NCSL in the News | March 2017

3/1/2014

March 31

North Carolina 'Bathroom Bill' Replacement Could Doom Similar Bills in Other States
U.S. News & World Report
None of the states that proposed similar legislation this session has enacted a version into law, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which tracks statehouses.

Lottery? Mississippi House Leader Setting Group to Study It
U.S. News & World Report
Mississippi is one of six states without a lottery, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Several proposals to create one in Mississippi have died the past two decades, usually with little or no debate.

North Carolina 'bathroom' law: Lawmakers pass repeal bill
BBC News
As of March, 16 states were considering bathroom bills, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

3 killed in home invasion broke into property earlier in day
San Francisco Chronicle
Monday's triple shooting also figures to test the state's "Stand Your Ground" law, which allows citizens to shoot someone if they believe their safety is threatened. Oklahoma is among 24 states with such a provision, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Bill Would Allow Connecticut Police To Put Weapons On Drones
CBS Connecticut
Five states _ Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Vermont and Wisconsin _ prohibit anyone from using a weaponized drone, while Maine and Virginia ban police from using armed drones, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Several other states have restricted drone use in general.

Amazon to start collecting state sales taxes everywhere
FOX43.com
Typically, an online retailer only has to collect sales tax in states where they have a physical presence, such as a storefront or a distribution center. That loophole cost states $17.2 billion in lost sales taxes last year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

FEATURE-In New York, neighbors trading solar energy electrify ...
Thomson Reuters Foundation
The policy, known as net metering, has been adopted by 41 states including New York, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which tracks state laws.

With Internet privacy rules likely gone in U.S., plan for some changes
Omaha World-Herald
Only a few states regulate specific practices by broadband providers, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which tracks state laws. Minnesota, for instance, requires Internet service providers to get customer permission before sharing their web-browsing histories.

Abrami named to National Conference of State Legislatures
Seacoastonline.com
Abrami is a fourth-term state representative who has served on the NH House Ways and Means Committee each term and has served as the Vice Chair the past two terms. As a member of the conference he was assigned to the NCSL's Budget and Revenue Committee.

Bill would allow Connecticut police to put weapons on drones
The Daily Progress
Five states — Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Vermont and Wisconsin — prohibit anyone from using a weaponized drone, while Maine and Virginia ban police from using armed drones, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Several other states have restricted drone use in general.

Miramant named to natural resources committee
Courier-Gazette & Camden Herald
AUGUSTA — State Sen. Dave Miramant, D-Camden, has been appointed to the National Conference on State Legislatures’ Natural Resources and Infrastructure Committee.

What one near-fatal overdose can teach South Carolina about the ...
Charleston City Paper
Since South Carolina is one of a shrinking number of states without “Good Samaritan” laws, the witness’s concern over possible arrest for him and his friend was warranted. As of late January this year, the National Conference of State Legislatures found that 37 states had enacted some form of a “Good Samaritan” or 911 drug immunity law. 

Minimum wage increase dies in committee
Murray State News
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 19 states began 2017 with higher minimum wages than previous years, although surrounding states that have increased their state minimum have strayed only a dollar away from the $7.25 federal minimum wage mark.

Fact-check: Is Florida House 'sanctuary' bill unlike anything else in the country?
PolitiFact
Ann Morse, the director of the Immigrant Policy Project for the National Conference of State Legislatures, said her group is looking into 100 bills in more than 30 states related to local law enforcement and immigration. Morse said she couldn’t find any pending legislation with quite the penalties listed above.

Branstad should veto minimum wage bill
The Gazette: Eastern Iowa Breaking News and Headlines
In recognition of the increasing disconnect between the cost of living and minimum wage, 21 states and Washington, D.C. all have or will raise their minimum wages this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Seven of those states — Alaska, Florida, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio and South Dakota — did so automatically, based on the cost of living.

March 30

How America Fails Black Girls
New York Times
According to a 2016 report by the National Conference of State Legislatures, 46 percent of runaways and homeless youth report being having been physically abused, 38 percent report being emotionally abused and 17 percent report being forced into unwanted sexual activity with a relative or member of their household. 
 
Amazon to start collecting state sales taxes everywhere
CNNMoney
Typically, an online retailer only has to collect sales tax in states where they have a physical presence, such as a storefront or a distribution center. That loophole cost states $17.2 billion in lost sales taxes last year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. "The way we are consuming things is so different. Because of that, the states' sales tax revenue is not keeping pace," said Max Behlke, director of budget and tax policy for the NCSL. "States have to modernize [sales taxes] to the 21st century. If they can't collect sales taxes, it'll mean higher state income taxes or property taxes."

What the Death of Obama's Internet Privacy Rules Means
Billboard
Only a few states regulate specific practices by broadband providers, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which tracks state laws. Minnesota, for instance, requires internet service providers to get customer permission before sharing their web-browsing histories.

Amazon Sales Tax Collection Nationwide Starts April 1
Newsmax
The National Conference of State Legislatures said its members lost $23.3 billion in revenue in 2012 due to their inability to collect sales taxes from online purchases, CNBC noted. Amazon, the biggest e-commerce business, will collect state sales taxes for all entities that have them.
 
America's School Infrastructure Can't Graduate: 4-Year GPA of 1.0 (D)
Huffington Post
Of those, over 14 percent reported lead contamination above the state action level of 15 parts per billion (ppb). (New York City, the nation’s single largest PK-12 system, is completing testing this spring.) As of early 2017, the National Conference of State Legislatures reports more than 15 additional states taking action on this issue.
 
Police brutality investigation bill passes Alabama committee
Chattanooga Times Free Press
Ten other states and the city of Baltimore have developed written protocols addressing police use of force incidents, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, a group that monitors policy.

President Donald Trump sets March 29 as Vietnam Veterans Day
cleveland.com
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), some 45 states and Puerto Rico recognize a Vietnam Veterans Day either annually or for a specific year, on either March 29 or March 30. Ohio's Vietnam Veterans Day is March 30.
 
NM's data breach law status could change soon
Albuquerque Business First
The change would leave Alabama and South Dakota as the only states with no security breach laws, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures.
 
Panel approves police use of armed airborne drones
CT Post
The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that at least 35 states have enacted laws on so-called unmanned aircraft systems, and 37 states are debating new laws this year over such thorny issues as privacy, economics, surveillance and even hunting wild game.
 
What the death of broadband privacy rules means
The Times Telegram
Only a few states regulate specific practices by broadband providers, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which tracks state laws. Minnesota, for instance, requires internet service providers to get customer permission before sharing their web-browsing histories.
     
Maryland Teen Was Planning 'Columbine' Style Attack When Her ...
Independent Journal Review
The Daily Wire confirmed the gun in Nichole's possession had been purchased legally. In the future, however, Nichole's hospital confinement could limit her ability to purchase a gun again, per The National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
State lawmakers push to allow medical marijuana in schools
KOMO News
Marijuana remains illegal under federal law for any purpose. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures 28 states and three territories allow marijuana for medical use.
 
Empowering women to run for office
Smoky Mountain News
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, women only make up 24.4 percent of all state legislators nationwide. In the North Carolina General Assembly, women represent 23 percent of the seats — compare that to women representing 42 percent of the General Assembly in Colorado.

March 29

Police Brutality Investigation Bill Passes Alabama Committee
U.S. News & World Report
Ten other states and the city of Baltimore have developed written protocols addressing police use of force incidents, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, a group that monitors policy.

Strict voter laws: Protecting or prohibiting?
Los Angeles Times
This investigation begins with questioning, “what are strict voter laws?” According to the National Conference of State Legislatures’ index on strict voter ID laws, some states are more lenient than others on the type of photo or non-photo identification required to vote on voting days. According to the website, non-strict states allow “…some voters without acceptable identification have an option to cast a ballot that will be counted without further action on the part of the voter.” In strict voter states, voters “without acceptable identification must vote on a provisional ballot and also take additional steps after Election Day for it to be counted.” These states include Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin.

New hacks, new defenses: Latest tips to protect against data breaches
CBS News
“They’ve allowed people to take some action to protect their information,” Pam Greenberg, a researcher with the National Conference of State Legislatures, told CBS News. “Before the laws, they may not have had the opportunity. They may not have known their info was out there.”

The Odd Reason Online Shopping Could Get More Expensive
Money Magazine
"If it's a success in one state, others will almost certainly take it up," says Max Behlke, director of budget and tax at the National Conference of State Legislatures in Washington.

What the Unemployment Drug-Testing Bill on Trump's Desk Means for States
Governing
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 15 states have drug-testing laws for applicants of some kind of government assistance.

Will Trump Use Tax Reform to Create a Scholarship Tax Credit?
U.S. News & World Report
Currently 17 states offer residents some type scholarship tax credit, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Each differs slightly in the amount and types of taxes an individual or corporation can write-off, as well as eligibility requirements for students.

Despite LePage's wishes, Maine can't spurn health care law
Miami Herald
Vermont, Massachusetts, California, Hawaii and Alaska have all asked for such waivers, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures
In December, Hawaii received the first and only waiver so far, freeing it from the requirement that it operate a health insurance marketplace for small businesses. Hawaii wants to use the money for a state fund that helps small businesses offer health coverage.

Despite LePage's wishes, Maine can't spurn health care law
Miami Herald
Vermont, Massachusetts, California, Hawaii and Alaska have all asked for such waivers, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures

On Muslims' agenda: Fight US proposals to ban Sharia law
Ashland Times Gazette
The bills have been introduced in at least 13 states, a number that will likely grow as the legislative year progresses, said Jonathan Griffin, of the National Conference of State Legislatures, who has been tracking the proposals. Anywhere from 15 to 30 states see the proposal introduced in a given year, he said. Ten states already have some version of them on the books since they started cropping up around 2010.

Editorial: Smart justice
Ocala
In fact, many states saw decreases in overall crime rates after reinvesting some of the savings in mental health and addiction treatment, a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures found.

