per-Hour Minimum Wage Sounds Good to Voters
Morning Consult
Minimum wage advocates have set their hopes on the states. Several states have set their minimum wage rates at a higher level than the federal rate, including California, which has a current rate of $10 per hour. The District of Columbia clocks in with the highest hourly pay rate at $10.50 per hour, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Massachusetts also has a $10 per hour minimum wage.
  
Maine Senate approves marijuana OUI bill
Press Herald
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 17 states have laws setting limits on THC in the bloodstream while operating a vehicle. 
  
Bill protects Alaskans who won't perform same-sex marriages
KTUU.com
Same-sex marriage has prompted many states to consider protections for religious officials and those who can perform marriages. At least 22 states currently have proposals to address marriage solemnization and religious exemptions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
  
Snyder signs bill making social media accounts like assets
WNDU-TV
The National Conference of State Legislatures says nine other states have passed laws addressing access to email, social media and other website accounts after the owner dies.
  
US transgender community fights against 'bathroom bills'
Daily Mail
At least 13 other states also have considered so-called bathroom bills targeting the transgender community this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
  
A House committee will hear a bill that allows clergy in the state to refuse to perform same sex marriages without fears of legal action
Daily Journal
At least 22 states currently have proposals to address marriage solemnization and religious exemptions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
COLUMN: Democrats Should Check Their Fracking Facts
Rigzone
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the cost could be around $846 billion – the total state tax collections during the heyday of the energy renaissance in 2013. 
 
Gov. Snyder signs bill making social media accounts like assets
UpNorthLive.com
The National Conference of State Legislatures says nine other states have passed laws addressing access to email, social media and other website accounts after the owner dies.
 
What Performance-Based Funding Could Mean For At-Risk Students
GoodCall News
According to the National Conferences of State Legislatures, 37 states already allocate money to performance-based funding or are in the process of doing so with differing standards that determine if a school is top performing.  

Anti-Hemp Injunction Goes Up in Smoke
Courthouse News Service
Twenty-eight states today allow cultivation of industrial hemp in some form, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

March 30

Take Cover Against This Drone Attack
Wall Street Journal
Section 2142 has more to do with federal overreach and corporate advantages than with preventing patchworks of state and local drone laws from thwarting the efficient growth of a nascent industry. That is why the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National League of Cities and the U.S. Conference of Mayors sent letters to heads of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation on March 15 urging them to strike Section 2142 from the reauthorization bill.
 
Tennessee a step closer to online voter registration
The Tennessean
Three other states — Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Florida — have passed similar measures but have yet to implement the system, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Vietnam Veterans honored
Shelby Star
Vietnam Veterans Day is also part of a national effort to recognize the men and women who were denied a proper welcome upon returning home more than 40 years ago, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Clean power debate flares up in Colorado
The Coloradoan
Colorado is among at least 24 states considering legislation this year about Obama’s climate plan, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
  
Illinois legislation would let cities share taxpayer data
Bloomington Pantagraph
Other opponents of the bill include the Council on State Taxation, the Illinois Manufacturer's Association, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National Federation of Independent Business, the Taxpayers' Federation of Illinois, the American Institute of CPAs and the Tax Executives Institute, according to the state Department of Revenue.
  
Bill would allow driverless vehicles to be tested in Rhode Island
The Providence Journal
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, six states and Washington D.C. have enacted some form of legislation allowing for driverless vehicles, while the governors of Virginia and Arizona have made executive orders trying to spark research in the technology.
 
Md. bill would allow preferential hiring of veterans
My Eastern Shore
It is legal in 27 other states, including Virginia, for businesses to give veterans a preference in hiring, according to the National Conference of State Legislators.

Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day' commemorated in Marshall
The Marshall Democrat-News
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures website, most states celebrate "Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day" on March 29 or 30.
  
Poll: California just raised its minimum wage to $15. Should Florida do the same?
Sun Sentinel
Florida’s minimum wage is currently set at $8.05, which is above the federal minimum wage of $7.25, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 28 other states and D.C. are also above the federally designated amount. 
  
Lawsuit challenges transgender restroom law
Elko Daily Free Press
With the law, North Carolina became the first state to require public school and university students to use only those bathrooms that match their birth certificates, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures.
  
Lawsuit challenges NC anti-discrimination law
TriValley Central
With the law, North Carolina also became the first state to require public school and university students to use only those bathrooms that match their birth certificates, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures.
 
LePage: Hike next governor's salary, shrink Maine Legislature
Bangor Daily News
Maine has the 11th-largest Legislature in the nation with 186 members, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. It’s bigger than those in the three most populous states, California, Texas and Florida.
  
7 Ways Sex-Ed Is Shaming Kids In Schools
Romper
But in 2011, approximately 24 percent of new HIV diagnoses were young people ages 13 to 24, according to a 2016 report published by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Sorting The Myths And Facts Of North Carolina's HB 2
WFAE
The National Conference of State Legislatures, a non-partisan group which tracks laws and lobbies on behalf of state legislatures says “HB 2 makes North Carolina the first state to enact legislation officially restricting access to sex specific facilities (like bathrooms or locker-rooms) to correspond with the sex on your birth certificate. – both in schools and otherwise."

March 29

Hawaii Lawmakers Ask How Much Marijuana Is OK While Driving
ABC News
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Colorado, Montana and Washington set the limit at 5 nanograms per millileter of blood, while Nevada and Ohio went with the lower 2 nanograms. Other states provide an exemption for medical marijuana patients. 
 
North Carolina sued over transgender bathroom law
CBS News
With the law, North Carolina became the first state to require public school and university students to use only those bathrooms that match their birth certificates, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures.
 
Bay State pol: 'You can't legislate common sense'
Boston Herald
“Thus far, no states have enacted a law specifically targeting distracted bicyclists or pedestrians,” said Douglas Shinkle, transportation program director for the National Conference of State Legislatures. But he added that “a few states continue to introduce legislation every year.”
  
Arizona officials weigh caucus vs. primary
Mohave Valley News
Dan Diorio, elections policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures, disagreed. He said party-run caucuses often decrease voter participation.
 
Free of court oversight, Ohio youth prisons look to future
Albuquerque Journal
Arkansas, Hawaii, Kansas, South Dakota and West Virginia are among several states that adopted changes to juvenile justice approaches in the past five years, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures.

42000 Sign Petition to Allow Republicans to Bring Guns to G.O.P. Convention
Vanity Fair
In Texas, a new gun law requires people with concealed handgun permits to begin taking their firearms with them to college beginning August 1. Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Utah, and Wisconsin also have laws on the books allowing concealed weapons on campus, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
  
Here's an Early Look at Education Legislation Proposed This Year
Education Week
But thanks to the eagle eyes of the National Conference of State Legislatures, we have at least some early clues about what legislators are thinking about in the...
  
Pa.'s record on voting an affront to its own history
Philly.com
More than two-thirds of the states (37) allow early voting that, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, starts on average 22 days before elections. We don't have that.
  
Transgender Supporters Sue to Keep Bathroom Rights in N. Carolina
Christian Broadcasting Network
According to the National Conference on State Legislatures, the law makes North Carolina the first state in which public school and university students only can use bathrooms that line up with their birth certificates.
 
Lawmaker seeks to make texting while crossing street a crime punishable by $50 fine and jail time
ABA Journal
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, no states have enacted such a law, the Associated Press reports.
  
Tech giants join rebuke of North Carolina law blocking LGBT rights
Wisconsin Gazette
North Carolina is the first state to require public school and university students to use only those bathrooms that match their birth certificates, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures.
 
Many ex-felons don't know they can vote
Standard Speaker
Between 1996 and 2008, 28 states passed laws on felon voting rights. Many of them lifted restrictions, including seven that repealed lifetime disenfranchisement for some people with felony records, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

March 28

One Surprising Way to Get People to Save More
Wall Street Journal
A bill passed by Congress and signed by President Obama in December 2014 cleared the way for banks and other financial institutions to encourage people to save by offering them the chance to win cash prizes. States now need to pass similar legislation, and 15 have done so already, with legislation pending in 12 more states, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
New N.C. Law Draws Fire From Business
U.S. News & World Report
North Carolina is the first state to require public school and university students to use only those bathrooms that match their birth certificates, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures.
  
Walking while texting could soon land you in jail
New York Post
No state has a law specifically targeting distracted pedestrians on the books, according to Douglas Shinkle, transportation program director for the National Conference of State Legislatures.
  