It's time for smart criminal justice
Miami Herald
In fact, many states saw decreases in overall crime rates after reinvesting some of the savings in mental health and addiction treatment, particularly for people who hadn’t had much involvement with the criminal justice system, a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures found.

On Muslims' agenda: Fight anti-Shariah proposals in US states
Akron Beacon Journal
The bills have been introduced in at least 13 states, a number that will likely grow as the legislative year progresses, said Jonathan Griffin, of the National Conference of State Legislatures. While many of this year’s bills likely won’t become law, they’re gaining traction early in Montana and Arkansas, where the legislatures are poised to approve bills this month.

March 28

Public Defenders Push Strict Laws for Interrogation Footage
U.S. News & World Report
Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have laws that require or recommend the audio and visual recording of statements made by people in police custody, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
States May Eye Health Care Flop as Harbinger on Tax Reform
Bloomberg BNA
States may interpret the setback to repealing the Affordable Care Act as forecasting trouble for Republicans on tax reform—threatening complications for state budget planners worried about sweeping changes, including elimination of the deduction for state taxes. “The most important tax bill so far this Congress is the American Health Care Act,” Max Behlke, director of budget and tax policy at the National Conference of State Legislatures, said March 24 at a Tax Foundation event in Washington. “If that dies this afternoon on the House floor, it is going to be turmoil for any big issue at all, much less reforming the overall tax code,” he said hours before Ryan’s announcement.
 
Editorial: It's time for smart criminal justice
Miami Herald
In fact, many states saw decreases in overall crime rates after reinvesting some of the savings in mental health and addiction treatment, particularly for people who hadn’t had much involvement with the criminal justice system, a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures found.
 
Democratic Lawmakers Plan Bill Requiring Presidential Candidates Release Tax Returns
Wisconsin Public Radio News
The bill would apply to the 2020 presidential election. At least 23 states across the country have introduced similar legislation since the 2016 presidential election, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
'Good Samaritan' Overdose Bill Fails in Oklahoma Legislature
Public Radio Tulsa
The National Conference of State Legislatures says Oklahoma is among 13 states with no form of a 'Good Samaritan' or 911 drug immunity law.
 
On Muslims' agenda: Fight anti-Sharia proposals in US states
Pueblo Chieftain
The bills have been introduced in at least 13 states, a number that will likely grow as the legislative year progresses, said Jonathan Griffin, of the National Conference of State Legislatures, who has been tracking the proposals. Anywhere from 15 to 30 states see the proposal introduced in a given year, he said. Ten states already have some version of them on the books since they started cropping up around 2010.
 
Under Proposal, Some Campaign Finances Could Be Hidden Until ...
MainePublic.org
The law used to require campaigns to report within 48 hours of a major contribution or expense, and was changed to 24 hours in 2004. Maine is now one of 14 states that require timely disclosure, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Amazon will start collecting sales tax nationwide on April 1
AL.com
According to the National Conference of State Legislators, states lost more than $23 billion in sales tax revenue from online merchants.
 
Ladies love Hawaii! The island state is declared to have the best quality of life for women
Daily Mail
MoveHub used data from several sources, including the National Partnership for Women and Families, Americans United for Life, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Kaiser Family Foundation, and the Violence Policy Center.
 
Montana's effort to ban Sharia law part of nationwide debate
The Missoulian
The bills have been introduced in at least 13 states, a number that will likely grow as the legislative year progresses, said Jonathan Griffin, of the National Conference of State Legislatures, who has been tracking the proposals. Anywhere from 15 to 30 states see the proposal introduced in a given year, he said. Ten states already have some version of them on the books since they started cropping up around 2010.
 
Amazon will collect sales tax across US starting next month
Retail Dive
As state budgets have become ever leaner, as state sales taxes have edged higher and as e-commerce has grown, officials have pushed for change. In 2012, states lost some $23.3 billion from being prohibited from collecting sales tax from online and catalog purchases, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

March 27

A plan to finance infrastructure
Washington Post
While Congress has cowered at the prospect of a federal gas-tax increase, state governments have been raising theirs. Since 2013, 19 states and the District of Columbia have enacted gas-tax increases or measures to prevent their erosion through inflation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 
 
'Good Samaritan' overdose bill fails in Oklahoma Legislature
The Daily Progress
The National Conference of State Legislatures says Oklahoma is among 13 states with no form of a 'Good Samaritan' or 911 drug immunity law.
 
Obamacare contributes $218.8 million to local economy
Mail Tribune
Average premiums for family health insurance are $1,512 per month, or $18,142 annually, the National Conference of State Legislatures says.
 
Year-round Daylight Saving Time? Buyer beware
Crain's Detroit Business
Michigan is one of at least 16 state legislatures that have seen as many as 24 bills introduced dealing with Daylight Saving Time so far this year, according to a recent post from the National Conference of State Legislatures. They get attention, but rarely pass.
 
No 'what if' plans for federal cuts as state budget comes due
Buffalo News
The timing is especially challenging for New York State. Most states commence their fiscal years on July 1, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. New York, at April 1, is the nation’s earliest among the states.
 
Lawmakers concerned by TABC revelations
San Angelo Standard Times
The comments came in the wake of Friday’s Texas Tribune report about numerous taxpayer-funded junkets agency honchos took to resorts as far away as Honolulu to attend meetings of the National Conference of State Liquor Administrators. 
 
One year after HB2: NCAA, NBA, concerts gone; local tourism saw ...
Port City Daily
The National Conference of State Legislatures reports state legislators in 16 states – Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New York, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming – have introduced legislation in 2017 that would restrict access to multi-user restrooms, locker rooms, and other sex-segregated facilities on the basis of a definition of sex or gender consistent with sex assigned at birth or “biological sex.”
 
Bills aim to aid job seekers with criminal history
STLtoday.com
Nationwide, over 150 cities and counties have adopted the concept, according to the National Employment Law Project. And the National Conference of State Legislatures says 11 states are considering "Ban the Box" legislation this year and 20 states have already enacted such laws.

Miami teen leading charge to outlaw texting while driving
St. Augustine Record
Texting has been a secondary offense since 2013, but distracted motorists have continued to crash, causing 214 deaths and more than 45,000 accidents in 2015 alone. Thirty-nine states have already made texting while driving a primary offense, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Amending New Mexico's Convoluted Constitution
KUNM
Brenda Erickson with the National Conference of State Legislatures said it’s normal for state constitutions to be constantly growing. "So sometimes, the constitution isn't necessarily looked at in its totality," she said. People may not often think about the constitution as whole, Erickson said, but voters are comfortable knowing it can’t be changed without their input.
 
Bipartisan lobbying bill ends special treatment for ex-lawmakers
Reedsburg Times Press
Thirty-four other states have some form of “cooling-off” period for ex-lawmakers, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The U.S Congress has similar restrictions for federal lawmakers before they can lobby Congress. 
 
Amazon will now collect sales tax in most states starting April 1
TechnoBuffalo
The topic of online retailers paying sales tax has been gaining notoriety over the past few years. The National Conference of State Legislature estimates $23.3 billion in revenue has been lost from online retailers not paying sales tax. Amazon is the biggest online retail store, so naturally it’s the top dog the government is going after.
 
Wash. state bills aim to aid job seekers with criminal history
KIRO Seattle
Nationwide, over 150 cities and counties have adopted the concept, according to the National Employment Law Project. And the National Conference of State Legislatures says 11 states are considering "Ban the Box" legislation this year and 20 states have already enacted such laws.

Sexism in Arizona politics might be here to stay
Arizona Sonoro News
Many female politicians get their start at the state level, where fewer than a quarter of lawmakers are women nationally, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Currently all state legislatures nationally are dominated by white males. And many times, these legislatures are boys’ clubs, commanded by men who, consciously or unconsciously, push women out to the periphery and marginalize them.
 
Lobbying restriction for ex-lawmakers gets bipartisan backing
Chippewa Herald
Thirty-four other states have some form of “cooling-off” period for ex-lawmakers, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The U.S Congress has similar restrictions for federal lawmakers before they can lobby Congress.
 
The right approach to promoting competition in the health care ...
The Hill
Several states have already enacted statutes to provide for healthcare choice compacts. The National Conference of State Legislature reports that five states have passed out-of-state purchasing laws since 2008.
 
Bowser: Threat of base closures must be kept in mind
The Sentinel
Even broader, the National Conference of State Legislatures concludes that the Department of Defense (DOD) has an approximate annual spending of $12.1 billion and total jobs of approximately 57,919 in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This equates to 1.9% of the total state Gross Domestic Product (GDP) annually. 

March 24

States Mulling Bathroom Bills Could Lose California's Travel Bucks
Bloomberg BNA
So far in 2017, lawmakers in Alabama, Missouri, South Carolina and Washington are weighing bills that would restrict the use of restrooms in various settings based on a person’s biological sex, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Another nine states and Missouri have introduced bills on the topic that apply only to public schools.

Access to paid family leave varies widely across employers, industries
Pew Research Center
California was the first state to establish paid family leave, in 2004, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Since then, four other states and the District of Columbia have enacted paid family leave laws. 
 
Díaz: Are payday lenders evil? They serve a void
AZCentral.com
Now, 38 states have statutes that allow payday loans and 11 jurisdictions prohibit or cap interest rates, including Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
DPH seeks permission to continue collecting opioid data
Taunton Daily Gazette
Bharel said DPH's use of "advanced data analytics" has caught the attention of the federal government and other states. In addition to presenting DPH's "precision public health" approach to national public health groups, Bharel said she also has shared the information with the National Association of Attorneys General, the National Conference of State Legislatures, and the White House's New Frontiers conference.
 
Utah group starts medical marijuana ballot initiative push
Cache Valley Daily
Eight states have legalized recreational marijuana and 28 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Last year, Arkansas, Florida and North Dakota were among some of the states that approved legislation legalizing medical marijuana, according to its most recent data.
 
Sign here: Mississippi cursive mandate heads to governor
WJTV
Conservatives have pushed to preserve cursive instruction. The National Conference of State Legislatures says at least 11 states have considered similar language.
 
Utah group pushing for medical marijuana ballot initiative
KSL.com
Eight states have legalized recreational marijuana, and 28 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

March 23

DC Council member supermajority backs public financing option for campaigns
Washington Times
Currently, 13 states provide some form of public financing option for gubernatorial and state house campaigns, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Though each of those states deal with public financing differently, they all have one provision in common: limits on how much a candidate spends on the election and how much can be accepted in donations from any one group or individual.
 
Missouri lawmakers likely to continue support for convention of states movement
Springfield News-Leader
Republicans control 32 state legislatures (33 with Nebraska, where the legislature leans right but is technically nonpartisan). That's just shy of the requirement to call for a constitutional convention and is up from 30 in 2016 and 27 in 2012, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Environment, internet top questions for legislators
Brown County Democrat
“It’s no more or less than the other two of the three national organizations,” Koch said mentioning the Council of State Governments and National Conference of State Legislatures. “They all provide resources, and they all have a role to play. I would say no more or less than the other two” he said about ALEC’s influence.
 
Many Montana Lawmakers Seem To Be Falling For A Conspiracy ...
BuzzFeed News
In 2017 alone, thirteen states have introduced similar anti-foreign law bills, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Nine states already have laws that prohibit foreign law. Over 120 similar bills or amendments aimed at preventing Sharia law from being applied to US courts have been submitted in state legislatures since 2011.
     
Senate vote favors education accounts
Arkansas Online
Legislation on education savings accounts has been enacted in five states: Arizona, Florida, Mississippi, Nevada and Tennessee, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 
 
Lawmakers try again to tax vaping, but opponents don't want to squash burgeoning industry
The Nevada Independent
At least four other states have authorized taxes on vaping products, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures: California, Pennsylvania, Kansas and North Carolina.
     
Protest bills with anti-traffic obstruction focus sweep US
Indiana Lawyer
Unlike previous protest legislation that focused on demonstrations against specific causes or events, such as abortion or funerals, the bills introduced this year have taken a broader approach, said Jon Griffin, program principal with the National Conference of State Legislatures.

March 22

Pennsylvania puzzles over how to regulate driverless car testing
Tribune-Review
Ben Hursch, director of the National Conference of State Legislatures' Natural Resources and Infrastructure Committee, said Pennsylvania's proposal is more comprehensive than those in other states. He called the bill "a good first step." Several speakers Tuesday expressed concern that the bill dealt only with testing and not with what happens when the technology is in widespread use on public roads.

Ohio considers $140 vehicle plate fee in lieu of state gas taxes
Dayton Daily News
Registration fees are $34.50 per year for passenger vehicles — a little more than what is charged in Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia, in light with what Pennsylvania charges and less than Michigan’s fees. Some of the largest states in the country charge more for annual registration, including $225 in Florida, $101 in Illinois and $50.75 to $54 in Texas, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Missouri lawmakers likely to continue support for convention of states movement
Springfield News-Leader
Republicans control 32 state legislatures (33 with Nebraska, where the legislature leans right but is technically nonpartisan). That's just shy of the requirement to call for a constitutional convention and is up from 30 in 2016 and 27 in 2012, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Lawmakers try again to tax vaping, but opponents don't want to squash burgeoning industry
The Nevada Independent
Proponents including the Retail Association of Nevada contend that e-cigarettes are close enough to the real thing that they should be taxed in the same category. At least four other states have authorized taxes on vaping products, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures: California, Pennsylvania, Kansas and North Carolina.
 
Loan refinance bill would ease 'debt sentence' for Nevada students
Las Vegas Review-Journal
A bill from state Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford that would refinance certain student loans met with no opposition Monday during a Government Affairs Committee meeting. Ford cited statistics from the National Conference of State Legislatures that show the number of students borrowing money for higher education increased 89 percent between 2004 and 2014.
 
New law starts today: Drivers must move over to pass bicyclists
Hamilton Journal News
A bill from state Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford that would refinance certain student loans met with no opposition Monday during a Government Affairs Committee meeting.
 
Keep Us Involved in ESSA Plans, Unions and District Leaders Tell State Chiefs
Education Week
The letter was sent by AASA, the School Superintendents Association, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National Education Association, and the National Governors Association, among others.
 
Montana lawmakers poised to pass anti-Shariah law measure
Jackson Hole News&Guide
Montana is one of 13 states, including Idaho, considering legislation this year that would prohibit the use of foreign law in state courts. Nine states already have similar laws, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures.
 
Under Michigan's college funding model, Wayne State students ...
Detroit Metro Times
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 32 states around the country tie anywhere from 1 percent to all of their higher ed funding to performance-based metrics.
 
Groups say ESSA stakeholder engagement is vital
AFT - A Union of Professionals
Other groups joining the letter are: AASA: The Superintendents Association, National Association of Elementary School Principals, National Association of Secondary School Principals, National Center for Learning Disabilities, National Conference of State Legislatures, National Education Association, National Governors Association, National Parent Teacher Association, National School Boards Association and the National Association of School Psychologists. The letter also was sent to House and Senate lawmakers who were key in ESSA enactment.
 
Running for president? Some states want tax returns public
Concord Register
“I suspect that these bills will be very similar to the birth certificate legislation introduced after President Obama’s election — political statement bills that likely aren’t constitutionally sound or likely to be signed into law,” said Daniel Diorio, senior policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures. “If one were to become law, I’m sure it would be challenged immediately.”
 
What at-risk students really need to graduate high school
Education Dive
Many states focus on increasing the rigor of high school courses as well as adding in college and career experiences into high school and focusing on building stronger relationships with students, all of which research has shown to make a difference, according to the National Conference of State Legislators. 
 
Sen. Ralph Shortey's resignation imminent; no conviction required ...
Tulsa World
Citing the National Conference of State Legislatures, former Oklahoma House and Senate attorney Sara Kyte said modern court cases establish that a lawmaker subject to disciplinary proceedings has the right to due process.

March 21

With bathroom bill, North Carolina economy expanding and tourism thriving
Washington Times
North Carolina is showing economic resilience as legislators in 16 other states consider bills to regulate intimate public facilities, including restrooms, showers and locker rooms, on the basis of biological sex, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

NJ Makes Final Push for Presidential Candidate Tax Filings
Bloomberg BNA
New Jersey is the first state Legislature to pass such a measure, which is being considered by lawmakers in 23 other states, according to the most recent data from the National Conference of State Legislatures.
    
Unemployed? Congress wants to make it easier for states to drug test you to collect benefits.
Vox
At least 15 states — by and large dominated by Republicans — have passed laws tying public assistance to drug testing or screening, according to the National Conference for State Legislatures. It’s a natural extension of those laws, as well as Republican-led efforts to limit and restrict the welfare state, to attach drug testing requirements to unemployment benefits.
 
Michigan officials announce campaign encouraging parents to vaccinate children
MLive.com
All 50 states in the U.S. offer medical exemptions to vaccination, and nearly all states offer an exemption for religious reasons as well. Michigan is one of 18 states that still allow a philosophical exemption, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, but a rule change implemented in January 2015 had dropped the number of Michigan schoolchildren waiving vaccines by more than a third as of January 2016. 

Virginia is for felonies? Petty theft law from 1980s sticks
Albuquerque Journal
To keep pace with inflation, at least 30 states have raised the dollar minimum for felony charges in the last two decades. Three dozen have a threshold of $1,000 or more, and Wisconsin and Texas won’t charge thefts of less than $2,500 as felonies, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Bill would require that presidential candidates release tax returns to earn R.I. ballot listing
The Providence Journal
At least 24 states, including Rhode Island, have introduced similar measures, according to a recent report by the National Conference of State Legislatures. It appears the New Jersey legislation is the first to actually pass, according to the NJ.com website.

'Give bikes 3 feet': New safe-passing law set to enact Tuesday for ...
WCPO
Ohio will become the 40th state to enact some sort of safe-passing law, and the 28th to mandate a specific distance between the cyclist and passing motorist, according to data compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Some states require up to 6-foot cushions.
 
State Bill Mandates Gray Water Systems
Construction Equipment Guide
The Hawaii bill is unique, and most states consider tax incentives to promote gray water systems, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Paid parental leave for state workers considered in Missouri
Missouri Lawyers Media
Several states have adopted their own policies. California, New Jersey and Rhode Island offer paid family and medical leave for all private and public employees, and New York will join them in 2018, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
DPS scrutinizes texting, distracted driving leading to traffic accidents
AZCentral.com
Arizona and Montana are the only two states that do not ban texting while driving for all or most motorists, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. All other states have some form of ban on texting while driving.
 
Supporting Those Who Support Homeless Youth
Youth Today
About 1.6 million youth become homeless in America for at least a short stretch each year, according to studies cited by such diverse sources as the National Conference of State Legislators and the National Network for Youth.

March 20

Running for president? You may have to disclose your tax returns
CNBC
"I suspect that these bills will be very similar to the birth certificate legislation introduced after President Obama's election — political statement bills that likely aren't constitutionally sound or likely to be signed into law," said Daniel Diorio, senior policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures. "If one were to become law, I'm sure it would be challenged immediately."

Shooting drones out of the sky
Washington Examiner
"According to the FAA, a drone is an aircraft, and there is a federal prohibition on taking down aircraft (18 USC § 32)," Amanda Essex, a policy specialist for transportation at the National Conference of State Legislatures, told the Washington Examiner. "It has been argued that this federal law therefore makes it illegal to shoot down a drone, in which case these laws would conflict with federal laws."
 
Lawmakers Propose Reeling Back Reporting Requirements
U.S. News & World Report
The National Conference of State Legislatures says at least 14 states require a candidate to disclose receipts of contributions within 24 hours, with some states requiring such disclosure in just the days before an election and others, like California, requiring such reporting within 90 days of the election.
 
From Wishful Thinking to Passage: Where State Wage Bills Stand
Bloomberg BNA
About 206 bills were introduced in the 2017 legislative session, including about 37 authored by Republicans and more than 100 authored by Democrats, according to the National Conference  of State Legislatures’ database. About 30 bills have failed, but many more may stall while under committee consideration.
 