Tech giants join rebuke of law blocking LGBT rights
Yahoo News Digest
North Carolina is the first state to require public school and university students to use only those bathrooms that match their birth certificates, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures.
 
Pa.'s record on voting an affront to its own history
Philly.com
More than two-thirds of the states (37) allow early voting that, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, starts on average 22 days before elections. We don't have that.
  
Following police shootings, experts and departments differ on how to investigate
Virginian-Pilot
Nationally and locally, when a police officer fatally shoots someone, most departments conduct the ensuing criminal investigation themselves. Only two states – Connecticut and Wisconsin – legally require outside investigations in cases of deadly use-of-force by law enforcement, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Attention, students: Cursive writing mandate may be on the way
The Advocate
Similar bills are pending in 11 other states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
  
New Jersey lawmaker: Punish people for texting while walking
The Denver Channel
"Thus far, no states have enacted a law specifically targeting distracted bicyclists or pedestrians," said Douglas Shinkle, transportation program director for the National Conference of State Legislatures. But he added that "a few states continue to introduce legislation every year."
 
Punish people for texting while walking, says US state legislator
China Post
"Thus far, no states have enacted a law specifically targeting distracted bicyclists or pedestrians," said Douglas Shinkle, transportation program director for the National Conference of State Legislatures. But he added that "a few states continue to introduce legislation every year."
 
Despite fast start, legislative progress on ethics reform slows
Fulton Sun
In Kansas, legislators cannot accept gifts worth more than $40. Gifts are banned in Arkansas, Illinois and Iowa, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

Long lines hurt push to end Arizona presidential primaries
Arizona Daily Sun
Dan Diorio, elections policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures, disagreed. He said party-run caucuses often decrease voter participation.
  
GMO labeling debate puts food industry on defensive
Rapid City Journal
State legislators across the nation introduced 101 bills last year pertaining to GMOs. Of the 15 that passed, four had to do with labeling, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
  
Ohio changing youth prisons
NWAOnline
Arkansas, Hawaii, Kansas, South Dakota and West Virginia are among several states that adopted changes to juvenile justice approaches in the past five years, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures.
 
MINIMUM WAGE: Fight is on over $15 pay floor
Press-Enterprise
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures
  
Maryland veterans could receive preferential treatment when seeking employment, bill states
Frederick News Post
It is legal in 27 other states, including Virginia, for businesses to give veterans a preference in hiring, according to the National Conference of State Legislators.
 
New oil springs up in Texas — cannabis oil
Fort Worth Star Telegram
It is legal in 23 states, the District of Columbia and Guam, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Common Core supporters vow to fight ballot question
The Salem News
But at least three states have rejected Common Core — Oklahoma, Indiana and South Carolina — and more than a dozen others are considering doing the same through legislation or at the ballot, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
  
Businesses condemn North Carolina law banning local anti-discrimination ordinances
MPNnow.com
Many similar bills are being considered in state legislatures, but North Carolina is the first in the nation to require public school and university students to use only those bathrooms that match their birth certificates, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures.
 
Briefs: MADD urges Walker to veto sobriety proposal
Politics in Minnesota
North Carolina is the first state to require public school and university students to use only those bathrooms that match their birth certificates, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures.
 
National Basketball Association and business community denounce NC anti-gay law
The Comment
North Carolina is the first state to require public school and university students to use only those bathrooms that match their birth certificates, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures. 
  
South Carolina Senate Oks bill to set up refugee registry
San Francisco Gate
The National Conference of State Legislatures said South Carolina and New York are the only states that have proposed measures to register refugees.

March 25

Major businesses stand against NC anti-discrimination law
Chicago Tribune
Many similar bills are being considered in state legislatures, but North Carolina is the first in the nation to require public school and university students to use only those bathrooms that match their birth certificates, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures.
  
National Briefs: Discrimination bill becomes law in North Carolina
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The National Conference of State Legislatures said South Carolina and New York are the only states that have proposed measures to register refugees.
  
Disney, Marvel are Assembling to Fight LGBT Discrimination in Georgia
Hollywood.com
Georgia’s General Assembly is not alone in passing a religious liberty bill. In fact, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 21 states have some form of a religious freedom act and an additional 15 states considered such legislation last year. 
 
Oregon makes history: Oregon becomes first state to go coal-free
PSU Collegio
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Oregon is matched only by Hawaii, with a 100 requirement by 2045; Vermont, with a 75 percent target by 2032; and California and New York, with 50 percent goals by 2030.
  
Mississippi House Bill Amendment Bans Campaign Money for Personal Use
Lawyer Herald
Based on the records of the National Conference of State Legislatures and AP research,  Mississippi is one of the five states that still permit elected officials to use their campaign funds for their personal use during or after their tenure in the office.  Other states that allow it include South Dakota, Wyoming, Virginia and Dakota.
  
SC Senate OKs bill to set up refugee registry
BlueRidgeNow.com
The National Conference of State Legislatures said South Carolina and New York are the only states that have proposed measures to register refugees.
  
Maryland could be first to hold referendum on fantasy sports
VEGAS INC
That would make Maryland the first state to put the legality of fantasy sports betting directly to the voters, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
What's the buzz? Drones spark concern
The Delaware County Daily Times
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 45 states considered restrictions on drones in 2015.
  
Guns in the Classroom for Kansas Universities
Epoch Times
Eight other states currently have provisions allowing concealed weapons on campus: Arkansas. Colorado, Idaho, Mississippi, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

March 24

Financial Crime: a New Twist on the Sex-Offender Registry
Wall Street Journal 
Registries have proliferated rapidly in the U.S., experts say. While some lists restrict access to law-enforcement agencies or fire officials, others can be viewed online by anyone, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In addition to the 50 states that publicly track sex offenders, five states including California require registration for arson. Minnesota, Illinois and six others maintain lists of methamphetamine producers. In Indiana, a public website lets visitors use Google Maps to find the location of homes that have been used as meth laboratories. Tennessee requires registration for animal abuse— something nine other state legislatures are debating. Florida law requires registration by anyone convicted of a felony of any kind for up to five years after completing the sentence. 

Maryland Could Be 1st to Hold Referendum on Fantasy Sports
ABC News
One Maryland measure would ask voters to decide in November whether to allow commercial daily fantasy sports betting. That would make Maryland the first state to put the legality of fantasy sports betting directly to the voters, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Gov. Tom Wolf's refusal to sign budget bill has a fascinating historical precedent
PennLive.com
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, gubernatorial inaction will result in a bill becoming law in most states, although the particulars vary state to state.

South Carolina senate passes bill to require refugees to register with state
The Guardian
Opponents of the bill said it didn’t fit South Carolina’s oft mentioned Christian values, such as loving one’s neighbors. The National Conference of State Legislatures said South Carolina and New York are the only states that have proposed measures to register refugees.

Measure to hike California's minimum wage to $15 qualifies for ballot
Business Insider
Fourteen states and several cities began the new year with increases to their minimum wage. California and Massachusetts saw some of the biggest hikes among the states, both increasing from $9 to $10 an hour, according to an analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

States rethink primary election costs
Politics in Minnesota
About a third hold primaries for governor, Congress and other races at the same time as their White House primaries to save money on poll workers, locations and ballots, said Wendy Underhill, elections program director with the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Wake County schools may revise Pledge of Allegiance policy
The News & Observer
Forty-five states have statutes addressing the recitation of the pledge in schools, according to Joellen Kralik, a research analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Lots of legislative candidates watching top of the ticket
Columbus Dispatch
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Republicans hold majorities in an unprecedented 68 legislative chambers, including both in Ohio, while Democrats hold 30.

Miss. senators seek to end personal campaign cash use
The Commercial Dispatch
Mississippi is one of only five states that still allow elected officials to pocket campaign money for personal use during or after their careers, based on a survey by the National Conference of State Legislatures and AP research. The others are North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming and Virginia.  

Millennials, Underrepresented, Encouraged to Run for Public Office
Kansas City infoZine
The National Conference of State Legislatures found that in 2015 millennials held 5 percent of state legislative positions while they make up 30 percent of the population.

Report: Preschool funding and school quality should correlate
Education Dive
The National Conference of State Legislatures reports 450 bills with some tie to early childhood are now pending in 46 states, and a recent Education Commission of the States report showed state funding for preschool programs increased in 32 states and in the District of Columbia by $755 million between 2015 and 2016.