Best cities for your 'anti-retirement'
CNBC
Most retirees would prefer to stay put. Nearly 90 percent of older Americans want to age in place, and 80 percent said they believed their current residence is where they will always live, according to research by the National Conference of State Legislatures and the AARP Public Policy Institute.
 
States make moves to require tax returns
Indiana Gazette
Presidential tax return legislation has been introduced in at least 24 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Most were introduced by Democrats, although bills in Kansas and Minnesota were introduced by Republicans.
 
Senate GOP gets key Independence Party endorsement, hires many ...
Albany Times Union
In 2015, the Senate and Assembly's 213 elected members employed 2,865 staffers, according to a survey by the National Conference of State Legislatures. That legislative workforce is the largest in the nation — 750 more than California, which has twice the population of New York.
 
Paid parental leave for state workers considered in Missouri
Columbia Daily Tribune
Several states have adopted their own policies. California, New Jersey and Rhode Island offer paid family and medical leave for all private and public employees, and New York will join them in 2018, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Politics as Usual: What to watch as Legislature returns
Allentown Morning Call
The hearing will be held 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday. Lawmakers will hear testimony from the National Conference of State Legislatures, PennDOT, state police, Carnegie Mellon, Uber, General Motors, the Global Automakers, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania.
 
Same-sex legal groundbreaker: Judge says Rock Hill couple ...
The Herald
South Carolina is one of eight states that recognize common law marriage, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures Web site. Parks’ lawyers, Jim Tucker and David Martin of Rock Hill, said the case is important because same sex marriages were not recognized until 2015 and left an entire group of people “out in the cold” without the protections the law provides to heterosexual couples.
 
Vapor Products, E-cigarettes Could Be Taxed Under New Bill
CBS Seattle
California, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia and Washington, D.C., currently tax e-cigarettes and vape products, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. At least 15 other states considered legislation to tax e-cigarettes this year including Alaska, Oregon and Washington.
 
Colorado Springs taxi drivers seeking level playing field with ...
Colorado Springs Gazette
According the National Conference of State Legislatures, 43 states have laws governing TNCs. But the Public Utilities Commission enforces a "broader scope of rules" for taxi companies, said Terry Bote, a spokesman for the agency.
 
Trump's budget plan a mixed bag for New York
The Daily Freeman
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, defense spending pumped about $9.1 billion into the state’s economy in 2015 and provided for about 62,000 military-related jobs.
 
PennDOT announces road work, closures throughout Delco
The Delaware County Daily Times
The Senate and House Transportation committees will take testimony from the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the Pennsylvania State Police, Carnegie Mellon University, Uber, General Motors, the Global Automakers, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania.
 
A year later, HB2 bathroom bill has cost N. Carolina millions
The Union Leader
In the 2017 legislative session, lawmakers in 15 states have introduced some version of a "bathroom bill" that requires people to use the restroom and locker room in public facilities that corresponds with the gender on their birth certificate, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

As coal industry continues its slide, Kentucky eyes nuclear power
Tribune-Review
Kentucky is one of 15 states that restrict the construction of nuclear power facilities, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Wisconsin lifted its ban last year. Nationwide, there are 61 nuclear power plants with 99 nuclear reactors in 30 states, according to the Energy Information Administration.
 
Maine bill would ease campaign reporting requirements
Press Herald
The National Conference of State Legislatures says at least 14 states require a candidate to disclose receipts of contributions within 24 hours, with some states requiring such disclosure in just the days before an election and others, like California, requiring such reporting within 90 days of the election.
 
Vapor products, e-cigarettes could be taxed under new Washington ...
Q13 FOX
California, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia and Washington, D.C., currently tax e-cigarettes and vape products, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. At least 15 other states considered legislation to tax e-cigarettes this year including Alaska, Oregon and Washington.
 
Lawmakers propose reeling back reporting requirements
Thegardenisland.com
The National Conference of State Legislatures says at least 14 states require a candidate to disclose receipts of contributions within 24 hours, with some states requiring such disclosure in just the days before an election and others, like California, requiring such reporting within 90 days of the election.

Full disclosure: Ige, some legal experts raise flags about ...
Hawaii Tribune Herald
Presidential tax return legislation has been introduced in at least 24 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Most were introduced by Democrats, although bills in Kansas and Minnesota were introduced by Republicans.
 
Bills on drug-testing welfare applicants, Skype from prison and ...
The Nevada Independent
People who test positive must participate in a drug treatment program as a condition of receiving benefits. At least 15 other states have passed legislation requiring drug screening for applicants, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
State legislatures propose bills on presidential hopefuls' taxes
NWAOnline
Presidential tax return legislation has been introduced in at least 24 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Most were introduced by Democrats, although bills in Kansas and Minnesota were introduced by Republicans.
 
More states debate requiring seat belts on school buses
Lincoln Journal Star
But they’re considering a seat belt bill (LB279) again this year, and similar legislation has been introduced in at least 19 other states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. That’s far more states than usual — a change some safety experts attribute to a federal recommendation in late 2015 that school buses have seat belts.
  
NJ first to pass presidential tax return bill
Daily Record
New Jersey and at least 21 other states followed suit with similar legislation, according to a report published last week by the National Conference of State Legislatures. The bill in New Jersey would apply to candidates for president and vice president.
 
Fewer Michigan parents seek vaccination waivers
Spartan Newsroom
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Michigan is one of 20 states that allow waivers for philosophical reasons. High nonmedical waiver rates can make communities more susceptible to preventable diseases like measles, pertussis and chickenpox, according to the MDHHS.
 
Arizona Department of Public Safety to ramp up distracted driving ...
KTAR.com
Arizona and Montana are the only two states that do not ban texting while driving for all or most motorists, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. All other states have some form of ban on texting while driving.

March 17

Maryland has a budget problem — but no one can agree on why
Washington Post
Maryland is one of 10 to 15 states where high-income earners play a major role in the outcome of state tax collections, according to Arturo Perez, a fiscal analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures. As a result, revenues in these states can be more susceptible to stock market forces.

Trump budget could mean major changes in Washington, from housing and schools to military
The Seattle Times
According to the state Commerce Department, the military installations in the state and “defense-related” assets rank as the state’s second-largest public employer, with more than 112,000 workers. In fiscal year 2015, military spending in Washington totaled $12.6 billion, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

NJ first to pass presidential tax return bill
NorthJersey.com
New Jersey and at least 21 other states followed suit with similar legislation, according to a report published last week by the National Conference of State Legislatures. The bill in New Jersey would apply to candidates for both president and vice president.

DPS scrutinizes texting, other distracted driving leading to traffic accidents
Cronkite News
Arizona and Montana are the only two states that do not ban texting while driving for all or most motorists, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. All other states have some form of ban on texting while driving.

Education savings accounts fail in House after schools debated
Arkansas Online
Legislation on education savings accounts has been enacted in five states: Arizona, Florida, Mississippi, Nevada and Tennessee, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

NM ethics commission passes Senate via decisive vote
Albuquerque Journal
New Mexico is currently one of just eight states without an ethics commission, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and ethics complaints against legislators are handled internally via a largely secretive process.

DPS scrutinizes texting, other distracted driving leading to traffic accidents
Cronkite News
Arizona and Montana are the only two states that do not ban texting while driving for all or most motorists, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. All other states have some form of ban on texting while driving.

Is paid family leave in employers' future?
Lexology
Currently, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, three states — California, New Jersey, and Rhode Island — provide paid family leave to public and private employees.

Charter school bill passes, moves on to governor
The Floyd County Times
Kentucky is one of seven states that do not already allow public charter schools, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Bill to Ban Corporal Punishment in Arkansas Fails
OzarksFirst.com
In a paper called "State Policies Addressing Child Abuse and Neglect," the National Conference of State Legislatures, a bipartisan nongovernmental organization that monitors and researchers state policies, wrote that, "Substantial research shows negative long-term outcomes for children who are disciplined through corporal punishment.

ND Senate fails to repeal Sunday shopping ban
The Capital Journal
The National Conference of State Legislatures says about a dozen states have some form of Sunday sales laws, but only North Dakota prohibits shopping on Sunday morning.

March 16

Proposed $100 Fine for Masturbation Is Latest in Long Tradition of Protest Legislation
TIME
Sound too far gone to become law? That's the point. Farrar's measure is the latest example of deliberately outrageous protest legislation, a practice with a long tradition in American politics (albeit one that's hard to quantify: the National Conference on State Legislatures does not track these measures as a category).
 
It's a 'Historic Day': Ethics commission clears key panel
Albuquerque Journal
New Mexico has had a string of recent scandals involving elected officials, and is currently one of just eight states without an ethics commission, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Texas House approves ban on texting while driving, again
Austin American-Statesman
Forty-six states have banned texting while driving, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures.
 
Analysts' Update for Scotts Miracle-Gro in March 2017
Market Realist
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 44 US states have passed laws supporting the use of cannabis (or marijuana) for medical or recreational purposes. 

Trump poised to loosen federal rules on states that test unemployed for drugs
LancasterOnline
Only a handful of states require drug-testing of at least some people filing for unemployment compensation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
3 Reasons Credit Isn't as Boring as It Sounds
NewsOK.com
Eleven states — including California, Illinois and Washington — have passed laws that limit potential employers’ ability to check your credit, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Sisters Act: Siblings Kitty Toll and Jane Kitchel Hold Vermont's Purse ...
Seven Days
The National Conference of State Legislatures noted 27 instances of statehouse family ties across the country in 2016. The list was incomplete, as it didn't include Vermont.
 
Recent hate crimes prompt state lawmakers to consider tougher laws
KOMO News
"As we know hate crime is on the rise," said Sarah Brown of the National Conference of State Legislatures. She told lawmakers that Washington stacks up well with other states by being one of the first to pass a state hate crime law that covers crimes against people who have immutable characteristics such as skin color, ethnic background and sexual preference. "I think you can expect to see more law enforcement protective measures introduced." said Brown. "I think we're also seeing the issue of more protection for homeless."
     