Chelsea Walker-Gaskins: 'Silver tsunami' lurking offshore
Charleston Gazette-Mail
In 2013, the National Conference of State Legislatures reported that America is in the midst of a “silver tsunami.” In West Virginia, that wave just got bigger and nobody seems to care.

March 23

Measure to hike California's minimum wage to $15 qualifies for ballot
Reuters
Fourteen states and several cities began the new year with increases to their minimum wage. California and Massachusetts saw some of the biggest hikes among the states, both increasing from $9 to $10 an hour, according to an analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Mississippi Senators Seek to End Personal Campaign Cash Use
ABC News
Mississippi is one of only five states that still allow elected officials to pocket campaign money for personal use during or after their careers, based on a survey by the National Conference of State Legislatures and AP research. The others are North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming and Virginia. 

Lobbying Can Be Done Right if it's Done Honestly
Huffington Post
After all, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, lobbying is simply “a citizen’s right to speak freely, to impact decisions, and petition the government.”
 
Angry Vos vows another run at bill to help limit seizures
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
The National Conference of State Legislatures lists 17 states as having passed measures to allow or condone limited use of CBD products low in THC.
 
McNamara legislation targets prescription drugs, Narcan
Warwick Beacon
“According to the national Conference of State Legislators, overdoses from OxyContin and other opioid pain relievers killed nearly 20,000 Americans in 2014,” said McNamara. “It’s one of the deadliest drug epidemics in U.S. history. 

Proposed Bill Would Change Arizona Presidential Primary To Caucus System
KJZZ
But while the idea sounds like it has merit, Wendy Underhill, elections program director with the National Conference of State Legislatures, said it may be unrealistic."A primary takes polling places, poll workers and it takes printing ballots and it takes IT people, and it takes a whole infrastructure to run it, that’s why the price is high. And whether a party could even think about doing that, that’s an iffy proposition," said Underhill.
 
Session Notes: Medical marijuana for minors bill advances
The CT Mirror
Connecticut is one of 23 states – in addition to Washington, D.C., and Guam – that allow for "comprehensive" medical marijuana programs, but the only one of those that does not allow access for minors, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Dear Sacramento
Comstock's Magazine
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, as of spring 2014, Canada, Puerto Rico and 39 states were offering tax breaks to attract filmmakers.
  
Finding solutions for people with disabilities
Helena Independent Record
This event is possible with the generous support of: National Conference of State Legislatures, Rural Institute, Montana Council on Developmental Disabilities, Parents Let’s Unite for Kids (PLUK) and Disability Rights MT.
  
Ballot fight looms over Common Core
Eagle-Tribune
But at least three states have rejected Common Core — Oklahoma, Indiana and South Carolina — and more than a dozen others are considering doing the same through legislation or at the polls, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Regaining voting rights a battle for ex-felons
The Philadelphia Tribune
Between 1996 and 2008, 28 states passed laws on felon voting rights. Many of them lifted restrictions, including seven that repealed lifetime disenfranchisement for some people with felony records, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Here's How Lawmaker Pay in Illinois Compares to Other States
Patch.com
Using 2015 data from the National Conference of State Legislatures, we've created a map that shows what lawmakers across the U.S. make in base salary and per diem rates.

March 22

Plan eases state voter rules for victims of abuse
The Boston Globe
More than 35 states have programs that keep the addresses of victims of certain crimes out of public records, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Of those states, 30 have laws dealing specifically with voting and voting records, the organization said.
 
As 2016 race goes on, states debate election costs
Las Vegas Sun
About a third hold primaries for governor, Congress and other races at the same time as their White House primaries to save money on poll workers, locations and ballots, said Wendy Underhill, elections program director with the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Where It Costs The Most To Own A Car
Forbes
Average car insurance premiums were based on Insure.com’s 2016 report on state rates; maintenance and repair costs were based on CarMD’s 2014 State repair Cost rankings; annual gas expenses were based on historical costs sourced from AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report, assuming a driver fills up a 14-gallon tank once a week; title and registration fees were reported by the National Conference of State Legislators. 
 
Common Core supporters vow to fight ballot question
Gloucester Daily Times
But at least three states have rejected Common Core — Oklahoma, Indiana and South Carolina — and more than a dozen others are considering doing the same through legislation or at the ballot, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
  
For some Montana office seekers, it's not about winning
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle
Most states have limits on campaign contributions, but Montana and South Carolina may be the only ones requiring candidates to return money when they run unopposed, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures
  
Michigan Is The Most Expensive State In Nation To Own A Car, Says Study
Daily Detroit
Title fees, as reported by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Registration fees, as reported by the National Conference of State Legislatures, calculated annually.

Archdiocese: Sex abuse claims against Dutchess priest 'credible'
Poughkeepsie Journal
The same statute of limitations applies to civil claims as well, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. "The statute provides that actions for civil damages for defined sexual crimes, including sexual abuse of a minor, may be brought within (five) years of the acts constituting the sexual offense."
 
Our View: Stop Arizona's 'Shoot the Samaritan' bill
azcentral.com
The vetting begins with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, which selects only “the most vulnerable” people who have no homes to return to, “such as women head of households, and victims of violence and torture,” according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Many ex-felons don't know they can get their right to vote restored
Citizens Voice
Between 1996 and 2008, 28 states passed laws on felon voting rights. Many of them lifted restrictions, including seven that repealed lifetime disenfranchisement for some people with felony records, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures.
  
For some Montana office seekers, it's not about winning
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle
Most states have limits on campaign contributions, but Montana and South Carolina may be the only ones requiring candidates to return money when they run unopposed, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures

March 21

Latino Groups: Trump Rhetoric Inspiring Anti-Immigrant State Legislation
NBCNews.com
The National Conference of State Legislatures reported that enacted legislation dealing with immigration rose 26 percent last year to 216 enacted laws, compared to 171 in 2014. The total is for all laws.
  
As 2016 Race Goes on, States Debate Election Costs
ABC News
About a third hold primaries for governor, Congress and other races at the same time as their White House primaries to save money on poll workers, locations and ballots, said Wendy Underhill, elections program director with the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Red light camera companies in Arizona violating private eye law, say officials
Fox News
Seven states prohibit use of red-light cameras to issue citations to drivers, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and several more, including Ohio and Florida, have been weighing prohibitions.
 
Should all voter addresses be publicly listed?
The Boston Globe
More than 35 states have programs that keep the addresses of victims of certain crimes out of public records, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Of those states, 30 have laws dealing specifically with voting and voting records, the organization said.

South Carolina, New York State Consider Refugee Registries
NBCNews.com
Mick Bullock, a spokesman for the National Conference of State Legislatures, says there are no state registration laws on the books and the South Carolina and New York measures are the only two now proposed. 
 
Children in the foster system: Aging out, acting out
The Gazette: Eastern Iowa Breaking News
All states provide some sort of independent living services to help these youth transition into adulthood, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), a Denver based group that studies trends in state government.
 
South Carolina, New York State consider refugee registries
Hawaii Tribune Herald
Mike Bullock, a spokesman for the National Conference of State Legislatures, says there are no state registration laws on the books and the South Carolina and New York measures are the only two now proposed.
 
Many ex-felons don't know they can get their right to vote restored
witf.org
Many of them lifted restrictions, including seven that repealed lifetime disenfranchisement for some people with felony records, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures. 
 
Editorial, 3/20: A new option for health care
Lincoln Journal Star
Patients who contract for direct primary care are also encouraged to buy a catastrophic health coverage plan, Riepe wrote for Stateline Midwest, a magazine produced by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
  
'Captive' insurance a viable alternative for state workers
The News Journal
The National Conference of State Legislatures confirmed in January that “Rapidly rising commercial premiums [for state employee health benefits] are impacting state budgets” and have been doing so over the past five years.
 
Campus Carry' violates five basic GOP principles
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer
Oregon is one of seven states with Campus Carry rules, as noted by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
GMO labeling bill narrowly defeated in Senate
Farms.com
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 31 states have pending GMO bills including Vermont, Connecticut and Maine. 
 
How Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff Is Taking a Stand Against Georgia’s ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill
Inc.com
Currently 21 states have RFRA laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 
 
New Parent-Trigger Bills Fail to Gain Traction in States This Year
Education Week
Josh Cunningham, a senior education policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures, checked on whether state legislatures are advancing new parent trigger laws this year for me. 
 
Lawmakers vote to bar welfare cards at casinos, liquor shops
WPRI 12 Eyewitness News
The National Conference of State Legislatures says 25 states have restrictions on how people can use welfare benefits.
 
Cigarette tax hikes are a poor revenue source
Grand Island Independent
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, “Cigarette taxes are not a stable source of revenue.” Why? Because cigarette excise tax increases usually yield lower-than-expected revenues.

More need-based grant funding pushed for college
The Detroit News
In response to higher college costs and debt loads, many states have developed policies to help more students reach their educational attainment goals, and that includes offering more financial aid to students in need, said Dustin Weeden, senior policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Editorial: Gov. Inslee's veto fest wasn't responsible action
Central Kitsap Reporter
The governor’s action was somewhat of a nuclear explosion to the legislative process. According to Brenda Erickson, a senior research analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures, enlisting a blanket veto to force a legislature to act is an uncommon tactic.

March 18

Partisan deadlock: Now showing in a state capital near you
“It has gotten more polarized,” William T. Pound, executive director of the National Conference of State Legislatures, said. “In most places, it is not as bad as at the national level, but it reflects the country.”
 
Georgia passes religious freedom bill
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, some form of religious freedom acts currently exist in 21 states.
 
Lawmakers could bar welfare cards at casinos, liquor stores
The National Conference of State Legislatures says 25 states have some restrictions on how people can use welfare benefits.
 
More need-based grant funding pushed for college
In response to higher college costs and debt loads, many states have developed policies to help more students reach their educational attainment goals, and that includes offering more financial aid to students in need, said Dustin Weeden, senior policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures. “Financial restrictions are why many students choose not to enroll or complete a college education,” Weeden said. “If you target aid to students who need it, that will get a state further along to meet their goal.”
 
Pennsylvania House votes to legalize medical marijuana
The National Conference of State Legislatures says 23 states, Guam and Washington, D.C., have enacted comprehensive public medical marijuana and cannabis programs since California was first in 1996.
 
Pennsylvania Lawmakers Start Debating Medical Marijuana Bill
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 23 states have comprehensive public medical marijuana and cannabis programs. Seventeen also permit the use of “low THC, high cannabidiol” products under limited conditions.
 
Atlanta Earned Income Tax Credit Recipients Shift South
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 1.1 million Georgians received the federal Earned Income Tax Credit in 2015, at an average of $2,692 per person.
 
Where Is Breastfeeding Allowed? Pretty Much Everywhere, As New Mom Caryn Canatell Delightfully Explains
Furthermore, as the National Conference of State Legislatures points out, 49 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have laws that expressly permit breastfeeding in any public or private location. 
 
Naughton bill includes cell phones in loan program for deaf, speech-impaired
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 35 million Americans who are deaf or hard of hearing now rely on texting and smartphone apps for communication.
 
GMO Labeling Law Fails to Pass Senate
Vermont is not alone on the GMO issue -- Connecticut and Maine have also passed legislation on the issue and bills are pending in 31 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures
 
Early voting is not dangerous
Here’s what the National Conference of State Legislatures has to say about early voting: “More than two-thirds of the states - 37, plus the District of Columbia  - offer some sort of early voting…”
 
Everything You've Ever Wanted to Know About Voter ID Laws
The National Conference of State Legislatures has a helpful breakdown of states' voter ID laws and how they vary
 
State House passes medical marijuana bill
The National Conference of State Legislatures says 23 states have enacted comprehensive public medical marijuana and cannabis programs since California passed the first in 1996.
 
What others say: Sabo gave all to strengthen democracy
He encouraged Minnesota to become a model for legislative operations, and was recognized with the presidencies of the National Conference of State Legislatures and the National Legislative Conference.

March 17

The Folly of Under-Educating the Undocumented
The Atlantic
Suzanne Hultin, a policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures, says that connecting higher education and the economy has become one of the defining aspects of states’ immigration debates. “Why should education end in high school when we know that the majority of students, in order to get some sort of well-paying job, will need some form of postsecondary education?” she asks.
  
US Senate blocks bill that would override state GMO labeling laws
Reuters
Connecticut and Maine have passed GMO labeling laws similar to Vermont's, but those are on hold until other states enact similar measures. GMO labeling bills are pending in 31 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
How N. Carolina may be blocking 218000 voters from polls on Tuesday
Yahoo News
But compared to other states, North Carolina’s laws are considered “non-strict” by the National Conference of State Legislatures. In the Tar Heel State, voters without acceptable ID can cast provisional ballots by signing an affidavit that promises “reasonable impediment.”
     
Panel advances push to restrict felons from seeking office
The Advocate
Because the laws are set by each state separately, the rules vary from state to state, research from the National Conference of State Legislatures shows. Several states already place similar time-based restrictions on felons running for office or restrict by crime committed. Many specifically bar those who have been convicted of corruption charges, such as bribery.
  
Education tax credit program passes Maryland Senate
WYPR
Sixteen states have similar programs already, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
  
Georgia Governor Questions Campus Guns Bill to NRA Backlash
Diverse: Issues in Higher Education
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 23 states leave the decision to ban or allow weapons up to the individual colleges and universities, and 19 states ― including Georgia ― currently ban concealed weapons on campuses.

Senate panel approves bill on felon voting rights
Lexington Herald Leader
Thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia currently allow automatic restoration of felon voting rights, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Toxic Tort and Environmental Litigation: TSCA Reform: Current Status
JD Supra
Indeed, just a few weeks ago, on February 12, 2016, the National Governors Association and the National Conference of State Legislatures sent a joint letter to Senate and House leadership reminding them that states play "an important role in regulation where federal action has been delayed or absent," and setting an expectation that "[t]he ability of states to develop and impose standards pending final EPA rules on some or all of the substances addressed by TSCA should be maintained."
 
Harvey not running for re-election
Greybullstandard
During her 14 years of service Harvey also served on several national task forces and chaired the Health Committee for the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) for two years
 
Certificate of Need: '70s Remnant Shows Its Age
Managed Care magazine
Today, 36 still have some form on the books, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, although, as Brock Slabach of the National Rural Health Association notes, they’re not as strict as they once were.

Gov. Deal calls for changes to 'campus carry' bill
Examiner Gazette
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, seven other states now allow people to carry concealed weapons on college campuses: Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Utah and Wisconsin
 
Illinois unemployment rate near the worst in the US
KFVS
The land of Lincoln is fourth from dead-last behind Mississippi at 6.9 percent, Alaska at 6.6 percent, New Mexico at 6.5 percent, according to the National Conference of State Legislators. 

March 16

Most Who Get Measles Aren't Vaccinated: American Medical Association Study
NBCNews.com
Connecticut, Illinois, South Dakota, Vermont and West Virginia have all passed legislation in the past year tightening those requirements, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

House Committee Targets Medicaid, CHIP Cuts for Budget Savings
Bloomberg BNA
In most states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the cost of the tax is paid back to providers as an increase in the Medicaid reimbursement rate for their patient treatment and services. 

Georgia Campus Carry Bill Violates Republican Party Principles
Huffington Post
Oregon is one of seven states with Campus Carry rules, as noted by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Washington poised to become first state to track all rape kits
The Olympian
“I have not heard of a tracking system enacted with such specificity in law,” Richard Williams, a criminal justice policy specialist with the National Conference of State Legislatures, said in an email last week.

Maryland bill on parental rights after rape may stall
Delmarva Daily Times
According to a National Conference of State Legislatures report, 22 states allow courts to terminate a convicted rapist’s parental rights.

Wolf's reform plan targets campaign cash, gifts to lawmakers
The Sentinel
Only 12 states impose no contribution limits on individual donors, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Michigan law would require hospitals to post list of fees for services
ModernHealthcare.com
The National Conference of State Legislatures, however, says evidence is not yet readily available to show whether all-claims payer databases actually do reduce costs. At least 11 states have implemented such a database, while others are working toward one. 

State lawmakers begin medical marijuana debate
Examiner Gazette
The National Conference of State Legislatures says that 23 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Guam, allow for comprehensive public medical marijuana programs, while 17 states allow some use of marijuana products that are low in THC, the main psychoactive compound. Democrat Joseph Petrarca said the group concluded medical marijuana is a tool for doctors to help people. 