In coal country, a potential embrace of nuclear power
Cincinnati.com
Kentucky is one of 15 states that restrict the construction of new nuclear power facilities according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

March 15

Religious Freedom, Bias Protections: Something's Got to Give
Bloomberg BNA
Currently, 21 states have religious freedom laws, according to Bloomberg BNA research and information from the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Education savings account bill returns to Arkansas House panel for changes
Arkansas Online
Education savings accounts legislation has been enacted in five states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Nevada's Supreme Court has ruled that the state could not pay for accounts using money intended for public schools.
 
Recent hate crimes prompt state lawmakers to consider tougher laws
KOMO News
"As we know hate crime is on the rise," said Sarah Brown of the National Conference of State Legislatures. She told lawmakers that Washington stacks up well with other states by being one of the first to pass a state hate crime law that covers crimes against people who have immutable characteristics such as skin color, ethnic background and sexual preference.
 
Bill bans expiration dates on gift cards sold in Nevada
Las Vegas Sun
California already prohibits gift card expiration dates, according to the National Conference of State Legislators.
 
NH Senate Passes Bill to Allow Electronic Poll Book Pilot, Rejects Online Voter Registration
Government Technology
Thirty-four states and the District of Columbia offer online voter registration, and four others have passed legislation to create a system but have yet to implement it, the National Conference of State Legislatures reports.
 
WF near top of best cities list for early retirees
Times Record News
The company's ratings are based on cost of living, quality of life and job opportunities data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the National Conference of State Legislatures and other sources.
 
More states consider boosting renewable fuel mandates
E&E News
In all, 10 states are considering an increase in renewable portfolio standards, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
In Ky. coal country, a potential embrace of nuclear power
BlueRidgeNow.com
Kentucky is one of 15 states that restrict the construction of new nuclear power facilities according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 
 
North Dakota Senate fails to repeal Sunday shopping ban
Bismarck Tribune
The National Conference of State Legislatures says about a dozen states have some form of Sunday sales laws, but only North Dakota prohibits shopping on Sunday morning.

Martinez marks Women's History Month with visit to Texas
KRGV
Overall, the National Conference of State Legislatures says the ratio of female legislators in the U.S. has increased only slightly over the past year.

More states debate requiring seat belts on school buses
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle
But they’re considering a seat belt bill again this year, and similar legislation has been introduced in at least 19 other states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL)
 
Gov. Martinez Shares Importance Of Women In Government In Recent Texas Trip
KRWG
Overall, the National Conference of State Legislatures says the ratio of female legislators in the U.S. has increased only slightly over the past year.

March 14

In need of public assistance? You might need $40 and a drug test to get it.
Miami Herald
TANF is funded by the federal government, but it is run by the states, which are allowed to set requirements, including drug tests. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 14 states have drug testing programs for welfare recipients.
 
House panel advances Kansas industrial hemp bill
Hutchinson News
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 30 or more states now have laws allowing some measure of industrial hemp research or production. This includes creating pilot programs, authorizing studies or allowing commercial industry. Some of the states, though, folded in provisions that make their laws contingent upon federal waivers or further changes to federal statute. Since 2014, the U.S. government has allowed limited cultivation for specific purposes, the NCSL says.
 
More states debate requiring seat belts on school buses
The Spokesman-Review
But they’re considering a seat belt bill again this year, and similar legislation has been introduced in at least 19 other states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). That’s far more states than usual – a change some safety experts attribute to a federal recommendation in late 2015 that school buses have seat belts.
 
'Motor voter' passes Senate, heads to governor's desk
Reno Gazette Journal
Seven states and Washington, D.C., all have automatic registration, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 
 
How Scotts Miracle-Gro Is Embracing Cannabis
Market Realist
In the United States, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 44 states have laws supporting the use of cannabis (or marijuana) for either medical or recreational purposes.

Arc of Indiana Foundation Appoints Executive Director
Inside Indiana Business
In addition, he served as a member of the Indianapolis Super Bowl XLVI Host Committee and vice-chair for the National Conference of State Legislature’s Legislative Effectiveness Committee.

March 13

Bill Could Make Convicted Officials Fund Special Elections
U.S. News & World Report
The bill could be the first of its kind in the country. Staff at the National Conference of State Legislatures were not aware Friday of any other states with similar policies.

Proof daylight saving time is dumb, dangerous, and costly
The Boston Globe
As Hawaii and Arizona show, the US government gives states a choice as to whether to adopt daylight saving time. But states aren’t currently allowed to switch to daylight saving time year-round. Last year, 19 bills were pending in state legislatures around the US to end the biannual time change, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. None passed.
     
Lawsuit: Mug shot website posts incomplete records so sister site can solicit
Chicago Tribune
At least seven states have mug shot-related legislation pending, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which tracks legislative efforts. Florida has introduced legislation similar to the Illinois law, though past Sunshine State efforts have failed.
 
Maryland has a budget problem, but no one can agree why
Herald-Mail Media
Maryland is one of 10 to 15 states where high-income earners play a major role in the outcome of state tax collections, according to Arturo Perez, a fiscal analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures. As a result, revenues in these states can be more susceptible to stock-market forces.

Gov. Wolf's fight to offer early retirement incentives
Philly.com
“Early retirement incentives rarely live up to their promises, in terms of how much they will save,” said Luke Martel, who oversees research on retirement and pension policy at the National Conference of State Legislatures. 
 
Time change costly to health, finances, study finds
Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
As Hawaii and Arizona show, the U.S. government gives states a choice as to whether to adopt daylight saving time. But states currently aren't allowed to switch to daylight saving time year-round. Last year, 19 bills were pending in state legislatures to end the biannual time change, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
South Carolina special election funding
WJBF-TV
The bill could be the first of its kind in the country. Staff at the National Conference of State Legislatures were not aware Friday of any other states with similar policies.
 
EDITORIAL: Finding Fla.'s voice through the pot debate
Houma Courier
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, another 17 states have bills pending that would legalize marijuana for adults.
 
More proof daylight saving time is costly
Bend Bulletin
But states aren’t allowed to switch to daylight saving time year-round. Last year, 19 bills were pending in state legislatures around the U.S. to end the biannual time change, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. None passed.
 
SC bill would force convicted politicians to pay to replace them
Charlotte Observer
The bill could be the first of its kind in the country. Staff at the National Conference of State Legislatures were not aware Friday of any other states with similar policies.
 
State bill would give police sneak peak at body-camera footage in ...
Bradenton Herald
Thirty states have passed body camera laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and studies have shown the cameras reduce both the use of force by police and citizen complaints.
 
Bill in Salem would tap unused gift cards for K-12
Mail Tribune
About half of U.S. states require unredeemed gift cards to be handed over to them after anywhere from two to five years, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. They include Washington, Nevada, Alaska and Idaho.

House Approves Six-Year Lobbying Ban
WFSU
There are concerns the measure violates free speech under the First Amendment. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, if the bill becomes law, it would be the longest such ban in the nation.
     
State Senate passes bill to allow electronic poll book trial program
The Union Leader
Thirty-four states and the District of Columbia offer online voter registration, and four others have passed legislation to create a system but have yet to implement it, the National Conference of State Legislatures reports.

How the federal budget process works
Journalist's Resource
The Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan think tank, has a free briefing book on how the budget works as well as regular cost-benefit analyses on government initiatives. As mentioned above, the National Conference on State Legislatures is also a good resource.
 
Jay Evensen: Only a few get to be 'in the room where it happens'
Deseret News
The National Conference of State Legislatures has published a table that tracks how caucuses in each state handle the public. Utah is part of a solid majority. It is significant, however, that House and Senate caucuses are listed as “always open to the press” in Arizona, Colorado, Kentucky, Montana and North Dakota.

March 10

Billionaire George Soros fuels Democrats' push to lower voting age to 17
Washington Times
Also gaining popularity is preregistration. Twenty states and the District of Columbia allow certain minors, ranging in age from 16 to 17 years and 10 months, to register to vote before turning 18, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
States Aren't Waiting for Trump to Seek Funds for Infrastructure
Bloomberg
Meanwhile, states’ funding sources have languished. Many states haven’t increased their gas taxes to keep pace with inflation. While 40 states have raised their levies since 1993, Moody's said, just 19 states and the District of Columbia have increased them since 2013, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Proof Daylight Saving Time Is Dumb, Dangerous, and Costly
Bloomberg
As Hawaii and Arizona show, the U.S. government gives states a choice as to whether to adopt daylight saving time. But states aren't currently allowed to switch to daylight saving time year-round. Last year, 19 bills were pending in state legislatures around the U.S. to end the biannual time change, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. None passed.
 
Proposed bill would expand absentee voting
Delaware State News
Thirty-seven states offer no excuse absentee voting, early voting or voting by mail, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Bill lets parents tailor kids' school funds
Arkansas Online
Education savings account legislation has been enacted in five states -- Arizona, Florida, Mississippi, Nevada and Tennessee -- according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Virginia lawmakers are accepting drastically fewer gifts in post-McDonnell era, data shows
Virginian-Pilot
Annual meetings – for instance: Sen. Louise Lucas, D-Portsmouth, went to Southern Regional Education Board meeting in Arkansas – and conferences fall under the paid conferences grouping – legislators designate these as helping educate themselves about concerns in their districts. The third category of trips is mostly those paid for by the House of Delegates or state Senate to send members to events, such as the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Union Membership In MN Has Been Declining For Decades. How Are Unions Changing to Stay Relevant?
Twin Cities Business Magazine
Many Southern states, including the Carolinas, don’t have histories of big, powerful labor unions, said Peter Rachleff, a founder and co-director of the East Side Freedom Library in St. Paul. Southern states were among the first to pass “right-to-work” legislation exempting workers whose jobs are covered by union protections from having to join the union or pay dues. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 28 states and Guam have passed such laws.
 