Reform plan targets campaign cash, gifts
Indiana Gazette
Only 12 states impose no contribution limits on individual donors, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

March 15

Wolf's reform plan targets campaign cash, gifts to lawmakers
Washington Times
Pennsylvania does not limit the amount of money any one person can give to a political campaign, making it an outlier among states. Only 12 states impose no contribution limits on individual donors, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The issue has not been seriously considered by Pennsylvania lawmakers in recent years.

How we got here: The many attempts to reform immigration, secure the border
USA TODAY
NCSL Source Cited

Martin Olav Sabo: He gave his all to strengthen democracy
Minneapolis Star Tribune
He encouraged Minnesota to become a model for legislative operations, and was recognized with the presidencies of the National Conference of State Legislatures and the National Legislative Conference.
 
Tenth Circuit Questions Quill's Endurance
JD Supra
We discussed Alabama’s regulation requiring out-of-state sellers with sufficient sales to collect sales tax regardless of physical presence, as well as draft legislation circulated to the states by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).
 
After Mass. House OK, Senate Takes Up Uber Regulations
Insurance Journal
Nearly 30 states have already passed laws regulating ride-hailing services in some way, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
'In God We Trust' draws debate over its public display
Spartanburg Herald Journal
Ten states — Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah — allow or require the motto in schools and public buildings, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. South Carolina, Illinois and Pennsylvania are all considering similar legislation.
 
Share The Road With Cyclists Safely
Osprey Observer
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, a bicycle safety policy that has gained significant interest in state legislatures (including Florida’s) is the 3-ft. law, ensuring that when passing bicycles, motor vehicles allow adequate space to avoid sideswiping bicyclists or causing them to overcorrect to avoid a vehicle.
 
State House close to vote this week on medical marijuana
Sunbury Daily Item
The National Conference of State Legislatures says that 23 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Guam, allow for comprehensive public medical marijuana programs, while 17 states allow some use of marijuana products that are low in THC, the main psychoactive compound.
  
Behind Jay Inslee's most radical move
Crosscut
Brenda Erickson, a senior research analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures, said that using a blanket veto to force legislative action is uncommon, but not unheard of. Erickson said she knew of only two other recent instances when governors had used similar blanket veto threats to force action by state legislatures.
 
Early voting is no more dangerous or beneficial than voter identification
DeSoto Times-Tribune
I supported voter identification and I likewise support early voting and online voter registration. But let’s examine the reality of early voting laws in the country. Here’s what the National Conference of State Legislatures has to say about early voting:

March 14

How State Revenuers Are Going After E-Commerce
Wall Street Journal
In January a task force of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) voted to send out model legislation that lawmakers could use to undermine current precedent. The NCSL’s president, Utah state Sen. Curtis Bramble, argued a novel theory that “states have the ability to enact legislation to overturn” the Quilldecision, according to an article in Bloomberg BNA.
 
GMO labeling debate puts food industry on defensive
Chicago Tribune
State legislators across the nation introduced 101 bills last year pertaining to GMOs. Of the 15 that passed, four had to do with labeling, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 
 
Georgia could take closer look at fantasy sports websites
The Macon Telegraph
"To our understanding, there is no obvious trend or correlation between the states as to why each of them acts one way or another," said Jake Lestock, a policy associate with the nonpartisan National Council of State Legislatures, which tracks policies across states. Daily fantasy sports, state attorneys general and state lawmakers have given them a lot to watch. "After the legislative sessions conclude in mid-summer, we might then be able to determine if any trends actually exist," Lestock said.
  
Why a National Internet Sales Tax Is a Really Bad Idea
Fortune
Legislators in at least a dozen states are currently trying to pass such bills. This effort is being organized by the National Conference of State Legislatures, which has made the enactment of online sales taxes—so-called “E-Fairness legislation”—one of its top priorities. The group claims this would ensure that online and brick-and-mortar retailers play by the same tax rules. But it would do nothing of the sort.
 
Pennsylvania House close to vote this week on medical marijuana
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The National Conference of State Legislatures says that 23 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Guam, allow for comprehensive public medical marijuana programs, while 17 states allow some use of marijuana products that are low in THC, the main psychoactive compound.

After House OK, Senate goes to bat on Uber regulations
Boston Herald
Nearly 30 states have already passed laws regulating ride-hailing services in some way, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Authors of the House bill say it would make Massachusetts one of the first to create a two-tiered criminal background check for drivers, the first to be conducted by the company and the second by state regulators.

Rauner pushes for increase in performance-based higher education funding
Journal Gazette and Times-Courier
37 states have some form of performance-based funding for universities or community colleges or are in the process of phasing it in, according to an update last summer from the National Conference of State Legislatures. 
 
Missouri religious objections measure passes Senate
MicroCap Magazine
Missouri is among more than 20 states that have Religious Freedom Restoration Acts on the books, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Nine states are considering legislation on the topic this year.
 
Everything You've Ever Wanted to Know About Voter ID Laws
Truthdig
The National Conference of State Legislatures has a helpful breakdown of states’ voter ID laws and how they vary.

'In God We Trust' draws debate over its public display
Police News
Ten states — Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah — allow or require the motto in schools and public buildings, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. South Carolina, Illinois and Pennsylvania are all considering similar legislation.
 
After House OK, Senate goes to bat on Uber rules
Eagle-Tribune
Nearly 30 states have already passed laws regulating ride-hailing services in some way, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 
  
Daylight Saving Time 2016: List of life-saving things to do besides clock change
Examiner.com
The key word in the above news report is “working” smoke alarm. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), most states require working smoke alarms and/or carbon monoxide detectors
  
Georgians debate guns on campus
NWAOnline
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, seven other states now allow people to carry concealed weapons on college campuses: Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Utah and Wisconsin. 
  
Missouri Senate moves to guard 'sincere religious belief'
Press Herald
Missouri is among more than 20 states that have Religious Freedom Restoration Acts on the books, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Nine states are considering legislation on the topic this year.
 
Using Trumpisms to illustrate Utah's legislative work
Deseret News
"Tremendous." Sen. Curt Bramble is the president of the National Conference of State Legislatures. For any other human, this would be a major distraction during the session. But nothing stopped the Provo dynamo from being the go-to guy on several tough issues.
  
Legislature passes several bipartisan bills easily on last night
Beckley Register-Herald
As of Aug. 2015, powdered alcohol had been banned in Alabama, Alaska, Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
  
Pennsylvania Works to Provide 'Normalcy' for Foster Youth
The Chronicle of Social Change
This legislation requires that child welfare agencies provide foster youth aging out of care with a birth certificate, Social Security card, health insurance, medical records, and a driver’s license or state identification card, according to a report on the National Conference of State Legislatures’ website.
  
Iowa Poll: Majority want police to wear body cameras
DesMoinesRegister.com
In 2015, at least 37 state legislatures considered some form of body-camera legislation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Altogether, 19 states have some kind of law on body cameras, according to the Denver-based group.
 
The 74 Fact-Check: All the Ways Donald Trump and Ted Cruz Flubbed on Ecucation at Thursdays Debate
The Seventy Four
Adopting those standards won a state 40 points out of 500 possible, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
  
How Did I Miss That? Hot Iditarod; Oklahoma Shakes
Indian Country Today Media Network
The National Conference of State Legislatures reported that legislatures in 45 states considered 168 drone regulations last year.
 
Nearly half of Napa County adults are prediabetic, study finds
Napa Valley Register
Diabetes accounted for about 6 percent of all health care costs in 2012. The National Conference of State Legislatures estimated diabetes cost this country $245 billion dollars in 2012 ($27 billion more than in 2007).
 
Alaska Campus Carry; More Power for The Board of Regents?
AmmoLand Shooting Sports News
The National Conference of State Legislators claims that 23 states allow campuses to decide for themselves whether to ban concealed weapons or not.

March 11

West Virginia Lawmakers Want Welfare Drug Testing
Huffington Post
If Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D) signs the bill into law, West Virginia will join 13 other states that have passed welfare drug testing bills in the past five years, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  

Missouri Religious Objections Measure Passes Senate
ABC News
Missouri is among more than 20 states that have Religious Freedom Restoration Acts on the books, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Nine states are considering legislation on the topic this year.

Family dismayed by vote to block seizure-disorder treatment
Kansas City Star
House lawmakers blocked a measure that would have allowed doctors to prescribe preparations of the compound, called cannabidiol, that were low in THC, an intoxicant in marijuana. Seventeen states had passed such a law as of mid-January, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
  
Gov. Tom Wolf talks to the Reading Eagle
Reading Eagle
The state's minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, which mirrors the federal minimum wage. Currently, 29 states along with the District of Columbia have minimum wages higher than $7.25 per hour, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. - See more at: 
  
Maine lawmakers spurn marijuana OUI bill
Press Herald
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 17 states have laws that make it illegal to have certain levels of THC in the bloodstream while operating a vehicle.
  
Nearly half of Napa County adults are prediabetic, study finds
Napa Valley Register
Diabetes accounted for about 6 percent of all health care costs in 2012. The National Conference of State Legislatures estimated diabetes cost this country $245 billion dollars in 2012 ($27 billion more than in 2007).
  
Rep. Naughton bill would mandate face protection for certain girls’ softball positions
Warwick Beacon
 In 2011, more than 55,000 high school football players and 29,000 young soccer players sustained concussions during practice or competition, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  

Bill to drug test welfare recipients on its way to governor
WSAZ-TV
The National Conference of State Legislatures says at least 13 states have public assistance drug testing.
  
Everything you've ever wanted to know about voter ID laws
NMPolitics.net
The National Conference of State Legislatures has a helpful breakdown of states’ voter ID laws and how they vary.
  
Capitol Digest: Hands free at last
Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier
Fourteen states, including Illinois, have a hand-held phone use ban, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

Shut out: is Florida's closed primary system bad for democracy?
Creative Loafing Tampa
Four states currently follow that model, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. About half use some kind of “hybrid” model, and it’s often the parties that choose whether to exclude non-affiliated voters.
  
Red light, speed cameras: Friend or foe?
Auto Insurance Center
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, more than 400 U.S. communities use red-light cameras, and more than 40 communities in the U.S. use cameras to enforce speed laws. 

March 10

West Virginia Lawmakers OK Drug Testing Welfare Recipients
ABC News
At least 13 states have drug testing for public assistance, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

How states rate on issue of tampon tax across the country
Washington Post
NCSL Cited
  
Legislature passes bill expanding access to overdose antidote
Alaska Dispatch
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 44 states and the District of Columbia currently have laws providing immunity to medical professionals who prescribe or dispense the rescue drug.
  
Dent wants to ax straight-party voting
Reading Eagle
Pennsylvania is one of just nine states that still allow voters to pick all the Republican or Democratic candidates with a single punch or mark on the ballot, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The option - to mark a single box or press a single button to choose all candidates from one party - has been abolished by 10 other states in the last 20 years. 
 
It’s illegal to have a rain barrel in Colorado, but that may be about to change
Mother Nature Network
Record droughts and a host of other water-supply worries have prompted numerous other states to enact laws that impact the use of rain barrels, according to Katie Meehan, a research analyst with the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), a non-partisan group that monitors the nation’s state law-making bodies. States in which legislatures have passed statutes affecting rain water harvesting are Arkansas, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and the U.S. Virgin Islands. More information about the water harvesting laws in these states is available on the NCSL website.
  
Offshore tax bill passes Colorado House
Longmont Times-Call
Today, five states and the District of Columbia have a similar requirement, according to the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures — Alaska, Montana, Oregon, Rhode Island and West Virginia.
  
Legislature passes bill expanding access to overdose drug
Bryan-College Station Eagle
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 44 states and Washington, D.C., currently have laws providing immunity to medical professionals who prescribe or dispense the rescue drug.
  
Haley, military supporters seek end to military retiree tax
The Herald
A full state income exemption for military retirement is offered by 18 other states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Partial exemptions are available in 16 states.
 
Audit: State ethics panel fraught with problems
Grand Junction Daily Sentinel
“The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that 42 states have established 51 ethic commissions across the country, which on average employ 15 staff each, with Colorado being one of only eight state commissions that employ a single full-time equivalent staff member or less.”

March 9

Missouri considers campus concealed carry gun laws
USA TODAY
Suzanne Hultin, an NCSL policy specialist, said about two states per year introduce similar legislation. “I think it’s part of a bigger trend that’s been going on nationwide,” she said. Hultin said most of the laws are introduced by Republicans, and that recently, they often relate to increasing awareness of campus sexual assault. “In the last year, we’ve seen more legislation that tries to link the two together,” Hultin said. Currently, 19 states ban concealed weapons on campus, and eight mandate that they be allowed either on public or all campuses. The remaining 23 leave the decision up to individual schools.
 
Audit: State ethics panel fraught with problems
Grand Junction Daily Sentinel
“The IEC is unusual when compared to other state ethics commissions in that it has just one full-time employee,” said Stelios Pavlou, spokesman for the Colorado Office of the State Auditor. “The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that 42 states have established 51 ethic commissions across the country, which on average employ 15 staff each, with Colorado being one of only eight state commissions that employ a single full-time equivalent staff member or less.”
 
California bill seeks to ban state-funded travel to anti-gay states
Metro Weekly
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 21 states have adopted RFRA laws that are still on the books. Many of those states are located in the South and lack comprehensive nondiscrimination laws. But a handful — New Mexico, Illinois, Connecticut and Rhode Island — also have LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination laws on the books.
  
OUR OPINION: Concealed weapons should be allowed on state campuses
Times-Enterprise 
In addition, the National Conference of State Legislature says 23 states leave the decision to ban or allow weapons up to individual colleges and universities.
 
Drug companies should pay for disposing human waste, say state lawmakers
STAT
Only in Rhode Island, though, has a bill been introduced to require drug makers to pay for human waste from cancer patients, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Let's look at our legislative retirements as opportunities
MinnPost
Shannon Watson is the founder of Definitely Someday, a firm that helps normal people plan for a future run for office. She has 20+ years of experience in the political arena, working on local and statewide races in Kansas, Colorado and Minnesota, as well as working for the National Conference of State Legislatures and the Minnesota Senate. 
 
Rising Labor Costs And The Decline of Domestic Manufacturing
Inside INdiana Business
The National Conference of State Legislatures states that 14 states began 2016 with higher minimum wages.  Of those 14 states, 12 states increased their wages through legislation passed in the 2014 – 2015 sessions, while 2 states automatically increased their rates based on the cost of living.
 
Key legislators retire from a much-changed job
Greensburg Daily News
A 2014 study by the National Conference of State Legislatures found that Indiana lawmakers typically spend more than two-thirds of what would be considered a full-time job as legislators.
 
Fear of voter fraud leads states to establish voter ID requirements
Kansas State Collegian
“A total of 36 states have passed laws requiring voters to show some form of identification at the polls,” according to the “Voter Identification Requirements-Voter ID Laws” page of the National Conference of State Legislatures website.

March 8

Bill to OK Guns on Georgia Campuses Moves Closer to Passage
ABC News
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, seven other states now allow people to carry concealed weapons on college campuses: Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Utah and Wisconsin. The NCSL says 23 states leave the decision to ban or allow weapons up to the individual colleges and universities, and 19 states -- including Georgia -- currently ban concealed weapons on campuses.

Watch: UT-Austin students tell us if they'll carry a gun
USA TODAY
Currently, 19 states ban carrying a concealed weapon on campus, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures: California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wyoming.
  
Gov. Tom Wolf signs minimum-wage order
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Fourteen states began 2016 with higher minimum wages, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Overall, 29 states and Washington, D.C. have minimum wages higher than the federal rate of $7.25 an hour, according to the conference.
 
Everytown Launches Ad Blitz Against Guns for Self-Defense on GA Campuses
Breitbart News
Moreover, campus carry is an option that each university system can choose to allow or disallow in 23 other states. The National Conference of State Legislatures lists those 23 as “Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.”
 
Legislators, others support bill to eliminate tax on certain feminine hygiene products, diapers
New Haven Register
While Connecticut does not specifically tax tampons and sanitary pads, these goods are currently deemed “luxury goods” and are not exempt from sales taxes, as they are in only five states, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Democrats unveil 12-week paid family, medical leave proposal
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Just three states offer paid family leave to public employees — California, New Jersey and Rhode Island, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Campaign contribution limits measure gets airing in House committee
STLtoday.com
At least 44 states impose some type of limit on campaign contributions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
  
Bill would require healthcare workers undergo addiction risk training
WPRI 12 Eyewitness News
“According to the national Conference of State Legislators, overdoses from OxyContin and other opioid pain relievers killed nearly 20,000 Americans in 2014,” said Rep. McNamara.
 