Horrendous Bills Introduced by Republicans – While You Were Distracted
Milwaukee Community Journal
Many states have enacted so-called right-to-work laws, which prohibit labor unions and employers from requiring workers to join unions to get or keep jobs. The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) explains: Currently, 28 states and Guam have given workers a choice when it comes to union membership. Labor unions still operate in those states, but workers cannot be compelled to become members as a requirement of their job. Kentucky became the 27th right-to-work state when it enacted HB 1 on Jan. 9, 2017. Missouri became the 28th by enacting SB 19 on Feb. 2, 2017.
 
Texas Transgender Bathroom Bill Advances in State Senate
Athletic Business 
But the threats from the business community appear to be falling on deaf ears in Texas and elsewhere. Fourteen states have considered or are considering legislation this cycle regulating public restrooms, locker rooms and other changing facilities on the basis of biological sex, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
More States Debate Requiring Seat Belts On School Buses
Huffington Post
But they’re considering a seat belt bill again this year, and similar legislation has been introduced in at least 19 other states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). That’s far more states than usual — a change some safety experts attribute to a federal recommendation in late 2015 that school buses have seat belts.
 
Gifts still down, Virginia Democrats more likely to take them
Daily Press
Locally, Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. "Tommy" Norment went to Normandy, France, in September, a trip paid for by the National Conference of State Legislatures. The six-day trip was part of a leadership program for legislators in leadership positions in their respective bodies, spokesman Jeff Ryer said. The trip was valued at about $3,300.
 
North Dakota business groups push online sales tax bill, call it a matter of fairness
Prairie Business
While a fiscal note attached to the bill said the additional revenue it may bring could not be computed, the National Conference of State Legislatures estimated North Dakota lost $31.3 million in uncollected sales taxes from remote sellers in fiscal year 2012, while Minnesota lost $455.2 million.

Beaver Valley nuclear station's future in balance on subsidies
The Daily Times
The caucus, which includes Jim Marshall, R-Beaver County, and Robert Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, plans to make a formal announcement of its existence later this month to be followed by a discussion of a new report on how states can save nuclear power plants, commissioned by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Matzie and Marshall did not return calls for comment.
 
Kansas unlikely to pass hate crimes bill after bar shooting
Hutchinson News
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Georgia, Alabama, Indiana, South Carolina and Wyoming don’t have hate crimes laws.
 
Marathon partisan debate underway over Iowa elections changes
Quad City Times
If HF 516 is approved by the Senate and signed by Gov. Terry Branstad, Iowa would be the 35th state request or require voters to show some form of identification, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

March 9

States Aren't Waiting for Trump to Seek Funds for Infrastructure
Bloomberg
Meanwhile, states’ funding sources have languished. Many states haven’t increased their gas taxes to keep pace with inflation. While 40 states have raised their levies since 1993, Moody's said, just 19 states and the District of Columbia have increased them since 2013, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Legislature Considers Expanding Voucher-Like Program
U.S. News & World Report
The proposal is an education savings account plan. ESAs are the latest trend in the school choice movement. Five states have passed laws allowing some form of ESAs, including Arizona, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee and Nevada, said Josh Cunningham, a senior policy education specialist with the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Nevada Supreme Court has since struck down that state's law, ruling that the funding mechanism is unconstitutional.
 
House Votes to Ban Holding Phones While Driving
U.S. News & World Report
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures 14 states currently ban any hand-held cellphone use while driving in a car; however, 37 states and D.C. ban all cellphone use by beginner or teen drivers, including Washington. Forty-six states prohibit texting messaging for all drivers.
 
Move to prohibit Washington state income tax fails
The Seattle Times
Washington is one of seven states without a state personal income tax. The others are Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. New Hampshire and Tennessee have a limited income tax on interest and dividends, but they do not tax wages and salaries.
 
The Way We Talk About Autonomy Is a Lie, and That's Dangerous
Fortune
Establishing a national framework pleased the states, mostly; the National Conference of State Legislatures regretted that the NHTSA hadn’t asked the NSCL for input before drafting the Model State Policy, and noted possible inconsistencies and ambiguities in the division of federal and state responsibilities.
 
Drone pilots discuss the need for laws regulating flight
The Denver Post
According to research by the National Conference of State Legislatures, 33 states have enacted laws regarding drone flight, with another four adopting resolutions. In Colorado, there are no state laws regulating drone use. On Wednesday, the House Appropriations Committee passed HB17-1070 to integrate drones within fire and public safety departments. The bill now goes to the full House. Four earlier bills that failed to win support had touched on privacy, government and non-government use, and flying near airports and detention centers.
 
Hatch Offers Measures to Kill Savings Plans for Private Workers
Bond Buyer
But the National Conference of State Legislatures estimates that 55 million Americans work for employers that do not offer any form of retirement savings plans. State and local governments worry that when these workers retire without savings, they will become burdens to state and local governments and their social, welfare and health care programs.
 
Bill prohibiting Washington state income tax fails in Senate
The Olympian
Washington is one of seven states without a state personal income tax. The others are Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Auditor General says taxing marijuana could yield $200 million for ...
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Eight states and the District of Columbia allow small amounts of marijuana for recreational use by adults, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In November 2016, voters in California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada approved recreational use by adults. Alaska also allows recreational use.
 
Bills Introduced by Republicans While We Were Distracted by the ...
snopes.com
Many states have enacted so-called right-to-work laws, which prohibit labor unions and employers from requiring workers to join unions to get or keep jobs. The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) explains:
 
Legislature considers expanding voucher-like program
News & Observer
Five states have passed laws allowing some form of ESAs, including Arizona, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee and Nevada, said Josh Cunningham, a senior policy education specialist with the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Nevada Supreme Court has since struck down that state's law, ruling that the funding mechanism is unconstitutional.
 
Felons Look To Ballot Measure To Have 'Voice Heard'
CBS Miami
Florida is one of a handful of states that require action by the governor or courts before felons who have completed their sentences can have rights restored, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Beaver Valley nuclear plant future hinges on subsidies
Beloit Daily News
The caucus, which includes Jim Marshall, R-Beaver County, and Robert Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, plans to make a formal announcement of its existence later this month to be followed by a discussion of a new report on how states can save nuclear power plants, commissioned by the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

House advances charter schools bill
Hazard Herald
Kentucky is one of seven states that do not already allow public charter schools, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Bill prohibiting Washington state income tax fails in Senate
Kitsap Sun
Washington is one of seven states without a state personal income tax. The others are Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. New Hampshire and Tennessee have a limited income tax on interest and dividends, but they do not tax wages and salaries.
 
When 'Highly Qualified' Teachers Aren't
Education Week
Recent research confirms that America's most vulnerable children are being taught by the least-qualified teachers. In 2016, the National Conference of State Legislatures noted that "most state education systems are falling dangerously behind the world.
 
New York State To Launch Electric Vehicle Rebate
Manufacturing.net
More than three-quarters of states already offer incentives intended to drive down the cost of electric vehicles, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

March 8

Pennsylvania Auditor Wants to Close Budget Gap by Legalizing Marijuana
TIME
Pennsylvania is one of 17 states with pending legislation that would legalize recreational marijuana, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. There are eight states including Massachusetts and California that currently allow small amounts of marijuana for adult-recreational use.

Legislature Considers Expanding Voucher-Like Program
U.S. News & World Report
The proposal is an education savings account plan. ESAs are the latest trend in the school choice movement. Five states have passed laws allowing some form of ESAs, including Arizona, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee and Nevada, said Josh Cunningham, a senior policy education specialist with the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Nevada Supreme Court has since struck down that state's law, ruling that the funding mechanism is unconstitutional.

House Votes to Ban Holding Phones While Driving
U.S. News & World Report
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures 14 states currently ban any hand-held cellphone use while driving in a car; however, 37 states and D.C. ban all cellphone use by beginner or teen drivers, including Washington. Forty-six states prohibit texting messaging for all drivers.

Hatch Offers Measures to Kill Savings Plans for Private Workers
Bond Buyer
But the National Conference of State Legislatures estimates that 55 million Americans work for employers that do not offer any form of retirement savings plans. State and local governments worry that when these workers retire without savings, they will become burdens to state and local governments and their social, welfare and health care programs.

Bill prohibiting Washington state income tax fails in Senate
The Olympian
Washington is one of seven states without a state personal income tax. The others are Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Auditor General says taxing marijuana could yield $200 million for ...
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Eight states and the District of Columbia allow small amounts of marijuana for recreational use by adults, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In November 2016, voters in California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada approved recreational use by adults. Alaska also allows recreational use.

Bills Introduced by Republicans While We Were Distracted by the ...
snopes.com
Many states have enacted so-called right-to-work laws, which prohibit labor unions and employers from requiring workers to join unions to get or keep jobs. The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) explains:

Legislature considers expanding voucher-like program
News & Observer
Five states have passed laws allowing some form of ESAs, including Arizona, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee and Nevada, said Josh Cunningham, a senior policy education specialist with the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Nevada Supreme Court has since struck down that state's law, ruling that the funding mechanism is unconstitutional.

Felons Look To Ballot Measure To Have 'Voice Heard'
CBS Miami
Florida is one of a handful of states that require action by the governor or courts before felons who have completed their sentences can have rights restored, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Beaver Valley nuclear plant future hinges on subsidies
Beloit Daily News
The caucus, which includes Jim Marshall, R-Beaver County, and Robert Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, plans to make a formal announcement of its existence later this month to be followed by a discussion of a new report on how states can save nuclear power plants, commissioned by the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

House advances charter schools bill
Hazard Herald
Kentucky is one of seven states that do not already allow public charter schools, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Bill prohibiting Washington state income tax fails in Senate
Kitsap Sun
Washington is one of seven states without a state personal income tax. The others are Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. New Hampshire and Tennessee have a limited income tax on interest and dividends, but they do not tax wages and salaries.

When 'Highly Qualified' Teachers Aren't
Education Week
Recent research confirms that America's most vulnerable children are being taught by the least-qualified teachers. In 2016, the National Conference of State Legislatures noted that "most state education systems are falling dangerously behind the world.

New York State To Launch Electric Vehicle Rebate
Manufacturing.net
More than three-quarters of states already offer incentives intended to drive down the cost of electric vehicles, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

March 7

Alabama lawmakers will meet to discuss impeachment of Gov. Bentley
CNN
In Alabama, articles of impeachment must be brought forward by the state House of Representatives, while the state Senate acts as jury. Most states follow a similar procedure, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Supreme Court sends transgender bathroom case back to lower court
Washington Times
Legislatures in 14 states have considered or are considering bills this year that would regulate intimate public facilities on the basis of biological sex, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. One state, North Carolina, has such a law on the books.
 
Auditor General says taxing marijuana could yield $200 million for state
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Eight states and the District of Columbia allow small amounts of marijuana for recreational use by adults, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In November 2016, voters in California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada approved recreational use by adults. Alaska also allows recreational use.

Beaver Valley hangs in the balance of nuclear subsidy efforts in two states
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The caucus, which includes Jim Marshall, R-Beaver County, and Robert Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, plans to make a formal announcement of its existence later this month to be followed by a discussion of a new report on how states can save nuclear power plants, commissioned by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Mr. Matzie and Mr. Marshall did not return calls for comment.
 
Florida Supreme Court considers voting rights amendment for convicted criminals
Daily Commercial
Florida is one of a handful of states that require action by the governor or courts before felons who have completed their sentences can have rights restored, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
New York Will Launch $2000 Electric Vehicle Rebate Program
InsideEVs
he National Conference of State Legislatures.told U.S. News that three-quarters of U.S. states have some sort of EV incentive on the books. New York has been waiting for the launch of this rebate since 2016, when the bill was approved by lawmakers, setting April 1 as the deadline.

Getaround boosts car-sharing insurance bill
Albany Times Union
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, some states have sought to tax car sharing and others have sought to incentivize car-sharing through tax credits or car-sharing partnerships with other transportation providers.
 
When it comes to lobbying, both content and quality make a difference
West Fargo Pioneer
In his seven years as a lobbyist, Andrist said he's only written a handful of bills but has drafted quite a few amendments to bills, changes that his clients were seeking. He said it's common for model legislation from national groups like the National Conference of State Legislatures to end up in the North Dakota Capitol.
     
Washington Senate approves REAL ID compliance bill
Peninsula Daily News
In addition to the measure in Washington, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oregon and South Carolina all have introduced bills related to REAL ID compliance this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Bill to bring back death penalty in New Mexico stalls
Albuquerque Journal
Nineteen states, including New Mexico, currently do not have death penalty laws on their books, and three of those states – Illinois, Connecticut and Maryland – have abolished capital punishment in the past six years, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

March 6

The (Mostly) Safe Golf Cart
NY Times
Today, 24 states have statutes that allow localities to regulate golf cart use on public streets, said Amanda Essex, a policy specialist in transportation for the National Conference of State Legislatures. And in five other states, legislation has been introduced to regulate their use. Legislation typically includes prohibiting golf carts on state and federal highways, and on roads with speed limits above 25 to 35 miles per hour. In some cases, their use is restricted to daytime, requiring signage to indicate use and specifying driver age and licensure.
 
Bill Would Help Trafficking Victims Clear Criminal Records
U.S. News & World Report
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 27 other states have similar laws to expunge, vacate or seal criminal records related to being trafficked.
 
New York state to launch electric vehicle rebate
Fox News
More than three-quarters of states already offer incentives intended to drive down the cost of electric vehicles, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
States push for more transparency over drug prices
The Hill
During the 2015-2016 state legislative sessions, dozens of states filed bills to require drugmakers, health insurers and pharmacy benefit managers to explain various elements of their spending and how they price drugs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Fifteen states have filed measures related to drug price transparency thus far this year, according to NCSL, including Maryland, which is pursuing two bills to force drug companies to explain price hikes and allow legal action for excessive price increases.

Refugees must repay the US government for their flights — 7 surprising facts about resettlement
Business Insider
There's no doubt that the US pays a large upfront cost when it accepts refugees. Data from the National Conference of State Legislatures shows that in the 2015 fiscal year, the US had a budget of $612 million to resettle about 70,000 refugees (this excludes $948 million that was set aside for unaccompanied minors who crossed the US-Mexico border).
 
At Capitol, notaries are licensed to politic
Albany Times Union
The Legislature's staff is large. In 2015, the Senate and Assembly's 213 elected members employed 2,865 staffers, according to a survey by the National Conference of State Legislatures. That legislative workforce is the largest in the nation — 750 more than California, which has twice the population of New York
 
Who has the most lobbying firepower in ND, MN?
INFORUM
In his seven years as a lobbyist, Andrist said he's only written a handful of bills but has drafted quite a few amendments to bills, changes that his clients were seeking. He said it's common for model legislation from national groups like the National Conference of State Legislatures to end up in the North Dakota Capitol.
 
When it comes to lobbying, both content and quality make a difference
Bismarck Tribune
In his seven years as a lobbyist, Andrist said he’s only written a handful of bills but has drafted quite a few amendments to bills, changes that his clients were seeking. He said it’s common for model legislation from national groups like the National Conference of State Legislatures to end up in the North Dakota Capitol.
 
Bill would help trafficking victims clear criminal records
KXLY Spokane
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 27 other states have similar laws. Wolfe says she wanted to share her story to help others understand the importance of passing this legislation.
 
Measure in Wash. would help sex trafficking victims clear convictions
KIRO Seattle
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 27 other states have similar laws to expunge, vacate or seal criminal records related to being trafficked.
 
Conference will explore fair school funding
The Southern
Illinois K-12 Funding in Comparison to Other States — Daniel Thatcher, program principal for the National Conference of State Legislatures. Thatcher tracks statewide education finance developments and Common Core State Standards implementation and legislation.
 
Measure would help sex trafficking victims
The Register-Guard
According to the National¬ Conference of State Legislatures, at least 27 other states have similar¬ laws to expunge, vacate or seal criminal records related¬ to being trafficked.
 
Carol Falkowski: Marijuana and adolescents: Caution
TwinCities.com-Pioneer Press
Twenty-eight states and Washington, D.C., Guam and Puerto Rico currently have comprehensive medical marijuana programs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. This began with voters in California more than 20 years ago in 1996. This was not subject to voter approval in Minnesota.
 
Millennial Lawmakers Put a Fresh Face on West Virginia Politics
WMKY
Millennials -people ages 18 to 34- make up about 25 percent of the country’s population. But the National Conference of State Legislatures reports the age group only makes up about 5 percent of the representatives in state legislatures.

House advances bill to allow operation of charter schools in ...
KyForward.com
Kentucky is one of seven states that do not already allow public charter schools, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
House votes to raise minimum wage to $9.25
Albuquerque Journal
Both Arizona and Colorado currently have minimum wages in excess of $9 per hour, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. However, the minimum wages of Texas, Oklahoma and Utah are all set at the federal minimum, $7.25 per hour.

Bill requires drug tests, job training for welfare recipients
Kearney Hub
At least 15 states have passed laws that relate to drug testing or screening to qualify for public assistance, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Some apply to all applicants, while others target people with a history of drug abuse or those who are believed to be using.
     
State to offer electric vehicle rebate
Times Herald-Record
More than three-quarters of states already offer incentives intended to drive down the cost of electric vehicles, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
3 Different Ways State GOP Lawmakers Are Fighting Sanctuary Cities
Daily Signal
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 29 states and Washington, D.C., are considering legislation in 2017 regarding sanctuary jurisdictions or noncompliance with immigration detainers…“The role of state and local law enforcement in federal immigration policy has returned to the forefront of public debate,” Ann Morse of the National Conference of State Legislatures wrote in her synopsis of state-level legislative action.
     
Gun News of the Week: Cornyn to Introduce National Reciprocity Bill
Outdoor Life Magazine
Sixteen states have introduced “permitless carry” or “Constitutional carry” legislation in 2017, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures and the National Rifle Association. Legislation is pending in Kentucky, Texas, Colorado and Indiana.

Charter schools bill passes Kentucky House
WBKO
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Kentucky is one of seven states that do not already allow public charter schools.
     
Term limits sought for NC legislature
News & Observer
Term limits range from six to 12 years in those states. In 2014, the National Conference of State Legislatures found 225 state lawmakers had to leave office because they’d reached their term limit.
 
Bill designed to combat heroin abuse dies in Idaho House
KMVT
The National Conference of State Legislatures says it tracked more than 500 state bills dealing with prescription drug abuse in 2016. The organization expects a similar number is expected this year.
 
Obradovich: Are special interests controlling the Iowa GOP agenda?
DesMoinesRegister.com
She acknowledged, however, that lawmakers share ideas through organizations such as ALEC, the National Conference of State Legislatures and the Council of State Governments.
 
Minnesota House passes bill restricting city governments
MinnPost
Those numbers include only bills whose sponsors have specifically linked them to protests, said Jonathan Griffin, a policy analyst who tracks the measures at the National Conference of State Legislatures. How many will be enacted is unclear; a few already have been pronounced dead in committee.”
     
Legislative Update: Following Idaho Floor Debates
Boise State Public Radio
In our 2017 Weekly Legislative Update, Boise State University professor Gary Moncrief says he’s been watching a lot of legislative floor debates, all across the country. He says it's easy to do online, thanks to a website from the National Conference of State Legislatures. And he says you can learn a lot about how legislatures work just by listening in.
 
Study maintains undocumented immigrants pay their fair share in taxes
Colorado Springs Gazette
The Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures cites a 2011 report by Elena Fairley and Rich Jones of the Bell Policy Center in Denver that indicates Colorado profits, if only slightly.
 