Tesla Motors Inc Own Showroom Permitted, Killing General Motors Company Objections, Winning Customer Vote
Key Investing
According to National Conference of state Legislatures, the company had filed over 17 such bills. Of these, in Georgia, it won the rights to conduct direct sales, while in Conneticut its efforts failed.
 
Bill helps veterans get degrees
UNM Daily Lobo
According to the website for the National Conference of State Legislatures, other states including Alaska, Missouri, Minnesota and Texas have created legislation that helps military experience translate into course credit for education.
 
Wolf to boost minimum wage for state workers
York Daily Record/Sunday News
Pennsylvania is lumped in with 20 other states that, as of Jan. 1, had minimum wages at the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures and the National Employment Law Project. 
 
Advocates meet to raise support for Hawaii ivory ban
Wisconsin Gazette
In the past two years, over 19 states have considered bans on the sale of certain animal parts, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
STATE OF THE STATEHOUSE: Key legislators retire from a much-changed job
Evening News and Tribune
A 2014 study by the National Conference of State Legislatures found that Indiana lawmakers typically spend more than two-thirds of what would be considered a full-time job as legislators.

March 7

California Bill Would Ban Government Travel to States Deemed Anti-Gay
TIME
The National Conference of State Legislatures found that a total of 21 states have enacted similar religious freedom laws since 1993.
 
Colorado Looks to Broaden Therapists' Power to Prevent School Shootings
Wall Street Journal
But according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, most states have laws either requiring or permitting mental-health professionals to disclose information about patients they believe are an immediate danger. The group said it was unaware of any other current state efforts similar to Colorado’s.
 
Brooklyn Lands a Drone Store
Wall Street Journal
The National Conference of State Legislatures is tracking 17 pieces of legislation regarding unmanned aircraft in New York state, according to a policy associate at the organization.
 
States, cities face difficulties replacing aging voting machines
NWAOnline
The latest computerized machines typically cost between $2,500 and $3,000 each, and election boards should budget for one machine per 250 to 300 registered voters, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Replacing old voting machines isn’t cheap
Bend Bulletin
The latest computerized machines typically cost between $2,500 and $3,000 each, and election boards should budget for one machine per 250 to 300 registered voters, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
State of the Statehouse: Key legislators retire from a much-changed job
Terre Haute Tribune Star
Lawmakers spend significant amount of time helping constituents, vetting legislation in summer study committees, and campaigning for election. A 2014 study by the National Conference of State Legislatures found that Indiana lawmakers typically spend more than two-thirds of what would be considered a full-time job as legislators.
 
Program helping the children of parents incarcerated at Lancaster County Prison does important work
LancasterOnline
“Some research indicates that visiting is important in maintaining parent-child relationships and increases the likelihood of successful reunification after release,” a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures noted. And with “regard to prisoners themselves, several studies found that maintenance of family ties during incarceration is linked to post-release success, defined as lower rates of recidivism and fewer parole violations.”
  
Official: Wolf to boost wages for state workers, contractors
Brown County Democrat
Pennsylvania is lumped in with 20 other states that, as of Jan. 1, had minimum wages at the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures and the National Employment Law Project.

SUNDAY EDITION | Louisville electronic toll bridges usher in privacy, security concerns
WDRB
A number of states have passed laws that address the information collected by toll agencies. In Illinois, for instance, agencies can release personal data to police if a warrant or subpoena isn’t practical, while in Pennsylvania those records can’t be released even by court order, according to research by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
South Carolina Finally Considering Cockfighting a Felony
Care2.com
Currently, South Carolina is one of nine states where cockfighting is only a misdemeanor, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 
 
Wolf to sign executive order raising minimum wage for certain workers
PennLive.com
If Pennsylvania set its rate at that level immediately, it would have the nation's highest statewide minimum wage, according to information from the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Incentives for STEM majors a concern for proponents of liberal arts
The Daily Cardinal
Thirty-two states have adopted some form of this funding model for higher education over the past few years, according the National Conference of State Legislatures. 
 
Aging voting machines cost local, state governments
Redding Record Searchlight
The latest computerized machines typically cost between $2,500 and $3,000 each, and election boards should budget for one machine per 250 to 300 registered voters, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).
 
Airport checkpoint change wrong
Mankato Free Press
Depending on how the pilot project goes here, Minnesota could be sharing in some of that benefit. Commercial hemp production is still illegal in the U.S., but 27 states, not including Minnesota, have passed some kind of industrial hemp law, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Utah Senate gives initial OK to abortion anesthesia bill
TBO.com
Bramble, who serves as the president of the National Conference of State Legislatures, has said he doesn't know if other states are considering similar legislation
  
Education series: school choice options Part 2
Newfalconherald
Josh Cunningham, senior education policy specialist with the National Conference of State Legislature, said some states across the nation have employed funding options to help parents pay to send their children to a private school, as part of their open enrollment policy. He said there are three main funding programs: vouchers, education savings accounts and tax-credit scholarships. 
 
State, national events fuel push for campus carry legislation
MyAJC
If approved, Georgia would become the ninth state to allow concealed carry on college campuses, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 
 
Group encourages women to have it all
Santa Fe New Mexican
But it ranks higher than Louisiana, with 11.8 percent of women lawmakers, and Wyoming, Oklahoma and South Carolina, each with just over 13 percent, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
National GMO labeling measure heating up on Capitol Hill
Digital Journal
The Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) reported that by the end of the 2015 legislative season, 101 bills had been introduced in state legislatures across the country. 
 
Advocates meet to raise support for Hawaii ivory ban
West Hawaii Today
In the past two years, over 19 states have considered bans on the sale of certain animal parts, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Bill Proposes 3-Foot Passing Distance for Bicyclists on Shared Roads
The Forum Newsgroup
If passed, the bill would bring New York in line with a growing movement to improve cyclist safety around the country, Goldfeder said. According to the National Conference on State Legislatures, 26 states and the District of Columbia have adopted the 3-foot passing standard as of December 2015.
 
Alabama Lawmaker Wants Sex Offenders To Pay For Their Own Castration
Daily Beast
What’s more, sexual abuse experts say a one-cut-fixes-all strategy does nothing to address the underlying disorder that leads an abuser to commit such a heinous crime. Still, at least seven states have some law on the books for the chemical castration of sex offenders, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

What it's like to register to vote in Oregon and Texas
Delmarva Public Radio
There are 33 states that require state-approved IDs to vote. Three more have passed laws that are not yet in effect, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).

Hemp Processing Facility Update and US Hemp Industry Updates
Power Engineering Magazine
Thus far, at least 27 states have passed some sort of pro hemp law, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures and VoteHemp.
 
Crackdown on heroin dealers?
Cincinnati.com
The reaction in Kentucky, in particular, reverses a nationwide shift in legislation that has relaxed corrections and sentencing for numerous drug offenses, including the possession of smaller amounts of heroin, according to research by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Senate Bill 91 targets drug felons and food stamps
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
According to the National Conference on State Legislatures, five other states that have opted in require some kind of drug testing.
 
Illinois state legislators among best compensated in US
Reboot Illinois
Using 2015 data from the National Conference of State Legislatures, the map below shows what lawmakers across the U.S. make in base salary and per diem rates.

March 4

Tesla Takes on the Dealerships—and GM
Bloomberg
In 2015, 17 bills were filed in 10 states concerning Tesla’s way of doing business, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Several were backed by Tesla, including a successful initiative to allow direct sales in Georgia. A similar effort in Connecticut failed.
 
Maryland lawmakers roll out redistricting reform
Washington Times
More than a dozen states use commissions to some extent to determine their lines, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. They include Arizona and California, with panels completely independent of elected officials; five states that have commissions that can include elected officials; three states that have advisory commissions to assist the legislature; and two states where commissions server as a backup if the legislature stalemates.
 
Senate Bill 91 targets drug felons and food stamps
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
According to the National Conference on State Legislatures five other states that have opted in require some kind of drug testing.
 
Congressional train rolling to pre-empt states on GMO labels
Food Safety News
State lawmakers are picking around the edges. By the end of the 2015 legislative season, the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) reported 101 bills were introduced in state houses around the country that in some way addressed genetically-modified organisms.
 
Minnesota wants farmers to start growing hemp
Rick Kupchella's BringMeTheNews
The federal government still considers hemp an illegal drug, but at least 27 states have passed some kind of industrial hemp law, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures and VoteHemp.
 
Bill enforcing harsher punishments for parents providing alcohol to minors passes in Maryland
WHAG
While the threat of jail time can be daunting, the National Conference of State Legislatures reported that the majority of U.S. states have the option to enforce sentences on those who are convicted of supplying alcohol.
 
Faculty Senate moves on parental leave
Clemson Tiger News
Power to mandate paid leave rests with the states. Only California, New Jersey and Rhode Island offer paid family and medical leave, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).
 
Lessons
Reno News & Review
State governments have long swapped techniques through associations like the National Conference of State Legislatures and the Council of State Governments, and corporations have traditionally learned from each other
 
Senate committee votes to protect plastic bags
The Chronotype
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, six states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation related to plastic bags.

March 3

Aging voting machines cost local, state governments
Chicago Sun-Times
But replacing the old machines with newer models is costly. The latest computerized machines typically cost between $2,500 and $3,000 each, and election boards should budget for one machine per 250 to 300 registered voters, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL)…. Some states are resistant to mail-in ballots simply because they buck tradition, said Wendy Underhill of NCSL.“Cost is one consideration,” Underhill said. “But it is by no means the only consideration. [Mail-in voting] does change the feel of Election Day. That’s not a small consideration.”

March Madness: Gaming out FAA action
Politico
The National Conference of State Legislatures plugged its pet issues — and concerns — for the Senate Commerce Committee’s FAA bill on Tuesday. Wish list items include raising the cap on the passenger facility charge, keeping the Airport and Airway Trust Funds off-limits to non-aviation purposes, and leaving off “any provision in the reauthorization that preempts or restricts a state’s ability to regulate intrastate commerce” (aka the trucking rider that could affect more than 20 states and territories). Read the letter here:

Drones armed with guns and flamethrowers face ban
CNN Money
Lawmakers around the country have been ramping up their efforts to regulate drones. Legislators in 45 states considered 168 drone-related bills last year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Cockfighting Could Be a Felony in Home of Fighting Gamecocks
ABC News
But according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, South Carolina is among nine states where the crime is only a misdemeanor.

The State Worker: Bill would bar state-funded travel to states with LGBT bias
Sacramento Bee
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 21 states have enacted so-called “RFRA” laws. Most are conservative (Arizona, Idaho, New Mexico) or in the Bible Belt (the Gulf Coast, up through Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia).

UCR professor to talk about GMOs, wandering genes
Idyllwild Town Cier
In 2014, Vermont and Maine passed laws requiring labels on foods produced entirely or partially by genetic engineering. GMO labeling is pending in 28 other states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

Branstad critical of certificate of need process
Quad City Times
The certificate of need process itself has generated controversy. About three dozen states have some form of certificate of need process, which are aimed at restraining costs and coordinating planning for new services and construction, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Utah considers bill protecting LGBT from discrimination
KUTV 2News
The National Conference of State Legislatures says this proposal would put Utah in line with 22 other U.S. states that have public accommodation laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation.

The Latest: Bill protecting LGBT from discrimination is cut
LocalNews8.com
The National Conference of State Legislatures says this proposal would put Utah in line with 22 other U.S. states that have public accommodation laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation.

State weighs giving referees additional power
Paducah Sun
Most states have some law dealing with concussions in youth sports leagues, according to a 2014 review by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Mothers Advocate For Access To Medical Marijuana
CT Newsjunkie
Connecticut is the only state with a medical marijuana program that doesn’t give access to minors, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

#Utah One Step Closer to Official Twitter Tag for State
Utah Political Capitol
Weiler, a prolific Twitter user, got the idea of an official hashtag after reading in the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) magazine about a similar measure in Texas.

NM falling behind other states on hemp
New Mexico Political Report
According to the National Conference of State Legislators, at least 27 states have enacted some sort of law regarding industrial hemp production since 2014, when federal legislation allowed states to enact such laws.

Senate committee votes to protect Wisconsin’s plastic bags
Spooner Advocate
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, six states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation related to plastic bags.

Prune or pay up: Bill targets negligent neighbors’ trees
Gillette News Record
A spokesman for the National Conference of State Legislatures said the organization doesn't keep track of laws pertaining to tree and shrub pruning.

March 2

New York Times calls attention to the increasing privileging of STEM in academe
Physics Today
When it comes to dividing the pot of money devoted to higher education, at least 15 states offer some type of bonus or premium for certain high-demand degrees, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
The State Worker: Bill would bar state-funded travel to states with LGBT bias
Sacramento Bee
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 21 states have enacted so-called “RFRA” laws. Most are conservative (Arizona, Idaho, New Mexico) or in the Bible Belt (the Gulf Coast, up through Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia).
 
Aging Voting Machines Cost Local, State Governments
Stateline
The latest computerized machines typically cost between $2,500 and $3,000 each, and election boards should budget for one machine per 250 to 300 registered voters, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).
 
Privacy Laws: How the US, EU and others protect IoT data (or don't)
ZDNet
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures website, 31 states have data disposal laws and 47 states have security breach notification laws, but the laws are not uniform. California, which goes further than many other states in terms of data privacy, even has a law about collecting data from internet-connected televisions. 

Utah considers bill protecting LGBT from discrimination
KSL.com
The National Conference of State Legislatures says this proposal would put Utah in line with 22 other U.S. states that have public accommodation laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Fearing concussions, Kentucky weighs giving refs more power
Brown County Democrat
Most states have some law dealing with concussions in youth sports leagues, according to a 2014 review by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Utah shooting raises questions on when police release video
TimesUnion
Twenty-three states have created laws for body cameras, many passed last year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
With feds' blessing, Minnesota to try growing hemp
Mankato Free Press 
Commercial hemp production is still illegal in the U.S. But nearly 30 states have passed some kind of industrial hemp law. According the the National Conference of State Legislatures, the count is 27, not including Minnesota.
 
How Lancaster County Prison is helping moms and dads in jail build bonds with kids
Lancaster Online
Specifically, parents are less likely to reoffend and their children are more likely to thrive and avoid delinquency when positive family connections are maintained and children feel supported, according to a look at the issue by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Lawmakers warned plate readers could lead to 'dragnet monitoring'
Wicked Local
So far, 12 other states have passed legislation to regulate the use of ALPRs or the retention of data collected by ALPRs, including neighboring New Hampshire and Vermont, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Drone-Mounted Handgun, Flamethrower Reignite Lawmaker Debate
NewsFactor Network
New Hampshire prohibits drones from being used for hunting, fishing or trapping while Michigan passed laws barring people from using a drone to hunt game but also to harass hunters, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

March 1

Lawmakers warned plate readers could lead to 'dragnet monitoring'
The Boston Globe
So far, 12 other states have passed legislation to regulate the use of ALPRs or the retention of data collected by ALPRs, including neighboring New Hampshire and Vermont, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Early Voting Seen as a Boost for Presidential Front-Runners
Wall Street Journal
Of the 11 Super Tuesday states, only Virginia and Alabama sharply restrict early voting, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
N.H. Voter Rules and Residency Requirements
New Hampshire Public Radio
Wendy Underhill, policy analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures. She manages NCSL's elections team.
 
Bill Would Prevent Testimony in Civil Cases From Sponsors of Addicts in Recovery
Centralia Chronicle
Jon Griffin, senior policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures, said he's not aware of any other state that offers such a privilege, and that no other states to date have introduced similar legislation.
 
Ricketts signs proclamation on importance of religious liberty
Omaha World-Herald
Though Nebraska doesn't have a religious liberty law, 21 states do, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Blacks underrepresented in Arizona Legislature
Mohave Valley Daily News
A comparison of state demographics and 2015 legislative data from the National Conference of State Legislatures showed that blacks were underrepresented in 42 statehouses. 

These 5 Super Tuesday states have new rules about who can vote
The Week
For voters who are unsure of their state's current requirements, the National Conference of State Legislatures maintains an explanatory, interactive map.
 
Civilian rigs drone with handgun, another with a flamethrower
Ottawa Citizen
New Hampshire prohibits drones from being used for hunting, fishing or trapping while Michigan passed laws barring people from using a drone to hunt game but also to harass hunters, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.