Georgia Senate endorses prizes for savings accounts
Atlanta Journal Constitution
At least 20 other states allow financial institutions to offer prize-linked savings accounts, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

March 3

As State Budget Revenues Fall Short, Higher Education Faces A Squeeze
NPR
Since higher education often doesn't have a dedicated source of funding, colleges and universities frequently take a hit during bad budget years. "Higher education is called the balance wheel of state budgets," says Dustin Weeden of the National Conference of State Legislatures. "It's a large discretionary area where states can reduce in bad times, but then in general they also tend to come back and increase higher ed budget categories when good times return," Weeden says. "The challenge has been with the most recent recession — is that the recoveries have been slower and much more sluggish and taken longer to get the tax revenue back up to pre-recession levels."

Across the Country, a Republican Push to Rein In Protesters
New York Times
Those numbers include only bills whose sponsors have specifically linked them to protests, said Jonathan Griffin, a policy analyst who tracks the measures at the National Conference of State Legislatures. How many will be enacted is unclear; a few already have been pronounced dead in committee.
 
Is pink the new orange? In nod to women, Va. passes bill to let hunters wear hot pink
Washington Post
Four states — Colorado, Louisiana, New York and Wisconsin — now allow hunters to wear fluorescent pink in addition to the traditional orange, said Jennifer Schultz, senior policy specialist with the National Conference of State Legislatures. Legislation is pending in Montana and Minnesota, though it failed in the latter state just last year. It also was rejected in Illinois and Maine in recent years. Michigan is studying whether “hunter pink” or any other colors would be effective and safe.
 
Republican officials take aim at progressive protests
MSNBC – The Rachel Maddow Show
Those numbers include only bills whose sponsors have specifically linked them to protests, said Jonathan Griffin, a policy analyst who tracks the measures at the National Conference of State Legislatures…. [I]nterviews and news reports suggest that some of the measures are either backed by supporters of President Trump or are responses to demonstrations against him and his policies.
 
Tough-on-Protesting Bills Worry Free-Speech Advocates
Governing
Those numbers include only bills whose sponsors have specifically linked them to protests, said Jonathan Griffin, a policy analyst who tracks the measures at the National Conference of State Legislatures. How many will be enacted is unclear; a few already have been pronounced dead in committee.

This Florida mom won't meet Trump on Friday at a Catholic school ...
Los Angeles Times
Tax credit programs allow people and corporations to allocate some of their tax money to nonprofits that administer scholarships, and student recipients can choose from a list of private schools. The nonprofits then cover the students' tuition or school expenses. According to the National Conference on State Legislatures , 17 states currently have such programs.
 
Bill mandating drug screenings for Nebraska welfare recipients faces criticism
Omaha World-Herald
At least 15 states have passed laws that relate to drug testing or screening to qualify for public assistance, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Some apply to all applicants, while others target people with a history of drug abuse or those who are believed to be using.
 
Minimum wage increase clears Senate
Albuquerque Journal
Both Arizona and Colorado currently have minimum wages in excess of $9 per hour, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. However, the minimum wages of Texas, Oklahoma and Utah are all set at the federal minimum – $7.25 per hour.
 
Under Georgia Bill, Minors Could Be Tried As Adults for Assaulting ...
Reason
The report says upward of 250,000 juveniles end up in adult criminal court every year. Every single state has some version of a transfer law, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Trump's cross-state insurance sales plan: practical or practically ...T
Allentown Morning Call
At the state level, between 2008 and 2010, similar bills were floated in 18 state legislatures, including Pennsylvania's, to allow cross-border sales, and only Rhode Island and Wyoming passed laws allowing it, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Since then Georgia, Kentucky and Maine have passed their ACA-related bills but no insurance companies, regulated in other states, have sought to join those three states in an ACA pact, NCSL said.
 
National magazine ranks Maine as best state for equality
WGME
Two of Maine’s four congressional representatives are women (Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins and Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree), while last year, women held a third of the seats in the Maine Legislature, compared with just a quarter on average nationally, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
  
National magazine ranks Maine as best state for equality
State Bangor Daily News
Two of Maine’s four congressional representatives are women (Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins and Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree), while last year, women held a third of the seats in the Maine Legislature, compared with just a quarter on average nationally, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
 
Students fear new healthcare
Northern Star Online
Unmarried Illinoisans under 26 would not be affected by the provision’s repeal, however, because Illinois is one of at least 31 states that allowed young adults to remain on their parents’ health insurance before the ACA was implemented, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

March 2

Ballot selfies come closer to reality in another state
CBS News
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 15 states this year have bills addressing ballot selfies and the secrecy of the ballot.
 
UC Riverside ranks among nation's best in promoting African American student success, study finds
Los Angeles Times
Tax credit programs allow people and corporations to allocate some of their tax money to nonprofits that administer scholarships, and student recipients can choose from a list of private schools. The nonprofits then cover the students' tuition or school expenses. According to the National Conference on State Legislatures , 17 states currently have such programs.
 
Senate OKs minimum wage increase clears Senate
Albuquerque Journal
Both Arizona and Colorado currently have minimum wages in excess of $9 per hour, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. However, the minimum wages of Texas, Oklahoma and Utah are all set at the federal minimum – $7.25 per hour

State kicks off Women's History Month celebrations
Albany Times Union
Recent data released by the National Conference of State Legislatures shows that women make up 27.2 percent of the state Legislature, just above the national average.
     
Trump's Victory Was No Real Surprise — Republicans' State ...
Investor's Business Daily
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Republicans have total control of 25 state governments. In these, Republicans hold all the governorships and outnumber Democrats 667 to 252 in state Senates and 1901 to 922 state Houses. These states also account for 255 Electoral Votes. Trump won all but one of these states — losing only New Hampshire — and 251 of their combined Electoral Votes.
 
State Sen. Bell: Tennessee lawmakers should consider travel ...
Chattanooga Times Free Press
Sen. Mike Bell, R-Riceville, says state lawmakers should weigh boycotting next year's National Conference of State Legislatures in California as retaliation over a state-funded travel ban issued against Tennessee's 2016 counseling law targeting lesbians and gays.
 
Alamo Colleges' Identity Crisis
Rivard Report
A 2014 report by the National Conference of State Legislatures found that “increasingly, businesses and policymakers are turning to community colleges to help fill these workforce gaps and educate the growing student body, predominately made up of historically underperforming student populations.”
 
Liberal group debates how to oppose Trump agenda
Idaho Mountain Express and Guide
Republicans control 32 state legislatures, compared to 14 for the Democratic Party and three splits, according to the National Conference on State Legislatures.
 
Event coaches women on running for office
Jackson Hole News&Guide
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Mississippi was the only state with poorer female representation, at 13.2 percent — 0.01 percent less than Wyoming.
 
Wisconsin lawmaker proposes expansion of Good Samaritan law to ...
Superior Telegram
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, which tracks state lawmaking, 37 states and the District of Columbia have some sort of Good Samaritan law on the books.

March 1

Trump repeats his push for a school voucher program. But how would it be accomplished?
Los Angeles Times
Tax credit programs allow people and corporations to allocate some of their tax money to nonprofits that administer scholarships, and student recipients can choose from a list of private schools. The nonprofits then cover the students' tuition or school expenses. According to the National Conference on State Legislatures, 17 states currently have such programs.

Since 2008, nearly every state moved right in both presidential and state politics
Washington Post
Virginia’s legislature is much more Republican than its presidential votes, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures. Virginia holds off-year elections, and is one of three states that has a majority Republican legislature after the 2016 elections despite voting for the Democratic candidate for president. (The other two are Minnesota and New Hampshire; there are no states that backed the Republican in 2016 but have a Democratic legislature.)

Trump invited a student to his joint address. Her story says a lot about his views on education reform
Washington Post
Critics also argue that, despite the court rulings, the programs do violate the spirit of the separation of church and state. Some nonprofits that distribute tax-credit scholarships, for example, only allow the tuition to be used at certain religious schools, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

GOP senator suggests boycott of California lawmaker meeting
Hutchinson News
Bell wants his resolution condemning California's law to be sent to every state lawmaker in the country and to major legislative groups, including the National Conference of State Legislatures, which holds its annual meeting in Los Angeles in August 2018.

GOP senator suggests boycott of California lawmaker meeting
Virginian-Pilot
Bell wants his resolution condemning California's law to be sent to every state lawmaker in the country and to major legislative groups, including the National Conference of State Legislatures, which holds its annual meeting in Los Angeles in August 2018.

NC farmers can now apply to grow hemp for research
News & Observer
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 20 states have passed laws allowing for research and pilot programs since recent changes to federal farm policy opened opportunities for universities and state departments of agriculture to grow industrial hemp for research.

Suit tests 20-day voter registration cutoff in Massachusetts
Concord Monitor
Mayer was quick to point out that other states, including some in New England, have same-day registration. Nationwide, more than a dozen states allow voters to register and cast ballots on the same day, according the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Voices The future of online sales tax: What if they can't kill Quill?
Accounting Today
Sources indicate that a Quill affirmation would deliver a revenue blow to states. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, with information pulled from a University of Tennessee study, states lost an estimated $23.3 billion in revenue in 2012 from uncollected tax on remote sales. And many expect that unless Quill is exterminated, cash-strapped states will continue to take a hit with a modern marketplace increasingly defined by digital transactions. Max Behlke, the NCSL's director of budget and tax policy, said that if the Supreme Court upholds Quill, the physical presence constraint could lead to the end of sales taxes in the U.S. Consumers might see a price drop on purchases — but higher income and property taxes would likely follow.

Dems consider wage increase
The Nevada Sagebrush
Jackson Brainard, a fiscal and policy analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures, testified to the senate committee saying that 32 states and Puerto Rico have pledged an increase in minimum wage requirements other than the ones that had previously existed.

Nebraska lawmaker calls for tightening child seat belt laws
Education Week
Thirty-four other states have similar primary enforcement laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Ga. House Committee OKs 'Campus Carry' Bill
WABE 90.1 FM
The National Conference of State Legislatures says Georgia is among the 17 states that ban concealed weapons on college campuses.

Proposed amendment would reduce size of Missouri General ...
Columbia Missourian
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the six state legislatures larger than Missouri's belong to New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Georgia, New York, Minnesota and Massachusetts.